The importance of unveiling conceptual metaphors in a minority language

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This paper studies some (external and internal) body-part related conceptual metaphors in Basque, a language isolate spoken on the Western Pyrenees, and discusses the importance and relevance of such a study for endangered languages in general and Basque in particular. The goal of this paper is twofold: (i) to show that culture plays a fundamental role in the analysis of conceptual metaphors, since all metaphors are not ‘universal’ despite the claim that they share a common embodied grounding, and (ii) to prove that conceptual metaphor is a critical tool in the study of endangered languages, Basque in this case, because it unveils certain conceptualizations that are deeply entrenched in the language and that are sometimes overshadowed by a globalized and ethnocentric viewpoint.


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