Research Article

Depiction of Women in Arabic Proverbs: Pragma-Discoursal Analysis


  • Hadil Jendeya MA in English Language and Literature, Zarqa University, Zarqa, Jordan


This study investigates women's representation in Arabic proverbs, specifically those from Palestinian, Omani, Yamani, and Sudanese cultures, to answer the following questions: (1)Do these proverbs usually depict women as having low status? (2)What linguistic techniques are used in these proverbs the most frequently? (3)How is the intersection between critical discourse analysis and pragmatics manifested in these proverbs? (4)What are the most common character traits attributed to women in these proverbs? The study applied a descriptive method in its analysis of 106 Arabic proverbs from the Sudanese, Omani, Yamani and Palestinian cultures. First, it was determined whether all of the proverbs reflected poor status for women. Second, a linguistic configuration was performed in addition to focusing on the functions of pragmatics and discourse analysis to identify the most prominent linguistic and pragmatic patterns and their associated interpretations. Third, the numbers and percentages of positive and negative traits were calculated. The study comes to the conclusion most of the Arabic proverbs depict low status for women. Lexical cohesion, rhyme, lexemes and feminine anthroponyms are the most common linguistic tactics utilized in proverbs. Negative proverbs are more common than positive ones in their depiction of women's representation, and the common attributes attributed to women in proverbs are being unfocused, wicked and ill-natured.  In fact, this study demonstrates how the language of proverbs reflects women's inferiority compared to men in earlier cultures.

Article information


Journal of Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis

Volume (Issue)

2 (2)





How to Cite

Jendeya, H. (2023). Depiction of Women in Arabic Proverbs: Pragma-Discoursal Analysis. Journal of Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, 2(2), 01–07.



Pragmatics, proverbs, power, ideology, lexical cohesion, critical discourse analysis