Working Paper

CREID Working Paper 13

A Study of Food and Drink Metaphors in Iraqi Syriac

Published on 23 August 2022

This study investigates the ways in which Syriac native speakers from Iraq conceptualise their understandings of various abstract domains, feelings, emotions, actions, customs, traditions and practices through their experiences of the concrete fields of food and drink metaphors.

The conceptual metaphor theory (1980) by Lackoff and Johnson has been adopted for the data analysis. A focus group discussion (FGD) was employed as a tool for data collection and 43 idiomatic food and drink expressions were collected from this. Five native Syriac speakers from various regions and of different genders, ages, tribes and nationalities participated in the discussion.

The study shows that Syriac speakers use many food and drink metaphors in their everyday language. The study concludes that food and drink metaphors are used by Syriac speakers mostly to conceive abstract concepts related to feelings, attitudes and emotions. The study shows that foods and drinks are strongly rooted in the Assyrian and Chaldean culture and many traditional dishes are used in its vernacular language as metaphors.

Cite this publication

Toma, S.S. (2022) A Study of Food and Drink Metaphors in Iraqi Syriac, CREID Working Paper 13, Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/CREID.2022.002

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