Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 131

The functions of conceptual mappings in the interpretation of Omar Khayyam's poetry

Leila Sadeghi Esfehani
Department of Linguistics, University of Tehran, Iran
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 December 2011
  •  Published: 31 December 2011


Cognitive poetics is a new way of thinking about literature that applies principles of cognitive linguistics and psychology to the interpretation of literary texts. Since literary criticism lacks an adequate theory of literature; cognitive linguistics is a promising tool in the search for an adequate theory of language and literature. According to Freeman (1998), conceptual mapping in literary texts can operate at three different levels including “attribute mapping,” “relational mapping,” and “system mapping”. In this paper, Khayyam's poetry is analyzed using this approach and how system mapping of his world text demonstrates the unique aspects of his thought as well as showing the reason for his preferred pattern in order to draw his world through poetry. In addition, there are several controversies over the originality of some poems attributed to him. To this end, by applying three kinds of mappings, a reliable and scientific method is provided which can be a step forward in the area of literary critic of Khayyam's poems. In conclusion, the function of different system mappings in Khayyam's poetry could differentiate the quatrains belong to different authors as well as offering a close systematic reading.


Key words: Text world, poetry, cognitive, mapping, linguistics.