Metaphors in Culture: A Cognitive-Linguistic Investigation of Hindi

Authors: Sandeep Kumar Sharma, Sweta Sinha (Indian Institute of Technology Patna, India)
Speaker: Sandeep Kumar Sharma
Topic: Cognitive Anthropology and Language
CALA 2020 General Session


Culture is one of the primary pillars in embodied cognition. Many scholars have discussed the specific role of culture in conceptual metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980; Lakoff and Kovecses, 1987). Conceptual metaphors can be adequately conceptualized only by considering the cultural context in which it is used (Allan, 2009). Metaphors are segment of the common conceptual appliance which is shared by the members of a specific culture. The universality of metaphors depends on common bodily experiences; it is expected to have cultural variation in metaphors because of the governing principles. It is deep rooted fact that natural and physical domain affects languages. The environment influences its lexicon primarily and consequently, it shapes conceptual system of human being and metaphor as well. The specific question in cognitive linguistics pertaining to culture is whether metaphors only reflect the culture or it constitutes culture.

Therefore, the present work investigates the abstract notion and impact of culture in the embodiment and consequently in the formation and conceptualization of metaphorical expressions with a special reference to Hindi language within the framework of conceptual metaphor theory (1980). The data set has been procured from the secondary sources for the present study. The findings of the present work aim to provide a theoretical understanding of how metaphors perceived in cultural context among the native speakers.

Keywords: Cognitive Linguistics, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Culture, Cognition, Metaphor.