Vol. 5 (2019)

"Terrorism" in German and Italian Press Headlines

Silvia Sommella
Laboratorio editoriale OA / Dip. LILSI
Published August 29, 2019
  • Cognitive linguistics,
  • Contrastive linguistics,
  • Frame semantics,
  • Islamic terrorism
How to Cite
Sommella, S. (2019). "Terrorism" in German and Italian Press Headlines. Quaderni Di Linguistica E Studi Orientali, 5, 497-547. https://doi.org/10.13128/QULSO-2421-7220-25979


This paper illustrates the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism by applying frame semantics and metaphor analysis to German and Italian press headlines of the two online weekly publications Der Spiegel and L’Espresso between 2014 and 2017. The study identifies conceptual metaphors that confirm previous research constituting terrorism as war, terrorism as a criminal organisation both in German and Italian press headlines. The concepts of terrorism as a natural event, as a disease and terrorists as animals are represented in Italian headlines, while the contrasting metaphorical concepts of antiterrorist groups as family and / or friends are present in both publications and languages. The paper shed light to new results constituting terrorism as a dramatic play in the German and Italian languages and terrorism as a game and wares in the Italian language. In addition, the research illustrates how media discourse – through the use of conceptual metaphors – triggers a particular perception of the phenomenon among the general public so that governmental strategies and policies are accepted and terrorists are perceived as evildoers. This implies regarding them as members of an uncivilised group “other” opposed to the civilised group “we”. Media discourse about terrorism produces an intensive emotion of fear that is remarkable in both German and Italian language taking into account all similarities and differences.


Metrics Loading ...