Nurul Hijah bte Jasman, Zalina Mohd Kasim


The cognitive and affective appeal of metaphor exploits subconscious discernment that is aroused non-verbally and then developed through language. It is the subliminal potential of metaphor that reinforces the performance of leadership and this explains the frequent usage of such rhetorical tool in speeches by many politicians (Charteris-Black 2011: 2). This study examines metaphors in the speeches of the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia on the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The cognitive metaphor framework by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) has been utilised in examining any emerging patterns from the PM’s speeches. The Metaphor Identification Procedure (MIP) as proposed by Pragglejazz Group (2007) has been adopted in the analysis of the data. The results from the analysis have shown several interesting conceptual metaphors underlying some of the metaphorical expressions in the speeches by the Prime Minister, including the ECONOMY IS A SPORT conceptual metaphor.  Such findings have provided some insights into the way conceptual metaphors are used in political speeches as a way to evoke certain understanding of concepts related to the economy and also as a mechanism of persuasion.




Full Text:



Cameron, Lynne & Low, Graham (1999). Researching and applying metaphor. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Charteris-Black, Jonathan (2005). Politicians and rhetoric: The persuasive power of metaphor. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Charteris-Black J (2006). Britain as a container: immigration metaphors in the 2005 election campaign. Discourse and Society 17(5): 563-581

Cheng, X. (2009). Chinese Metaphors in Political Discourse: How the Government of the People’s Republic of China Criticizes the Independence of Taiwan . Retrieved from on December 2, 2012.

Chow, M. Y. V. (2011) . A Comparative Study of the Metaphor Used in The Economic News Articles in Britain and Hong Kong. Retrieved from on December 14, 2012.

Deignan, Alice (2005). Metaphor and corpus linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ferrari, F. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: investigating a `preventive war' persuasion strategy. Retrieved from on December 23, 2012.

Group, P. (2007). MIP: A Method for Identifying Metaphorically Used Words in Discourse. Retrieved from on January 12, 2013.

Lakoff, George (1986). The meanings of literal. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 1, 291-296.

Lakoff, George (1987). Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, George (1993). The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (Ed.), Metaphor and thought (pp. 202-251, 2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Lakoff, George & Johnson, Mark (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Lesz, B. (2011). To Shape the World for the Better: An Analysis of the Metaphors In The Speeches of Barrack Obama. Retrieved from on January 14, 2013.

Lu, L & Ahrens, K. (2008). Ideological influence on Building metaphors in Taiwanese presidential speeches. Retrieved from s_in_Taiwanese_Presidential_Speeches.pdf on November 28, 2012.

Meadows, B. (2007). Distancing and Showing Solidarity via Metaphor and Metonymy in Political Discourse: A Critical study of American statements on Iraq during the years 2004-2005. Journal of CADAAD, Vol 2 (October 1), 2007.

Nuri, D. (2008). The metaphorical annihilation of the Second Lebanon War (2006) from the Israeli political discourse. Retrieved from on December 12, 2012.

Rundell, M. (2002). Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary. England: Pearson Education Limited

Roche, C. (2012). The Economy, The Human Body and The System Flows. Retrieved from on December 24, 2012.

Stalhammar, M. (2006). Metaphors in Commercial Contracts. Retrieved from on January 14, 2013.

Semino, Elena and Masci, Michela (1996) . Politics is football: Metaphor in the discourse of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. Discourse and society, 7, 243-269.

Taiwo, R. (2008). Metaphors in Nigerian Political Discourse. Retrieved from on December 14, 2012.

Tengku Farah, T. M., Afida, M. A., Rafik-Galea, S. and Zalina, M. K. (2012). Getting physical with the market: A study of metaphors in the Business Times. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 20(3): 881–896.

Zinken, J. (2003). Discourse Metaphors. Retrieved from,68139,en.pdf on January 3, 2013.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Attribution -CC BY

This journal and its content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Flag Counter