Conceptualizing MATURITY in the Mfantse dialect of Akan
Keywords:semantics, metonymic mapping, conceptualizing maturity, experiential realities, Mfantse (Akan), Ghana
This paper investigates metonymic expressions that express MATURITY in the Mfantse dialect of Akan. Studies in English and Akan have demonstrated that, through metonym (and metaphor), concrete concepts and experiential realities like the heartbeat, redness of the eyes, and hotness of the skin serve as grounding for the conception of abstract concepts like fear, joy, sadness, and anger (Kövecses, 1986, 1990, 1991; Agyekum, 2018). This study analyzes the features that qualify a subject for maturity among the Mfantse people which is an understudied topic. Similar to the conception of emotions, concrete concepts, as well as experiential realities, are used to express the mature state of an entity. Thus, expressions of maturity encode cognitive underpinnings that reflect the experience, culture, and the environment of the speakers of the language. The study uses a qualitative design. Fifteen Akan speakers were purposively selected for this study. We used semi-structured interviews to collect data. Findings indicate that concrete concepts, as well as experiential realities like CHANGE-OF-STATE and CROP FLORESCENCE, serve as grounding to mark the maturity of a subject. The effect of maturity is used as the vehicle to access the subject of maturity. It was concluded that, according to the Mfantse people, maturity is an innate trait that is marked by signs, transition, deeds, and relationships. This study collects, indexes, catalogues, and describes metonymic expressions of maturity, and opens up an opportunity to probe further into the role of difference in the sociolinguistic real-time use of these everyday metonyms (and metaphors) as well as the dynamism of metonymy in everyday use of the Mfantse people.
Abakah, E. N. (1998) On the question of standard Fante. Journal of West African Languages 27(1): 94–115.
Agyekum, K. (2010) Akan Verbal Taboos. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.
Agyekum, K. (2018) Akan Body Parts Expressions Cognitive Semantics and Pragmatic Approach. Accra: Adwinsa Publications.
Agyepong, D. P. (2017) ‘Cutting’ and ‘Breaking’ Events in Akan. PhD. Thesis. Cape Town: University of Cape Town.
Ansah, G. (2011) Metaphor and bilingual cognition: The case of Akan and English in Ghana. Lancaster: Lancaster University.
Atintono, S. A. (2013) The semantics of the three Posture Verbs ‘gã’ ‘be lying’, ‘z?’ ‘be sitting’, ‘ze’ ‘be standing’ in Guren?: A cognitive Linguistics Perspective. Journal of African Cultures and Language 2(1): 194–204.
Bannerman, Y. J., Krampah, D. E., Athur, K. G., and Dickson, K. A. (2011) Mfantse Nkasafua na Kasambirenyi Nkyer?ase (Vols. I, II). Tema: CEFICKS.
Gibbs, R. W. Jr., Lima, P. L. C., and Francozo, E. (2004) Metaphor is grounded in embodied experience. Journal of Pragmatics 36: 1189–1210.
Kövecses, Z. (1986) Metaphors of Anger, Pride, and Love. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/pb.vii.8.
Kövecses, Z. (1990) Emotion Concepts. Berlin and New York: Springer Verlag. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3312-1.
Kövecses, Z. (1991) Happiness: A definitional effort. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 6(1): 29–46. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327868ms0601_2.
Kövecses, Z. (2000) Metaphor and Emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2002) Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2006) Language mind and culture: A practical introduction. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Kövecses, Z. (2014) Conceptualizing emotions. A revised cognitive linguistic perspective. Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 50(1): 15–28. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/psicl-2014-0002.
Lakoff, G. (1987) Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226471013.001.0001.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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 Kövecses, Z. (1983) The cognitive model of anger inherent in American English. Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley Cognitive Science Program.
Lakoff, G. and Turner, M. (1989) More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Doi: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226470986.001.0001.
Newman, J. (1997) Eating and Drinking as Sources of Metaphor in English. Cuadernos de Filología Inglesa 6(2): 213–231.
Newman, J. (2002) A cross-linguistics overview of the posture verbs ‘sit’, ‘stand’ and ‘lie’. In J. Newman (ed.) The linguistics of sitting, standing and lying 1–24. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.51.02new.
Piirainen, E., and Sherris, A. (2015) Language endangerment: Disappearing metaphors and shifting conceptualizations. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/clscc.7.
Sherris, A., and Adami, E. (2019) Making signs, translanguaging ethnographies: Exploring urban, rural, and educational spaces. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781788921923.
Wonkyi, P. N. and Bosiwah, L. (2020) Conceptualizing Farm Product Overmaturity in the Mfantse Dialect of Akan. Education Journal 3(4): 39–45. Doi: https://doi.org/10.24940/ijird/2020/v9/i7/JUL20081.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.