Conceptual metaphors of morale in Covid-19 and cancer discourses

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Worawanna Petchkij

Abstract

Morale is essential in helping people through difficult situations as recently witnessed by the Covid-19 pandemic and more generally, with cancer. Analysis of metaphors for morale could possibly help us understand better how people conceptualize morale in such life   threatening situations. This research aimed to compare conceptual metaphors of morale and their metaphorical elaborations in Covid-19 discourses written during the first global lockdown period in two different languages, Thai and English, as well as in the same language, Thai, but in two different discourse topics, Covid-19 and cancer. Three structural conceptual metaphors: MORALE IS AN OBJECT/ A PERSON/ A BUILDING as well as two orientational conceptual metaphors, GOOD MORALE IS UP; POOR MORALE IS DOWN, were found in the English Covid-19 corpus. Only the first two structural conceptual metaphors were found in the Thai Covid-19 and cancer corpora. Two aspects of the morale concept appear highlighted: the morale crisis and its solution, which seemed to reflect reality in these two difficult situations faced by humanity. In addition, the comparisons between the two languages and discourse topics indicated that some of their metaphorical elaborations were cultural- and contextual-based. The results could be beneficial not only for researchers in this area, but also for people in general and healthcare professionals to realize how morale is significant for those impacted by the Covid-19, and how it is vital for patients with cancer.

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