2021_14_2_14 - XLinguae

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Open access Issues > Issue n_2_2021 > section n_2_2021
Verbal and multimodal metaphorical patterns in Wikipedia migration discourse

Janja Polajnar

DOI: 10.18355/XL.2021.14.02.14

The use of metaphors in the refugee discourse since 2015 has so far mostly been explored in newspapers in different EU countries. In this study, we combine linguistic discourse metaphor analysis with a corpus-based approach, complementing qualitative and quantitative corpus evidence from Wikipedia migration corpus to explore verbal and multimodal metaphorical patterns. As a multimodal and multilingual hypertext, Wikipedia, represents a highly relevant source of information and a unique source for the multimodal and cross-linguistic discourse linguistic analysis. In this paper metaphorical expressions are considered as a transtextual discursive phenomenon in the light of Foucaudian tradition. The results of the study show that the analyzed migration discourse in Wikipedia is like the newspaper migration discourse predominantly structured by metaphorical patterns that draw from the source domains water flow/natural catastrophes as well as military/warfare. These source domains are conventionally used in relation to a wide range of target domains (multivalency), however, they play a constitutive role in the analyzed discourse by providing a specific view of events and emphasizing certain aspects and evaluations. The patterning of water flow metaphors across Wikipedia articles and talk pages is in multimodal metaphors extended, elaborated and reinforced in visual mode, referring to those migrating as a flow, wave, influx. However, especially on Wikipedia talk pages Wikipedians point to the dehumanization of those fleeing and the securitization of migration through metaphorical expressions as a problematic linguistic discourse practice.

Key words: verbal and multimodal metaphors, linguistic discourse analysis, migration discourse in German Wikipedia

Pages: 185-206

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