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Lenkova T.A. FEATURES OF THE USE OF A METAPHOR IN THE CREOLIZED MEDIA TEXT / T.A. Lenkova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 100—104. — URL: (дата обращения: 20.04.2021. ).
Lenkova T.A. FEATURES OF THE USE OF A METAPHOR IN THE CREOLIZED MEDIA TEXT / T.A. Lenkova // Russian Linguistic Bulletin. — 2020. — № 2 (22). — С. 100—104.


Ленкова Т.А.1
1Кандидат филологических наук, доцент, Рязанский государственный университет имени С. А. Есенина, Рязань, Россия
Статья посвящена особенностям использования метафоры в современном креолизованном медиатексте. В предлагаемой статье рассматриваются вопросы метафоризации в креолизованном медиатексте на примере западногерманского журнала «Spiegel». Особое внимание уделяется сравнительному анализу классификаций метафоры в отечественной и зарубежной лингвистике. Актуальность исследования обусловлена междисциплинарным характером работы на стыке филологии и журналистики. Автор останавливается на сопоставлении отношения к процессу метафоризации в российской науке и нюансам продуцирования и восприятия данной стилистической фигуры за рубежом. Автором особо подчёркивается, что процесс метафоризации в креолизованном медиатексте носит осознанный и целенаправленный характер, отвечающий базовым функциям СМИ – информировать и воздействовать. В статье представлена авторская разработка особенностей метафоры в креолизованном медиатексте. Показано, что с учётом тенденций последних десятилетий, согласно которым визуальная информация занимает всё более устойчивые позиции, в публицистическом медиастиле следует различать не только традиционную вербальную метафору, но и визуальную. Новизна исследования и ценность предложенной работы видится не только в междисциплинарном характере, но и в предложенном новом понятии «комплексной медиаметафоры». Представлены результаты практического исследования, на основе которого автор выделяет некоторые признаки и особенности вновь предложенного понятия.
Ключевые слова: креолизованный медиатекст; вербальная метафора; визуальная метафора; комплексная медиаметафора; метафорическая компетентность.
Страницы: 100 - 104

Lenkova T.A.1
1 Ph.D. in Philology, Associate Professor , Ryazan State University named for S.A. Yesenin, Ryazan, Russia
The article is devoted to the peculiarities of the use of metaphor in the modern creolized media text. This article examines the issues of metaphorization in the creolized media text, for example, the West German magazine "Spiegel". The relevance of the study due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work at the intersection of Philology and journalism. The author dwells on the comparison relation to the process of metaphorization in the Russian science and the nuances of the production and perception of the stylistic figures abroad. The author emphasizes that the process of metaphorization in the creolized media text is deliberate and focused, meets the core functions of media is to inform and to influence. The article presents author's development of metaphor features in the creolized media text. It is shown that, taking into account the tendencies of the last decades, according to which the visual information occupies more and more stable positions, it is necessary to distinguish not only the traditional verbal metaphor, but also the visual media in journalistic media style. The novelty of the research and the value of the proposed work are seen not only in an interdisciplinary nature, but also in the proposed new concept of "complex media metaphor." The results of practical research on the basis of which the author singles out certain features and features of the newly proposed concept are presented.
Keywords: creolized media text; verbal metaphor; visual metaphor; complex media metaphor; metaphorical competence.
Pages: 100 - 104
Почта авторов / Author Email: talenk[at]


The concept of "metaphor" has been the focus of attention of researchers for more than a century. As time passes, language science is enriched by new industries and directions, hence the knowledge of the essence of the metaphor and the criteria that can form the basis of its classification is expanding.

In this work we will talk about the peculiarities of metaphor in the creolized media text.

1.Tradical Russian classification of metaphors and language massmedia

In Russian linguistics, the traditional division of metaphor into artistic and linguistic is considered [4, P. 30]. Each type of metaphor has its own distinctive features and corresponding spheres of use.

So, language metaphor is something perceived and reproduced at the subconscious level. People may not even realize that usual words and expressions have figurative meaning.

