The Mortality of Metaphors: A Semantic-pragmatic Study of the Conventionalization of Jordanian Arabic

Ahmad Mahmoud Saidat, Reem Ahmad Rabea


The present paper investigates the mortality of metaphorical expressions used in Jordan. These metaphors are classified into animal, color, plant and inanimate object metaphors. The study focuses on the semantic-pragmatic aspects of these metaphorical expressions such as conventionalization, opaqueness, and their pragmatic significance and whether their implications change depending on the pragmatic settings or over time. It also aims at finding out whether the age of the speaker plays a role in the understanding of the conveyed meaning both as encoders and decoders. The study also seeks to find out whether the frequency of using these metaphors is affected by the age of the speaker and whether these metaphors are new or old to the community. The sample of study was 500 participants of three different age groups. Those were interviewed and then orally tested. The results showed that metaphors in Jordan could be classified into active, vanished and dead metaphors. Vanished metaphors were very small in number. It was also concluded that age was not a key factor in the pragmatic processing of the metaphors, and it was not a statistically significant factor in recognizing and interpreting metaphorical expressions. People understand metaphors differently and look at them from different angles depending on the pragmatic situation and on the interlocutors themselves. The data analysis revealed that Jordanian Arabic had a large number of dead metaphors.


Metaphor, Analogy, Dead Metaphor, Active Metaphor, Metaphor Conventionalization

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