An Analysis of the Use of Metaphors in Political Rhetoric in Local Elections

Author: Nikolina Borčić, Mirela Holy, Ivona Čulo


Political discourse has always been more or less ideological, since ideology is inseparable from discourse and politics. The concepts of nation and the national are a part of every ideology. This article studies the synergy between political communication about nation and national and discourse structure through the use of metaphors of personifi cation and argumentation in constructing political identities in the selected politicians’ statements during the local elections of 2016 and 2017 in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Therefore, the paper studies which argumentative and metaphorical frameworks politicians in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina use with regard to their own countries and/or the neighbouring countries. The research was focused on studying the metaphor state as person in the argumentation of the selected Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian-Herzegovinian politicians in the political television show Pressing, which is broadcast on N1 television in all the three states in the same format. The aim was to describe the interrelationship between linguistic realizations of the opinion patterns and the intention of stressing specifi c political messages by referring to national identity. A parallel analysis has shown that the chosen metaphors are most frequently represented in the political discourse of the analysed Serbian politicians. National argumentation is predominantly directed to negative evaluation of the current political situation, and of the future situation as well, should no changes take place. The selected Bosnian and Herzegovinian politicians’ rhetoric also relies on metaphorical expressions that lead to the metaphor state as person, but to a much more limited extent. Similar to the Serbian politicians’ rhetoric, the analysis of Bosnian politicians has also shown that they use negative argumentation to emphasize current challenges. The Croatian sample has shown a domination of expressions that point to the metaphors party as person and a city as person, while the metaphor state as person has been neglected. Therefore, this shows that the national identity narrative is not common for the rhetoric of the Croatian local elections.

Key words: argumentation, conceptual metaphors, discourse on the national, local elections, national identity
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