JoLIE 12:3/2019


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Giacomo Ferrari

Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy






This article examines the phenomenon of metaphor in newspapers, focusing on the use of multiple metaphors of the same type used to form a coherent chain. These metaphoric chains are treated within the frame of Halliday’s Systemic Function Grammar (SFG) as a feature of textual cohesion. The different cohesion features recognised by SFG are briefly presented. Features including pronominal anaphora, ellipsis, and reference by definite noun phrases are, in different studies, believed to play the same role as generic ‘referencing’. On the other hand, as different words or expressions chosen within the same source domain, metaphoric chains are connected to the feature of lexical cohesion. They form a single network of links through the entire text, guaranteeing global cohesion. Many questions are left unanswered and thus the conclusions advocate for an extensive corpus-based study aimed at accounting for the relation of the two phenomena and the cultural motivations of the use of metaphors.


Keywords: Metaphors; Journalism; Textual cohesion; Reference; Systemic Functional Grammar.





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How to cite this article: Ferrari, G. (2019). Metaphorical chains and reference usage in newspapers: A mechanism for textual cohesion. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 12(3), 59-71. DOI:



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