Keywords: Corpus Linguistics; Financial Discourse; Metaphor; Metonymy; Semantic Annotation.
This paper explores the usage of metaphor and metonymy in a key oral business genre: earnings conference calls. These figurative features were analysed in a corpus consisting of the transcripts of twenty earnings conference calls of large multinationals, using a semantic annotation tool that automatically identifies each lexical item according to predetermined conceptual domains. Further qualitative analysis of the output revealed many of the same root metaphors and metonymies typical of written financial discourse, but with some distinctive usage that seemed to perform a cohesive function within this particular discourse community. The study also shows how a corpus-driven approach is useful to identify a wide range of figurative expressions in naturally-occurring oral financial discourse, which has been understudied from this perspective.