A Corpus-based Grammatical Investigation towards a Computational Identification of Metaphor

Amal Abdelsattar Metwally, Dalal Mahmoud Elgemei


The present study is a corpus-based grammatical investigation for the computational identification of metaphors. The aim of the study is to set a grammatical criterion for the computational identification of metaphors in the Holy Qur’ān and propose a computer software input rule for the grammatical identification of metaphorical candidates. The work presented in this study draws on the cognitive theory of metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980), authentic exegeses of the Holy Qur’ān, and finally and most significantly it draws on and extends techniques from computational linguistics. The corpus of the study is one surah from the Holy Qur’ān, Sūrat Hūd. A methodology for the investigation of candidate metaphor grammatical structure was developed to deduce the grammatical markers of metaphor and utilize them in the computational identification of metaphors. A quantitative and qualitative interpretation of these results and how they can contribute to the computer software suggested for a computer identification of metaphor in the Holy Qur’ān is made. The study ended with a theoretical framework that was applied to the corpus to find metaphors by findings specific grammatical markers.


computational identification, corpus-based, grammatical, metaphor, the Holy Qur’ān

Full Text:

Download PDF


Abū Libdeh, A. (2011). "Metaphor in Arabic Rhetoric: A Call for Innovation." Jordan Journal of Applied Sciences 13, no. 1 (2011): 227-242.

Albustāni, S. (1986). Aṣ-ṣūrah Ashiꞌriyyah filkitābah alfan-niyyah (alusūl wal furūꞌ). Beirut: Dar Alfikr Alibnani.

Al-Jaḥiz, A. B. (1960). Al-Bayān Wal-Tabyīn. Cairo, Egypt: Al-Khanji.

Al-Jurjānī , ꞌA. (n.d). Asrār al-Balāghah fī ꞌilm al-Bayān, ed. Rida, M.A., Cairo: Dār al-Matbūꞌāt al-ꞌArabiyya.

Al-Jurjāni, A. (1966). Al-Wasata bayn al-Mutanabbi wal khusami. Cairo, Egypt: Issa al Babi al Halabi wa shurākah.

Al-Jurjānī , ꞌA. (1989). Dalāꞌil Al-Iꞌjāz, ed. Shakir, M., Cairo: Maktabat al-Khanaji.

Al-Qurṭubi, A. (1964). Al-Jamiꞌ li Ahkam al-Qurꞌān Wal mubayin lima tadammana mina Assuna w Ahkam Alfurqan “ Interpretation of the Meanings of the Qurꞌān “ Dar Alkutub Almasryah,2nd ed. Cairo.

Al-Sakkākī, Y. (1937). Muftāḥ Al‘ulūm “The Key of Sciences”. Maṭbaʻat Muṣṭafá al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī : El-Gamaleya, ,Cairo.

Ash-Sha’rāwi, M. (1997). Alkhawāṭir “The Thoughts”. Dar Akhbār Alyoum: Cairo.

‘Atīq, A. (1985). ꞌIlm Albayān “Science of Figures of Speech” Beirut. Retrieved on September 12, 2015, from https://ia801304.us.archive.org/14/items/FP106576/106576.pdf

Aṭ-Ṭabarī, M. (2010). Jamiꞌ Albayān ꞌAn ṭawīl āy AlQurꞌān “Collection of statements on interpretation of verses of the Qurꞌān ꞌ” Dar Alḥ adeeth AlKahira.

Baumer, E. P., Sinclair, J., Hubin, D., & Tomlinson, B. (2009, August). metaViz: visualizing computationally identified metaphors in political blogs. In 2009 International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering (Vol. 4, pp. 389-394). IEEE.

Benson, M., Benson, E., & Ilson, R. F. (1986). Lexicographic description of English (Vol. 14). John Benjamins Publishing.

Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow, England: Longman.

Birke, J., & Sarkar, A. (2006). A clustering approach for nearly unsupervised recognition of nonliteral language. In 11th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Cameron, L., & Maslen, R. (2010). Metaphor analysis: Research practice in applied linguistics, social sciences, and the humanities. Equinox.

Dickins, J. (2005). Two models for metaphor translation. Target, 17(2), 227-273.

Dredi, S. (2003). Mu’djam Al-Ma’āni Al-Djāmi "The Comprehensive Lexicon" Al-Noon Letter. Retrieved on February 17, 2016, from https://www.almāny.com/ar/dict/ar-ar/

Ezeifeka, C. R. (2015). Grammatical metaphor: In search of proficiency in research abstract writing, SAGE Open, 1-14. DOI: 10.1177/2158244015577667

Halliday, M. A. K. (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M.A. K. (1985). Introduction to functional grammar. London: Arnold

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd ed.). London, England: Hodder Arnold

Hanks, P. (2006). Metaphoricity is gradable. TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS STUDIES AND MONOGRAPHS, 171, 17.

Ibn Qutaibah, A. (1962). Tawil Mushkil al-Quran. Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kotob al-’ ilmiya.

Khiḍr, M. (2012). Muꞌdjam Kalimat AlQurꞌān Alkarīm “Lexicon of Qurꞌānic Words”. (2nd ed) Retrieved on January 8, 2017, from http://www.al-mishkat.com/words/words-Mu’ djam1.pdf

Kovecses, Z. (2010). Metaphor: A practical introduction. 2nd. Ed. Oxford University Press.

Krishnakumaran, S., & Dju, X. (2007). Hunting Elusive Metaphors Using Lexical Resources. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Approaches to Figurative Language (pp. 13-20).

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Martin, J. H. (1990). A Computational Model of Metaphor Interpretation. Academic Press Professional, Inc. Retrieved on July 12, 2014, from https://www.cs.colorado.edu/~martin/Papers/corpus-metaphor.pdf

Mason, Z. J. (2004). CorMet: a computational, corpus-based conventional metaphor extraction system. Computational linguistics, 30(1), 23-44.

Newmark, P. (1988). A textbook of translation (Vol. 66). New York: Prentice-Hall.

Omar, A. (2008). Mu’djam Al-lugha Al’Arabiyah Almu’āṣirah “Lexicon of Contemporary Arabic Language” Dar Alkutub, Alkahira.

Reddy, M. (1979). The conduit metaphor. Metaphor and Thought, 2, 285-324. Retrieved on August 12, 2015, from https://msu.edu/~orourk51/800 Phil/Handouts/Readings/Linguistics/Reddy-TheConduitMetaphor-1979.pdf

Simpson, P. (2004). Stylistics: A resource book for students. London: Routledge

Ungerer, F. & Schmidt.H. (1996). An introduction to cognitive linguistics. London andNew York: Longman

Yūsuf ‘Ali, A. (1992). The meaning of the Holy Quran.(4th Ed.) USA, Maryland: Amana Corporation.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21093/ijeltal.v6i2.1100


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics) by http://ijeltal.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Abstracting and Indexing



Contact Us: IJELTAL (Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics;

Address: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Islam Negeri Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris Samarinda

Jl. H.A.M. Rifadin, Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia. Email: ijeltalj@gmail.com