Cultural Conceptualizations of SHAME & DISHONOR in Early Poetic Arabic (EPA)

Bartosz Pietrzak


Persisting in a binary relationship with honor, shame was an important element of the pre-Islamic Arabic social evaluation system. In my study, I analyzed the two most important EPA concepts parallel to English shame – ˁayb and ˁār – applying the Cultural Linguistic approach. Based on the analyses on corpus of Early Arabic poetry and Classical Arabic dictionaries, I represented cultural schemata encoding the knowledge shared by pre-Islamic Arabs about those phenomena. The paper presents also metaphoric, metonymic, and image-schematic models, which account for the specifics of associated linguistic frames. Moreover, I posit a hypothesis on the existence of a schema subsuming the honor- and shame-dishonor-related schemata in form of social evaluation of usefulness, which seems to correspond to the historical and linguistic data.

Słowa kluczowe: Cultural linguistics, shame, dishonor, Early Poetic Arabic, pre-Islamic Arabic Culture

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