Images of Ukraine-EU relations in conceptual metaphors of Ukrainian mass media

Keywords: political images, the EU, Ukraine, Ukrainian newspapers, conceptual metaphor, multiple data, methodology


This paper discusses the system of conceptual metaphors reconstructed via analysis of metaphorical expressions (ME) employed by eight popular Ukrainian newspapers (Holos Ukrainy, Uriadovyi Kurier, Den', Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, Gazeta Po-Ukrains'ky, Segodnya, Ukraina Moloda, and Kommmentarii) published in January – June, 2016. The ME describe perceptions of the EU, Ukraine, and their cooperation in the target conceptual spaces of POLITICS and ECONOMY. The data are processed according to an authentic methodology applicable to multiple metaphorical expressions [Zhabotynska 2013a; 2013b; 2016]. Grounded on the findings of Conceptual Metaphor Theory [Lakoff and Johnson 1980], this methodology represents an algorithm for exposure and further description of conceptual metaphors applied in a thematically homogeneous discourse, and manifested by multiple ME. Their analysis, aiming to portray some metaphorical system as a whole, provides an in-depth study of its target and source conceptual spaces and an empirically rigorous account of their cross-mapping influenced by the discourse type. In this study focused on mass media political discourse, the reconstructed system of conceptual metaphors demonstrates Ukraine’s stance on its relations with the EU and contributes to understanding the role of political metaphor as a mind-shaping device


Download data is not yet available.


Bartlett, F.C. (1932). Remembering. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Brovchenko, I. V. (2011). Kontseptualnaya metafora v klishe angloyazyichnogo nauchnogo teksta [Conceptual meytaphor in the collocations of English scholarly texts]. Unpublished candidate dissertation, Bohdan Khmel'nitsky National University of Cherkasy, Ukraine (in Ukrainian).

Chaban, N. and Bain, J. (2014). Framing the EU in a time of crisis: media reflections from EU ‘strategic’ partners in Asia-Pacific. In N. Chaban and M. Holland (eds.). Communicating Europe in times of crisis. The European Union in International Affairs Series. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 118–142.

Chomsky N. Language and politics. 2nd ed. (2004). Edinburgh et al.: AK Press, 2004.

C3EU (Crisis, Conflict and Critical Diplomacy: EU Perceptions in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine), Available from:

Dijk van T.A. (1998). Making news: a study in the construction of reality. New York: Free Press.

Evans V. and Green M. (2006). Cognitive linguistics. An introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Feldman, J.A. (2008). From molecule to metaphor. Cambridge, Massachussetts and London, England: The MIT Press.

Fisher, G. (1997). Mindsets: The role of culture and perception in international relations, 2nd ed. Yarmouth, Maine: Intercultural Press.

Goatly, A. (1997). The language of metaphors. London and New York: Routledge.

Herrmann, R.K. (2013). Perception and image theory in international relations. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Herrmann, R. K., Voss, J. F., Schooler, T. Y. E., and Ciarrichi, J., (997). Images in international relations: an experimental test of cognitive schemata. International studies quarterly, 41, 403–433.

Katz, A.N. (1998). Figurative language and figurative thought: A review. In A.N. Katz, C. Cacciari, R.W. Gibbs, Jr. and M. Turner. Figurative language and thought. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kemmer, S. (2003). Schemas and lexical blends. In H. Cuyckens, T. Berg, R. Dirven, and Klaus-Uwe P. Motivation in language: Studies in honor of Günter Radden. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 69-97.

Kövecses, Z. (2000). The scope of metaphor. In A. Barcelona (ed.). Metaphor and metonymy at the crossroads: A cognitive perspective. Berlin – New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 79-92.

Kövecses, Z. (2002). Metaphor. A practical introduction. Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press.

Kövecses, Z. (2018). Metaphor in media language and cognition: A perspective from Conceptual Metaphor Theory. Lege Artis, 1 (3), 124-140. DOI: 10.2478/lart-2018-0004

Langacker, R. W. (2008). Cognitive grammar. A basic introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lakoff G. (1993). Contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (ed.). Metaphor and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 202–251.

Lakoff, G. (1991). The metaphor system used to justify war in the Gulf. Journal of Urban and Cultural Studies 2(1), 59-72.

Lakoff, G. (2002), Moral politics. How Liberals and Conservatives think, Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G. (2008), The political mind: Why you can't understand 21st-century American politics with an 18th-century brain, New York: Penguin Group.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.

Movahedi, S. (1985). The social psychology and the politics of international images. Human affairs, 8, 1–11.

Radchenko O.Y. (2012). Kontseptual'na metafora v terminosystemi marketynhu [Conceptual metaphor in the terminological system of marketing]. Unpublished candidate dissertation, Bohdan Khmel'nitsky National University of Cherkasy, Ukraine (in Ukrainian).

Sadri, H. and Flammia, M. (2014). Democracy, political perceptions, and new media. Systemic, Cybernetics and Informatics, 3 (12), 29-33.

Supriadi, L. (2017) A study of conceptual metaphor in a political discourse. International Journal of Management and Applied Science (IJMAS), 5 (3), 6-10.

Wodak, R. (2011) The discourse of politics in action: Politics as usual. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Wodak, R. and Forchtner, B. (eds.) (2017). The Routledge handbook of language and politics. London: Routledge.

Yavorska, H. and Bohomolov, O. (2010). Nepevnyi obyekt bazhannya: Yevropa v ukrayinsʹkomu politychnomu dyskursi [An uncertain object of desire: Europe in Ukrainian Political Discourse]. (In Ukrainian). Kyiv: Dmytro Burago Publishing House, A. Krymskyi Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine.

Zhabotynskaya, S. A. (2013a) Kontseptualnaya metafora v spetsialnom yazyike: protsedura analiza [Conceptual metaphor in the language for specific purposes: a research procedure]. (In Russian). Inostrannyie yazyiki v vyisshey shkole. (Ryazanskiy gos. un-t imeni S.A. Esenina), 3 (26), 24-32.

Zhabotynskaya, S. A. (2013b) Kontseptualnaya metafora: kongruentnoe i nekongruentnoe kartirovanie vo mnozhestvennyih dannyih [Conceptual metaphor: congruent and incongruent mapping in multiple data]. (In Russian). Funktsionalnaya lingvistika (Simferopol), 5, 104–106.

Zhabotynska, S. (2013c). Saussure’s theory of the linguistic sign: a cognitive perspective. In: Papers of the International Congress of Linguistics, 20-27 July, 2013, Geneva [online]. Available from:

Zhabotynskaya, S. A. (2016). Kontseptualnyie metaforyi v rechah Baraka Obamyi i Vladimira Putina (2014–2015) [Conceptual metaphors in the public speeches of Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin (2014–2015)]. (In Russian). Cognition, communication, discourse, 13, 43-91. Available from:

Zhabotynskaya, S. A. (2017). Narrativnyie politicheskie kontseptyi: metodika lingvokognitivnogo analiza [Narrative political concepts: methods of cognitive linguistic analysis]. (In Russian). In N. V. Petluchenko (ed.). Kontseptyi i kontrastyi. Odessa: Izdatelskiy dom "Gelvetika", 30-40.

How to Cite
Zhabotynska, S. (2019). Images of Ukraine-EU relations in conceptual metaphors of Ukrainian mass media. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (17), 118-140.