A Comparative and Contrastive Study of Sadness Conceptualization in Persian and English

Mohammad Reza Moradi, Shahrzad Pirzad Mashak


Metaphors are both of mind and language as was proposed by contemporary metaphor scholar (Lakoff, 1993). Sadness as a basic metaphor was investigated in the present study to mainly uncover the similarities and differences in sadness conceptualization and the governing pattern in both Persian and English.

For the purpose of the study, total 115 expressions were collected from different sources in the two languages. English data was extracted from the work of Kovecses (1990, 2005), British National Corpus, and NTC dictionary of idioms. Persian expressions, in turn, were extracted from Amsal & Hekam Dehkhoda (1960), and Estelahat-e-Amiyane Anvary (2004 ).

Lakoff & Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory was adopted as a main instrument to uncover the conceptual system of both languages under study. In addition, to identify the governing pattern in Persian and English Kovecses’s linguistic expressions of metaphor model (2003) was adopted to identify the dominant pattern in this study.

The results revealed that, although some salient differences were observed  in the case of sadness conceptualization at the general level,  the principal pattern in this study was partially the same (PS=47%), that is, those with the identical conceptual metaphor but different literal meaning. It was concluded that although both languages share most sadness conceptual metaphors, some differences were observed at generic-level relating to the existence/nonexistence of metaphors in Persian and English.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v2n1p107


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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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