Metaphors in financial analysis reports : how are emotions expressed?

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Journal article

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English for Specific Purposes: An International Research Journal

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Elsevier B.V.


Metaphor, BNP Paribas, Credit crisis, Corpus linguistics, Emotion, Financial analysis reports


This study critically investigates the use of emotion metaphors in a corpus of BNP Paribas financial analysis reports produced during the credit crisis from 2011 to 2012. The corpus was examined to identify constituent words in the semantic category of ‘Emotion’. Concordances for selected words in ‘Emotion’ were examined by adopting the Metaphor Identification Procedure in order to identify metaphors in the corpus. The emotion metaphors identified were then classified into different semantic domains, underpinned by Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The main findings of the study revolve around the conceptualisation of emotion words reflecting the market turbulence circa 2011. In addition, the findings show that BNP Paribas' corporate culture is revealed by the use of emotion metaphors in their financial analysis reports. The bank also uses varied metaphors to describe the emotions of investors. The study concludes that the identification of emotion terms for a conceptual metaphor analysis can be more effectively carried out by combining the methods of corpus linguistics, semantic annotation and Metaphor Identification Procedure. The study suggests important pedagogical implications for both ESP teachers and members of the financial services profession.



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Recommended Citation

Ho, J., & Cheng, W. (2016). Metaphors in financial analysis reports: How are emotions expressed? English for Specific Purposes, 43, 37-48. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2016.04.001