Ciro Porcaro: Research & CV

Metonymy and Stereotypes: theoretical perspectives and immigration discourse in German language

Research Area 1Displacements, “Dépaysement” and Discrepencies: People, Knowledge and Practices

Contact: ciro.porcaro(@)

The project has as its object metonymic phenomena in German Language. In the project, special attention is paid to the German migration discourse and to the metonymic models underlying social stereotypes (cf. Lakoff 1987). More specifically, metonymic phenomena which contribute to the stereotypical comprehension of the category of “migrants” (understood as category of practice in the migration discourse) are identified and analyzed, with particular reference to the tabloid Bild-Zeitung and to the news magazine Der Spiegel. In order to analyze the topics of displacement and migration, the methods and the instruments of Cognitive Linguistics are adopted as part of a discourse-analytical approach (cf. Ziem 2013).

The project contains a qualitative corpus analysis in search for metonymic and metaphoric phenomena in the articles of the abovementioned newspapers. The main assumption is that metonymy and metaphor work as structuring principles in our mental spaces playing a central part in our perception of social realities (cf. Lakoff 1987 & Littlemore 2015) and thus deeply influencing the narratives of migration by contributing to the emergence and spread of stereotypes. More specifically the following conceptual phenomena are identified and analyzed:

a) metonymic expressions used to refer to immigrants;
b) metaphor-metonymy interactions;
c) metonymic models susceptible to evoke a whole “displacement scenario” via metonymic vehicle (and consequently to background or foreground certain information);
d) metonymic and metaphoric contribution to topoi of migration discourse (cf. Teun A. van Dijk 2006, 2018 & Christopher Hart 2010).



  • from 2020: PhD, Germanic and Slavic Studies at Charles University in Prague and Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
  • 2016-2019: M. A., Specialized Translation at Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
  • 2012-2016: B. A., Linguistic and Cultural Mediation at Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”


  • 2021-2022: Italian Language Assistant at Charles Universit
  • 2020-2021: Language assistant (Italian) at Bundeshandelsakademie und Bundeshandelsschule, Realgymnasium und Wirtschaftskundliches Realgymnasium Feldgasse (Wien, Austria)


Recent academic activities

  • 18, 19 and 20 October 2021: Presentation of the contribution “Isole, ponti, metafora e metonimia nella linguistica tedesca” at Isole e ponti. Per una topologia linguistica e letteraria dell’isolamento (Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale)
  • 31 May 2021 – 1 June 2021: Presentation of the study case “Messermänner and Parasiten: An analysis of the role of metonymic and metaphoric patterns in shaping “immigrants” stereotypes in German political discourse” at Beyond Language 2021 (Kraków, Poland)

Recent publications

  • Porcaro, Ciro (2021): La teoria della metonimia: un aspetto problematico. In Alberto Manco (ed.) V. 10 (2021): ANNALI del Dipartimento di Studi Letterari, Linguistici e Comparati. Sezione linguistica, 277-296, Unior Press, Napoli
  • Porcaro, Ciro (2021): Messermänner and Parasiten: An analysis of the role of metonymic and metaphoric patterns in shaping “immigrants” stereotypes in German political discourse. In, V. 12 (2021): Academic Journal of Modern Philology, 115-124. Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Breslavia