Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article is a corpus-based study that examines selected economic metaphors in Arabic with a view to ascertaining whether their presence in a non-Indo-European language can be explained in terms of universal embodied cognition. When exploring the relationship between certain bodily experiences and the corresponding metaphorical expressions in Arabic this paper addresses the following research questions: (1) What is the role of embodiment in Arab economic discourse? (2) Is Arab economic discourse in any way similar to its English counterpart? (3) If so, could any of these similarities be due to the influence of English? (4) If so, does that pose a challenge to the embodiment hypothesis?


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abdou, A.
    (2012) Arabic idioms: A corpus-based study. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Al-Harrasi, A.
    (2001) Metaphor in (Arabic-into-English) translation with specific reference to metaphorical concepts and expressions in political discourse. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Aston University, Birmingham. Retrieved fromhttps://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/121370.pdf
  3. Al-Amoudi, K.
    (2013) The conceptual structure of ‘hand’ idioms in Arabic. The Internet Journal of Language, Culture and Society, 37, 30–41.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Ansah, G. N.
    (2014) Culture in embodied cognition: Metaphorical/metonymic conceptualizations of FEAR in Akan and English. Metaphor and Symbol, 29(1), 44–58. 10.1080/10926488.2014.859483
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926488.2014.859483 [Google Scholar]
  5. Awab, S., & Norazit, L.
    (2013) “Challenging” times or “turbulent” times: A study of the choice of metaphors used to refer to the 2008 economic crisis in Malaysia and Singapore. Intercultural Pragmatics, 10(2), 209–233. 10.1515/ip‑2013‑0010
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2013-0010 [Google Scholar]
  6. Berber Sardinha, T.
    (2012) Metaphors of the Brazilian economy from 1964–2010. InH. Herrera-Soler & M. White (Eds.), Metaphor and mills: Figurative language in business and economics (pp.103–126). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110274585.103
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110274585.103 [Google Scholar]
  7. Boers, F.
    (1997) “No pain, no gain” in a free market rhetoric: A test for cognitive semantics?Metaphor and Symbol, 12(4), 231–241. 10.1207/s15327868ms1204_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms1204_2 [Google Scholar]
  8. (1999) When a bodily source domain becomes prominent: The joy of counting metaphors in the socio-economic domain. InR. W. Gibbs, Jr. & G. J. Steen (Eds.), Metaphor in cognitive linguistics (pp.47–56). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.175.04boe
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.175.04boe [Google Scholar]
  9. (2003) Applied linguistics perspectives on cross-cultural variation in conceptual metaphor. Metaphor and Symbol, 18(4), 231–238. 10.1207/S15327868MS1804_1
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327868MS1804_1 [Google Scholar]
  10. Boers, F., & Demecheleer, M.
    (1997) A few metaphorical models in (Western) economic discourse. InW. A. Liebert, G. Redeker, & L. Waugh (Eds.), Discourse and perspective in cognitive linguistics (pp.115–129). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.151.10boe
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.151.10boe [Google Scholar]
  11. Buckwalter, T., & Parkinson, D.
    (2011) A frequency dictionary of Arabic: Core vocabulary for learners. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Castaño, E., Verdaguer, I., Laso, N. J., & Ventura, A.
    (2014) Economy is a living organism: Metaphorical expressions in a learner corpus of English. Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada/Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27(2), 323–337. 10.1075/resla.27.2.04cas
    https://doi.org/10.1075/resla.27.2.04cas [Google Scholar]
  13. Charteris-Black, J.
    (2000) Metaphor and vocabulary teaching in ESP economics. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 149–165. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(98)00025‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(98)00025-8 [Google Scholar]
  14. (2004) Corpus approaches to critical metaphor analysis. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230000612
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230000612 [Google Scholar]
  15. Charteris-Black, J., & Ennis, T.
    (2001) A comparative study of metaphor in Spanish and English financial reporting. English for Specific Purposes, 20, 249–266. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(00)00009‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(00)00009-0 [Google Scholar]
  16. Charteris-Black, J., & Musolff, A.
    (2003) “Battered hero” or “innocent victim”?: A comparative study of metaphors for euro trading in British and German financial reporting. English for Specific Purposes, 22, 153–176. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(02)00012‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(02)00012-1 [Google Scholar]
  17. Chung, S.
    (2012) Mandarin translation of English economic metaphors: A cross-linguistic study of conceptually related economic terms. InH. Herrera-Soler & M. White (Eds.), Metaphor and mills: Figurative language in business and economics (pp.129–153). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110274585.129
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110274585.129 [Google Scholar]
  18. Darwish, A.
    (2010) Translation and news making in contemporary Arabic television. Melbourne: Writescope.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Deignan, A.
