News language is often said to have shifted from a traditionally formal style towards a more informal style, a shift that has variously been termed the personalization or informalization of news discourse. The main elements that have been suggested as evidence for this shift are the increase of lexicogrammatical features that are regarded as informal and involved, and a decrease of features that are regarded as formal and informational. This thesis investigates the role of metaphor in the possible personalization and informalization of news discourse in Dutch. Metaphorical expressions can be used rhetorically and as such can influence the style of individual texts, persons, newspapers, or periods within a register. The studies conducted in this thesis take into account the forms, frequencies and functions of metaphorical expressions in contemporary conversations and news texts, and in historical and contemporary news discourse. The thesis contributes valuable insights into the trends of personalization and informalization of news language from a lexical-semantic angle, and at the same time provides interesting ideas for the study of metaphor in language and communication. Due to its dual character, it can be of interest to researchers within the fields of metaphor studies, corpus research and discourse analysis.
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