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The Role of Conceptual Metaphor in Idioms and Mental Imagery in Persian Speakers

Author(s): Seyyed Ali Kazemi | Seyyed Mahdi Araghi | Masoumeh Bahrami

Journal: International Journal of Basics and Applied Science
ISSN 2301-4458

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 38;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: conceptual metaphor | mental imagery | cognitive linguistic view of idioms

The present study aimed to see whether the results gained by Gibbs and O’Brian (1990) about the consistency of the idiom images can be generalized to other communities like the Persian community in their comprehension of idioms as well. It also tried to account for why many idioms have the figurative meaning they do and to explore whether people in different societies, cultures, and languages comprehend the idioms of their languages in the same way. The participants from different areas of Iran at the time of data collection were native speakers of Farsi from both sexes. The material used for data collection in this study consists of a questionnaire comprising 20 Persian idioms. Four idioms expressed figurative meanings about anger, four about taking risks, four about insanity, four about vanity, four about talkativeness. Then the participants were asked about Causation, Intentionality, Manner, Consequence, Negative Consequence, and Reversibility. Each participant’s description of their mental images was analyzed for its general characteristics and the different general characteristics for people’s mental images for each idiom were calculated across subjects. The results suggested that the conceptual metaphor underlies the comprehension of idioms and this is not limited to the speakers of English only, but can also be generalized to speakers of a different language like Farsi and also to the speakers of different dialects of Farsi, since the participants in this study were from different provinces of Iran.
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