Academic journal article Southwest Journal of Linguistics

Anti-Terrorist Struggle Is a Journey: The Source-Path-Goal Schema and Journey Metaphors in Spanish Political Discourse

Academic journal article Southwest Journal of Linguistics

Anti-Terrorist Struggle Is a Journey: The Source-Path-Goal Schema and Journey Metaphors in Spanish Political Discourse

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. This article investigates the role of metaphor in framing the terrorism conflict in Spain. In particular, it explores how the Source-Path-Goal image schema in combination with Journey Metaphors conceptualize the anti-terrorist struggle envisioned by former Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The corpus of investigation includes 110 political speeches on terrorism during his two terms in office (April 2004 to December 2011). Findings indicate that the main conceptual metaphor that portrays his vision is ANTI-TERRORIST STRUGGLE IS A journey. Results suggest that the metaphor of journey is constructed mainly by the coexistence of the central metaphor of path with the metaphor of motion, direction, distance, and destination. These elements play a central role as they present Zapatero as the main trajector, whose guiding principles, means, and choices with the support of his travelling companions will help to reach the final destination: the end of terrorism.

1. INTRODUCTION. Metaphor has proved to be an important tool for conceptualizing conflicts within politics. Studies have reported the use of journey metaphors to frame political conflicts (Charteris-Black 2004, 2005; Koteyko and Ryazanova-Clarke 2009). In particular, in Spanish discourse, some works have explored metaphors in national politics (Aponte Moreno 2008, Cortes Rodriguez 2007, Sanchez Garcia 2009); and more specifically, a few studies have given attention to the role of metaphor in terrorism (Hellin-Garcia 2009, 2010, 2013; Olza Moreno 2008, 2012). However, relatively little attention has been given to how the metaphor of the journey frames the conflict of terrorism in Spain.

This article contributes to the understanding of metaphorical language in politics, and more specifically, illustrates how the anti-terrorist struggle is envisioned as a metaphorical journey by former Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. By doing so, this study explores how the SOURCE-PATH-GOAL image schema, in combination with JOURNEY metaphors, act as metaphorical framing devices. In this article, I identify and analyze the main metaphorical instantiations that structure his vision through the central conceptual metaphor: ANTI-TERRORIST STRUGGLE IS A JOURNEY. (1)

The research questions addressed are:

1. What are the elements of the source-path-goal schema and journey metaphors that structure Zapatero's anti-terrorist struggle?

2. What are the most salient journey metaphorical features of Zapatero's vision?

3. What is their role in his discourse?

This article starts with a brief overview of the political background in Spain in section 2 and section 3 elaborates on relevant studies of journey metaphors in politics. Section 4 discusses the methodology, which adopts the theoretical concepts of source-path-goal schema and journey metaphors. Following this, section 5 presents the discussion and results with examples extracted from the corpus to provide evidence of their discursive role.

2. POLITICAL BACKGROUND: TERRORISM IN SPAIN. ETA's (2) declaration of cessation of violence in October 2011 (3) marks an official end to their forty years of terrorism in Spain. While the majority of the terrorist attacks have been carried out by ETA, the international terrorist group Al-Qaeda (4) was responsible for the most potent attack on March 11, 2004 (11-M). It is widely believed that 11-M was retribution for Spain's role in the Iraq war, which was supported by then Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (5) (PP) (6) and opposed by the general public.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (PSOE) (7) took office in April 2004, serving until December 2011. He started his presidency with a big political load on his back. The 11-M terrorist attack occurred one month before he took office. This attack shocked Spain on two levels: first, it resulted in the highest number of casualties and wounded in recent history (8). …

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