Multimodal Fusion in Analyzing Political Cartoons: Debates on U.S. Beef Imports Into Taiwan

Metaphor and Symbol 30 (2):137-161 (2015)

This study proposes a multimodal fusion model to account for the cognitive mechanisms involving 56 political cartoons with regard to U.S. beef import issues as reported in two dominant Taiwanese newspapers, the Liberty Times and United Daily News. Specifically, this study claims that multimodal fusion model evolves from two metonymic-metaphoric networks, i.e., related metonymic network and diversified metaphoric network, and combines the conceptual, visual, and verbal modes. Our analysis demonstrates that multimodal fusion is a significant and recurrent representation technique in the genre of political cartoon and has the cognitive function of encapsulating the abstract complex political debates efficiently with irony and humorous effect. Furthermore, our analysis shows the important role of metonymy and demonstrates how metonymies and metaphors are interwoven in the process of multimodal fusion, which underlies the metaphorical mappings of conceptual scenarios related to “POLITICS IS..
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DOI 10.1080/10926488.2015.1016859
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