Volume 14, Issue 6 (2024)                   LRR 2024, 14(6): 37-76 | Back to browse issues page

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kia. Razavian. Barami khorshid S H S. Application of conceptual blending theory in the analysis of economic, political and sports news headlines. LRR 2024; 14 (6) :37-76
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-51895-en.html
1- Master of Linguistics, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran
Abstract:   (4008 Views)
Conceptual blending is a creative application to explain concepts that go beyond simply combining structures and raw data. The present article tries to examine its effectiveness in news headlines of newspapers in different genres by referring to the theory of conceptual blending. For this purpose, 1000 news headlines from the Donyaye Eghtesad newspaper in the economic genre, 1000 news headlines from the Ebtekar newspaper in the political genre, as well as 1000 headlines from the Hadaf Varzeshi newspaper have been examined. The headlines with conceptual blending were identified in them and also their type and number were explained and drawn by drawing a grid. Out of 1000 news headlines examined in each genre, 240 in the economic genre, 160 in the political headline and 80 in the sports headline are in line with the theory of blending. According to the results, it seems that due to the intertwining of people's daily lives with the economy, the use of blending in the economic genre is more than the other two genres, and among the blending types, the single-scope type has a higher frequency than the other types in all three genres. Double-scope type blending has been observed due to its more complex structure than the lower frequency single-scope blending. It was also found that simple type blending has very low frequencies in all three genres. In the study of news headlines, due to the association-orientation mechanism of the type of mirrors, there are very few of them in each genre.

1. Introduction
Fauconnier and Turner (1998) elaborated Conceptual Blending Theory by using the theories of conceptual metaphor and mental space as tools to show the imaginative nature of conceptualization. They believe that the role of imagination in the meaning-making process, especially the creative aspects of meaning-making, is undeniable. In this way, it can be said that the news headline is one of the categories that creativity in creating meaning is one of its characteristics due to its specific coordinates, and perhaps it can be considered that the theory of conceptual blending can be a suitable platform for imagination and expression of this creativity. In this research, how this concept works as an efficient theory in analyzing linguistic data and explaining the emerging meaning in it is discussed. To achieve this goal, the authors intend to describe and analyze the news headlines of economic, political, and sports newspapers as popular topics based on the Conceptual Blending Theory to determine which genre has the least and most use of conceptual blending in the headlines. What is the reason for this little and increasing use of blending in making titles? Also, the comparison of the types of conceptual blending, the frequency of their occurrence, and the reason for the existence of different frequencies of these types in the studied genres will be discussed by presenting sufficient examples.

2. Literature Review
Fauconie and Turner proposed the theory of conceptual blending in 1998, and in 2002, they fully introduced this theory in the book The Way We Think. Other linguists and researchers presented research in linguistic and non-linguistic conceptualization of this theory. Coulson et al. (2000) studied the basics of conceptual blending as a theory for constructing meaning online and examined this theory from the perspective of linguistics, psychology, computer science, and neurobiology. Grady and Coulson (1999) introduced the mechanism of two theories of conceptual metaphor and conceptual blending. They also listed the similarities and differences of these two theories. Hedblom et al. (2016) state that image schemas are considered as fundamental cognitive patterns and the combination of two theories of conceptual blending and image schemas has a significant impact on creative thinking in humans. In the Persian language, researchers have examined the data of this language in the field of conceptual blending, including Sadeghi (2012) in his article entitled "Integration of writing and image in literary texts based on the theory of conceptual blending" and how meaning is formed in literary works. Pardel et al. (2016) in their article, which was published in the Journal of Language Inquiry, discussed how the author and the reader produce and understand emergent meanings in the white poem from the perspective of conceptual blending. In his analytical and descriptive review of a poem by Groos Abdulmalikian, he has shown that this theory is well suited to the cognitive description and explanation of how to create and read poetry.

