Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Survey on Persian Metaphors in Political Texts from Cognitive Point of View

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

A Survey on Persian Metaphors in Political Texts from Cognitive Point of View

Article excerpt


This study takes as primary the analysis of the use of the metaphorical expression in Persian political texts and categorizes them into various fields including: human being's body members, nature, human being's characteristics, plants, mathematics, senses, physics, colors, directions, war, driving, food, building, instrument, home appliance, clothes, hunting, animals and economics. Based on the findings, there are twenty fields by applying which the political metaphors are conceptualized in the Persian political discourse. Moreover, the results obtained from the current study revealed that the most applicable field in which the Persian political metaphors have been used, was the human being's body members.

Key words: Pragmatics; Discourse analysis; Political texts; Cognitive linguistics; Metaphor


Meaning extensions , including metaphors and metonymies, has traditionally been associated with the language of fiction and have long been one of the main concerns of literature and literary works. Cognitive linguistics has given this area a new outlook by spotting the metaphor as a mean to conceptualize our everyday language and various discourses ranging from spoken to written, from learner language to academic or professional (legal, medical, political). In fact, the subject of metaphor in language has attracted scholars of different sciences such as linguistics, during the succeeding centuries. Actually, Langacker (2000) believes that paying attention to conceptualized metaphor is one of the evolutions that have occurred in cognitive linguistics.

Contrary to traditional outlook which had an influence on most of previous studies, thought of metaphor as just a literary item and nothing more, cognitive linguistic studies during the last three decades have illuminated a new identity for metaphor and that is, metaphor is not just a literary item or just one of the forms of speech, but it is considered to be an active process in cognitive system and conceptualization. Today, it has been proved that metaphor is one of the influential devices in transmitting peoples' experiences, thoughts and concepts, especially for Persian speaker who has a high tendency toward indirect speech.

By considering this point that the amount of use and application of metaphor in Persian political texts and discussions is so much but no comprehensive research or study about metaphor in political texts has been done so far in the Persian language, it is essential to scrutinize the different fields from which the political metaphors are mostly borrowed and conceptualized. So this paper strives to classify these fields. Moreover, we delve the most frequent borrowed field and the reason for that.


1.1 Cognitive Linguistics

Cognitive approach is one of the recent schools in linguistics. Dirven and Verspoor (2004) states that cognitive linguists like all linguists, study language as their subject of science and try to elaborate on structure, system and function of language. He also explains that in order to realize the nature of language, we should look at the conceptual world because language covers a part of the world of concepts. Langacker (1990) mentions that in cognitive approach, language is considered to be the supplementing part of cognition. In other words, language is an inseparable part of cognitive dimensions of human beings and one can just arbitrary separate language from human beings' other cognitive abilities. Croft and Cruse (2005) refers to this key matter that in cognitive linguistics, researchers investigate the relationship among human being's language, his mind, his social and physical experiences. Bussman (1996) believes that this aspect of language is the patterns of conceptualization in human's mind.

Palmer (2006) claims that by considering the cognitive linguistic point of view about language, one can find out human's identity and mind structure and different concepts which are related to the culture. …

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