This paper describes the metaphor themes (Goatly, 2007) used in the media representation of the financial crisis and subsequent bankruptcy and reorganization of the Italian airline Alitalia. We rely on two specialized newspaper corpora assembled from a number of Italian (Repubblica, Corriere della Sera), British (Guardian, Times, Financial Times) and US American (New York Times, Washington Post) newspapers. Our corpora contain all the articles published in the on-line versions of the selected newspapers about the Alitalia crisis between August 2008 and January 2009, the period of time which coincides with Alitalia’s bankruptcy and acquisition by CAI, a new consortium of Italian investors. Firstly, we provide some background to the crisis and privatization of Alitalia and the way it was represented by the news media (De Blasi & Gnesutta, 2009); secondly, we expound our methodology for identifying and analyzing metaphor themes in the corpora; finally, we illustrate some metaphorical expressions and collocational profiles that may reveal the presence of hidden ideologies in the representation of the Alitalia crisis in the English, US American and Italian newspapers under analysis. Locating metaphors in corpora is known to be a complex issue for which several different methodologies, ranging from manual to automatic, have been developed (e.g. Cameron & Low, 1999; Charteris-Black, 2004; Rayson, 2008); scholars have suggested a variety of ways in which these methodologies can be used or adapted to the characteristics of the corpora in use and the aims of particular research projects (e.g. Koller, 2002; Skorczynska & Deignan 2006; Philip, 2008, 2009; Bowker, 2009; Skorczynska, 2010). Our own methodology is rooted in Corpus Assisted Discourse Studies, or CADS (Partington, 2003; 2006; 2008; Taylor 2008), and it consists in combining a corpus-assisted quantitative approach with a critical qualitative study of metaphors. The metaphor themes to be analyzed are selected based on their frequent and consistent association with the keywords previously identified in the corpora using the freeware concordancer Antconc 3.2.1 (Anthony, 2004). Although most high-frequency metaphor themes are common across the corpora (WAR, GAME, HUMAN BODY, ROMANCE, ROAD, FLIGHT, THEATRE, ANIMAL, FORCE OF NATURE), there is significant difference in their distribution and in the range of lexical items that instantiate them. For example, sports metaphors play a much more significant role in the Italian corpus (Semino & Masci, 1996), whereas the English one foregrounds the practical consequences of the bailout in terms of state aid and labour unrest. Metaphorical references to RELIGION and MYTH also play a significant role in the corpora, but with considerably different attitudes on the reporters’ part: for example, the representation of the rescue of Alitalia by the Italian government as a “miracle” is explicitly ridiculed in the English corpus, whereas the name attributed to the Alitalia bailout plan (“Phoenix Plan”) is the source of much mythological imagery in the Italian corpus, unlike the English one.
|Titolo:||Sweetheart deals, wildcat strikes and other dangerous things: metaphorical representations of Alitalia's bailout and privatization in the British, US American and Italian press|
|Titolo del periodico:||FACTA UNIVERSITATIS. SERIES: LINGUISTICS AND LITERATURE|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Numero e parte del fascicolo:||2|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista (Journal article)|