England look dead and buried

Usage of conceptual metaphors in live football commentary

Hausarbeit, 2010

12 Seiten



1. Introduction

2. Preface to the match

3. Methodology

4. Results

5. Interpretation
5.1. Quantity of words
5.2. Interpretation of the concept groups
5.2.1. War
5.2.2. Life and death
5.2.3. Travelling and orientation

6. Conclusion

7. Literature

1. Introduction

Since we all know that football commentaries are made to entertain I want to investigate what metaphors are used to create an entertainment value and if there is a difference in use between the German and the English football commentators. Therefore I stick to the system of conceptual metaphors used by Lakoff/Georg (2007: 56) and Radden/ Dirven (2007:12f). Later on, I will have a special look on the most frequent groups of metaphors and incorporate military metaphors.

The data analysed is the match between England and Germany in the World Cup game of 26th October 2010 which was broadcasted live on German and English TV (ARD/BBC). The commentators of this game were Bela Rethy for ARD and Guy Mowbray with co-commentator Mark Lawrenson for BBC.

2. Preface to the match

Germany won 4:1. Frank Lampard had a shot on goal in the first half that bounced off the goal bar and from TV pictures seemed to pass the goal line. The goal has not been given and the play was continued. This Lampart-Goal is highly discussed in the English commentary and allusions have been made to the Wembley Goal in 1966.

3. Methodology

I analysed the German and English TV football commentaries to the match Germany vs. England in the above mentioned World Cup game. I decided to choose TV material for the linguistic analysis instead of live radio commentary. The challenge herein is to survey if the television transmission has a strong influence on the quantity of words that are spoken or, so to speak, if the pictures are doing the description.

I don’t have a printed version of the recordings. My method was attentive listening. I counted the words spoken in general (contractions are counted as one word) and set them in comparison to the number of metaphors so I could rate the most significant metaphor groups and discuss them.

I concentrated on metaphors because they are the stylistic devices we use the most in our everyday language. They provide a high range of linguistic creativity, vividness and, what is more important for this analysis; they are used subconsciously not only as an aesthetic tool (Yule 132). They form linguistic systems that correspond with fixed concepts in our thoughts and hence allow to explain a complex speech event within a few words (Lakoff/Johnson 2007: 11). Nowadays, metaphors are no longer regarded as a figure of speech with ornamental use. Lakoff/Johnson started to widen the definition of metaphors during their study of figurative speech. According to them, “metaphors are a product of the structure of our conceptual system”(2007:56). Radden/ Dirven support that definition. Further on, they claim that metaphors are a crucial mean of comprehension. “We make use of our existing linguistic categories and extend their meaning” to conceptualise the world for better understanding of new processes in our surrounding (Radden/ Dirven 2007:12). In cognitive linguistics, the two conceptual domains are named source domain and target domain. By using metaphors, we transfer the concept of the first domain to the second one. And this cognitive process just described relates literal meanings to extended meanings (Radden/Driven 2007:13).

This is the system I worked on. Therefore I stick to their categorisation of conceptual metaphors and will discuss the most frequent ones in chapter 4. But first of all, we have a look on my findings.

4. Results

The German commentator speaks less than the English ones. One of the reasons is surely that the English commentators have a higher potential for interacting between each other. On English television Mowbray speaks almost all the time whereas Lawrenson adds just a few sentences from time to time. That means in total numbers 10,050 words whereas Mowbray produces 7558 words and Lawrenson only the small amount of 2492.

In total numbers, the German commentary comprises 4787 words. This means that the English main commentator utters 84 words per minute on average and the German one only 53.2.

To have a better comparability and to make it easier to understand, I decided to state the metaphors found in percentage in relation to the total number of spoken words.


Ende der Leseprobe aus 12 Seiten


England look dead and buried
Usage of conceptual metaphors in live football commentary
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
448 KB
Linguistics, Football, England, Germany, football commentary, BBC, ARD, conceptual metaphors, war allusion, Bela Rethy, World Cup 2010, Guy Mowbray
Arbeit zitieren
Saskia Bommert (Autor:in), 2010, England look dead and buried, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/166595


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