Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper studies metaphor use in British Public Bill Committee debates. It focuses on the way in which legislators frame their arguments in metaphorical terms under the form of figurative analogies. Because these figurative analogies can be misleading by oversimplifying the issue under discussion, resisting them by putting forward counter-argumentation is a crucial and necessary skill. The purpose of this paper is to explore the phenomenon of countering figurative analogies in legislative debates, and to show that resistance to figurative analogies is a complex phenomenon comprising various types of criticisms to different types of metaphor. To this end, we present qualitative analyses of a number of case studies of resistance to figurative analogies found in the British Public Bill Committee debates on the Education Bill 2010–11 by employing the three-dimensional model of metaphor (Steen, 2011) and the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation (Van Eemeren, 2010).


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bowdle, B. F., & Gentner, D.
    (2005) The career of metaphor. Psychological Review112(1), 193–216. 10.1037/0033‑295X.112.1.193
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.112.1.193 [Google Scholar]
  2. Charteris-Black, J.
    (2004) Corpus approaches to critical metaphor analysis. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. 10.1057/9780230000612
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230000612 [Google Scholar]
  3. Committee Stage (Commons)
    Committee Stage (Commons) (n.d.). In UK Parliament. RetrievedFebruary 5, 2017, fromwww.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/passage-bill/lords/lrds-commons-committee-stage/
  4. De Landtsheer, C.
    (2015) Media rhetoric plays the market: The logic and power of metaphors behind the financial crisis since 2006. Metaphor and the Social World, 5(2), 204–221.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Doury, M.
    (2009) Argument schemes typologies in practice: The case of comparative arguments. InF. H. van Eemeren & B. Garssen (Eds.), Pondering on problems of argumentation (pp.141–155). Dordrecht: Springer. 10.1007/978‑1‑4020‑9165‑0_11
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9165-0_11 [Google Scholar]
  6. Eemeren, F. H. van
    (2010) Strategic maneuvering in argumentative discourse: Extending the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/aic.2
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aic.2 [Google Scholar]
  7. Eemeren, F. H. van & Garssen, B.
    (2014) Analogie-argumentatie in stereotiepe argumentatieve patronen. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing36(1), 31–50. 10.5117/TVT2014.1.EEME
    https://doi.org/10.5117/TVT2014.1.EEME [Google Scholar]
  8. Eemeren, F. H. van, & Grootendorst, R.
    (1984) Speech acts in argumentative discussions: A theoretical model for the analysis of discussions directed towards solving conflicts of opinion. Dordrecht: Foris Publications. 10.1515/9783110846089
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110846089 [Google Scholar]
  9. (1992) Argumentation, communication and fallacies: A pragma-dialectical perspective. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. (2004) A systematic theory of argumentation: The pragma-dialectical approach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Eemeren, F. H. van, Grootendorst, R., & Snoeck Henkemans, A. F.
    (2002) Argumentation: Analysis, evaluation, presentation. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Eemeren, F. H. van, Houtlosser, P., & Snoeck Henkemans, A. F.
    (2007) Argumentative indicators in discourse: A pragma-dialectical study. Dordrecht: Springer. 10.1007/978‑1‑4020‑6244‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6244-5 [Google Scholar]
  13. Fahnestock, J.
    (2011) Rhetorical style: The uses of language in persuasion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764129.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764129.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  14. Garssen, B., & Kienpointner, M.
    (2011) Figurative analogies in political argumentation. InE. Feteris, G. Garssen & A. F. Snoeck Henkemans (Eds.), Keeping in touch with pragma-dialectics: In honor of Frans H. van Eemeren (pp.39–58). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.163.04gar
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.163.04gar [Google Scholar]
  15. Gentner, D., & Bowdle, B. F.
    (2001) Convention, form, and figurative language processing. Metaphor & Symbol, 16(3), 223–247. 10.1207/S15327868MS1603&4_6
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327868MS1603&4_6 [Google Scholar]
  16. Goatly, A.
    (2007) Washing the brain: Metaphor and ideology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/dapsac.23
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.23 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hansard (Official Report)
    Hansard (Official Report) (n.d.). In UK Parliament Glossary. RetrievedMay 1, 2017, fromwww.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/hansard-official-report/
  18. Ihnen Jory, C.
    (2012) Pragmatic argumentation in law-making debates. Instruments for the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation at the Second Reading of the British Parliament (Doctoral dissertation). Amsterdam: Sic Sat.