    (1999) Corpus-based research into metaphor. InL. Cameron & G. Low (Eds.), Researching and applying metaphor (pp.177–199). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139524704.012
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524704.012 [Google Scholar]
  20. (2003) Metaphorical expressions and culture: An indirect link. Metaphor and Symbol, 18(4), 255–271. 10.1207/S15327868MS1804_3
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327868MS1804_3 [Google Scholar]
  21. (2005) Metaphor and corpus linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.6
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.6 [Google Scholar]
  22. Deignan, A., & Potter, L.
    (2004) A corpus study of metaphors and metonyms in English and Italian. Journal of Pragmatics, 36, 1231–1252. 10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.010 [Google Scholar]
  23. Domaradzki, M.
    (2011) The Self in Arabic and the relativism-universalism controversy. Cognitive Linguistics, 22(3), 535–567. 10.1515/cogl.2011.021
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cogl.2011.021 [Google Scholar]
  24. (2013) Conceptualizing conflict in Arab economic news reporting. Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict, 1(1), 115–136. 10.1075/jlac.1.1.06dom
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlac.1.1.06dom [Google Scholar]
  25. (2016) Conceptualizing the economy as a living organism: Vivification in Arab economic discourse. Text & Talk, 36(4), 417–443. 10.1515/text‑2016‑0019
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2016-0019 [Google Scholar]
  26. Fukuda, K.
    (2009) A comparative study of metaphors representing the US and Japanese economies. Journal of Pragmatics, 41, 1693–1702. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.12.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.12.005 [Google Scholar]
  27. Gibbs, R. W.
    (1999) Taking metaphor out of our heads and putting it into the cultural world. InR. W. Gibbs & G. J. Steen (Eds.), Metaphor in cognitive linguistics (pp.145–166). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.175.09gib
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.175.09gib [Google Scholar]
  28. (2007) Why cognitive linguists should care more about empirical methods. InV. Evans, B. Bergen, & J. Zinken (Eds.), The cognitive linguistics reader: Advances in cognitive linguistics (pp.40–56). Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Gibbs, R. W., Costa Lima, P. L., & Francozo, E.
    (2004) Metaphor is grounded in embodied experience. Journal of Pragmatics, 36, 1189–1210. 10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.009 [Google Scholar]
  30. Hamdi, S.
    (2010) time is a moving entity in English and in Arabic: A comparative cognitive analysis. metaphorik.de, 19, 7–21.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Henderson, W.
    (1994) Metaphor and economics. InR. E. Backhouse (Ed.), New directions in economic methodology (pp.343–367). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203204085.ch16
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203204085.ch16 [Google Scholar]
  32. (2000) Metaphor, economics and ESP: Some comments. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 167–173. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(99)00035‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(99)00035-6 [Google Scholar]
  33. Herrera-Soler, H., & White, M.
    (Eds.) (2012) Metaphor and mills: Figurative language in business and economics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110274585
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110274585 [Google Scholar]
  34. Holes, C.
    (2004) Modern Arabic: Structures, functions, and varieties. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Johnson, M.
    (1987) The body in the mind: The bodily basis of meaning, imagination and reason. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Knudsen, S.
    (2003) Scientific metaphors going public. Journal of Pragmatics, 35, 1247–1263. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00187‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00187-X [Google Scholar]
  37. Koller, V.
    (2004) Metaphor and gender in business media discourse: A critical cognitive study. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230511286
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230511286 [Google Scholar]
  38. Kövecses, Z.
    (1999) Metaphor: Does it constitute or reflect cultural models?InR. W. Gibbs & G. J. Steen (Eds.), Metaphor in cognitive linguistics (pp.167–188). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.175.10kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.175.10kov [Google Scholar]
  39. (2000) Metaphor and emotion: Language, culture, and body in human feeling. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. (2002) Metaphor: A practical introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. (2005) Metaphor in culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511614408
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614408 [Google Scholar]
  42. Lakoff, G.
    (1987) Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  43. Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M.
    (1980) Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Lakoff, G., & Turner, M.
    (1989) More than cool reason: A field guide to poetic metaphor. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226470986.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226470986.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  45. Maalej, Z.
