2023, Volume 20, Issue 3

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Ali Reza Gholi Famian
Payame Noor University
Tehran, Iran

“Physics with Chocolate Taste”: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Approach to the Titles of Iranian Educational Books

Voprosy onomastiki, 2023, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp. 269–279 (in English)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2023.20.3.041

Received on 23 October 2022
Accepted on 20 May 2023

Abstract: This paper investigates some linguistic strategies in educational books titling aimed at Iranian high school students. In Iran, the competition for admission in top universities is very significant, and thus studying supplementary material for school subjects is highly required. The books published by the Ministry of Education lack flexibility and innovation, and as such, the demand for high quality materials is very high, and consequently a rewarding book market has been formed. In this competitive market, publishers do their best to attract a higher number of customers, and choosing eye-catching titles for their published books is one of the most decisive marketing tasks. In the present study, a total of 120 book titles have been collected and analyzed. In terms of the cognitive processes, it was found that strengthening and mitigation play a significant role in creating book titles. According to the findings, the cognitive operation of strengthening is more dominant than mitigation: in 46 cases of book titles (25.8%), one positive feature is linguistically strengthened to promote book selling, with only 11 cases involving the mitigation process. It is also shown that authors and publishers tend to employ metaphors to create attractive titles for their books. The pattern BOOK IS A JOURNEY tends to be the most frequent metaphor (17 items), followed by those related to food (14), game (12), medicine (6), animal (4), and weapon (3). Some titles showcase a kind of allusion to literary works or cultural symbols reflected in various forms of arts and media.

Keywords: onomastics; book title; cognitive operation; cultural allusion; Iranian educational books; Persian language


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