According to G. N. Sklyarevskaya, the visionary metaphor of associative relations is objective and reflects the language experience of the speaker, reflects the individual vision of the world, so they are "subjective and random about the general knowledge" [5, p. 129-221]. A language metaphor is a self-contained lexical unit that is quite free to enter into semantic relationships, and the lexical meaning of a language metaphor is given to structuring and bringing under model schemes.

Artistic metaphor, by contrast, is always unique and has no lexical autonomy, it is always related to context [4, P. 35].

In this sense, the metaphor used in media texts, on the basis of its uniqueness with full right, can be called artistic. First, the cliched manner in which the information is submitted is "contraindicated" to any self-respecting and successful media publication, and second, even taking the same semantic structure as a basis, each time the journalist fills it with completely different content. For example, a flag image can be used both simply as a heraldic sign, but also as a sign of nationality, and as a symbol that it is this country that is involved in the conflict, and so on. In other words, an image as part of a creolized media text can be interpreted and understood only in connection with the verbal components of the article — the title, subtitle, photo signature, text of the article itself.

In the course of his research, G. N. Sklyarevskaya, particularly identifies two types of language metaphor, namely motivated and associative.

Motivated by metaphor, the researcher calls one in which there is a semantic element that explicitly associates metaphorical meaning with the original. The presence of a common semantic element involves the conscious transfer of a value, a meaningful, will transfer of a trait from one semantic structure to another in each particular act of speech.

It is impossible to disagree with the opinion of G. N. Sklyarevskaya, having made only one small comment about creolized journalism. Namely: when we are at the initial stage of perception of the printed in the article, we first of all pay attention to the pictorial series and perceive it, as a rule, through feelings and emotions. If there is a non-verbal metaphor in the article, most readers will no doubt draw out the meme on the basis of which metaphorization took place, and will do so unconscious, only because metaphorization happened in a language familiar to him taking into account his picture of the world. If perception of a metaphor by the representative of target audience, at least, at the beginning, happens intuitively, then activity of the journalist, creator of this metaphor, it is impossible to call that, ̶  opposite, he consciously connected images necessary to it, updated necessary to this and motivated the reader the received visual metaphor, for certain, having supported all with verbal components from the text of article.

In other words, the motivated metaphor in creolized media texts is initially artificially modeled taking into account massmedia features.

Associative metaphor is based on the ability of consciousness to find similarities between any objects of validity. The universality of such a thought operation means the comprehensive nature of the metaphoricity of language. This kind of metaphor, according to G. N. Sklyarevskaya, is most common in language.

How does that relate to language metaphor? Associative metaphor is widely used in creolized massmedia texts, based on cultural and historical knowledge of most members of society, on a single picture of the world for each society. The latter concept plays a role in the classification of metaphors of another wonderful domestic researcher, Veronica Nicholas Telia.

In our opinion, the understanding of associative metaphor in G. N. Sklyarevskaya and figurative metaphor in and V. N. Telia is quite close, and these are the metaphors that are most common to the reader on the newspaper strip.

In our opinion, it is the two types of metaphors that most adequately meet the needs of the creolized text of the media — to inform the addressee as fully as possible.

V. N. Telia considers metaphor one of the most productive means of forming secondary titles in creating a linguistic picture of the world [5, p. 129-221]. The metaphor has the property of «imposing» a specific view of the world in a given language. V. N. Telia confirms his opinion on the basis of the statement of V. I. Postovalova that in the «language,» a stranger, <... > a picture, that is, an interpretation, an act of myro-understanding, <... > depends on the prism through which worldview is performed «[2, P 47].

In journalism, it often happens that the prism through which the reader is invited to look at the world is deliberately distorted. Creolized media texts have a wide range of extralinguistic capabilities not only for a better understanding of content, but also for manipulating the process of understanding by "pushing" implicit information unnoticed. This type of information, according to I. M. Kobozeva [1, P. 111] "has reduced communicative significance," and "is less controlled by consciousness focused on explicit information."

It seems extremely curious that V. I. Postovalov proposes to consider types of paintings of the world on the basis of a three-component paradigm: subject, object and result of knowledge. From the point of view of this characteristic, "image forms" can be described as follows: whether "eyes" are the same, whether subjects look at the world from one spatial position; how the world is depicted is homogeneous or heterogeneous.

