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Metaphors In Domestic Birds

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Another animal commonly kept as a pet is the bird. Common species of domestic birds include the muniya canary and the parakeet. Like the previous pet names analyzed, these bird metaphors also concentrate the senses of small size, youth, domesticity and entertainment. In Hindi Urdu, the very word bird is defined as a girl or a young woman (Webster). The metaphor is usually charged with affective connotations, being commonly used as a term of endearment. This positive evaluation appears to have its roots in the amorous disposition of the animal as well as in the folk tradition that associates birds with symbols of love (cf Talebinejad & Dastejerdi, 2005). In fact, the state of being in love of a couple is metaphorically instantiated by…show more content…
The repertoire of metaphors designating women as pets reveals a clear imbalance in favor of terms of abuse. Indeed, with the exception of pet, bird and in certain contexts billi (kitten), all the aforementioned metaphors analyzed convey negative evaluations. Moreover, interestingly, even within the favorable animal terms, only kitten/gatita is restricted to females, since bird and pet are ambisexual in nature.
In the conceptualization of women as pets, youth and small size appear to play a determinant role in the encoding of the metaphor, implying immaturity (the lack of age involves inexperience) and helplessness (unlike other animals, pets need to be looked after by people). Furthermore, the physical surroundings of pets, whose whole life spins around the house, might imply the idea of domesticity. This confinement to the domestic arena is particularly remarkable in the case of bird names, since birds are kept in
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