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Multimodal Metaphors and Advertising: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Use of Behavioural Multimodal Metaphors

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The main purpose of this paper is to analyze how culture is embedded in the way viewers from different language backgrounds conceptualize and interpret the same multimodal metaphors. Therefore, interaction between metaphor and culture is hence a crucial aspect of research in this study. Following Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) and Forceville’s (1996, 2009) approaches, this paper examines how a comparative study undertaken from a cross-cultural perspective can shed light on how culture is an influential factor that can trigger changes in interpretations and reactions in the viewers. Data for this research were gathered with the help of 240 participants taken from 8 different language backgrounds. The subjects of this study were supplied with a questionnaire which consisted of three multimodal metaphors and 8 questions. In particular, I want to focus on the following research questions: (1) Which figurative B-term do different cultures conceptualize in a multimodal metaphor? (2) How aggressive are these multimodal metaphors considered by the participants of the study? On the basis of the results of this research, it can be concluded that not only the cultural background but also the personal has some influence on the way respondents interpret multimodal metaphors. The reactions identified in the responses of the subjects are influenced by different factors: religion, personal and societal experiences, beliefs, etc.