Realisation of text coherence in english and albanian languages through conceptual metaphors


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Realisation of text coherence in english and albanian languages through conceptual metaphors

  1. 1. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.14, 2013 Realisation of Text Coherence in English and Albanian Languages through Conceptual Metaphors Arbër Çeliku Departament of German Language and Literature, State University of Tetova, Macedonia Email: Abstract Analyzing text coherence is a very dynamic process which depends on many factors: the speaker, the interlocutor, situation and context. In certain cases the speaker will say something ironic, or say something in an indirect or diplomatic way which might be misunderstood by the interlocutor and result in an incoherent text or discourse. While analyzing text coherence many parameters are included such as: knowledge about the world, specific professional knowledge, and the context in which something is said, etc. Even metaphors, as stylistic figures which are always written figuratively, play an important role in understanding the text, thus analyzing text coherence. As we will see below languages are very different from each other in regards to the use of metaphor. Therefore, in order to be understood correctly it is always necessary to understand the implications of the foreign language. In the case of the Albanian language, although it is genetically very close to major Indo-European languages like English, German, French, etc., its use of metaphor differs from other languages specifically conceptual metaphors. In this paper we will compare the English and Albanian languages concerning certain metaphors on a cognitive level which vary considerably from one language to the other. In English the word "bitch" has a negative implication, whereas in Albanian the word can have a positive implication in order to praise a girl’s intelligence. Keywords: text coherence, metaphors, conceptual metaphors, Albanian language, English language The metaphor is a stylistic figure since Aristotle whose job it is to provide poetic language and philosophical or political speech to make a lively storyline. But with the cognitive revolution of the 1970’s, with the emergence of conceptual semantics, there was a shift in the interest of traditional treatment of metaphor for a 'modern' treatment focusing on the concept of conceptual metaphor. "The most important claim we have made so far is that metaphor is not just a matter of language, that is, of mere words." (Lakoff / Johnson 1980:06). The basic idea was first brought to light by Max Black and Armstrong Richards and later was further developed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (Metaphors at we live by, 1980). Both of these authors assume that our thoughts, our daily lives, our self-image or the world are in the form of concepts: “The concepts that govern our thoughts are not just matters of the intellect. They also govern our everyday functioning down to the most mundane details. The conceptual structure what we perceive relate to how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities.” (ibidem. p. 3). According to this view concepts are not primarily linguistic but cognitively large, and if we want to explain language we need to be clearly aware of the concepts (which are systematizing our thinking). Lakoff and Johnson illustrate this with the example of the metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR (ibid. p. 4.). That it is not a single metaphor but a conceptual metaphor is shown by the fact that it is implicit metaphors, such as exchanges and exchanges in a subject of debate, that maintain the upper hand in a debate. Only these implications allow the realization of text coherence. This constructed metaphor demonstrates this fact: A story: B and C have taken on a new book and spoken, C has already failed again. The text is only understood by readers as consistent, which imply that B and C have discussed the book and have had a dispute in which someone may be the subject. It can be seen that Lakoff and Johnson do not understand metaphor as individual elements of speech or as singular spoken sequences. However, they use thematic fields of metaphors (otherwise known as cognitive metaphors in the terminology of Lakoff and Johnson) as the elements of a language which are directing cognition. But, they don’t use themes that different languages develop different fields of metaphor. For instance the metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR may not apply in all linguistic communities. This is of particular relevance for the present work. If languages develop different cognitive metaphors then the different linguistic communities develop different cognitive structures. Below, Albanian and English will be compared relating to selected cognitive metaphors. We can find animal metaphors in both languages (Wolf, Lion, and Snakes). From them we can take implications such as: strength, courage, wisdom. For instance, the concept of "snake" has the following implications: toxic, aggressive, dangerous. There is a metaphor of the type: 'It is toxic and dangerous like a serpent". We often hear 1
  2. 2. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2222-1719 (Paper) ISSN 2222-2863 (Online) Vol.3, No.14, 2013 in everyday language the metamorphism of snakes giving the snake many characteristics throughout the world. Such linguistic instruments are used to express positive or negative characteristics and physical and moral assessments of people. These characteristics are hyper characterizing because they give an appropriate person an almost unnatural property compared with the usual semantic characteristics in their daily activities. In spoken Albanian people are categorized as animals very often: Ai është ujk Mali! (He is a wolf!) Ai është qen i punës! (He is a dog of the work!) Ai është Derr! (He is a swine). Such metamorphism in the Albanian language has a very different use than in the English language. Primarily, the positive characteristics of a person have been expressed or someone has been blessed by his skills. In these cases, the ‘dog of the work’ is a particularly efficient worker and a swine is a good guy with good manners. In this context we shall also use metamorphism of this type: Ajo është një dreq vajzë! (She is a devilish girl!) Ai është kopil! (He is an illegitimate son!) (He is a bastard!) Rrospia! (She is a Bitch!) For instance, a devilish girl, an illegitimate son, or a bitch in the Albanian language is a particularly capable person who can act very skillfully in difficult situations. Folk songs and poetry in the Albanian language are rich in such metaphor. The following sentences are examples of such metamorphism: Moj nepërka pika-pika ... (O you colorful viper!) Të dua moj qëne! (I love you my bitch!) (female dog) Të dua mor Zagar! (I love you my stud!) (male dog) This metamorphism shows how much a certain person is loved by someone else. The love for or the closeness to a particular person in the Albanian language is also expressed by the metamorphism of this type: Sa i keq që je! (How bad you are!) Sa budallaqe që je! (How stupid you are!) Sa e mirë që është shtriga! (How beautiful is the witch!) Sa i që zgjuar është dreqi! (How wise is the devil!) Therefore, on the conceptual level, the Albanian language has metaphors like: ABILITY IS A BITCH, LOVE IS A WITCH, WISDOM IS A DEVIL. Conclusion From what we saw above, conceptual metaphors play an important role in achieving text coherence; however they vary from language to language because each language has its own operation mechanism. As Humboldt explains, language is not static in nature, but dynamic. Similarly in this context it can be said that the concepts do not have a static nature, but a dynamic nature. As we noticed from the above examples, the creation of a conceptual system plays an important role in a foreign culture, and without knowing the implications of a foreign culture, it is impossible to implement text coherence. Bibliography Kovercses, Z. (2002): Metaphor A Partical Introduction. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. Lakoff G. / Johnson M. (1980): Metaphors we live by. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Lakoff, G. (1979): Metaphor and Thought-second edition. Ed. Andrew Ortony. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. Feng, A. (2003): Konzeptuelle Metaphern und Textkohärenz. Tübingen: Gunther Narr. 2
  3. 3. This academic article was published by The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE). The IISTE is a pioneer in the Open Access Publishing service based in the U.S. and Europe. The aim of the institute is Accelerating Global Knowledge Sharing. More information about the publisher can be found in the IISTE’s homepage: CALL FOR JOURNAL PAPERS The IISTE is currently hosting more than 30 peer-reviewed academic journals and collaborating with academic institutions around the world. There’s no deadline for submission. Prospective authors of IISTE journals can find the submission instruction on the following page: The IISTE editorial team promises to the review and publish all the qualified submissions in a fast manner. All the journals articles are available online to the readers all over the world without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. Printed version of the journals is also available upon request of readers and authors. MORE RESOURCES Book publication information: Recent conferences: IISTE Knowledge Sharing Partners EBSCO, Index Copernicus, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, JournalTOCS, PKP Open Archives Harvester, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek EZB, Open J-Gate, OCLC WorldCat, Universe Digtial Library , NewJour, Google Scholar