"Translating" told V.I. Postovalova on language of media, we will dare to draw a parallel: the world picture offered on pages of printing mass media includes, at least, three components: 1) the subject ‒ the reporter, 2) an object — target audience and 3) result of knowledge — contents material. The "piece" of the picture of the world in the modern press is sometimes presented homogeneously (only verbally), but increasingly heterogeneous, that is, through not only linguistic, but also visual means.

The contribution of domestic linguists includes not only the clear division of the metaphor into language and artistic, but also the further development of the problem of metaphorization in the media language. Thus, observations of Russian researchers on the functioning of metaphors in the media language (E.Y. Potapchuk, A.P. Chudinov, E.V. Budayev, V.I. Skatkov) led to the identification and generalization of conceptual areas between which analogy relations (donor zones and target zones) can be established [3].

Let us give an example from the German press ("Spiegel" magazine issue dated 07.08.2016), on the basis of which this relationship can be demonstrated. The article is called "Helmut Schmidt. Der Jahrhundert-Lotse.» ("Helmut Schmidt. Pilot of a century."). The donor sphere from which the association, ‒ seamanship was taken. The author transferred a vector of associations which presumably have to arise at most of representatives of target audience in connection with professional activity and degree of the importance of the pilot (the person who conducts forward, the way lays) to a figure, sign for Germany, ‒ the former chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

2. Classification of metaphors in foreign linguistics and the language of mass media.

In foreign linguistics, there are different approaches to classifying metaphors. The most important criterion for American researchers, Lakoff and Johnson, is structuring [7, P. 272]. If one concept of metaphor is structured by another, researchers talk about structural metaphor. In addition, they highlight orienting or spatial metaphors. Most such metaphors are related to orientation in space.

Along with spatial metaphors, Lakoff and Johnson also distinguish ontological metaphor. Its essence is our knowledge of physical objects, including our own body. Events, emotions, ideas are represented in ontological metaphors as living or non-living subjects.

Ontological metaphor for a journalist may have a special interest — not always the article reads the person to whom it is intended. The metaphor, which affects, for example, universal knowledge of the physical world around us, can be understood, not only by representatives of the "native" target audience, but also by the widest range of readers.

Thus, metaphors-cartoons from the permanent column of the magazine "Der Spiegel" show problems understood in almost all civilized countries of the world. For example, where there are old people, pensioners, there are always problems related to the attitude of the state and society towards the elderly. The caption "Herbst des Lebens" (Autumn of Life) is colorfully illustrated — old people are forced to dig in garbage cans, collect bottles to make ends meet. Such a cartoon-metaphor with ontological shade will be understood in "prosperous" Germany, Russia, and many other countries.

Fig. 1 —  «Herbst des Lebens»


The following cartoon-metaphor is also based on our household knowledge, namely: knowledge about the location of premises in buildings and their functional role. Thus, it is common knowledge that garbage cans are generally at the black/spare entrance. It is also common knowledge that the White House is an important administrative building in the United States. The caption "The White House… Nebeneingang "(White House… Back Door) only" backs up "the depicted. Sorting garbage into certain containers could be attributed to the realities of Germany, this is not an absolutely ontological moment. But, having reached the last tank or container with the inscription "facts," the reader understands some nuances of American politics throwing facts into the garbage.

Fig. 2 — «The White House … Nebeneingang»


One more type of metaphor is intertextual. The term itself suggests that this type of metaphors is formed on the basis of intertextual connections. The connecting elements within the interdiscurse and intertext are collective symbols — a set of figurative elements that reveal pragmatic ideological settings of the subject of the statement and limit the potential non-exhaustion of the values of the text, and test metaphors, in particular.

