Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 6 June 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Social Functions of Metaphor -
A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples

A. Parimala Gantham, Ph.D.


We may use an ordinary language to convey our ideas, thoughts, and feelings to our fellow beings. We may also use metaphors, idioms, riddles, puzzles, proverbs, etc. embedded in the ordinary language. These additions to the bare ordinary language are termed by the scholars as 'figurative speech' in literature.

Previously, traditional scholars like Plato thought that, to use the figurative language, a person needs different cognitive ability. Such use is distinct from true knowledge. These are only ornamental devices and not necessary for effective communication.

But recent researches showed that human cognition is filled with various kinds of figurative speeches. Certainly poet's language is more attractive and creative than ordinary people's language. But much of our everyday speech reflects people's ability to use figurative language in their speech.

Aim of This Paper

The main aim of this paper is to describe metaphor, one of the figurative speeches commonly used in any society. Metaphor is used in various fields like art, science, myth, culture, politics, and speech acts, etc. In this paper, the author tries to point out the metaphors which are used in the fields of Arts (especially Cinema), Politics and Communication among the students.

There are specific reasons to select these areas. These three areas are more powerful in their own way. Cinema is the most attractive field all over India. Age is not a crucial factor when it comes to cinema. Cinema attracts persons of all ages, from small kids to very old people. Cinema and theater are used as channels for social change and political power. Cinema is also considered the best vehicle for conveying message to the society. Politics is a major field which attracts people with power and money. Students are free birds who can express their ideas freely and they are 'the citizens' of the future society.


Aristotle defined metaphor: "It consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else, the transference being either genus to species or from species to genus or species to species or on the ground of analogy" (Poetics 1457b). Oxford Concise Dictionary defines metaphor as 'the use of a word or phrase to indicate something different from (though related in some way) the literal meaning'.

Functions of Metaphor

  1. Metaphor is used mainly for communicating ideas or information.
  2. It also has some special functions such as intimacy between the speaker and the listener.
  3. It informs the attitude and belief in indirect ways.
  4. iv) It also signals formality or hostility.
  5. It also helps to indicate membership in a particular subgroup and to maintain social status (Gibbs 1994).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Patterns of Indian Multilingualism | The Use of Catchy Words: A Case Study from Pakistan | Conquering Psychological Alienation - How Amy Tan Looks at It | I`gbo` Verbs of Communication | Honorifics and Speech Levels in Meiteiron | Social Functions of Metaphor - A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples | Pragmatic Approaches and Models of Linguistic Politeness | Emerging Paradigms in Language Communication in India and Their Impact on the Corporate Competencies | Role of Encoding Temporal Fine Structure Cues in Time Compressed Word Recognition | Negotiating Boundaries: Arab-American Poetry and the Dilemmas of Dual Identity | The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education | Attitudes toward Women Expressed in the Speech of Male College Students | Teachers' Professional Development in ELT at Tertiary Level: ELTR Project of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan - A Case Study | The Changing Image of Women in Indian Writing in English - A Study of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things | The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress: Native Education | Teaching English Language and Literature in Non-Native Context | Improving Chemmozhi Learning and Teaching - Descriptive Studies in Classical-Modern Tamil Grammar | Global Perspective of Teaching English Literature in Higher Education in Pakistan | Two Trends That Would Deface Classical-Modern Tamil - How to Reverse These Trends? | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JUNE 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of June 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

A. Parimala Gantham, Ph.D.
Department of Lexicography
P. S. Telugu University
Hyderabad 500 004
Andhra Pradesh, India

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