Metaphors in Minangali and English : A comparative study

University essay from

Author: Marianne Cederholm; [2011]

Keywords: metaphor;

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to present a comparative study of metaphors in two diverse languages in different parts of the world. The two languages are English and Minangali, the latter a language spoken in the northern part of the Philippines. Metaphors in these two languages were compared to see how they differ or overlap in areas such as emotions, death and dying, biological urges and family matters. Subcategories for emotions were anger, love, worry, relief, for biological urges hunger, thirst, tiredness, and for family matters courtship and marriage, pregnancy and barrenness. The source of metaphor in Minangali was limited to 230 metaphors, out of which 38 were looked at in more depth. A number of 146 English metaphors were chosen from Metalude, a metaphor homepage under the auspices of Dr. Andrew Goetly of Lignan University in Hongkong, from idiom collections in books and on the Internet, as well as from the Oxford English Dictionary Online. A comparison of underlying conceptual metaphors in the two languages showed that some areas in the Minangali society seem to carry more weight than others, for example, the area concerning fertility and barrenness, while an area with many metaphors in English is anger. English speakers seem to talk more about anger (45 metaphors found compared to 5 in Minangali) while having a family seems more crucial in the Minangali setting. Naturally, taboo metaphors would not easily be found in the material, but in Minangali it is, for example, appropriate to talk about stomach worms, while metaphors involving such are not common in English. In most cases of the conceptual metaphors compared, however, there seem to be considerable overlaps and similarities between Minangali and English.

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