Is it worth saying that this type of metaphor is extremely common in the press. This concerns, above all, a series of materials devoted to one common theme, or in one solid article divided into several under themes, many intertextual metaphors can be found. For example, in "Der Spiegel" magazine article dedicated to the sad event — the departure from the life of Helmut Kohl — we meet a number of verbal metaphors, in one way or another related to the former Chancellor and characterizing him: "Das schwere Erbe des Einheitskanzlers" (The heavy legacy of the unifying Chancellor); "Helmut Kohl: Der ewige Kanzler" (Helmut Kohl: Eternal Chancellor); "Das Zentralgestirn" (Think Tank); "Der schwarze Riese" (Black Giant); "Mann der Widersprüche" (King of Contradictions).

Polish explorer Jerzy Świątek distinguishes between the metaphors praesentia and absentia [10, P. 17.]

3. The essence of a metaphor in a creolized media text

Our focus is on creolized media texts, which consist of relatively equal linguistic and extralinguistic blocks, the presence of which means that the interpretation of content (including metaphorical) in the conditions of isolation of one of the parts is impossible everything must be considered in the complex.

Based on the above theoretical base, we will try to identify the specifics of the metaphor in modern media texts. On the basis of the fact that the text of media is considered by us as the complex education consisting of verbal and visual components we will call the metaphor used in this text type, "a complex media metaphor" (the term of the author ‒ LTA).

First, the feature of the use of metaphor in modern journalism means the synthesis of verbality and visuality. The division of metaphor proposed by Jerzy Świątek into praesentia and absentia is immediately remembered here. In creolized media texts, we are likely to meet a metaphor like absentia, because we need a verbal-situational context for proper understanding. As a rule, the metaphor is served already in the headline complex, and increasingly not in the usual verbal form, but in the form of a photo. The task of the title, photo-signature, subtitle and text in general is a deeper and more thorough explanation of the "depicted" metaphor [8], [9].

Second, the complex media metaphor is a synthesis of the metaphor intertextual, ontological, and associative. The essence of metaphors in creolized media texts often consist of knowledge about social and historical experience, about ideological settings refracted in the individual experience of the recipient and the target audience. The metaphor is often based on some collective symbols of particular importance to many generations. When choosing a metaphor for his material, the journalist must consider whether the figure was used earlier and in what context, as well as what associations and emotions it can cause the reader.

Besides, the complex media metaphor can be used as a tool for reality and its knowledge, ̶  therefore the metaphor in media has cognitive character.

4. Conclusions

The analysis allowed us, having summarized the nuances of classifications of verbal metaphors in foreign and domestic science, to distinguish such a concept as "complex media metaphor," which is relevant precisely for creolized texts of mass media. In addition to introducing a new concept, we tried to chart a range of its properties and features (alloy of verbality and visuality; A cognitive, ontological, associative and intertextual connection; semiotics stratifications).

It is logical to assume that, along with the traditional verbal metaphor already existing in the media, as well as the relatively recent visual metaphor, special attention should be paid to the complex media platform, which can potentially be a source of implicit information.

Список литературы / References:
  1. Кобозева И. М. Лингво-прагматический аспект анализа языка СМИ. – Общие проблемы публицистического стиля / Кобозева И. М. // Язык СМИ как объект междисциплинарного исследования. Отв.ред. М.Н. Володина М.: МГУ. ̶ 2003. С.100 ‒115.
  2. Постовалова В. И. Картина мира в жизнедеятельности человека / В. И. Постовалова // Роль человеческого фактора в языке. Язык и картина мира / Отв. ред. Б. А. Серебренников. М.: Наука, 1988. – С. 9 – 47.
  3. Романова Т. В. Когнитивный аспект метафор речи В.В. Познера (телепередачи «Времена», «Познер» книга «Одноэтажная Америка») [Электронныйресурс] // Медиаскоп Выпуск №1. 2011г.- URL: (Дата обращения: 23.11.2016)
  4. Скляревская Г.Н. Метафора в системе языка / Скляревская Г.Н. – Спб: Наука, 1993. – 152 с.
  5. Телия В. Н. Вторичная номинация и её виды / Телия В. Н. // Языковая номинация. Виды наименований. М., Наука. ̶ 1977. С. 129-221.
  6. Телия В. Н. Метафоризация и её роль в создании языковой картины мира / Телия В. Н. // Роль человеческого фактора в языке. Язык и картина мира. М, Наука. ̶ 1988. С. 173-203.
  7. Lakoff, George. Leben in Metaphern: Konstruktion und Gebrauch von Sprachbildern / Lakoff, George / Johnson, Mark. Heidelberg : Carl-Auer-SystemeVerl, 1998. – 272 P.
  8. Lenkova T. A. Role and use of the photo-legend in Russian and German media discourse / Lenkova T. A. // Russian linguistic Bulletin. 2016. № 2(6) P. 81-82.
  9. Lenkova T. A. Look at the title as one of the important structural elements of the article in Russian and German press / Lenkova T. A. // Russian linguistic Bulletin. 2016. № 4(8). P. 45-47.
  10. Świątek,Jerzy. Wświeciepowszechnejmetafory.Metaforajęzykowa.Kraków: Wydawnictwo Oddziału Polskiej Akademii Nauk. – 1998 – 289 P.
  11. “Der Spiegel” [Электронный ресурс] - URL: (даты обращения: 05.05.2020).

