Conceptual metaphors in Ukrainian prime ministers’ discourse involving renewables

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Abstract

This qualitative study is aimed at elucidating conceptual metaphors associated with renewable energy sources (further referred to as ‘renewables’) in Ukrainian prime ministers’ (PMs) political discourse. The material derives from a corpus of Ukrainian PMs’ political texts on renewables in Ukraine within the timeframe 2005-2014. The corpus is examined for the presence of conceptual metaphors pertaining to the topic of renewables. Data analysis indicates that from 2005 to 2013 conceptual metaphors involving renewables are embedded in the issues of Ukraine’s adherence to the Kyoto Protocol, the EU directives on renewables, the monetary value of renewables and the role of renewables in Ukraine’s energy security, thus instantiating the conceptual metaphors Renewables as Ukraine’s European Choice, Renewables as a Path to the EU, Renewables as Money and Renewables as Independence respectively. However, the novel metaphor Renewables as Survival is identified in PM Yatsenjuk’s political discourse in 2014. This metaphor is embedded in the context of another conceptual metaphor, Gas as a Weapon, which is present in political discourse involving Russian natural gas export to third countries. Data analysis indicates that the conceptual metaphors Renewables as Survival and Renewables as Independence are in a polyphonic relationship of synergy and contrast with Gas as a Weapon.

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