Volume 23, Issue 3 (Autumn 2021)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2021, 23(3): 149-161 | Back to browse issues page

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Aghabozorgian Masoumkhani A, Iraji M, Ameri H. Metaphorical elaborating and network models in a collection of contemporary Persian poetry. Advances in Cognitive Sciences. 2021; 23 (3) :149-161
URL: http://icssjournal.ir/article-1-1273-en.html
1- Department of Linguistics, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
2- Department of Linguistics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (891 Views)
Cognitive semantics is not a single unified framework. Typically, those researchers who identify themselves as cognitive semanticists have a diverse set of foci and interests. However, there are a number of principles that collectively characterize a cognitive semantics approach. Studying metaphor is one of the essential parts of cognitive semantics. According to conceptual metaphor theory, metaphor is not simply a matter of language but reflects deep correspondences in how our conceptual system is organized (1, 13). Conceptual metaphor theory believes that metaphorical creativity in poetry is based on common thought and language (3, 5). In this framework, George Lakoff and Mark Turner (1989) have pointed out that poets regularly employ several devices to create novel unconventional language and “images” from the conventional materials of everyday language and thought. These devices include extending, elaborating, questioning, and composing. In extending, a conventional conceptual metaphor associated with certain conventionalized linguistic expressions is expressed by new linguistic means based on introducing a new conceptual element in the source domain. Elaborating is different from extending; it elaborates on an existing element of the source unusually. Instead of adding a new element to the source domain, it captures an already existing one in a new, unconventional way.  In the poetic device of questioning, poets can call into question the very appropriateness of our common everyday metaphors. In Composing, there may be more than one conventional metaphor for a target domain, and the poet will use two or many metaphors in the same passage or even in the same sentence (5, 6). Even though this framework can be helpful, we think there is an unclear analysis to demonstrate all aspects of the mental process in the poet’s mind.
On the other hand, conceptual blending theory, which drives from conceptual metaphor theory and mental spaces theory, has been developed to account for phenomena that other frameworks cannot adequately account for. Blending is distinguished by an architecture that includes a generic space, two or more input spaces, and blended space, and it differs from the other theories in explicitly accounts for emergent structure (13). The present study have used conceptual blending theory to analyze possible network models in a collection of contemporary Persian poetry that would help us illustrate hidden aspects of elaborating devices, which is used to interpret metaphorical creativity.
The present study used the descriptive-analytic method to investigate contemporary Persian poetry. The research community contained six poetic notebooks of Simin Behbahani, Fereydon Moshiri, and Forough Farokhzad’s poems (2 poetic notebooks from each poet). These notebooks were »Talking about myself« and »Being with myself« of Simin Behbahani’s literary works, »Sin of Sea« and »Cloud and Alley« of Fereydon Moshiri’s literary works, and also »Captive« and »Rebirth« of Forough Farokhzad’s literary works. We divided each poetic notebook into the initial, middle, and final sections and selected three poems from each part according to a simple random sampling method. Altogether 54 poems (18 poems from each poet) were collected as the research community. This study investigated these samples to extract and describe poetic expressions formed on the basis of metaphorical elaborating devices. To distinguish novel expressions from conventional ones, we compared under investigation expressions with some conceptual metaphors and their related expressions in everyday Persian language. At the same time, conceptual metaphor theorists have sought generalization across abroad range of metaphorical expressions, conceptual blending theorists developing general principles based on specific examples. This is because blending theory places emphasis upon a process of meaning construction rather than a system of knowledge. Because of this methodological reason, we randomly selected a limited number of samples to reanalyze and estimate properties of conceptual blending analysis and extract network models to discuss the metaphorical elaborating and its hidden features that conceptual metaphor theory cannot adequately explain about them. After these steps, we have generalized the applicability of extracted network models to analyze the other data.
Two micro-models are extracted according to conceptual blending theory to represent apparent aspects of metaphorical elaborating, which is used in the collection of contemporary Persian poetry. In the first micro-model, mental space or a blended space resulting from a network in a background reflects some concepts into both input spaces of the other network in the foreground simultaneously, based on stimulation of similar aspects. This micro-model is based on a condition that we call superposition of mental spaces and blending networks as a kind of grounding. In the second micro-model, there are two networks, and some aspects of the first input of the second network have been conceptualized in the first network previously, and the access principle provides a connection between them. By mapping and integrating second network inputs, these aspects connect to more extra information. For both models, we will have a blended space with an emergent structure. Also, we find some data which are formed on the basis of the integration of these micro-models and create a macro-model. In this enormous model, there is a simple or blended space in the background that incorporates some homogenous information to both inputs of a network in foreground. On the other hand, the first input of foregrounded network is connected to the other network because some aspects of this input have been conceptualized in the process of blending in the other network, which has grown next to it.
Conceptual blending theory is based on the description of mental spaces integration and process of reflection or connection between networks in which the fundamental structure of generic space is often organized according to a conventional conceptual metaphor. However, they can represent some dynamic features on the basis of poets’ personal experiences and points of view, coherence of concepts in their mind and immediate linguistic context provides sharp illustration about the motivation and manner of metaphorical elaborating and its complexity in the samples of contemporary Persian poetry. The present research extract two micro-models and a macro-model that help us illustrate metaphorical conceptualization in poetry, and they would assume as a part of more extraordinary network models that lead to the emergence of creativity. These models can also compensate for some weaknesses of conceptual metaphor theory, such as unidirectionality, lack or minimum contextual efficiency, and implied meaning.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
All ethical principles have been observed. To do this research, we did not use any clinical examination on humans and animals.
Authors’ contributions
The first author wrote the draft paper. The other authors have revised it. According to the authors’ agreement, the current paper has been compiled under the responsibility of the second author.
This research has been done at the authors’ personal expense.
This paper has been extracted from PhD thesis, which is documented in Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch. We appreciate all colleagues and professors for their advice.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
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Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2021/04/8 | Accepted: 2021/06/29 | Published: 2021/11/16

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