Metaphorical Conceptualization in the Last Eleven Parts of the Holy Qur’an: A Cognitive and Cultural Explanation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD in Linguistics, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, Shahid Beheshti University


The present semantic research has been performed in order to provide a cognitive and cultural explanation of conceptual metaphors in parts 20 to 30 of the Holy Qur’an. Extraction of ‘types of conceptual metaphors,’ determination of ‘high frequency metaphors,’ ‘source domains’ and ‘target domains’ is the process of conducting research using the conceptual metaphor theory. The variety of concepts of ‘target’ and the functional frequency of ‘source’ concepts indicate what concepts are intended in the holy Qur’an through metaphorical conceptualization. This study provides a basis for further understanding of the worldview presented in the Holy Qur’an and the possibility of determining the behavioral patterns of religion by identifying metaphors. The results of the present study represent a septenary classification of metaphors in the ‘empirical source domain,’ containing: ‘social life,’ ‘needs of the body and its activity,’ ‘image schemas (schema-based),’ ‘elements of nature,’ ‘person,’ ‘body parts,’ and ‘similarity-based metaphors (simile)’; Among which, the highest percentage of metaphorical conceptualization in the source domain is in ‘social life’ and the lowest one is in the domain of ‘person.’ Considering the fact that most of the human knowledge is about the elements and subdomains of ‘social life,’ Qur’anic sources in this domain have played the major role in abstracting the cultural and doctrinal concepts of religion and organizing Islamic religious experiences using the sources of this field and have been used as customary (conventional) and practical models. Accordingly, Qur’anic metaphors lead to the formation of cultural and cognitive patterns, and the ‘monotheistic belief system’ (Qur’anic) directs human bodily experiences in metaphorical conceptualization, and this ‘Qur’anic worldview’ can be seen as an Islamic cultural and cognitive model in the Qur’anic metaphorical schema. 


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