Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 6(1), pp. 40 - 46
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2018.060106
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THE OBJECT OF LOVE IS FOOD Conceptual Metaphor in Selected Dholuo Benga Music of 1970s and 2000s

Lydia Akuno , Pamela Anyango Oloo , Magonya Achieng' Lilian *
Department of Linguistics, Languages and Literature, Maseno University, Kenya


One of the ways in which people express their emotions creatively in a society is through music. Benga music is a genre of Kenyan popular music that has been in existence from 1960s to date. Over the years, Dholuo benga music has seen artistes of 1970s like Ochieng Kabaselleh, Kasongo, Owino Misiani, and many others, giving way to more recent Dholuo benga artistes of the year 2000s like Atomi Sifa, Madanji Perimeter and Otieno Aloka. Dholuo is a Nilotic language spoken along the shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Aspects of language, like metaphorical expressions, usually vary over time due to external and internal influences on a speech community. Variations may also occur depending on different individuals' conceptualizations of emotions. Dholuo benga love songs are characterized by metaphorical expressions of love which are evidence of conceptual metaphors of love as perceived by Dholuo benga artistes over the decades. The aim of this comparative study was to establish similarities and variations in conceptualization of OBJECT OF LOVE AS FOOD by two male Dholuo benga artistes in Kenya, in two different time frames (1970s and 2000s). The study therefore hoped to explain language use in Dholuo benga love songs over time. The study was guided by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) Conceptual Metaphor Theory. The study population comprised a total of ten Dholuo benga love songs. Thirteen metaphoric expressions of love were extracted from lyrics of the ten love songs by Ochieng Kabaselleh and Atomi Sifa. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the love songs with required metaphorical expressions and saturated sampling technique was employed to get the requisite linguistic metaphors of love. The study findings are that there exist similarities and variations in the conceptualization of OBJECT OF LOVE IS FOOD between the 1970s and 2000s male Dholuo benga artistes.

Metaphor, Love, Cross-domain Mappings

Cite this paper
Lydia Akuno , Pamela Anyango Oloo , Magonya Achieng' Lilian . "THE OBJECT OF LOVE IS FOOD Conceptual Metaphor in Selected Dholuo Benga Music of 1970s and 2000s." Linguistics and Literature Studies 6.1 (2018) 40 - 46. doi: 10.13189/lls.2018.060106.