A Comparative Study of Metaphor in Arabic and English: by Fahad H. Al Jumah

By Fahad H. Al Jumah

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To paraphrase Lakoff and Johnson (1980), metaphors are thus a means of expressing and understanding one object or phenomenon in terms of another. Conceptual metaphors are the actual embodiments of daily experience that are inseparable from the body or person that had experienced them (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980). Lakoff (1993) considered metaphors as attributes of human conceptual systems. By a process known as conceptual blending, Turner and Fauconnier (1995) claimed that we can see how metaphors create a new domain out of two previously distinct ones.

On the persistence of metaphors in everyday expression and comprehension, Derrida (1982) claimed that metaphor is a continuous process by which concepts and views are created and framed and, thus, that metaphor is a force that shapes behavior. Metaphors evoke imagery which makes them very useful in conveying meanings (Archer &Cohen, 1998; Ivie, 1999). Emotions such as love, hate, joy and sorrow are also known to have been rendered metaphorically since antiquity (Kövecses, 2000; Tissari, 2001). It has also been noted that metaphors have the capability to relay falsehood, since they can obscure differences and highlight potentially misleading similarities between two subjects (Wolf &Polzenhagen, 2003; Katz, 1996).

However, as is clear from the discussion in this chapter so far, the realm of metaphor is now commonly believed to extend far beyond the literary realm. Recent studies have even suggested the presence of metaphors embedded in ancient artifacts that will retrace much of our past (Ortman, 2000). Metaphors have been found to be well in place in the interventions being used by psychologists and psychiatrists in helping patients recover from a range of mental and psychological problems (McMullen and Conway, 1989; Angus, 1996; Dwairy, 2003; Colaizzi, 2002; Kendall, 2005, Al Krenawi, 2000).

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