2015 Linguistics Political Science
SemanticScholar ID: 142253489 MAG: 280864149

Payback and punishment: Metaphors in Scottish penal policy

Publication Summary

This paper presents an analysis of metaphors for punishment in policy discourse in Scotland, which has embarked on an ambitious programme of penal reform. We analysed a corpus consisting of the four key policy documents of the penal reform programme. Our objectives were firstly, to identify the most frequently used lexical metaphors and metonyms in the corpus, and then to analyse the entailments that these metaphors have, and how they frame the topics of the texts. We found widespread use of metaphors from the domain of management, providing support for the thesis that the discourse of management frames public services in the UK. We then specifically investigated the use of payback because of its salience in current penal philosophy, with the objective of finding out how frequently it is used, and whether the theme of reparation frames the texts more widely. Our findings suggest that as a metaphor from the source domain of reparation, it appears to be a ‘one-shot’ metaphor. However, in terms of semantic groupings, it could perhaps be viewed as a metaphor of business and management.

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Alice Deignan

Prof. Alice Deignan

University of Leeds - Professor of Applied Linguistics

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