Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article investigates the role of metaphor in the production and reproduction of language ideologies. It does this by focusing on official discourses concerning the language policy of Singapore, where recurrent appeal is made to the conduit metaphor (Reddy 1993) in articulating various claims and beliefs about language and its relation to questions of identity and values.The analytic framework adopted here treats language ideologies in terms of three semiotic processes: iconization, recursion, and erasure (Gal and Irvine 1995). By tracking a single metaphor through a variety of discourses, the article illustrates how these semiotic processes come together when metaphor is used in the service of ideology. The article also suggests the introduction of a fourth semiotic process, performativity, which draws attention to the various lexical realizations of the conduit metaphor.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): language ideologies; metaphor; political discourse; semiotics; Singapore
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