Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 1 March 2023                                             Pp.232-252

Full Paper PDF

Conceptual Representations in Sherko Bekas’ Gray: A Cognitive Stylistic Study

Khalid Ali Abdalla
Language and Development Center
Presidency University, University of Raparin, Rania, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Corresponding Author:

 Azad Hasan Fatah
Department of English, College of Languages
University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq


Received:11/25/2022             Accepted:02/02/2023            Published: 03/24/2023


The present paper aims to examine Bekas’ worldview (mind style) in the selected poem Gray from a cognitive stylistic perspective. The concept of mind style, which refers to any particular linguistic representation of an individual’s mental self, encompasses the process of “reality formation” in one’s mind. In cognitive stylistics, the worldview (mind style) of the poet, narrator and character is formed from and displayed through the linguistic structure of the text. Therefore, the highlighted research question is: How is Bekas’ worldview constructed and represented in the selected poem? This study is essential for readers and listeners because it will assist them in interpreting poetic texts so they can comprehend the poet’s worldview. To achieve the main aim, the researchers will apply the cognitive linguistic theories of schema, conceptual metaphor, and conceptual metonymy, all of which are concerned with the representation of conceptual structures. These cognitive theories are considered strong and dynamic theories in accounting for cognitive processes that underpin the production and interpretation of various types of discourse, whether factual or fictional, by forming mental representations in the mind. More specifically, schema theory can be used to explain how text worlds are created and processed during discourse processing, primarily when reading poetry. Additionally, schema theory involves researching mental models, which entails analysing how poets think about the world in contrast to readers. To examine the poet’s worldview, the researchers also use perspective and foregrounding in construal dimensions. Since the study is qualitative, the study’s data will be limited to the analysis of Bekas’ Gray. The study has concluded that Bekas views the world pessimistically and hopelessly.
Keywords: Cognitive stylistics, conceptual metaphor, conceptual metonymy, construal dimensions,
schema theory, Sherko Bekas’ Gray, worldview

Cite as:  Abdalla, K. A., & Fatah, A. H. (2023). Conceptual Representations in Sherko Bekas’ Gray: A Cognitive
Stylistic Study. Arab World English Journal, 14 (1) 232-252.


Areef, H. (2016). A Cognitive Stylistic Analysis of Simon’s Lyric “THE SOUND OF SILENCE”.

University of Al-Qadisiyah College of Education, Iraq. Retrieved from

Boase-Beier, J. (2003). Mindstyle Translated. Style 37 (3), 253–265. University of East

Anglia: Penn State University Press. Available at

Bockting, I. (1994). Mindstyle as an interdisciplinary approach to characterisation in

Faulkner. Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 3 (3), 157–174. The Netherlands:
University of Amsterdam.

Bockting, Ineke. (1995). Character and Personality in the Novels of William Faulkner: A

study in psychostylistics. New York: University Press of America, Inc.

Cronquist, U. (2003). Cognitive poetics. Retrieved from

Emmott, C., Alexander, M., & Marszalek, A. (2014). Schema theory in stylistics. In M. Burke (ed.).

The Routledge Handbook of stylistics (pp. 268-283). London: Routledge.

Evans, V. & Green, M. (2006). Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh:

Edinburgh University Press.

Eysenck, M. W. & Mark T. K. (2000). Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s

Handbook (4th ed.). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Fowler, R. (1977). Linguistics and the Novel. London: Methuen.

Fowler, R. (1996). Linguistic Criticism (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freeman, D. C. (1993). According to my bond: King Lear and recognition. Language

and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics, 2(1), 1–18. Retrieved from

Freeman, M. H. (2000). Poetry and the Scope of Metaphor: Toward a Cognitive

Theory of Literature. In A. Barcelona (ed.). Metaphor and Metonymy at Crossroads: A Cognitive Perspective
(pp. 253-81). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Gavins, J., & Steen, G. (Eds.). (2003). Cognitive Poetics in Practice. London:


Ghani, L. A. A. I. (2018). A Cognitive Stylistic study of poetic discourse. ALUSTATH JOURNAL FOR
218 (1), 17–34. Retrieved from

Gibbons, A. & Whiteley, S. (2018). Contemporary stylistics: Language, cognition

            interpretation. U.K.: Edinburgh University Press Ltd.