3. Methodology
In this research, a total of 3000 economic, political, and sports titles from the newspapers of the world of economy, initiative, and sports purpose were analyzed in the summer and autumn of 2016. Of these, 240 economic titles, 160 political titles, and 80 sports titles have blended and can be described and analyzed with the Conceptual Blending Theory. After determining the presence of blending in the titles of each genre, the researchers investigated the type of blending in each title and after that, they examined the frequency of occurrence of each type to determine which is the most type of blending used in the titles and the reason for the high frequency of that type. Also, in order to be clearer and better understand the mechanism of this theory, we chose one title from each type of blending in each genre and then explained how the blending was formed. After explaining each title, we have drawn the networks related to them along with interstitial mappings.

4. Results and Conclusion
Newspaper titles in the economic genre have the highest frequency of conceptual blending compared to the political and sports genres. The reason for this should be considered in the wide range of the audience of this genre, as we know that the economy is one of the main pillars of society and is tied to people's livelihood and covers a huge part of our daily life, so it can be said that readers with interest, follow economic issues and are understandable to the general public. Another reason is that in the last decade, we have witnessed more instability in the field of economy, which provides a suitable platform for journalists to create creative titles, and journalists encourage the reader to read and follow economic issues by using blending.
In the political genre, there is less conceptual blending observed in the construction of titles compared to the economic genre. The reason for this can be found in the fact that political issues involve different individuals, parties, and factions. Journalists, to maintain job security, have limitations in using conceptual blending in title construction, which may include more figurative meaning, and prefer to use clearer titles to prevent multiple interpretations. Another reason is that political subjects require more explicitness in speech, and journalists prefer to prioritize transparency. Perhaps the use of conceptual blending in titles may distract the reader's mind from the main message, so they try to construct titles with fewer conceptual blendings.
In the analysis of data, sports genre titles have the least amount of conceptual blending. This can be attributed to the relative clarity of sports events, which do not provide much room for interpretation and critique. Additionally, a sports news article focuses more on reporting the news or presenting the outcome of a sports event, and the audience, which consists of a narrower spectrum, is mostly interested in the results of the competition rather than the details. They can even get informed about the results through other media outlets. Therefore, the sports genre includes fewer audiences compared to the political and economic genres, where the audience seeks interpretation and analysis of the news by experts.
Conceptual blending of the single-scope type has the highest frequency in all three genres because one of the rules that journalists consider for writing proper headlines is the quadrilateral rule, which includes factors such as relevance, simplicity, clarity, and attractiveness. It seems that single-scope blending has all four factors of this rule, so the writer, through creative headline construction, aims not only to convey information but also to highlight the headline and attract the reader to follow the article. Since single-scope blending only involves one of the inputs in shaping the blending, and that input is represented in the form of a concrete domain and has physical characteristics, it is easier for the reader to understand. Single-scope blending does not have the simplicity of simple blending type that only focuses on conveying information and does not have the complexity of double-scope blending type. Therefore, this type of blending has the highest frequency. Double-scope conceptual blending has a very low frequency in the headlines of all three genres. This type of blending has the highest creativity and complexity. Since both inputs play a role in shaping the blending, i.e., both the concrete or experiential domain and the abstract domain, as well as the emergent meaning that arises in the blending space, it makes the headline more complex and harder to understand, and perhaps analyzing it is beyond the patience of the reader. Therefore, journalists prefer to use this type of blending less.
According to the tables, simple concept blending has very few frequency of occurrence in news headlines. This low frequency is due to the structure of this type of blending, which includes two forms of role and value. Often in news headlines because journalists assume that the reader is aware of the roles and values of the people who are at the top of political, economic, and sports affairs, there is no need to mention both formats in the headline. Pay attention to these news headlines: a. All the president's men (in this news title, only the role format is mentioned); b) Biden's plan for regional partners (in this news headline, only the value format is mentioned). Observing these titles is proof of the claim that in many titles either the role format or the value format is used. The conceptual blending of the mirror type has rarely been observed in the titles.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Linguistics
Published: 2024/01/30

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