‘The heart has caught me’
Anger metaphors in Likpakpaln (Konkomba)
Keywords:Likpakpaln, Ghana, body parts, metaphor, emotion, anger, grammatical relations
We provide a first documentation and analysis of anger metaphors in Likpakpaln, a little-studied Mabia (Gur) language, primarily spoken in Northern Ghana. We adopt Conceptual Metaphor Theory as the analytical framework for this study. The study of emotional body-part metaphors and their lexicalisation patterns in Likpakpaln is interlaced with nominal and clausal morphosyntax as well as grammatical relations. Anger is conceptualised in terms of li?uul ‘heart’ and we identify five types of clause structures in which anger expressions occur in Likpakpaln. Further, we make out four metaphorical conceptualisations. In an areally prominent conceptualisation that we term ANGER IS HUMAN-LIKE, li?uul ‘heart’ is anthropomorphised as a human-like agent who can ‘catch’, ‘hold’, ‘kill’, or ‘eat’ a person. Other metaphorical conceptualisations are ANGER IS HEAT, AN ANGRY PERSON IS A PRESSURISED CONTAINER, and THE BODY IS A CONTAINER FOR ANGER. All in all, metaphors of anger in Likpakpaln show cross-cultural correspondences and culture-specific construals, thus providing evidence for the cultural embodied prototype theory. The Likpakpaln data also reflects a departure from some general tendencies. For instance, the coding of positive and negative emotion concepts in Likpakpaln is nuanced by the use of particular synonyms of the heart rather than by the selection of different body parts.
Adouna, G. (2009) Description phonologique et grammaticale du Konkomba-Langue GUR du Togo et du Ghana–Parler de Nawaré. PhD thesis, Université Rennes 2 and Université de Lomé.
Afreh, E. S. (2015) The metonymic and metaphoric conceptualisations of the heart in Akan and English. Legon Journal of the Humanities 26: 38–57. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/ljh.v26il.3.
Agyekum, K. (2013) The pragmatics of ‘mouth’metaphors in Akan. Ghana Journal of Linguistics 2(1): 1–17.
Agyekum, K. (2015) Metaphors of anger in Akan. International Journal of Language and Culture 2(10): 87–107. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/ijolc.2.1.04agy.
Agyekum, K. (2018) Akan body part expressions: Cognitive semantics and pragmatic approach. Accra, Ghana: Adwinsa Publications.
Ansah, G. N. (2013) Culture in embodiment: Evidence from conceptual metaphors/metonymies of anger in Akan and English. In T. Fuyin Li (ed.) Compendium of cognitive linguistics research. Vol. 2 63–82. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Baldi, S. (2012) Body parts in Hausa proverbs. Studies of the Department of African Languages and Cultures, Universita degli Studi di Napoli 46: 7–21.
Barcelona, A. (2003) The cognitive theory of metaphor and metonymy. In A. Barcelona (ed.) Metaphor and metonymy at the crossroads: A cognitive perspective 1–28. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110894677.1.
Barker, T. R. (1991) Small bands of strangers: The contraposed lineage. Anthropos 86 1(3): 1–18.
Batic, G. C. (2010) Towards a Hausa metaphorical lexicon: Body part nouns. AION 66: 17–41.
Bendor-Samuel, J. (ed.) (1989) The Niger-Congo languages: A classification and description of Africa’s largest language family. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Bisilki, A. K. (2019) Body-part terms in Likpakpaln. Journal of West African Languages 46(2): 146–164.
Bisilki, A. K. and Akpanglo-Nartey, R. A. (2017) Noun pluralisation as a dialect marker in Likpakpaln “Konkomba”. Journal of West African Languages 44(2): 24–42.
Bodomo, A. and Abubakari, H. (2017) Towards a harmonization of a wiring system for the Mabia languages of West Africa. In Deconstructing the African Tower of Babel: Between the harmonization and fragmentation African language orthographies 159–181. Cape Town, South Africa: Centre for Advanced Studies of African societies.
Cahill, M. (2007) Aspects of the morphology and phonology of Konni. Dallas, TX: SIL International and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Casasanto, D. (2009) When is a linguistic metaphor a conceptual metaphor? In V. Evans and S. Pourcel (eds) New directions in cognitive linguistics 127–146. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.24.11cas.
Dzokoto, V. A. and Okazaki, S. (2006) Happiness in the eye and heart: Somatic referencing in West African emotion lexica. Journal of Black Psychology 32(2): 117–140. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0095798406286799.
Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., and Fennig, Ch. D. (eds) (2019) Ethnologue: Languages of Ghana (22nd ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com.
Essegbey, J. (2015) Verb semantics and argument structure in Gbe and Sranan. In P. Muysken and N. Smith (eds) Surviving the Middle Passage: The West AfricaSurinam Sprachbund 175–206. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Ghana Statistical Service (2014) 2010 population and housing census: District analytical report - Saboba District. Accra, Ghana: Ghana Statistical Service.
Gibbs, R. W. (1994) The poetics of mind: Figurative thought, language and understanding. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Hansford, G. F. (2005) My eyes are red: Body metaphors in Chumburung. Journal of West African Languages 32(1–2): 135–180.
Hasselbring, S. (2006) Cross-dialectal acceptance of written standards: Two Ghanaian case studies. PhD thesis, University of South Africa.