Glotova, E. (2014). The Suffering Minds: Cognitive Stylistic Approach to Characterisation in “The Child-Who-WasTired”
by Katherine Mansfield and “Sleepy” by Anton Chekhov. Theory and Practice in Language Studies,
4 (12), 2445-2454. Retrieved from doi:10.4304/tpls.4.12.2445-2454

Hafeni, L. N. (2019). A Cognitive Stylistics Study of The Other Presence and The Hopeless

Hopes, (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Namibia University of Science and Technology, Nambia. Retrieved from

Hamawand, Z. (2009). The Semantics of English Negative Prefixes. U.K.: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Hamawand, Z. (2011). Morphology in English: Word Formation in Cognitive Grammar.

London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Hamawand, Z. (2016). Semantics: Cognitive Account of Linguistic Meaning. U.K.: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Hamawand, Z. (2021). Construal. In X. Wen & J. R. Taylor (eds.). The Routledge

Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics (pp. 242–254). London & New York: Routledge.

Jaafar, E. A. (2020). Schema Theory and Text- worlds: A Cognitive Stylistic Analysis of Selected Literary Texts.
Journal of the College of Education for Women31(2), 52–65. Retrieved from

Jeffries, L., & McIntyre, D. (2010). Stylistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kӧvecses, Z. (2002). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kövecses, Z. (2005). Metaphor in Culture: Universality and Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Krishnamurthy, S. (2012). Cognitive stylistics and Petit Recit: An Examination of the

Narrative Consciousness in The God of Small Things. Nawa Journal of Language and Communication,
6(1), 65-84. Retrieved from

Lakoff, G. (1992). The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Lakoff, G. (1993). The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Ortony (ed.). Metaphor

and Thought (2nd ed), (pp. 202–251). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lakoff, G.,  & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of

Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G. & Turner, M. (1989). More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic

Metaphor. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its

challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books.

Langacker, R. W. (1987). Foundations of Cognitive Grammar 1: Theoretical

Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Langacker, R. onald W. (2008). Cognitive grammar: A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford

University Press.

Langacker, R. W. (2010). Conceptualisation, Symbolization, and Grammar. In

International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics, 1(1), 31-63. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Leech, G. N., & Short, M. H. (1981). Style in Fiction. London: Longman.

Leech, G. N., & Short, M. H. (2007). Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to

English Fictional Prose (2nd ed.). U.K.: Pearson Education Limited.

Radden, G., & Dirven, R. (2007). Cognitive English Grammar 2. Amsterdam: John

Benjamins B. V.

Ruiz de Mendoza, F. (2021). Conceptual Metonymy Theory Revisited: Some

Definitions and Taxonomic Issues. In X. Wen & J. R. Taylor (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Cognitive
(pp. 204–241). London & New York: Routledge.

Semino, E. (2002). Aspects of Cognitive Poetics. In E. Semino & J. Culpeper

(eds.). Cognitive Stylistics: Language and Cognition in Text Analysis (pp. 95-122). Amsterdam:
John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Semino, E., & Culpeper, J. (Eds.). (2002). Cognitive Stylistics: Language and

Cognition in Text Analysis. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Stockwell, P. (2002). Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

Stockwell, P. (2015). Cognitive Stylistics. In R. Jones (ed.), The Routledge

Handbook of Language and Creativity (pp. 233-245). London: Routledge.

Taylor, J. R. (2002). Cognitive Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tsur, R. (2008). Toward a Theory of Cognitive Poetics (2nd ed.). U.K.: Sussex academic


Wales, K. (2011). A Dictionary of Stylistics (3rd ed.). London: Longman.

Woldemariam, H. M. (2014). The Teaching and Learning of Poetry at Postgraduate

Level: A Cognitive Stylistic Approach. PoN (NUST), Polytechnic of Namibia, Department of
Communication Windhoek, Namibia. Retrieved from

Received: 11/25/2022
Accepted: 02/02/2023 
Published: 03/24/2023 

Khalid Ali Abdalla has MA in Cognitive linguistics. He is a lecturer at Raparin University in English department. He is the director of the Language and Development Centre. His research interests include Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics, conceptual metaphor, morphology, Phonetics and Phonology. ORCID:

Azad Hasan Fatah has Ph.D. in Cognitive linguistics and currently is an assistant professor of English at Sulaimani University in College of Languages-English Department. His research interests include Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics and Comparative Linguistics. ORCID: