Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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Metaphors and proverbs are an indispensable sociocultural aspect of language. In this paper, we look at the sociocultural linguistic heterogeneity codified through metaphors and proverbs among three Arabic dialects, namely the Qatari, the Palestinian, and the Tunisian ones. The corpora of metaphors and proverbs have been elicited through interviews with relatives and friends, who live in Qatar, Palestine, and Tunisia respectively. The data are analyzed in the context of cognitive metaphor theory with a focus on comparative and interactionist perspectives. With a focus on two emerging themes, namely physical appearance, and sexual orientation, we argue that the Qatari dialect seems to be more inventive in the sexual orientation theme, while the Palestinian dialect foregrounds appearance due to the importance of marriage in Palestinian society, and the Tunisian dialect shows no emphasis on a specific theme. The differences we have found in metaphors and proverbs offer a glimpse of the various social orders, symbolic meanings, and lifestyles found in the three respective cultures, which are a vital aspect of cultural literacy in the Arab world. In this sense, the study is a suggestion on how to analyze qualitatively sociocultural linguistic heterogeneity at the level of figurative language and its symbolic meanings.


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