Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 5(5), pp. 375 - 389
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050506
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Cross-cultural Variations of the HIV/AIDS IS DEATH Pictorial Metaphor

Magonya Achieng' Lilian *
Department of Linguistics, Maseno University, Kenya


For three decades now, HIV/AIDS undeniably remains one of the leading killer diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. The same narrative is advanced in the literature by sociologists and epidemiologists where mental images that cognitively represent a true African embodied experience with HIV /AIDS is death and its respective personifications such as HIV/AIDS IS A SNAKE, HIV/AIDS IS A WALKING CORPSE and HIV/AIDS IS GRIM REAPER (cf. Sabatier, 1987, Sontag, 1988, De Waal, 2006 and Magonya, 2012). From the foregoing, it can be said that linguistic studies on cross-cultural variations of the HIV/AIDS IS DEATH pictorial metaphor in posters are relatively few in cognitive linguistics. Furthermore, there is need to undertake scientific investigations on how mental images are psychologically and metaphorically linked to the embodied experience with the pandemic. In this regard, the two fold objectives of this paper are: First and foremost, to study the cross-domain mappings of the HIV/AIDS IS DEATH pictorial metaphors and second to investigate cross-cultural variations of the aforementioned pictorial metaphor. The conceptual framework guiding the study espouses arguments from Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and Lakoff and Turner (1989) on the conceptual metaphor theory (CMT), with specific focus on death metaphors outlined in More than cool reason. A field guide to poetic metaphor, together with Kövesces (2010) arguments on metaphor and variation. The study will employ an analytic research design and data will be collected from 11 purposively sampled websites where a total of 20 posters coined around HIV/AIDS IS DEATH pictorial metaphor were drawn. Using content analysis, data collected from online sources was coded, arranged into themes and analyzed qualitatively. The findings for the study are consistent with Kövesces thesis on the existence of cross-cultural variations in HIV/AIDS IS DEATH conceptual metaphor.

HIV/AIDS, Death Metaphors, Cognition

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Magonya Achieng' Lilian , "Cross-cultural Variations of the HIV/AIDS IS DEATH Pictorial Metaphor," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 375 - 389, 2017. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050506.

(b). APA Format:
Magonya Achieng' Lilian (2017). Cross-cultural Variations of the HIV/AIDS IS DEATH Pictorial Metaphor. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 5(5), 375 - 389. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050506.