A corpus-based conceptual mapping of contemporary journalese - Universals and variants of English and Romanian business metaphors
Universals and variants of English and Romanian business metaphors
A corpus-based conceptual mapping of contemporary journalese
Research objectives

The general objective of the project is to demonstrate that cognitive metaphors are instantiations of cultural categories manifested in the language spoken by the community that shares a common set of characteristics within a given cultural matrix.Thus, we uphold the idea that metaphors clustered in cognitive categories account for cultural categories, both in terms of conceptual universals and variants, resulting in a complex mapping of interrelated cross-connections. Our theory will be applied to contemporary business journalese in English and Romanian and we will try to identify universal metaphors and metaphor variations assignable to cultural characteristics of contemporary Romanian and British business reality reflected in the written press.



The specific project objectives are:

1. Creation of 2 corpora (English and Romanian) made up of approximately 500,000 words each from British and Romanian journals (daily and weekly broadsheets). The articles will be collected both from business-proper press and general audience, on business and financial topics.

Expected results:

Romanian corpus of approximately 500,000 words, consisting of articles from the following newspapers: Adevărul, Adevărul Financiar, Business Magazin, Gândul, Capital, România Liberă and Ziarul Financiar, published during 2012-2016.

British corpus of approximately 500,000 words, consisting of articles from the following newspapers: The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and The Telegraph, published during 2012-2016.

2. Conceptual mapping of business metaphors by cognitive categories identified in contemporary Romanian and English journalese using manual and automated collocation extraction with the help of concordancers.

Expected results:

A cognitive map of conceptual metaphors used in business journalese, for both  languages, e.g. the ECONOMY is a PATIENT, MONEY is FOOD, SQUANDERING is a SIN, etc.

The map will be organised centred on several key terms widely-spread in the business language, such as: economy, money, market, unemployment, job, company, etc.

3. Identifying universals and variants of Romanian and English contemporary business metaphors through contrastive quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Expected results:

Contrastive quantitative and qualitative analysis of business metaphors, mainly realised through dissemination of research data in various conferences and academic events, and through publication in various books and journals.

More specifically, each memebr of the project team will participate in at least two conferences per year (minimum 4 conferences during the lifetime of the project), one of which abroad and each team member will contribute to the organsisation of a local academic event. Each team member will publish at least one paper per year in a respected journal. The whole project will also have to result in at least two full-length volumes of scientific contributions to the field of intercultural metaphor.

Dissemination materials will be published (flyers, brochures, book of abstracts, proceedings book, journals, etc.) For the purpoae of event organisation, different items will be purchased - inventory items (stationery), and also costs related to accommodation and subsistence of team members.

4. Creation of an ontology-based automatic classification of business metaphors and inter-relatedness between cognitive categories and cultural categories.

Expected results:

An ontology-based automatic classification of metaphors and inter-relations between cognitive categories and cultural categories, available on the project website will be created and made available through the webpage.

5. Exploiting pedagogical opportunities of teaching Business English through a better understanding of both Romanian and English metaphors, by setting up a small scale corpus linguistics research laboratory based in the host institution and elaborating appropriate teaching methodology, for the modernisation of university curricula. 

Expected results:

A small-scale corpus linguistics laboratory, which will be endowed with 6 workststions (desktop systems, Windows software, antivirus software, Microsoft Office software), desks and filecabinets. 

6. Creation of a web portal with an extraction tool for electronic retrieval of metaphors, a concordancer and pedagogical support for students and teachers alike (cultural info sheets, lexical exercises, lesson plans, etc.).

Expected results:

A web page that will include, besides project identification data and presentation of results, the electronic instrument of retrieval of metaphors, based on a list of cognitive metaphors identified in the two corpora.

The webpage will alos include intercultural factsheets, business language practice, a dictionary of business terms.