The Metaphoric Concept of XORDAN ‘To Eat’ in Persian

Zahra Khajeh, Imran Ho-Abdullah, Tan Kim Hua


The main purpose of this study is to investigate the cognitive-semantic content of xordan in Persian, and whether it demarcates similar conceptual domain as the English verb ‘to eat’. The verbs related to the bodily experience of eating or consuming food is the source of metaphorical conceptualizations and mappings in various semantic domains rooted in universal experiential realities. Cross linguistic, cross cultural studies have reported both commonalities and variations in the conceptualization of the act of eating. Adopting the basic tenets of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory, proposed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 1999), this study is an attempt to delve into the conceptual system of Persian in order to explore its specific cultural embodiment, and socio-cultural influences in the use of metaphorical concepts of xordan. With a focus on the basic syntax and semantic properties of xordan, this study employs a lexical structure, i.e. the radial category in a chaining model to illustrate the complexities of metaphorical extensions of eating in Persian. Our observations reveal that the metaphorical expressions of the verb of xordan ‘to eat’ occur extensively in Persian, manifesting the Persians’ unique way of thinking and mind. These particular em-minded cultural models have widely left their traces in the Persians’ belief systems, the effects therefore, have been extended into Persian metaphoric language and cognitive conceptualizations.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)    Email: 

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