Список литературы на английском / References in English:
  1. Kobozeva I. M. Lingvo-pragmaticheskij aspekt analiza jazyka SMI. – Obshhie problemy publicisticheskogo stilja [ Linguistic and pragmatic aspect of media language analysis. - General issues of journalistic style] / Kobozeva I. M. // Jazyk SMI kak obekt mezhdisciplinarnogo issledovanija. Ch. Edit. M.N. Volodina M.: MGU. ̶ 2003. P.100 ‒115. [in Russian]
  2. Postovalova V. I. Kartina mira v zhiznedejatel’nosti cheloveka [ The picture of the world in human life] / V. I. Postovalova // Rol’ chelovecheskogo faktora v jazyke. Jazyk i kartina mira / Ch. Edit. B. A. Serebrennikov. M.: Nauka, 1988. – P. 9 – 47. [in Russian]
  3. Romanova T. V. Kognitivnyj aspekt metafor rechi V.V. Poznera (teleperedachi «Vremena», «Pozner» kniga «Odnojetazhnaja Amerika») [ The cognitive aspect of speech metaphors V.V. Pozner (TV shows "Times", "Posner" book "One-story America")] [Electronic resource] / Romanova T. V. // Mediaskop Vypusk №1. 2011. – URL: (accessed: 23.11.2016) [in Russian].
  4. Skljarevskaja G.N. Metafora v sisteme jazyka [ Metaphor in the language system] / Skljarevskaja G.N. – Spb: Nauka, 1993. – 152 p. [in Russian]
  5. Telija V. N. Vtorichnaja nominacija i ejo vidy [ Secondary nomination and its types] / Telija V. N. // Jazykovaja nominacija. Vidy naimenovanij. M., Nauka. ̶ 1977. P. 129-221. [in Russian]
  6. Telija V. N. Metaforizacija i ejo rol’ v sozdanii jazykovoj kartiny mira [Metaphorization and its role in creating a linguistic picture of the world] / Telija V. N. // Rol’ chelovecheskogo faktora v jazyke. Jazyk i kartina mira. M, Nauka. ̶ 1988. P. 173-203. [in Russian]
  7. Lakoff, George. Leben in Metaphern: Konstruktion und Gebrauch von Sprachbildern [ Life in metaphors: construction and use of language images] / Lakoff, George / Johnson, Mark. Heidelberg : Carl-Auer-SystemeVerl, 1998. – 272 P. [in German]
  8. Lenkova T. A. Role and use of the photo-legend in Russian and German media discourse / Lenkova T. A. // Russian linguistic Bulletin. 2016. № 2(6) P. 81-82.
  9. Lenkova T. A. Look at the title as one of the important structural elements of the article in Russian and German press / Lenkova T. A. // Russian linguistic Bulletin. 2016. № 4(8). P. 45-47.
  10. Świątek,Jerzy. Wświeciepowszechnejmetafory.Metaforajęzykowa.Kraków: Wydawnictwo Oddziału Polskiej Akademii Nauk. – 1998 – 289 P. [in Polish]
  11. “Der Spiegel” [Electronic resource] - URL: (accessed: 05.05.2020). [in German]

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