An exploratory study of a woman in Ekegusii through the lens of the conceptual metaphor theory
Keywords:cognitive linguistics, culture, categorization, Ekegusii, metaphor, woman
It has been argued by linguists that language expresses a people’s way of life; this paper examines a cultural-specific metaphor in Ekegusii, an African Bantu language in Kenya. A descriptive research design was used in the collection of the metaphors from the field whereby the native respondents were asked to identify and explain terms and phrases that describe a woman in Ekegusii, describe the social-cultural values and explain the mapping processes involved. The data were analyzed by identifying qualities in the donor domains and mapping them to the recipient domain using the Cognitive Metaphor Theory (CMT). It is clear from the results that in Ekegusii, a woman is perceived as an object, a plant, an animal or the appropriate behavior she exhibits based on the values such as immorality, selfishness, beauty, ugliness, harshness, talking a lot, age, and faithfulness, and also, a metaphor makes our thoughts clearer, richer with imagery, and, act as a conduit between human mind and culture.
Aristotle. (1954). Rhetoric. (Trans. by Rhys Roberts). New York: The Modern Library, Random House
Azuma, M. 2012. “English Native Speakers’ Interpretation of Culture-Bound Japanese Figurative Language”. In MacArther F, et al. (eds). Metaphor in Use: Context, Culture and Communication. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Vol. 38 pgs 50-80.
Bosire, F. 1993. “Dialects Rogoro and Maate” University of Nairobi Unpublished MA Thesis.
Burke K. 1945. A grammar of motives. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Chomsky, N. 1972. Language and Mind. Enlarged ed. New York, MIT: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
Cooper, D. 1986. Metaphor. Oxford: Blackwell.
Coulson, S. 2007. Electrifying results: ERP data and cognitive linguistics. In M. Gonzalez-Marquez, I. Mittelberg, S. Coulson & M. J. Spivey (eds.) Methods in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 400-423.
Dancygier, B. &Sweetser, E. 2014. Figurative Language. Cambridge: CUP.
Evans. V. & Green. M. 2006. Cognitive Linguistics. An Introduction. Edinburgh: University Press.
Gibbs, R. W. 1994. The Poetics of Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press..
Gibbs, R. W. 2007. “Why cognitive linguists should care more about empirical methods”. In M. Gonzalez-Marquez, I. Mittelberg, S. Coulson & M. J. Spivey (eds.) Methods in Cognitive Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2-18.
Gleason, H. S. Jr.1961. An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics. New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Company.
Grady J. "A typology of motivation for conceptual metaphor: correlation vs. resemblance," in R.Gibbs and G. Steen (eds.), 1999. Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics, John Benjamins, pp. 79-100.
Grady J. 1997. "Theories are buildings revisited," Cognitive Linguistics, 8-4, pp. 267-290.
Hiraga M. 1993. "Shoohin tositeno josee: metafaa ni mirareru joseekan." (Women as goods: views on women seen in metaphors), Nihongogaku, 5-12, pp. 213-233.
Guthrie, M. 1964. The classification of Bantu Languages. London: Dawnson’s Pall Mall Publishers.
Kövecses, Z. 2005. Metaphor in culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge, MA/New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press (completed with an Afterword in 2003).
Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought. New York: Basic Books.
Langacker, R. 1999. Grammar and Conceptualization. Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Lyons, R. J. 1968. Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Maalej Z. 2004. Figurative language in anger expressions in Tunisian Arabic: An extended view of embodiment. Metaphor and Symbol (19), Pp 51-75
Mac Cormac, E. R. 1985. A Cognitive Theory of Metaphor. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press.
Moran, R. 1997. “Metaphor”. In B. Hale & C. Wright (eds.) A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Blackwell, pp 48-268.
Rosch, E. 1977. “Human Categorization”. In N. Warren (ed.) Advances in Cross-Cultural Psychology 7. London: Academic Press, pp 1-72
Ritchie, D. 2013. Metaphor. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rossi, P. 2001. Logic and the art of memory: The quest for a universal language. Translated and with an introduction by Stephen Clucas. London: Athlone Press.
Rouhi M. 2011. Animal Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics. Iran: David Publishing House.
Takada M. et al. 2006. “A Study of Metaphorical Mapping Involving Socio-Cultural Values: How Woman is Conceptualized in Japanese”. In Husby G, Sletton K. & Michaelson (eds) Scandinavian Journal of Immunology: Scandanavia. Vol () 394-404
Thomas N. (1994. “Detachable Women: Gender and Kinship in Process of Socio-economic Change among the Gusii of Kenya.” American Ethnologist 21, pp 516-538.
How to Cite
This open-access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY-NC-SA) license.
You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
No additional restrictions You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.