Metaphors in Dimasa and Rabha – A comparative study

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In this paper, we will discuss metaphors based on some semantic domains such as codes, threats, pride and so on, in two Tibeto-Burman languages, Dimasa and Rabha. An example of a Dimasa metaphor of threat is illustrated here. The literal meaning of <i>daudI daInba</i> is &#8220;cutting of egg&#8221; while the figurative meaning is &#8216;killing somebody with spell&#8217;. The vehicle here is &#8216;cutting of egg&#8217; which is similar in meaning to the topic &#8216;killing somebody&#8217;. Nowadays, in Dimasa society, this is used to threaten somebody indirectly so that, that threatened person will not bother him again. In Rabha, a metaphor of pride <i>kumpak kut&#8747;u&#331;</i> literally means &#8216;enlarging somebody&#8217;s nose&#8217;, whose figurative meaning is &#8216;flattery and self-pride&#8217;. This is used when a person is flattered by another. In this example, the vehicle is &#8216;enlarging somebody&#8217;s nose&#8217; and the topic is &#8216;pride&#8217;. Morphological processes and a comparative study of the metaphors in these two languages will be discussed here besides their socio-cultural relevance in the present world.


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