Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 6(2), pp. 88 - 98
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2018.060206
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A Cognitive Linguistics Study of Ekegusii Onomastics: The Case of the Metaphor

Aunga Solomon Onchoke *
Department of English and Linguistics, Southwest University, China


This paper will try to explore the motivation behind a cultural specific metaphor in Ekegusii onomastics as seen from a cognitive linguistics viewpoint. The study aims to identify and explain the Ekegusii names of people describe their social-cultural values and account for the cognitive processes involved in their interpretation. The data included a list of Ekegusii names collected from a primary school in the heartland of Gusii and discussed by an interview panel of natives combined with the researcher's knowledge, intuitions, experience, and introspection, then they were analyzed using the Cognitive Metaphor Theory of Lakoff and Johnson. The results suggest that interpretations and usage of personal names create mental images, have a meaning, and reflect the culture of the Abagusii people. Also, it is evident that metaphors pervade the lexicon of Ekegusii onomastics and form networks by which they conceptualize people's names in concrete terms as events, evil spirits, achievements, behavior, objects, places, animals, plants and special occurrences. The study concludes by suggesting further research into socio-cultural metaphors and metonymy in onomastics in African and other languages.

Metaphor, Cognitive Linguistics, Culture, Onomastics, Ekegusii

Cite this paper
Aunga Solomon Onchoke . "A Cognitive Linguistics Study of Ekegusii Onomastics: The Case of the Metaphor." Linguistics and Literature Studies 6.2 (2018) 88 - 98. doi: 10.13189/lls.2018.060206.