Volume 8, Issue 34 (2020)                   CFL 2020, 8(34): 217-252 | Back to browse issues page

XML Persian Abstract Print

Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Pishghadam R, Derakhshan A, Ebrahimi S, Ataei J. A Study on the Cultuling of “Positive Thinking” in Persian Proverbs1. CFL. 2020; 8 (34) :217-252
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-45089-en.html
1- Professor of TEFL and Educational Psychology, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran.
2- Associate Professor of TEFL, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Sociology, Golestan University, Iran. , a.derakhshan@gu.ac.ir
3- Assistant Professor of Persian Language and Literature, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran.
4- MA in General Linguistics, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (315 Views)
Proverbs are short utterances in verse or prose, showing parts of the culture of people using them. They will be transmitted to the next generations and their origins can be traced. They can be considered a case of cultuling, that is (culture in language), and demonstrate the culture, worldview and the attitude of the speakers. The present study, a qualitative one, aimed to investigate the “positive thinking” cultuling in Persian proverbs from the viewpoint of the SPEAKING model of Hymes (1967). To this end, of the total 99621 Persian proverbs, 777 proverbs were delineated to include the “Positive Thinking” cultuling. The researchers were seeking to find different ends of using the proverbs by Persian speakers. The data were investigated by two Applied linguists professors and an M.A graduate in Linguistics. The most recurrent ends of using proverbs encompass giving advice 101 cases (30%), good wish 7 cases (2%), religious beliefs 92 cases (27%), encouraging to be patient 27 cases (8%), being grateful 7 cases (2%), being happy 9 cases (3%), showing exaggeration 16 cases (5%) and solidarity and cooperation 13 cases (4%). The keys include admonitory 83 cases (45%), praising 14 cases (8%), hopeful 67 cases (36%), humorous 14 cases (8%) and good wish 7 cases (4%). The findings show that among all, the most occurring end, of using the “positive thinking” cultuling in Persian proverbs accrues giving advice (30%) and the most recurrent key, accrues admonitory (45%). The multiplicity of the cases of advice and admonitory displays the indirectness of Iranians. The paper concludes with some implications.
Research Background
The issue of positive thinking can be considered a case of “cultuling” in Persian proverbs. Culture is, in fact, an instrument delineating relationships among the members and the speakers’ attitude and worldview (Wardhaugh, 2010). Zolfaghaari (2013) believes that culture and its subcategories constitute parts of the national identity that encompass personal and social identity. The issue that anguage, culture, and thought are interrelated, has been proposed by prominent scholars, including Agar (1994) and Risager (2011, 2012). In the meantime, Pishghadam (2013) proposed the inseparability of language and culture. He introduced the term “cultuling” by merging the two terms of “language” and “culture. Accordingly, several studies have been carried out on various types of cultulings, namely, the study of the cultuling of “Patriarchy” by Pishghadam, Derakhshan, and Jannati Ataei (in press), in which the researchers investigated the “patriarchy” cultuling in Persian movies from the viewpoint of the SPEAKING model of Hymes (1967), aiming at demonstrating Iranian cultural patterns and trying to find the reasons for using the cultuling of “patriarchy” and the attitude toward women in Iranian culture. To this end, 100 Persian movies from 1981 and 2011, were investigated. The results showed that the decade 1981 could demonstrate the dominance of the cultuling of patriarchy, and the decade 2011 illustrates the dominance of the cultuling of matriarchy. Other related studies include the analysis of “Cultuling” as an innovative method for the analysis of language in light of variational pragmatics, which is a step towards ‘euculturing’, by Pishghadam, Ebrahimi, Naji Meidani, and Derakhshan (in press). In a similar study, Pishghadam, Ebrahimi, and Derakhshan (in press) investigated cultuling analysis, which is a new methodology for discovering cultural memes. They conceptualize a cultuling analysis model that integrates the cultural, emotioncy, SPEAKING models, as well as the underlying environmental factors collectively to reflect the participants’ culture.
Aims, question, and assumptions
