Exploring the potentials of conceptual metaphors in communicative metaphors and meaning construction: A re-reading of Okpewho’s tides
Language functions as a communication tool and communication, basically, functions to link ideas to individuals who extract meanings hidden in the communication event. This presupposes that, in language use in communication, individuals go through a lot of processes to map out meanings not explicitly stated by communicators. This study aligns itself with the cognitive process of mapping in a bid to understand abstract communication events. Its conceptual base is the conceptual and communicative metaphors as espoused by cognitive linguists. Conceptual metaphor focuses on how the brain derives meaning from systems of language and thought. In conceptual metaphors, there are establishments of cognitive links between conceptual structures operating on two different domains, the source and target domains. This implies that there is meaning embedding and the hidden meaning is extracted when link is made between the two domains. This study explores the potentials of conceptual and communicative metaphors in understanding and constructing meaning from Okpewho‘s Tides. The study adopted the conceptual metaphor theory of Lakoff and Johnson as its framework. The study also is corpus linguistic based as it used the language corpora in Tides as a source to analyze and provide evidences of conceptual and communicative metaphors that helped the writer and his readers in the construction and de-construction of meaning respectively. The study revealed that metaphors in the Tides are inherently culturally grounded as they capture and communicate the world views of the Niger Delta, the physical locale of the work. Recommendations were then made on the need for language users to know that as communication aims at meaning construction and deconstruction, their ability to establish the link between their cultural thought patterns and the metaphorical expressions produced therein will become facility in their assigning meaning to their productive works and received communications respectively.
Keywords: Conceptual metaphor, Communicative metaphor. Construction, Deconstruction, Okpewho‘s Tides
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