Towards a Model of Rhetorical Criticism of Metonymy in Chinese Media Texts

Ke Li, Shukang Li


Rhetorical criticism is a type of criticism with rhetorical phenomena as its object. In the context of western rhetoric, rhetorical criticism is usually viewed as a method to describe, explain and evaluate certain rhetorical phenomena or act. Metonymy, as a kind of rhetorical device in traditional rhetoric and a cognitive tool in cognitive linguistics, can be regarded as an object for criticism. Accordingly, an analysis of metonymy from the perspective of rhetorical criticism can disclose text builders’ rhetorical motive behind the linguistic use of metonymy. Moreover, it can reveal the ideological meaning of the text (a weak version of ideology) by analyzing and evaluating the terministic screen constructed by the metonymy, to achieve the purpose of rhetorical persuasion and build an “identification” between the addresser and addressee.

Full Text:



Althouse M, et al. eds. (2009) Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Andrews JR (1983) The Practice of Rhetorical Criticism. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc..

Beaugrande R de and Dressler WU (1981) Introduction to Text Linguistics. London: Longman.

Bitzer L (1968) The rhetorical situation. Philosophy and Rhetoric 1: 1-14.

Black CJ (2004) Corpus Approaches to Critical Metaphor Analysis. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Black E (1978) Rhetorical Criticism: A Study in Method. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Burgchardt CR ed. (2010) Readings In Rhetorical Criticism, 4th Edition 4th Edition. Strata Publishing, Inc.

Burke KA (1969) A Grammar of Motives. California: University of California Press.

Campbell KK and Burkholder T R. (1997) Critiques of Contemporary Rhetoric. Belmont: Wadsworth.

Crowley S and Stancliff M (2011) Critical Situations: A Rhetoric for Writing in Communities with Additional Material. Boston: Pearson Education Company.

Deng ZY (2011) Rhetorical Theory and Rhetorical Philosophy: A Study on Kenneth Burke. Shanghai: Xuelin Press.

Dirven R (1993) Metonymy and metaphor: Different mental strategies of conceptualization. Leuvense Bijdragen 2: 1-25.

Fairclough N (1992) Discourse and Social Change. Polity Press.

Fairclough N (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: The Critical Study of Language. London: Longman.

Foss SK ed. (2004) Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. Long Grove: Waveland Press.

Fowler R and Hodge G and Trew T (1979) Language and Control. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Hart C (2011) Moving beyond metaphor in the cognitive linguistic approach to CDA: Construal operations in immigration discourse. In: Hart C (ed) Critical Discourse Studies in Context and Cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 71-92.

Hart RP and Daughton SM (2005) Modern Rhetorical Criticism. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Kuypers JA and King A (2005) What is rhetoric?. In: Kuypers JA (ed) The Art of Rhetorical Criticism. Boston: Pearson Education, pp 1-12.

Lakoff G and Johnson M (1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff G (2002) Moral Politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff G (1987) Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Li K and Li SK (2011) A study of metonymy from the perspective of embodied philosophy. Journal of Tianjin Foreign Studies University 2: 24-29.

Li K (2011) Towards the mode of critical metonymy analysis. Contemporary Rhetoric 4: 78-84.

Littlemore J (2015) Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication. Cambridge: CUP.

Maingueneau D (2006) Is discourse analysis critical? [J]. Critical Discourse Studies, 2006 (2): 229–235.

Niemeier S (2000) Straight from the heart metonymic and metaphorical explorations. In: Barcelona A (ed) Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 195-214.

Ott B and Dickinson G eds (2012) The Routledge Reader in Rhetorical Criticism. Routledge.

Rosenfield LW (1968) The anatomy of critical discourse. Speech Monographs 35 (1): 50-69.

Stefanowitsch A (2006) Corpus-based approaches to metaphor and metonymy. In: Stefanowitsch A and Stephan GTh (eds) Corpus-based Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1-16.

van Dijk TA (1998) Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. London: Sage.

Wang XH. (2011) A cognitive pragmatic study of metonymic expressions: An integrated model of relevance theory and cognitive linguistics. Modern Foreign Languages, 1: 34-41.

Wodak R (1999) Critical discourse analysis at the end of the 20th century. Research on Language and Social Interaction 1and2: 185-193.

Yuan Y (2008) Towards A new model of rhetorical criticism. Shanghai: Shanghai International Studies University.

Zhang H and Zhang TW (2012) Cognitive metonymy approach to critical discourse analysis. Foreign Language and Literature 3: 41-46.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015

Copyright © Macrothink Institute 

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domains to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', please check your 'spam' or 'junk' folder.