Source: (2007) Discourse and Society. 18(2):197-222.
In a violent world, reconciliation between perpetrators and victims
offers an alternative to revenge or retaliation. In such discourse, participants
must make extended efforts to explain themselves to, and to understand, the
Other. This article investigates emergent patterns of metaphor in reconciliation
talk between an IRA bomber and victim, recorded over two and a half years.
The analysis starts from identification of linguistic metaphors and works
recursively between levels of discourse, revealing how micro-level negotiation of
metaphors contributes to emergent macro-level metaphor systems. Metaphors
frame the reconciliation process as A JOURNEY, as CONNECTION, as CHANGING A
DISTORTED IMAGE and as LISTENING TO THE OTHERâ€™S STORY. The metaphors vary in
their lexicogrammatical patterns and in the degree to which they are extended
and developed. Contrasting metaphors are shown to be particularly valuable,
as is â€˜symbolic literalizationâ€™ in which the use of words across metaphor,
metonymy and the literal creates useful indeterminacy. (author’s abstract)
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