Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
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This paper examines the utility of metaphor as an investigative tool in “long-distance” corpora and discourse studies. I show that metaphor is both important for understanding discourses and useful for diachronic analysis because it allows us to abstract out above the purely lexical level, enabling comparison across contexts where the same concept could be lexicalised differently. The case-study is concerned with the oft-discussed metaphor of in the UK-based newspaper from 1800–2018 and the conventionalisation and evaluative patterns are presented. The findings confirm that the metaphor has an extensive discourse history regarding how migration is represented in the UK press, but also that evaluations may differ significantly. The paper shows how metaphor can provide a way to find discourse evaluations and framings across different time periods. The use of second-order collocates illustrates how corpus tools can help re-contextualise data to ensure interpretation heeds contemporary framings.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): collocation; diachronic analysis; discourse; metaphor; migration
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