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The Battlefield of the Human Body Revisited – Metaphors and Cancer: A Comparison between Genres
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine metaphors in cancer contexts, and in particular war and military metaphors. A four step approach was performed for the examination. The use over time has been studied for metaphorical linguistic expressions including the words fight and battle in the Corpus of Contemporary American English in the categories Academic Journals, Magazines and Newspapers. A general corpus search for the word cancer in the same categories has been made to investigate what kinds of metaphorical linguistic expressions could be found. The goal was to examine possible development of the use of other expressions than the dominant martial ones for the period 2005 - 2011. The findings were also investigated to see which thematic role for the word cancer was the most frequent in the categories. To complement the corpus findings, an inquiry was sent out to explore how writers of research articles reason when they use expressions such as fight against cancer or battle with cancer in their texts.

The corpus findings show that the martial metaphorical linguistic expressions are more often used within the categories Newspapers and Magazines. In the category Academic journals the occurrences are fewer. The most common metaphor alternatives were within the area of sports. The study of semantic roles shows that the word cancer appears most often in the role of patient. The agent role occurred slightly more often in the newspaper category than in the other text categories investigated. The result of the inquiry suggests that some researchers use martial metaphors out of routine.

The four step approach of the study reveals a complex image of the use of metaphors in cancer contexts. Detection of trends for the use of metaphorical linguistic expressions possibly demands a longer time interval than the studied period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Metaphors, cancer, discourse analysis, genre analysis, corpus analysis, semantic roles.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91026OAI: diva2:630117
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2013-06-18 Last updated: 2014-01-22Bibliographically approved

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