Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8722
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8730
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study examines the notion of womanhood in the literary works of contemporary Indian authors by analyzing conceptual metaphors of womanhood. More specifically, the data collected in this study are metaphorical expressions (MEs) from nine fictional works set in India’s three main ethnically and linguistically diverse regions occupied by three linguistic groups, namely, the Indo-Aryan, the Dravidian, and the Tibeto-Burmese. The identification of MEs follows the Metaphor Identification Procedure VU University Amsterdam (MIPVU; Steen et al. 2010a ). The analysis focuses on cross-cultural variation in conceptual metaphor, applying Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT; Lakoff & Johnson 1980 ) and the cognitive dimension of socio-cultural diversity proposed by Kövecses (2008). Through the analysis of conceptual metaphor, the paper provides insights into the current social context regarding the status and roles of women in India.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aleaz, K. P.
    (2002) A tribal theology from a tribal world view. IJT, 441(1–2), 20–30.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Ali, N.
    (Ed.) (2007) Natural resource management and sustainable development in northeast India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Ao, T.
    (2006) These hills called home. New Delhi: Zubaan and Penguin Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bhasin, M. K.
    (2006) Genetics of castes and tribes of India. International Journal of Human Genetics, 6(3), 233–274.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. (2007) Indian anthropology: Racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic elements in Indian population. Retrieved fromnsdl.niscair.res.in/jspui/handle/123456789/339.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Buchowski, M.
    (1996) Metaphor, metonymy, and cross-cultural translation. Semiotica, 110(3–4), 301–314.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Buongpui, R. L
    (2013) Gender relations and the web of traditions in Northeast India. The NEHU Journal, XI(2), 73–81.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Census 2011, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner
    Census 2011, Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner (2001) Family-wise grouping of the 122 Scheduled and Non-Scheduled Languages. RetrievedMay 6, 2016, fromwww.censusindia.gov.in/Census_Data_2001/Census_Data_Online/Language/statement9.aspx
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Chin, J. K.
    (2009) Are women nothing more than their body parts? Obscene and indecent metaphors used to describe women in a Hong Kong magazine. LCOM Papers, 2, 17–30.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Dai, M.
    (2014) The black hill. New Delhi: Aleph Book Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. David, E.
    (2002) The book of Esther. New Delhi: Penguin Books India.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Deshpande, S.
    (2008) In the country of deceit. New Delhi: Penguin Books India.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Emanatian, M.
    (1995) Metaphor and the expression of emotion: The value of cross-cultural perspectives. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 10, 163–182. doi: 10.1207/s15327868ms1003_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms1003_2 [Google Scholar]
  14. Fernandez, J. W.
    (Ed.)(1991) Beyond metaphor. The theory of tropes in anthropology. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Gibbs, R. W.
    (1994) The poetics of mind: Figurative thought, language, and understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gupta, S.
    (1992) Memories of rain. New York: Grove Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Grady, J.
    (2007)  Metaphor . In D. Geeraerts & H. Cuyckens (Eds.), Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics (pp.188–233). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hines, C.
    (1994) Let me call you sweetheart: The WOMAN AS DESSERT metaphor. In M. Bucholtz , A. C. Liang , L. A. Sutton & C. Hines (Eds.), Cultural performances, proceedings of the third women and language conference (pp.8–10). University of California, Berkeley.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. (1999) Foxy chicks and Playboy bunnies: A case study in metaphorical lexicalization. In K. Misako ., H. Sinha & C. W. Sherman (Eds.), Cultural, typological and psychological perspectives on Cognitive Linguistics (pp.9–23). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.152.04hin.
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.152.04hin [Google Scholar]
  20. Kachru, Braj B.
    (1994)  English in South Asia . In R. Burchfield (Ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language. Vol.V: English in Britain and overseas. Origin and development (pp.497–553). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kilyeni, A. & Silaski, N.
    (2015) Beauty and the beast from a cognitive linguistic perspective: Animal metaphors for women in Serbian and Romanian. Gender Studies, 13(1), 163–178.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kire, E.
    (2007) Terrible matriarchy. New Delhi: Zubaan Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Kövecses, Z.
    (2005) Metaphor in culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511614408
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614408 [Google Scholar]
  24. (2006) Language, mind and culture: A practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (2007) Variation in metaphor. Ilha do Desterro, 53, 13–39.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (2008) Universality and variation in the use of metaphor. In N. L. Johannesson & D. C. Minugh (Eds.), Selected papers from the 2006 and 2007 Stockholm Metaphor Festivals (pp.51–74). Stockholm: Department of English, Stockholm University.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. (2010a) Metaphor and culture. Philologica, 2(2), 197–220.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. (2010b) Metaphor: A practical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Lakoff, G. , & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. (1999) Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Lixia, W. & Eng, B. W.
    (2012) A corpus-based study on snake metaphors in Mandarin Chinese and British English. GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, 12(1), 311–324.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Majumder, P. P.
    (2001) Ethnic populations of India as seen from an evolutionary perspective. Journal of Biosciences, 26(4), 533–545. doi: 10.1007/BF02704750
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02704750 [Google Scholar]
  33. Mee, J.
    (2003) After midnight, the novel in the 1980s and 1990s. In A. K. Mehrotra (Ed.), An illustrated history of Indian literature in English (pp.318–337). London: C. Hurst & Co. Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Nair, A.
    (2001) Ladies coupe. Gurgaon, India: Penguin India.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Nicosia, B. F. , & Padua, S.
    (2003) Masculinist metaphors, feminist research. Metaphorik.de5, 6–25.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Pragglejaz Group
    Pragglejaz Group (2007) MIP: A method for identifying metaphorically used words in discourse, Metaphor and Symbol, 22(1), 1–39. doi: 10.1080/10926480709336752
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926480709336752 [Google Scholar]
  37. Rivas, G. C.
    (2011) Women as food in Hispanic cultural metaphors, MP: An online feminist journal, 3(3), 6–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Rodriguez, I. L.
    (2009) Of women, bitches, chickens and vixens: Animal metaphors for women in English and Spanish. Culture, Language and Representation, 7, 77–100.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Roy, A.
    (1997) The god of small things. New York: Random House.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Sacristan, V. M. , & Olivera, F. A.
    (2006) Towards a critical cognitive pragmatic approach to gender metaphors in advertising English. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(11), 1982–2002. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2005.07.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2005.07.002 [Google Scholar]
  41. Steen, G. J. , Dorst, A. G. , Herrmann, B. J. , Kaal, A. , Krennmayr, T. , & Pasma, T.
    (2010a) A method for linguistic metaphor identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/celcr.14
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.14 [Google Scholar]
  42. Steen, G. J. , Dorst. A. G. , Kaal, A. , Herrmann, B. J. , & Krennmayr, T.
    (2010b) Metaphor in usage. Cognitive Linguistics, 21(4), 765–796. doi: 10.1515/cogl.2010.024
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2010.024 [Google Scholar]
  43. Suri, M.
    (2007) The age of Shiva. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Tamang, R. , & Thangaraj, K.
    (2012) Genomic view on the peopling of India. Investigative Genetics, 3(20). doi: 10.1186/2041‑2223‑3‑20 (Retrieved27.5.2017)
    https://doi.org/10.1186/2041-2223-3-20 [Google Scholar]
  45. Vidyarthi, L. P. , & Rai, B. K.
    (1977) The tribal culture of India. Delhi: Concept Pub. Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Wu, S. -X.
    (2008) Metaphor, etymology, and culture: A corpus-based exploration and methodological reflection. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error