A modern bestiary: a contrastive study of the figurative meanings of animal terms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This paper discusses the figurative meanings to the names of different animals in different cultures, and highlights some of the problems language learners and translators face when dealing with single-word conventional metaphor. Informants from thirty–eight geographical regions responded to a questionaire inviting them to comment on the figurative use made of animal names in their cultures. Many common terms such as ‘cat’, ‘cow’ and ‘mouse’ were found to have a wide range of figurative meanings, and discussions with informants revealed that even advanced learners tend to think in terms of the connotations of thier first culture when they encounter or use these words in a figurative sense in English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-278
JournalEnglish Language Teaching Journal
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Fingerprint

Names
animal
Metaphor
Cats
Language
translator
metaphor
language
Contrastive Study
Figurative
Bestiary
Animals
Informants
Translator
Figurative Sense
Mouse
Animal Names
Conventional Metaphor

Bibliographical note

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the English Language Teaching Journal following peer review. The version of record: Nesi, H. (1995) A modern bestiary: a contrastive study of the figurative meanings of animal terms. English Language Teaching Journal, volume 49 (3): 272-278 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/49.3.272.

Keywords

  • single-word conventional metaphors
  • figurative meanings
  • English as a second language

Cite this

A modern bestiary: a contrastive study of the figurative meanings of animal terms. / Nesi, Hilary.

In: English Language Teaching Journal, Vol. 49, No. 3, 1995, p. 272-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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