A Discourse Study of Cognitive Frame Construction of ‘China’ in American Economic News

Wenhui Yang, Qichao Liang, Kaiyue Zhen


This study delves into the complicated yet rewarding examination of the cognitive frame construction and the evoking established frame to interpret China and its economy in American Economic Newspapers. It aims to demystify how linguistic expressions, especially stimuli, influence discourse consumers’ cognition and framing process of a relative object, event and phenomenon in the world. Drawing insights from empirical data in China-related American economic news (CAEN) discourse, the authors adopt Force Dynamics Model (Talmy, 1988, 2000) to illustrate the cognitive frame and its framing process that news discourse constructs. The analyses demonstrate that the employment of Force-dynamic stimuli in CAEN discourse will cause news consumers/readers to conceptualize China as being either a weak and ineffectual power or a ferocious and vicious force. These recurring linguistic stimuli, therefore, construct fixed frames in the mind of the discourse consumers and these frames are used to help them interpret and understand an object, event or a phenomenon in a pejorative light. Consequently, the framed knowledge can be used to manipulate discourse consumers’ conception and behavior. The study enriches the existing body of work on cognitive linguistic analysis to discover the relationship between language and cognition, and interpreting the construction process of cognitive frame.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v5n4p7


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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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