Metaphor in (Arabic-into-English) translation with specific reference to metaphorical concepts and expressions in political discourse

  • A.N.K. Al-Harrasi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Cognitive linguistics scholars argue that metaphor is fundamentally a conceptual process of mapping one domain of experience onto another domain. The study of metaphor in the context of Translation Studies has not, unfortunately, kept pace with the discoveries about the nature and role of metaphor in the cognitive sciences. This study aims primarily to fill part of this gap of knowledge. Specifically, the thesis is an attempt to explore some implications of the conceptual theory of metaphor for translation. Because the study of metaphor in translation is also based on views about the nature of translation, the thesis first presents a general overview of the discipline of Translation Studies, describing the major models of translation. The study (in Chapter Two) then discusses the major traditional theories of metaphor (comparison, substitution and interaction theories) and shows how the ideas of those theories were adopted in specific translation studies of metaphor. After that, the study presents a detailed account of the conceptual theory of metaphor and some hypothetical implications for the study of metaphor in translation from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. The data and methodology are presented in Chapter Four. A novel classification of conceptual metaphor is presented which distinguishes between different source domains of conceptual metaphors: physical, human-life and intertextual. It is suggested that each source domain places different demands on translators. The major sources of the data for this study are (1) the translations done by the Foreign Broadcasting Information Service (FBIS), which is a translation service of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United Sates of America, of a number of speeches by the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during the Gulf Crisis (1990-1991) and (2) official (governmental) Omani translations of National Day speeches of Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman.
Date of Award2001
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChristina G Schaeffner (Supervisor)


  • metaphor in translation
  • expressions
  • political discourse
  • metaphorical concepts
  • English
  • Arabic
  • Arabic-into-English

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