Hoskins, J. (1993) Violence Sacrifice, and Divination: Giving and Taking Life in Eastern Indonesia. American Ethnologist 20(1): 159–178. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1993.20.1.02a00080.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada [GH] (1996) Information on the Konkomba tribe reside and on their tribal or mother language. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada [GH]. http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a251c.html.
Jaggar, P. J. and Buba, M. (2009) Metaphorical extensions of ‘eat’?[overcome] and ‘drink’?[undergo] in Hausa. In J. Newman (ed.) The Linguistics of eating and drinking 151–229. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.84.11jag.
Kövecses, Z. (1990) Emotion concepts. New York: Springer. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3312-1.
Kövecses, Z. (2000) Metaphor and emotion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2008) Conceptual metaphor theory: Some criticisms and alternative proposals. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 6: 168–184. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/arcl.6.08kov.
Kövecses, Z. (2010) Metaphor and culture. Acta Universitatis Sapientiae Philologica 2(2): 197–220.
Kraska-Szlenk, I. (2014) Semantic extensions of body part terms: Common patterns and their interpretations. Language sciences 44: 15–39. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2014.02.002.
Lakoff, G. (1987) Women, fire, and dangerous things: What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001.
Lakoff, G. (1993) The contemporary theory of metaphor. In A. Othorny (ed.) Metaphor and thought (2nd ed.) 202–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173865.013.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980a) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980b) Metaphors we live by. Language, Thought and Culture 12: 124–134.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999) Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. New York: Basic Books.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (2003) The metaphors we live by. London: The University of Chicago Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226470993.001.0001.
Levon, E. (2013) Ethnography and recording interaction. In R. J. Podesva and D. Sharma (eds) Research methods in linguistics 195–215. New York: Cambridge University Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139013734.011.
Maasole, C. S. (2006) The Konkomba and their neighbours in the pre-European period up to 1914: A study in inter-ethnic relations in northern Ghana. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.
Martinson, H. B. (1995) The hidden history of Konkomba wars in Northern Ghana. Ghana: Nyagse Foundation.
Matsuki, K. (1995) Metaphors of anger in Japanese. In J. R. Taylor and R. E. MacLaury (eds) Language and the cognitive construal of the world 137–151. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Miehe, G., Reineke, B. and Winkelmann, K. (eds) (2012) Noun class systems in Gur languages: North Central Gur languages. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
Naden, T. (1988) The Gur languages. In M. E. Kropp Dakubu (ed.) The languages of Ghana 12–49. London and New York: Kegan Paul International and International African Institute.
Niemeier, S. (2003) Straight from the heart: Metonymic and metaphoric explorations. In A. Barcelona (ed.) Metaphor and metonymy at the crossroads: A cognitive perspective 195–213. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110894677.195.
Ogarkova, A. and Soriano, C. (2014) Emotion and the body: A corpus-based investigation of metaphorical containers of anger across languages. International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics 5(2): 147–179.
Piirainen, E. and Sherris, A. (2015) Introduction. In E. Piirainen and A. Sherris (eds) Language endangerment: Disappearing metaphors and shifting conceptualizations 1–14. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.7.001int.
Rattray, R. S. (1932) The tribes of the Ashanti hinterland. Vol. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Sands, B. (2009) Africa’s linguistic diversity. Language and Linguistics Compass 3(2): 559–580. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-818X.2008.00124.x.
Schaefer, P. (2015) Hot eyes, white stomach: Emotion and character qualities in Safaliba metaphor. In E. Piirainen and A. Sherris (eds) Language endangerment: Disappearing metaphors and shifting conceptualizations 91–110. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.7.04sch.
Schwarz, A. (2009) How many focus markers are there in Konkomba? In M. Matondo and E. Potsdam (eds) Selected proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic theory and African language documentation 182–192. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Semino, E. (2008) Metaphor in discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sharifian, F. (2017) Cultural linguistics: Cognitive linguistic studies in cultural contexts. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.8.
Sherris, A., Tachini, P. and Haynes, E. (2015) Literacy and language instruction: Flathead Salish metaphor and task-based pedagogy for its revitalization. In E. Piirainen and A. Sherris (eds) Language endangerment: Disappearing metaphors and shifting conceptualizations 111–135. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.7.05she.
Simons, G. F. and Fennig, C. D. (2017) Ethnologue: Languages of the world (13th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved from: https://www.ethnologue.com.
Sweetser, E. E. (1990) From etymology to pragmatics: Metaphor and cultural aspects of semantic structure. Newcastle: Athenaeum Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620904.
Tait, D. (1961) The Konkomba of northern Ghana. (Edition from his published and unpublished writings by J. Goody). London: Oxford University Press and International African Institute (IAI).
Taylor, J. R. and Mbense, T. G. (1998) Red dogs and rotten mealies: How Zulus talk about hunger. In A. Athanasiadou and E. Tabakowska (eds) Speaking of emotion: Conceptualization and expression 191–226. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Wardhaugh, R. (2006) An introduction to sociolinguistics (5th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Yu, N. (1998) The contemporary theory of metaphor in Chinese: A perspective from Chinese. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.1.
Yu, N. (2008) The Chinese heart as the central faculty of cognition. In S. Farzad, R. Dirven, S. Niemeier and N. Yu (eds) Culture, body and language: Conceptualisation of internal body organs across cultures and languages 131–168. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.