    (2004) Figurative language in anger expressions in Tunisian Arabic: An extended view of embodiment, Metaphor and Symbol, 19(1), 51–75. 10.1207/S15327868MS1901_3
    https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327868MS1901_3 [Google Scholar]
  46. Mandelbaum, M.
    (1965) The history of ideas, intellectual history, and the history of philosophy. History and Theory, 5, 33–6610.2307/2504118
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2504118 [Google Scholar]
  47. Merakchi, K., & Rogers, M.
    (2013) The translation of culturally bound metaphors in the genre of popular science articles: A corpus-based case study from Scientific American translated into Arabic, Intercultural Pragmatics, 10(2), 341–372. 10.1515/ip‑2013‑0015
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2013-0015 [Google Scholar]
  48. McCloskey, D. N.
    (1985) The rhetoric of economics. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. (1994) How to do a rhetorical analysis, and why. InR. E. Backhouse (Ed.), New directions in economic methodology (pp.318–342). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203204085.pt4
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203204085.pt4 [Google Scholar]
  50. Mellor, N.
    (2005) The making of Arab news. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Mouton, N. T. O.
    (2012) Metaphor and economic thought: A historical perspective. InH. Herrera-Soler & M. White (Eds.), Metaphor and mills: Figurative language in business and economics (pp.49–76). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110274585.49
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110274585.49 [Google Scholar]
  52. Musolff, A.
    (2004) Metaphor and political discourse: Analogical reasoning in debates about Europe. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230504516
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230504516 [Google Scholar]
  53. Nader, M.
    (2013) Translation of war metaphors in economic texts from English into Arabic. Sayyab Translation Journal (STJ), 5, 1–22.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Neuman, Y., Assaf, D., Cohen, Y., Last, M., Argamon, S., Howard, N., & Frieder, O.
    (2013) Metaphor identification in large texts corpora. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e62343. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0062343
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062343 [Google Scholar]
  55. Pragglejaz Group
    Pragglejaz Group (2007) MIP: A method for identifying metaphorically used words in discourse. Metaphor and Symbol, 22(1), 1–39. 10.1080/10926480709336752
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926480709336752 [Google Scholar]
  56. Rogers, M.
    (2000) Genre and terminology. InA. Trosborg (Ed.), Analysing professional genres (pp.3–21). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.74.03rog
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.74.03rog [Google Scholar]
  57. Ryding, K. C.
    (2005) A reference grammar of modern standard Arabic. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511486975
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486975 [Google Scholar]
  58. Semino, E.
    (2008) Metaphor in discourse. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Skorczynska, H., & Deignan, A.
    (2006) Readership and purpose in the choice of economics metaphors. Metaphor and Symbol, 21(2), 87–104. 10.1207/s15327868ms2102_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms2102_2 [Google Scholar]
  60. Smart, J. R.
    (1993) Arabic. Kent, UK: Hodder and Stoughton.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Steen, G. J.
    (1999) From linguistic to conceptual metaphor in five steps. InR. W. Gibbs & G. J. Steen (Eds.), Metaphor in cognitive linguistics (pp.57–77). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/cilt.175.05ste
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.175.05ste [Google Scholar]
  62. Steen, G. J., Dorst, A. G., Herrmann, J. B., Kaal, A. A., Krennmayr, T., & Pasma, T.
    (2010) A method for linguistic metaphor identification: From MIP to MIPVU. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/celcr.14
    https://doi.org/10.1075/celcr.14 [Google Scholar]
  63. Stefanowitsch, A.
    (2005) The function of metaphor: Developing a corpus-based perspective. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 10(2), 161–198. 10.1075/ijcl.10.2.03ste
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.10.2.03ste [Google Scholar]
  64. (2007) Corpus-based approaches to metaphor and metonymy. InA. Stefanowitsch & S. T. Gries (Eds.), Corpus-based approaches to metaphor and metonymy (pp.1–16). The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Stefanowitsch, A., & Gries, S. T.
    (Eds.) (2007) Corpus-based approaches to metaphor and metonymy. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Taljard, E., & Bosman, N.
    (2014) The semantics of eating in Afrikaans and Northern Sotho: Cross-linguistic variation in metaphor. Metaphor and Symbol, 29(3), 224–245. 10.1080/10926488.2014.924306
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10926488.2014.924306 [Google Scholar]
  67. Wang, H., Runtsova, T., Chen, H.
    (2013) economy is an organism: A comparative study of metaphor in English and Russian economic discourse. Text & Talk, 33(2), 259–288. 10.1515/text‑2013‑0012
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2013-0012 [Google Scholar]
  68. Wehr, H.
    (1979) A dictionary of modern written Arabic. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. White, M.
    (1997) The use of metaphor in reporting financial market transactions. Cuadernos de Filologia Inglesa, 6(2), 233–245.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. (2003) Metaphor and economics: The case of growth. English for Specific Purposes, 22, 131–151. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(02)00006‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(02)00006-6 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; economic discourse; embodiment; health metaphors; influence of English
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