Russia’s Future Metaphorical Images in the Context of Constitutional Reform of 2020 as Exemplified in French Media

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The Russia’s image perception in the world always provokes professional interest in different fields of humanities. One of topical and efficient linguistic research directions of Russia’s image in different linguistic sections of discourse of mass-media is a metaphorical modelling method based on cognitive (cognitive and discursive) experience of referents structuring. The analysis of Russian linguists’ studies of the beginning of XXI century on metaphorical image of Russia in Western media outlets shows that metaphorical models being formed are usually stereotyped, standard and copy each other. However, the Russia’s future image remains unstudied and becomes topical for scientists of our country and general public in the context of a geopolitical confrontation and a constant informational warfare. Important internal political process in the beginning of 2020 in the Russian Federation and, in particular, the renewal of its Constitution, carrying socialized and patriotic amendments, provoked an active reaction of French media, that interpreted these events preconceived and misrepresented. Thus, the Russia’s future image reconstruction, represented by numerous metaphorical usages in French discourse of mass-media allows determining main conceptual aims as to our country, being broadcast persuasively and suggestively to the audience. To determine cognitive (cognitive and discursive) regularities of the Russia’s future image representation in French discourse of mass-media. The research methodology is formed on the metaphorical modelling theory and based on achievements of discourse analysis and some representatives of the cultural and cognitive linguistics. Methods of modelling, contextual, cognitive and discursive analysis as well as elements of componential analysis are used. The research is based on more than 100 texts of French leading media outlets (Le Monde, L’Express, Le Point, RFI, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur etc.). The research revealed elements of the number of the Russia’s future metaphorical models such as: THE RUSSIA’S FUTURE IS THE PAST / USSR / SENILITY / DECLINE; THE RUSSIA’S FUTURE IS THE ABSOLUTE MONARCHY / RESTRICTED SPACE / FORTIFIED DEFENSE FACILITY. In the context of the Russia’s Constitution renewal its image of future is formed on exclusively negative metaphorical expressions. The analysis of metaphorical expressions in French discourse of mass-media related to spheres “Russia” and “Russia’s future” shows, that western political elite forms pejorative images of Russia as non-democratic state without future and doomed to extinction.

About the authors

Ruslan I. Zaripov

Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9980-7928
14, Bolshaya Sadovaya str., Moscow, Russian Federation, 125047

Ph.D. in Philology, the Head of the group of the Linguistic Center


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