Ultraperiphery and European cohesion: metaphorical conceptualization of Europe in the Canarian political discourse.


DURATION : 01/01/2020 - 09/30/2022

REALIZATION ENTITY : University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

ENTITY / ES FINANCIADORA / S : Government of the Canary Islands



  • Francisco Javier Carreras Riudavets (ULPGC, IATEXT)

  • Marina Díaz Peralta (ULPGC, IATEXT)

  • María Jesús García Domínguez (ULPGC, IATEXT)

  • Zenón Hernández Figueroa (ULPGC, IATEXT)


The Canary Islands, the outermost region with the largest population and the most economically powerful in the European Union, must champion research of a cognitive and discursive nature that contributes to enhancing the social cohesion pursued by community authorities in all its territories, and particularly in those of the outermost periphery, where distance often leads to greater disaffection towards the European citizenship project.

Through the analysis of Canarian political discourse, we intend to diagnose the degree of effectiveness that the strategies designed by the European Union have as an instrument of social cohesion to compensate for the difficulties derived from the geographical remoteness of these territories. from the outermost periphery.

To do this, we will analyze a corpus made up of all the speeches produced in the sessions of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, from the beginning of the I legislature, in 1982, to the present day. To identify the conception of Europe in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, we will focus our analysis on the study of the metaphors used by parliamentarians to conceptualize it. Because we start from the consideration of the metaphor as an essential strategy of the argumentation characteristic of political discourse, in which it displays both its rational dimension and, especially, its emotional and evaluative dimension: the metaphor is a reflection of the user's attitude, who uses it as a tool to express their affections, their ethical judgments and their appreciation of events and those who participate in them.

To reduce the identification time of metaphors, computer tools will be developed that, starting from the hypothesis that the lexemes that produce cognitive dissonances in the text are an index of the presence of a metaphor, direct the researcher's attention to paragraphs with a high probability of containing them. These computer tools facilitate the treatment of a significantly high volume of texts, maintaining the efficiency and precision of the analysis.

The results of this study will be reflected in an inventory of linguistic and conceptual metaphors that will show the attitude and emotional assessment that Canarian citizens make of Europe, its institutions and the relationships they maintain with its outermost periphery . This metaphorical portrait of Europe will provide relevant knowledge that can be transferred to community institutions to guide policies that increase social cohesion and, with it, European sentiment in the areas furthest from the European continental core.