Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097



This article compares diachronic and cross-linguistic uses of source domains for framing the target domain of in governmental discourses under the presidencies of Bill Clinton, Jiang Zemin, Donald Trump, and Xi Jinping. Taking a socio-cognitive approach, we examine trade metaphor use across time periods (1993–1997 vs. 2017–2021) and languages (American English vs. Mandarin Chinese) in nationally dominant discourses. At the micro-level of trade corpora, both the quantitative and qualitative analyses show that the higher-level source domains (e.g., ) and their (re)constructed lower-level source domains (e.g., vs. ) are semantic fields whose use varies with discourse contexts. The usages of the distinct lower-level source domains highlight divergent cognitive forms of trade ideologies, which are embedded in dynamic political structures; they help reveal the implicit trade relations and ideological motivations at the macro-level of trade discourse contexts. The macro-level analyses reveal that nationally dominant discourses are constructed around domestic and global interests, and that power relations are (re)constructed diachronically and challenged transnationally through dominant discursive practices.

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