Article published in:The Conceptualization of ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Ugly’ across Languages and Cultures
Edited by Anna Gladkova and Jesús Romero-Trillo
[International Journal of Language and Culture 8:1] 2021
► pp. 128–146
Conceptualizations of ugly and beautiful
An analysis of im/politeness metapragmatic markers in Persian
The aim of this paper is to study conceptualizations of two Persian evaluative terms, namely zesht (ugly) and zibâ (beautiful), by focusing on their uses at the metapragmatic level in evaluations of im/polite act. To achieve this aim, by drawing on natural and authentic examples from Persian, the relationship between the use of the metapragmatic markers zesht and zibâ and the im/polite (non)linguistic act is addressed and the types of im/polite behaviours that licence the use of these metapragmatic markers are further explored. It will also be argued that conceptualizations of im/politeness seem to be expressed predominantly in terms of aesthetic terms which are situationally constructed and are morally informed. The examples reveal that the use of the aesthetic markers as metapragmatic markers originates from a set of cultural conceptualizations, which are part of the moral order, and in fact, shape and are, over time, shaped by the norms of im/politeness that exist at multiple levels of society. These socially and culturally shared conceptualizations greatly influence the practices by which judgments and evaluations of im/politeness arises in different types of interaction.
Keywords: aesthetics, im/politeness, metapragmatic, culture, Persian
Published online: 07 June 2021
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