The use of metaphor power indices for the analysis of speech impact in political public speeches
The article examines the metaphor power related to the impact of public political speeches on the audience. The purpose of the study is to identify the potentially hidden speech impact of public discourse in order to understand the intentions of the speech messages' authors. To that end, the aspects of metaphors under analysis include their density in the text, their intensity, functions and positions in the compositional structure of the text. The study tests the method of comprehensive analysis of metaphor power, which is based on the calculation of the corresponding indices MDI (Metaphor density index), MII (Metaphor intensity index), MfTI (Metaphor functional typology index) and MStI (Metaphor structural index). Each index is based on a mathematical formula: MDI reflects the average number of metaphors per a hundred words of the text; MII demonstrates the medium intensity of metaphors (new or conventional metaphors dominating the text); MfTI shows which functions are mainly performed by metaphors in the text; MStI represents the compositional parts of the text where the metaphors are concentrated. The hypothesis about the possibility of using such quantitative methods is tested on the material of three texts of public speeches by the political leaders of Russia, USA and China. The analysis shows that the greatest speech impact is achieved by the speech of the President of China distinguished by the highest metaphor density (4.07), and, the values of MfTI (2.23) MStI (2.51) indicate the intention to restructure the socio-political concepts, as well as to introduce a new content into his country's domestic and foreign policy. This method for identifying the metaphor power can be used to investigate the potential impact of political speeches and can become an important tool for analyzing various aspects of the metaphor use in discourse.