Cristin-resultat-ID: 1389242
Sist endret: 4. oktober 2016 09:38
Vitenskapelig foredrag

Metaphor in an online discussion forum for survivors of relationship abuse

  • Susan Lee Nacey


Navn på arrangementet: 11th Conference for the Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM11)
Sted: Berlin
Dato fra: 1. juli 2016
Dato til: 4. juli 2016


Arrangørnavn: Freie Universität Berlin

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Vitenskapelig foredrag
Publiseringsår: 2016



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Metaphor in an online discussion forum for survivors of relationship abuse


The overarching goal of this paper is to explore ways in which survivors of relationship abuse use metaphor to communicate about various aspects of their experience, and in this way to shed light upon their underlying conceptualizations of identity, abuse and recovery. The empirical data consists of the metaphorical language produced in a publically available online discussion forum for anonymous posters, accessible without password protection. The forum allows survivors of relationship abuse to start and/or respond to threads about their experience in an abusive relationship (usually with a love partner, but sometimes a family member, colleague, and/or platonic friend). The present study explores metaphor published in almost 4000 threads with roughly 9.6 million words, produced in English by 4124 individual contributors from around the world: so-called ‘Big Data’ made possible by the ready availability of massive amounts of text from e.g. social media sources (see e.g. Larsson, 2015; Steen-Johnsen & Enjolras, 2015). These threads were produced over a four-year period, and were harvested, processed and uploaded to the Wmatrix web interface tool ( for semantic domain tagging. This material constitutes a unique corpus through which the authentic language of abuse survivors may be analyzed. This paper follows the methodology employed in the Metaphor in end-of-life care project (; see e.g. Koller, Hardie, Rayson, & Semino, 2008). The focus of the present investigation is language tagged for the domain of Living creatures: animals, birds, etc., and subsequently identified as metaphor using MIPVU (Steen et al., 2010). The analysis shows how survivors use variations of related underlying conceptual metaphors to communicate their understanding of differing aspects of the trauma they have suffered: Sense of… Example Self I have never felt so much like a butterfly in complete metamorphosis. Abuser he isn't anyone .... a chameleon who changes clothes and opinions based on who he is with. Third party When she contacted me again just before christmas it had started to go sour with her primary target/enabler mutt. Abuse experience He led me down the Rabbit Hole and at the bottom, I found his empty soul. Recovery thanks to this site and people like you I no longer feel like a crazy Fatal Attraction bunny boiler. The findings from this research contribute towards a greater understanding of the experience of abuse victim/survivor, and validate perceptions, needs and feelings of such people as universal, rather than limited to the ‘exaggerations’ of a selected few. References Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse., 15, 141-160. Retrieved from Larsson, A. O. (2015). Studying Big Data – ethical and methodological considerations. In H. Fossheim & H. Ingierd (Eds.), Internet research ethics (pp. 141-156). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. Steen, G. J., Dorst, A. G., Herrmann, J. B., Kaal, A. A., Krennmayr, T., & Pasma, T. (2010). A method for linguistic metaphor identification: from MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Steen-Johnsen, K., & Enjolras, B. (2015). Social research and Big Data – the tension between opportunities and realities. In H. Fossheim & H. Ingierd (Eds.), Internet research ethics (pp. 122-140). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.


Aktiv cristin-person

Susan Lee Nacey

  • Tilknyttet:
    ved Institutt for humanistiske fag ved Høgskolen i Innlandet
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