METAPHORS WE RULE BY: THE COGNITIVE DIMENSION OF THE POLITICAL LANGUAGE OF THE USA AND BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
At the root of the American liberal-conservative political fracture lies language – particularly, figurative language with its richness of metaphorical expressions which strongly mark the global political communication. From Aristotle’s playing with the rhetoric, through Nietzsche’s definition of truth as “a mobile army of metaphors”, all the way to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory made popular by Lakoff and Johnson, metaphor has always been discovered as a powerful linguistic tool in the hands of the political elite. In the modern political language of the United States one can distinguish very interesting and effective metaphorical models, such as POLITICS IS WAR, POLITICS IS A SHOW, NATION IS A LEADER, etc. Mental concepts which are part of a set of metaphorical models based on antonymy, and which are hidden behind two opposing approaches to morality (the “Strict Father” and “Nurturant Parent” models) reveal structural differences in conceptual metaphors used by American liberals and conservatives for decades. As the first total implementation of cognitive science to politics, “Lakoffian” research of public discourse connects topics such as different and opposing moral systems, discourse issues, metaphors of intimidation, coherent ideologies and their non-existence, etc. By masterfully replacing one conceptual domain with another, skillful speakers manage to form individual concepts of the voting body in their favor, gaining with it full support of the citizen majority and consequent political supremacy. In layman’s terms, conceptual metaphors help them shape the truth in the mind of the public according to the desired model. This is especially evident in the duality of American politics at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. However, where in the domain of metaphor usage do the political currents in Bosnia and Herzegovina stand and what kind of mental concepts are behind their everyday interaction? By following the cognitive research of the American politics, this research tries to implement its discoveries on the modern political discourse in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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