In the present study, the researchers investigated “Positive Thinking” cultuling in Persian proverbs using Hymes’s (1967) SPEAKING model and its eight subparts, including setting, participants, end, act sequence, key, norms, and genre. The data were collected from 99621 Persian proverbs. The utterances were being studied, and their ends and keys were identified. It aimed at showing Iranian cultural patterns and the attitudes of Iranian speakers using the cultuling of ‘Positive Thinking’. The investigators are interested in finding out the ends of the cultuling of  “Positive Thinking” in Persian proverbs.
Table  1. The most recurrent ends of using Persian proverbs
giving advice encouraging to be patient
good wish being grateful
religious beliefs being happy
showing exaggeration solidarity and cooperation
The most recurrent ends of using proverbs encompass giving advice (30%), good wish (2%), religious beliefs (27%), encouraging to be patient (8%), being grateful (2%), being happy (3%), showing exaggeration (5%) and solidarity and cooperation (4%) shown in Table 1. The keys include admonitory (45%), praising (8%), hopeful (36%), humorous (8%), and wishing good (4%). The findings showed that the most occurring end of using the “positive thinking” cultuling in Persian proverbs is giving advice (30%), and the most recurrent key is admonitory (45%), shown in Table  2.
Table 2. The most recurrent keys of using Persian proverbs
Admonitory hopeful
Praising humorous
wishing good  
 The multiplicity of the case of advice and admonitory displays the indirectness of Iranians. One of the psycholinguistic factors which plays a major role in the study of people’s thought is the underlying covert emotion in their utterances, called “Emoling” (Pishghadam, Ebrahimi, & Derakhshan, in press). It is inevitable that if expressions like proverbs, poems, etc. have a high emotional load, they will be better, and they will be transmitted to the following generations. Considering the role of emotional center of the brain, emotional information will be better stored in memory for retention (Bigdeli, 2020). Given that the proverbs are important cultural resources and their high capacity in transmitting cultural issues and cultural norms, they can be studied from different aspects, including the study of the cultuling of “negative thinking” in Persian proverbs.
  •  Agar, M. (1994).  Language Shock.  Understanding the Culture of Conversation. New York: NY: William Morrow.
  •  Bigdeli, I. (2020). The management of intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships based on "Ordering Model. Introducing the conceptual model of training. Mashhad: Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.
  •  Hymes, D. (1967). Models of the interaction of language and social setting. Journal of Social Issues. 23(2). pp. 8-28.
  •  Pishghadam, R. (2013). Introducing cultuling as a dynamic tool in culturology of language. Language and Translation Studies, 45, 47-62.
  •  Pishghadam, R., Derakhshan, A., & Jannati Ataei, A. (in press). An investigation of the cultulings of “Patriarchy” and “Matriarchy” in the Iranian culture: A comparative case study of Iranian movies across two decades of 1360s and 1390s. Women in Culture and Art.
  •  Pishghadam, R., Ebrahimi, S., & Derakhshan, A. (in press). Cultuling analysis: A new methodology for discovering cultural Memes. International Journal of Society, Culture & Language, 1-18.
  •  Pishghadam, R., Ebrahimi, S, & Derakhshan, A. (in press). Introducing "Emoling" as a missing link in ethnography of communication: A supplement to SPEAKING Model of Hymes. Language Related Research.
  •  Pishghadam, R., Ebrahimi, S., Naji Meidani, E., & Derakhshan, A. (in press). An introduction to “Cultuling” Analysis (CLA) in light of variational pragmatics: A step towards “Euculturing”. Research in Applied Linguistics.
  •  Risager, K. (2011). The cultural dimensions of language teaching and learning. Language Teaching, 44(4). pp. 485-499.
  •  Risager, K. (2012). Linguaculture and transnationality: the cultural dimensions of language. The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication. 117-131: Routledge.
  •  Wardhaugh, R. (2010). An introduction to sociolinguistics (6th ed.). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  •  Zolfaghari, H. (2013).The major dictionary of Persian proverbs (in Farsi). Tehran. Alam.
Full-Text [PDF 967 kb]   (56 Downloads)    
Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Popular literature
Received: 2020/08/11 | Accepted: 2020/08/24 | Published: 2020/10/1

Add your comments about this article : Your username or Email:

Send email to the article author