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The Fairy Tale Mental Model in Speeches by the Austrian FPÖ and the Italian Lega Right-Wing Populist Parties in the European Parliament: A Contrastive Linguistic Analysis

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Part of the Linguistik in Empirie und Theorie/Empirical and Theoretical Linguistics book series (SGPK)

Abstract

The aim of this contribution is to provide a contrastive analysis of the conceptualisation of EUROPE in EU-parliamentary speeches of members of two right-wing populist parties, the Austrian FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Ӧsterreichs) and the Italian Lega. The analysis covers the time span from January 2017 to March 2019, during which both parties belonged to the Europe of Nations and Freedom group. Based on the theoretical framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff/Johnson 1980), the main aim of this study is to identify lexical choices, frames and conceptual metaphors referring to the European Union, in which the fairy tale (Lakoff 2004; Karpman 2014) represents the reference model and the leading narrative. Using FrameNet, the German dictionary Duden and the Italian dictionary Grande dizionario della lingua italiana as a starting point, metaphors were identified through the Metaphor Identification Procedure of the Pragglejaz Group (2007) and the analysis was carried out with the software program AntConc. The original frame ORGANIZATION, which conceptualises the European Union, is associated with two other frames analysed here, PEOPLE_BY_MORALITY and CRIME_SCENARIO, on the basis of FrameNet, which activate the mental model of the fairy tale, in which the EU is the VILLAIN, the criminal, the culprit, someone to point the finger at, someone who makes the VICTIM suffer, someone against whom a HERO has to react.

Keywords

  • conceptual metaphor analysis
  • European Union
  • fairy tale mental model
  • frame semantics
  • right-wing populism

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Sommella, S. (2022). The Fairy Tale Mental Model in Speeches by the Austrian FPÖ and the Italian Lega Right-Wing Populist Parties in the European Parliament: A Contrastive Linguistic Analysis. In: Heinemann, S., Helfrich, U., Visser, J. (eds) On the Discursive Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Europe. Linguistik in Empirie und Theorie/Empirical and Theoretical Linguistics(). J.B. Metzler, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-64893-3_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-64893-3_7

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