Metaphors of Gikuyu marriage negotiations: a cognitive linguistics perspective
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This study identifies, describes, and analyses the metaphors used in the Gikuyu marriage negotiations from a cognitive linguistics perspective. We audio-recorded discourse from two marriage negotiation gatherings followed by transcription of data and then identification of metaphorically used items. This meant that we subjected all the lexical items collected to the MIPVU to find out which were metaphorical in nature. These metaphors were then analysed in terms of their linguistic form and conceptual structure. The linguistic form looked at which ones were incomplete, rhetorical, shortened or even lengthened, classic, distended or extended. The conceptual structure looked at whether the metaphorical item is novel (new),conventional (old) or even borderline. In other words, where the metaphor was in its career at the time it was corrected. The respondents are varied in the social variables of Age, Sex, and Educational Level. Lastly, we wanted to find out the extent to which these metaphors are be accounted for within the Career of Metaphor Theory. For each of the eight groupings of three social variables under investigation, we had three respondents, meaning that our population sample had a total 24 respondents. From the metaphors we collected from the context of marriage negotiations we sampled 20 metaphorical items from each negotiation. It is these 40 metaphorical items that we presented to the twenty four (24) respondents to collect further data through a questionnaire that sought their interpretation and their level of familiarity with the given metaphors. The Career of Metaphor Theory helped us in identifying the base and target domains for conventional metaphors add the topic, superordinate and subordinate vehicle concepts for novel metaphors. We found that Gikuyu metaphors of marriage are accommodated by the theory with only 4.65% not accounted for their linguistic form and5% failing to be accounted in conceptual structure. Using the chi square test, the variance in linguistic form, conceptual structure and metaphor interpretation using the variables of age, sex, and level of education were analysed. We found that metaphors used in Gikuyu marriage negotiations largely treat women as objects and organisms which commodify women. Men on the other hand are treated like weapons of war in turn informing the concept SEX IS WAR. We also found that love is rarely talked about. We recommend the replacement of negative metaphors with positive one that draw from the PATH and FAMILY domains to give both women and men an equal footing. This thesis is divided into six chapters. Chapter one covers the introduction; chapter two, literature review and theoretical framework; chapter three, research methodology; chapter four, data analysis and data presentation; chapter five data discussion and interpretation while chapter six has findings, recommendations and conclusions.