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Figurative dimensions of <i>3ayn</i> &#8216;eye&#8217; in Tunisian Arabic

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Abstract

In Tunisian Arabic (TA), &#8216;heart&#8217; is the most productive body part term in the conceptualization of emotions, cultural values, character traits, and mental faculties (Maalej 2004, 2008). Next in productivity is the outer body part <i>3ayn</i> &#8216;eye&#8217;. The eye offers the following imaginative configurations: (i) image schema-based metaphors, (ii) metonymy-motivated metaphors, (iii) metaphors, and (iv) metonymies. The goal of the chapter is to show how TA embodies the mind via a cultural &#8216;eye&#8217; model in the conceptualization of various mental faculties (knowing, understanding, thinking, speaking), physical states (sleep, death, passage of time), emotions (love, desire, anger, guilt, envy), character traits (ambition, greed, naivet&#233;, insolence), and cultural values (respect and hospitality). The findings point to the dominance of metaphors and image schemas in the conceptualization of experience embodied through <i>3ayn</i> &#8216;eye&#8217; in TA, and the prevalence of culture-specific embodiment, i.e. embodiment that is not universally attested.

References

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