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Figurative uses of the head-denoting words baş and kafa in Turkish idioms

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Abstract

This study analyzes the metaphoric and metonymic nature of baş/kafa ‘head’ in Turkish idiomatic expressions from a cognitive linguistic perspective. The database for the study is composed of idioms containing the two head-denoting words baş and kafa. Idioms and their definitions are analyzed in terms of their figurative uses of abstract concepts, and the conceptual metaphors and metonymies are identified. Findings are examined under five categories: head as the representative of the person, the seat of mental faculties, the locus of emotions, the sign of superiority/power, and the sign of value. The study proposes a cultural model in which the image schemas whole-part, containment and verticality play a key role, and reveals cross-cultural similarities and differences in the conceptualization of head. The study also provides further support for the embodiment thesis, and underscores the impact of cultural processes in shaping the way the body is conceptualized.
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Keywords: cultural models; figurative language; head; metaphor; metonymy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 19 October 2018

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