The Evolution of Metaphorical Language in Contemporary Chinese Political Discourse
Preliminary Evidence from the 12th and 18th CPC Congresses
The tools provided by corpus linguistics and textometric analysis, applied to a number of official speeches delivered by the leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during its Congress, provide useful insight into the evolution of the linguistic material and discursive strategies used in official communication, especially when focusing on the period between the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and the present day. In the post-Mao era, the progressive construction of a new political, socio-economic, and cultural context, along with the renegotiation or obsolescence of certain concepts and models, inevitably yields its specific vocabulary and rhetorical patterns, which can be detected both quantitatively and qualitatively. One of the most interesting levels of analysis in contemporary Chinese political discourse is the use of figurative language: by resorting to a preliminary textometric analysis conducted on the reports delivered at the 1982 and 2012 CPC Congresses, the main figurative devices observable in Chinese political discourse will be located and commented upon, investigating their diachronic transformation and significance in a changing context.