Masters Thesis

Conceptual blending and metaphor in Spanish speaking ghost stories

Using the framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Blending this paper aims to show how Spanish-speaking ghost story tellers think and talk about death, the afterlife, and ghosts. Based on the language of personal supernatural experiences recounted on the popular Mexican call in radio show La Mano Peluda (1995-2018), the study is a qualitative linguistic investigation into how ghost stories construe the end of life. This work proposes a Conceptual Blending model of ghosts which offers a topological view of how callers organize and elaborate on concepts related to death. Additionally the blending model anchors the analysis of patterns discovered within the data. These patterns include two prevailing metaphorical roles ghosts facilitate in the stories: GHOST AS A MESSENGER, and GHOST AS A GUARDIAN. These roles contribute to the notion of death as a continuation of existence for the deceased through vigilance and protection from the afterlife construed as Heaven. The results show the cultural influence of religious ideas in structuring metaphorical expressions regarding death and death-related concepts. The conceptual preference towards Christian beliefs regarding the end of life, play a crucial role in the positive evaluation of ghost encounters in the narratives.