Conceptual Metaphors as Motivation for Proverbs Lexical Polysemy
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 5, Issue 3, May 2017, Pages: 57-70
Received: Oct. 22, 2016; Accepted: Nov. 7, 2016; Published: Apr. 22, 2017
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El Mustapha Lemghari, French Language Department, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
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This paper deals with the lexical polysemy of proverbs from the standpoint of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The thesis that proverbs take on many meanings is widely discussed and commonly accepted in the literature on proverb understanding and use at large (Milner, 1969; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 1973; Lakoff & Turner, 1989; Honeck, 1997; Gibbs & Beitel 1995, etc.). Yet much attention has been paid only to the proverb discursive polysemy. On the premise that proverbs have stable meanings, there is every reason to believe that some proverbs are lexically polysemous because of their metaphorical structurings. That is, the lexical polysemy of proverbs is motivated by some given conceptual metaphors the interplay of which gives rise to a range of lexical meanings, which may serve, in turn, as bases for inferring eventual contextual meanings.
Proverbs, Conceptual Metaphors, Lexical Polysemy
To cite this article
El Mustapha Lemghari, Conceptual Metaphors as Motivation for Proverbs Lexical Polysemy, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 5, No. 3, 2017, pp. 57-70. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20170503.11
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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