Machine metaphors in 2020 USA electioneering campaign: a cognitive aspect


  • Olha Lapka Universidad de Jaén, Spain



conceptual metaphors, machine metaphors, political discourse, political persuasion, presidential elections


The conceptual metaphor is a major persuasive tool in political discourse. Therefore, the aim of the research is to analyze the fulfillment of van Dijk’s Ideological Square strategies with the help of machine conceptual metaphors used by Donald Trump and Joe Biden during the 2020 electioneering campaign in the United States. The data of the research comprise 99 political speeches delivered by the two presidential candidates at rallies. Consequently, the following methods of linguistic analysis were used: a Critical Discourse Analysis, a Conceptual Metaphor Analysis in the form of the method of the reconstruction of conceptual mappings, a comparative method, and a contextual analysis. As a result, the analysis demonstrated that conceptual metaphors, which were identified in the corpus, play an important role in realizing the Ideological Square strategies with persuasive goals. Apart from that, it was established that the conceptual metaphor ECONOMY IS A MACHINE is predominant in Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s discourses. In addition, the data analysis showed that the majority of metaphors were used to highlight the candidate’s own positive sides while exaggerating his opponent’s disadvantages.