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ERIC Number: ED558675
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-6219-7
Dancing on the Heads of Snakes: An Intertextual Analysis of Political Metaphor in Yemen
Al-Zuraiki, Mokhtar
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
This dissertation examines the use and linguistic behavior of the "al-raqs ala ru'oos al-tha'abeen" "dancing on the heads of snakes" metaphor and metaphors about unity in pro-government and anti-government discourse in Yemen. It adopts an intertextual, discourse-based approach that, following Oakley and Coulson (2008), integrates linguistic, cultural, and situational knowledge, along with the concept of "mental spaces," in the analysis of the metaphors. "Al-raqs ala ru'oos al-thabeen" metaphor has witnessed remarkable linguistic extensions in pro-government and anti-government discourse. These include the shifts from "raqs" "dancing" to "wuqoof" "standing," "sayr" "walking" and "kitabah" writing, and the recruitment of lexical items from the domain of dancing, such as "lahn" "melody," "tubool" "drums," masrah "stage," raqis, "dancer," etc. Extensions of the term "snakes" include "tanfuthu sumumaha" "blow their poison," "khanazeer" "pigs," fairoosat " viruses," "tha'abeen hurrah" "free snakes," etc. Metaphors about unity come from the domains of building/house, person and religion. Linguistic, situational, and cultural knowledge, as well as "mental spaces", have been found essential for explicating the linguistic extensions of these metaphors and their political functions. The intertextual approach adopted in this dissertation has proved to be effective not only in examining the form and meaning of metaphor in discourse, but also shifts in people's attitudes to it and the factors that constrain its productivity. We have found that people's attitude to the "snakes" metaphor shifted from negative to positive as the pragmatic referents of "snakes" shifted over time. We have also found that the highly frequent metaphors describing unity as a building and as a religion have witnessed significantly limited linguistic extensions. While the limited linguistic extensions of building metaphors can be attributed to the level of entrenchment these metaphors have achieved in discourse, the limited linguistic extensions of the metaphors depicting unity as a religion, i.e., Islam, can be attributed to the restrictions religion as a source domain imposes on the way people think of and express concepts in terms of religion and God in this particular cultural context. These findings suggest that an intertextual approach is important for a more comprehensive analysis of metaphor in discourse. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Yemen