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Censuring the censors: Metaphor and metonymy in Algerian newspaper cartoons about censorship published during the Algerian Civil War (1992-2002)

Toumi, Sabrina 2022. Censuring the censors: Metaphor and metonymy in Algerian newspaper cartoons about censorship published during the Algerian Civil War (1992-2002). PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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During the Algerian Civil War (1992-2002), the press was subjected to stringent censorship. Despite this control, a surprisingly large number of newspaper cartoons exposing censorship practices were published at this time. This thesis explores the paradox inherent in the fact that the cartoonists Ayoub, Dilem, and Maz were able to evade the very censorship which they were criticising in their works. It posits that these artists made a strategic use of visual and verbal-visual metaphor and metonymy in isolation and in combination to denounce censorship in a way that was sufficiently indirect to avoid detection by censors. The study uses a dataset of 95 cartoons, purposely selected from a large corpus of cartoons published during this historical period in Algeria’s prominent Arabic-language newspaper El Khabar and French-language newspapers Liberté and El Watan, and interviews with two of the cartoonists. It adopts a cognitive linguistic approach, combining multimodal approaches within Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Forceville and Urios-Aparisi 2009), the cognitive theory of metonymy (Radden and Kövecses 1999), Musolff’s (2006) notion of ‘metaphor scenarios’, and Pérez-Sobrino’s (2017) concept of ‘metaphtonymy’ (i.e., metonymy-based metaphor) to examine the effect(s) of censorship in shaping the functions and forms of metaphor and metonymy in the cartoons. The thesis also addresses theoretical gaps by uncovering the meaning potentials of visual metaphor and metonymy and revealing the different ways in which the two rhetorical figures can work jointly to create subtle, complex meanings in political cartoons. Metaphor and metonymy were found to play a significant role in capturing important facets of censorship and conveying tacit condemnation of censors, while still maintaining a degree of plausible deniability that may have protected the cartoonists from censorship and persecution. The degree of indirectness and nuance provided by metaphor and metonymy makes them useful devices in tightly controlled contexts. Furthermore, metaphtonymy emerged as the most common pattern of metaphor-metonymy interactions. The combination of metaphor with a metonymic chain is a novel finding which suggests the need to refine Pérez-Sobrino’s concept. The study also demonstrated that the use of narrative theory is useful to explain the narrative properties of metaphor scenarios and to draw a clear distinction between such scenarios and simple metaphors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2023
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2023 14:58

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