Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Arabic in the FrayLanguage Ideology and Cultural Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Yasir Suleiman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637409

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637409.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Through the Looking Glass: Arabic, Thought and Reality

Through the Looking Glass: Arabic, Thought and Reality

(p.220) Chapter 5 Through the Looking Glass: Arabic, Thought and Reality
Arabic in the Fray

Yasir Suleiman

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter continues the exploration of the symbolic function of language by considering an important text that marks the transition from the pre-modern to the modern period. It then moves to explore the cognitive role that Arabic plays in connecting thought with reality. This chapter examines two modes of performing this task: the behaviour-centred and the structure-centred approaches, with emphasis on the former, owing to its dominance in attempts to study Arabic from a cognitive perspective. The data for this analysis are a set of texts in Arabic and English, which, in spite of their differences, exhibit similarities in terms of method, as reflected in the use of cross-cultural comparisons and literal translation. The loose nature of the behaviour-centred approach brings many of the findings based on it close to ideological advocacy. This proximity invites language symbolism into the cognitive domain through the back door, in a way that blurs the difference between them. As a result, the overall effect is not one of looking at Arabic through a cognitive prism, but through an ideological gaze that uses the power of language as a proxy to construct a largely negative view of Arab culture. Both Arab and non-Arab authors participate in this mode of doing politics through language as a cultural product.

Keywords:   Instrumentality, symbolism, cognitivism, behaviour–centred, structure-centred, repetition, literal translation, exaggeration, over-assertion, ideological advocacy

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.