Medical Metaphors in Economics News Articles in English and Italian

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As Lakoff and Johnson (1980: 3) state in Metaphors We Live by, “our ordinary conceptualsystem, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.”From a linguistic point of view, metaphors not only exist in everyday language but inspecialized discourse too, where they are frequently the result of interdisciplinary borrowings.The language of economics, replete with medical metaphors, is one of the most representativeexamples of this phenomenon.This paper offers a quantitative and qualitative analysis of medical metaphors in English andItalian economics news discourse, as no research seems to have been conducted so far on thetopic from a cross-linguistic perspective for the two languages in question.Medical metaphors were investigated in two corpora of economic articles published between2014 and 2016 and drawn, respectively, from the Financial Times ( for theEnglish language, and Il Sole 24 Ore for the Italian language ( contrastive analysis aims at highlighting the level of pervasiveness of medical metaphorsover non-metaphorically used medical terms/expressions in both corpora, and at identifyingcategories of metaphorical reasoning in the two languages.The results show that both corpora were replete with metaphorically used medical terms, withthe Italian corpus showing a higher tendency to use medical terms metaphorically as comparedto the English corpus. Moreover, the investigation revealed ten categories of metaphoricalmeaning in both the English and the Italian data and equivalent realizations within the samemetaphorical category. Only a limited number of cases of different realizations within the samemetaphorical category were identified from the comparison between the two languages.The results ultimately highlight that health/medical-related matters are a crucial source ofinspiration in the conceptualization of English and Italian economics news discourse.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)27-47
Numero di pagine21
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017


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