  19. Juthe, L. J.
    (2005) Argument by analogy. Argumentation, 19(1), 1–27. 10.1007/s10503‑005‑2314‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-005-2314-9 [Google Scholar]
  20. (2016) Argumentation by analogy: A systematic analytical study of an argument scheme. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
  21. Kövecses, Z.
    (2010) Metaphor: A practical introduction (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Landau, M. J., Keefer, L. A., & Swanson, T. J.
    (2017) “Undoing” a rhetorical metaphor: Testing the metaphor extension strategy. Metaphor & Symbol, 32(2), 63–83. 10.1080/10926488.2017.1297619
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926488.2017.1297619 [Google Scholar]
  24. Macmillan English Dictionary Online
    Macmillan English Dictionary Online. April 2017www.macmillandictionary.com/
  25. Musolff, A.
    (2004) Metaphor and political discourse: Analogical reasoning in debates about Europe. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. 10.1057/9780230504516
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230504516 [Google Scholar]
  26. Perelman, C., & Olbrechts-Tyteca, L.
    (2003) The new rhetoric: A treatise on argumentation. (J. Wilkinson & P. Weaver, Trans.). Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Reijnierse, W. G., Burgers, C., Krennmayr, T., & Steen, G. J.
    (2018) DMIP: A method for identifying potentially deliberate metaphor in language use. Corpus Pragmatics, 2(2), 129–147. 10.1007/s41701‑017‑0026‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s41701-017-0026-7 [Google Scholar]
  28. Semino, E.
    (2008) Metaphor in discourse. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Steen, G. J.
    (2008) The paradox of metaphor: Why we need a three-dimensional model of metaphor. Metaphor & Symbol, 23(4), 213–241. 10.1080/10926480802426753
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926480802426753 [Google Scholar]
  30. (2011) The contemporary theory of metaphor – now new and improved!Review of Cognitive Linguistics, 9(1), 26–64. 10.1075/rcl.9.1.03ste
    https://doi.org/10.1075/rcl.9.1.03ste [Google Scholar]
  31. (2013) Deliberate metaphor affords conscious metaphorical cognition. Journal of Cognitive Semiotics, 5(1–2), 179–197.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. (2017) Attention to metaphor: Where embodied cognition and social interaction can meet, but may not often do so. InB. Hampe (Ed.), Embodied cognition and multimodal discourse (pp.279–296). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108182324.016
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108182324.016 [Google Scholar]
  33. Steen, G. J., Dorst, A. G., Herrmann, J. B., Kaal, A. A., Krennmayr, T., & Pasma, T.
    (2010) A method for linguistic metaphor identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.14
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.14 [Google Scholar]
  34. Thompson, L.
    (2013) More of the same or a period of change? The impact of bill committees in the twenty-first century House of Commons. Parliamentary Affairs, 66(3), 459–479. 10.1093/pa/gss016
    https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gss016 [Google Scholar]
  35. Turpin, C., & Tomkins, A.
    (2011) British government and the constitution (7th ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139060738
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139060738 [Google Scholar]
  36. UK Government Cabinet Office
    UK Government Cabinet Office (2015) Guide to making legislation. RetrievedFebruary 7, 2017, fromhttps://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450239/Guide_to_Making_Legislation.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Weitzenfeld, J. S.
    (1984) Valid reasoning by analogy. Philosophy of Science, 51(1), 137–149. 10.1086/289169
    https://doi.org/10.1086/289169 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error