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A cognitive semantic analysis of cancer metaphor in Malay and English women’s narratives


Mohd Jamil, Nur Sabrina Zafiran (2019) A cognitive semantic analysis of cancer metaphor in Malay and English women’s narratives. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Metaphor on cancer has been frequently addressed in research due to its powerful use in both spoken and written discourse. The analysis of cancer related metaphor in language would provide insights into how cancer patients conceive the cancer disease and their experiences with the disease. However, studies conducted cross- linguistically on cancer metaphors are scarce as most previous studies on cancer have mainly focused on European languages. This study sought to examine the use of cancer related metaphors in women’s narratives in Malay and English language. The specific objectives of this study are to unravel the conceptual metaphor that underlie the metaphorical expressions in Malay women’s narratives on cancer experience and to compare the unravelled Malay conceptual metaphor with those of English. In this study, the cancer data in Malay were extracted from Malay women’s narratives on cancer experience and were identified and selected based on the Pragglejaz Group’s Metaphor Identification Procedure (MIP) (2007). In contrast, the English data, a secondary data, was extracted from Gibbs and Franks. Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) was employed for data analysis. The findings of the study revealed 14 conceptual metaphors of cancer in the Malay data which structure the women’s experience with cancer. The comparison between Malay and English conceptual metaphors on cancer revealed differences and similarities in the conceptualisation of cancer in both languages. Accordingly, the findings of the study showed that Malay and English share some conceptual metaphors and also differences. Whilst the former provides evidence for the theory of metaphor universality, the identified variation shows that cancer metaphor is also culture- specific to Malay. The findings of the study provide insights into how women across different languages and cultures conceive the cancer disease and their experience with the disease, which would be valuable to health professionals and caretakers to find more effective ways of communicating and thinking about cancer, and providing emotional support to women cancer patients.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subject: Cancer in literature
Subject: Literary Essays
Call Number: FBMK 2019 38
Chairman Supervisor: Associate Professor Sabariah Md Rashid, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Modern Language and Communication
Depositing User: Ms. Nur Faseha Mohd Kadim
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 02:03
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2021 03:39
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/84676
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