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Journal Articles Language in Africa Year : 2022

Heart metaphors in Beja


Cross-linguistically, body parts have been claimed to be universally recruited as a source domain for conceptual metaphors. This article presents a preliminary corpus-based study of the metaphorical constructions in which the noun ginʔa ‘heart’ is used in Beja, the sole language of the North-Cushitic branch (Afroasiatic). The semantic and syntactic particularities of the Beja metaphors are discussed within the background of the cognitive theory of embodiment and in comparison with other languages. It is shown that Beja makes use of the widespread metonymy heart for person, and several well-known metaphors, but displays a number of peculiarities in the choice of the collocations with ‘heart’, including in relation with the target semantic domains of the metaphors. Beja heart-based metaphors illustrate one more case of a language where this organ is conceived as the locus for both COGNITION and EMOTION, a double conception which seems to be rare among the languages of Africa.
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halshs-03764671 , version 1 (07-09-2022)



Martine Vanhove, Mohamed-Tahir Hamid Ahmed. Heart metaphors in Beja. Language in Africa, 2022, 3 (2), pp.368-388. ⟨10.37892/2686-8946-2022-3-2-368-388⟩. ⟨halshs-03764671⟩
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