Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)



First Advisor

Prof. Andrew GOATLY

Second Advisor

Prof. SUNG Chit Cheung Matthew


Journalistic business discourse plays an indispensable role in people’s lives. It serves not only to inform the public about ongoing business activities and economic processes, but also influence the public in their strategic decision-making about investment options. Metaphor is a tool employed to help fulfill the communicative and persuasive functions of the popular business discourse, which is the target of this study.

Based on two self-compiled corpora of business news articles in English and Chinese, the study laid particular emphasis on the conceptual metaphor of BUSINESS IS WAR and showed that though the use of this conceptual metaphor was common in business discourse across the two languages, obvious differences in terms of the metaphorical lexis’ frequency of occurrence, their specific collocations and unconventional referents were noted. The conceptual metaphor BUSINESS IS WAR was subdivided into more detailed conceptual metaphors based on the subdivision of the domain of war and the mappings and impositions between the subfields of the domain of war and business were analyzed. The two language cultures agree that they have the same origin for human warfare, but they have developed their concept of war under the influence of their own experience. The analysis of the war metaphors in sample English and Chinese news articles demonstrates its emotion evoking functionto convey evaluative judgments and achieve persuasive ends, and the ideological function to construct reality as a means of maintaining or challenging power relations.

Recommended Citation

Zhong, X. (2017). A comparative study of war metaphors in English and Chinese business media discourse (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from