A Сomparative Study of JOURNEY Сognitive Metaphor in International English and Russian Advertising Discourse

Author Name(s): Gennadiy Glukhov, Olga Belyakova, *Natalya Kulikova
Author Email: nataliya.kulikova@gmail.com

Abstract

The purpose of the article is to summarize the results of a comparative study of JOURNEY metaphors presented in the corpus of English- and Russian-language advertising slogans. The method of the research is lexical-semantic analysis of a corpus of advertising slogans combined with linguistic-cultural approach to the study of cognitive metaphors. We believe that this approach allowed us to reveal the key semantic aspects of the metaphor in question for each of the two languages, and compare the lexical constituents that represent it. The main results show that most of the semantic aspects of JOURNEY metaphor exploited in slogans, such as “inspiration”, “hospitality” and “ease of travel”, coincide in both languages, though there are some unique aspects in both languages: English language slogans tend to describe JOURNEY as “exploration” and “discovery”, whereas Russian language slogans emphasize its “safety”, “security” and “reliability”.

Introduction

In today’s globalized world, understanding and respect of national and cultural specificity is, beyond doubt, the key to successful communication on various levels. A decade ago cross-cultural communication was a must for the business sector of society today the rapid advance of telecommunications and transportation, as well as the increase in population migration dictates the necessity of cross-cultural awareness in our daily lives. This research focuses on the reflection of the cultural values and stereotypes presented in the form of a cognitive metaphor. We believe, that a comparative study of JOURNEY metaphors in the contemporary English and Russian languages, reflected through the prism of advertising slogans of companies, operating in the sphere of tourism and travel can contribute to a better understanding of the similarities and the differences in the values, stereotypes and expectations of English-language speakers and Russian-language speakers.

Subject Background

Cognitive metaphors have been studied extensively since “Metaphors we live by” by G. Lakoff and M. Johnson was first published [1]. Cognitive metaphors are also referred to as concept or conceptual metaphors, concepts or linguistic-cultural concepts [2] or multidimensional clusters of sense [3]. The difference in the nomination of the object of the research reflects not only the historical differences in linguistic traditions, but the variations in the focal point of the studies and the boundaries different approaches set on the essence of a cognitive metaphor. To avoid any misconceptions, we shall take some time to clarify the term and its usage within the limits of our research. In the works of G. Steen [4,5,6], L. Cameron and G. Low [7], G. Fauconnier [8,9], R. White [10], R. Gibbs [11], Z. Kovecses [12], C. Forceville & E. Urios-Aparisi [13], E. Semino [14], J.B. Herrmann [15] and A. Wierzbicka [16], a cognitive metaphor is viewed as one of the most fundamental and persuasive structures of language and cognition.

Conclusion

The conducted research defines the framework of the key semantic aspects of the linguistic-cultural concept of JOURNEY and its sub-concepts, found in advertising discourse in two languages – English and Russian. It also contributes to the task of reflecting national and cultural specific features of the JOURNEY metaphor, characterizes the way that advertisers of different nations exploit the idea of travelling in their discourse. Overall, the lexical-semantic analysis of the concept of JOURNEY allows to reproduce the model of the object with a high degree of certainty.

The idea of travelling is embodied in human culture, it can be mapped with the help of linguistic research and it is expressed through language in general and through discourse in particular, in case of this article – that of advertising slogans. Today travelling is an inevitable part of life for millions of people around the world, and English is the modern lingua franca and the basis for cross-cultural contact. We believe that our comparative study will be beneficial not only for the linguists, interested in cognitive studies and metaphor studies, but also for the marketing specialists, psychologists, sociologists and the tourism industry professionals.

To summarize, we must say that the article just briefly lists the results of comparative analysis of verbal manifestation of the JOURNEY metaphors in advertising slogans from the point of view of linguistic-cultural approach and demonstrates the opportunities for further research in the area. We firmly believe, that this way of studying cognitive metaphors can contribute to the development of cross-cultural awareness and the improvement of cross-cultural communication by focusing on a reliable, easily accessible language material that provides quickest response to any societal and cultural changes.

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