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Title: The Body and the Landscape. Metaphorical Strategies in the Lexicon of the Iranian Languages
Authors: Filippone, Ela
Keywords: Lingua Iraniana, lessico;Iranian Language, lexicon;Etnolinguistica, area iraniana;Ethnolinguistics, Iranian area;Persiano, lessico;Persian Language, lexicon
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Mimesis
Source: Filippone, Ela: “The Body and the Landscape. Metaphorical Strategies in the Lexicon of the Iranian Languages”, in A. Panaino, R. Zipoli (eds.), Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the Societas Iranologica Europæa held in Ravenna, 6-11 October 2003, Vol. II: Classical and Contemporary Iranian Studies, Mimesis, Milano 2006, pp. 351-375
Even if at a small extent, the speakers of a language concur to change their lexicon, which they have inherited as a whole. They are driven to do that by the necessity of naming something new or optimizing the onomasiological salience of already existing words, with a continuous changing in the way they express concepts. Needless to say, in order to avoid an overloading of the memory system, they are encouraged to recycle what is already existent. Through a small set of associative strategies, people relate a concept which has already been verbalized, with another one which has to be verbalized, producing lexical changes. Over time, however, the conceptual motivation which originated a particular designation becomes obscure to speakers. Large scale lexical surveys aid us in discovering recurrent (both universal and culturally bounded) schemas of designating a concept and recovering the relevant motivation for each designation, the ‘iconym’, as we might say, according to Mario Alinei’s terminology.
In the general framework of cognitive onomasiology, I have outlined a project aimed at singling out the different ‘pathways’ through which natural physical concepts have been designated in the Ir. languages in order to get insight into the way Iranian speaking people have perceived and conceptualized the physical environment where they had to get their bearings and which they concurred to change with their constant activities. To accomplish this work, I have started a few years ago gathering the relevant lexicon in the Ir. languages, using as sources mostly dictionaries and glossaries and also, for a few languages (mainly Persian and Baloči), information provided by native speakers. The corpus produced so far contains several thousands of words which appear to be of a remarkable interest.
ISBN: 88-8483-464-5
Rights: If not otherwise stated, this document is distributed by the Tuscia University Open Archive under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution - Noncommercial - Noderivs License (
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