Figurative dimensions of 3ayn ‘eye’ in Tunisian Arabic
In Tunisian Arabic (TA), ‘heart’ is the most productive body part term in the conceptualization of emotions, cultural values, character traits, and mental faculties (Maalej 2004, 2008). Next in productivity is the outer body part 3ayn ‘eye’. The eye offers the following imaginative configurations: (i) image schema-based metaphors, (ii) metonymy-motivated metaphors, (iii) metaphors, and (iv) metonymies. The goal of the chapter is to show how TA embodies the mind via a cultural ‘eye’ model in the conceptualization of various mental faculties (knowing, understanding, thinking, speaking), physical states (sleep, death, passage of time), emotions (love, desire, anger, guilt, envy), character traits (ambition, greed, naiveté, insolence), and cultural values (respect and hospitality). The findings point to the dominance of metaphors and image schemas in the conceptualization of experience embodied through 3ayn ‘eye’ in TA, and the prevalence of culture-specific embodiment, i.e. embodiment that is not universally attested.