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Chimaobi Onwukwe, Anthropolinguistic Analysis of Igbo Metaphorical Expressions in:

Anthropos, page 107 - 114

Anthropos, Volume 115 (2020), Issue 1, ISSN: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774, https://doi.org/10.5771/0257-9774-2020-1-107

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ANTHROPOS 113.2018: 395 – 422 Abstract. – The once more-or-less exclusively pastoral Todas of the Nilgiri Mountains in South India still retain vibrant beliefs in gods and goddesses they say once lived among them but thereafter became mountains; they tell also of ancestors who were once living Todas but subsequently became divinities. Beyond such indigenous convictions, Todas have absorbed a plethora of Hindu beliefs and ritual practices. Christian ideology has been propagated among Todas, with foreign-led Christian missionaries succeeded in establishing a breakaway Toda Christian community. But notwithstanding the many divergent sources of Toda religious ideology, the predominant and most public display of Toda ritual activity (apart from among Christian Todas) still centres on their unique sacred dairying cult, despite the rapid decline in the importance of buffaloes in the community’s modern-day economic life. This, together with their exclusively Toda deities and culture heroes seems to suggest a unique ethnic religion, frequently categorized as “non-Hindu.” But demonstrably Indic (therefore, if only loosely, “Hindu”) principles permeate Toda ritual activity. Most notable are the concepts of hierarchy and purity and those of prescribed ritual avoidance coupled with required ritual cooperation. In sum, Toda religion – like the Toda community itself – is at once unique and, at the same time, thoroughly Indic. [South India, Nilgiri Mountains, Toda] Anthony Walker, an Oxford-trained social anthropologist, retired as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Brunei Darussalam in 2011 and now lives in Kandy, Sri Lanka. His peripatetic career has included teaching positions at the Science University of Malaysia in Penang, the National University of Singapore, The Ohio State University, and the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. – He began his, still-ongoing, field studies with the Todas in 1962 and has also conducted long-term field research (since 1966) on the Tibeto-Burman speaking Lahu peoples of the Yunnan-Indochina borderlands. – For his major publications on the Todas see References Cited. The Todas believe in their Goddess Thekershi (Tö·kisy1). They worship Goddess Thekershi for protection during their eternal (perhaps “mortal” was intended) existence and they also worship God Ayan (Ö·n) to protect them after death. The Todas do not observe idol worship. Todas worship light, fire, mountains, trees, rivers, sky, sun, and moon, which are believed to be the major creations of their Goddess Thekershi.2 1 Introduction In his recent book “Religion. An Anthropological Perspective” (2015: 9), Professor Homayun Sidky, my much esteemed former PhD student at The Ohio State University, claims: “no single definition has been able to capture the entire picture” of the religious phenomenon. “For this reason”, Sidky writes, “some argue that religion is best thought of as a multifaceted phenomenon with many interpenetrating dimensions as opposed to being viewed as a unitary occurrence.” This indeed is my interpretation of religion as understood and practised by the once more-or-less exclusively pastoral Toda community 1 The orthography of Toda in this essay follows that of Murray Emeneau (1957: 19; 1984: 5–49), except that I have added hyphenation where I feel this might assist non-specialists with pronunciation, hence my To·r-θas and Töw-fił̣y, where Emeneau has To·rθas and Töwfił̣y. (Note, however, that I do not add hyphenation to Toda words when quoting directly – as I do frequently – from Emeneau’s various works. Further assistance with the pronunciation of Toda words rendered in Emeneau’s transcription can be had from Tarun Chhabra’s “A Guide for the Transliteration of Toda” in his 2015 book “The Toda Landscape,” pp. xxxvii–xliii. 2 From the pen of Pöḷ-xe·n, son of Mut-iŝky – his name anglicized as Pellican (n. d.) – a member of Ka·s patriclan, first president of the Nilgiri Toda Uplift Society, high school graduate and literate both in Tamil and English. The Diverse Faces of Toda Religion Anthony R. Walker ANTHROPOS 115.2020: 107–113 Anthropolinguistic Analysis of Igbo Metaphorical Expressions Chimaobi Onwukwe Abstract. – The study examines metaphorical expressions in Igbo. It specifically analyzes the linguistic and cultural values, and beliefs in Igbo metaphors. The study adopted the Key In‐ formant Interview method in data collection as well as intro‐ spection as a native speaker of Igbo. It was discovered that in‐ terpretation of Igbo metaphorical expressions involves the lin‐ guistic features of implicature, inference and referencing well as understanding of the cultural nuances of the referents used in Igbo metaphors. The study identified that metaphorical ex‐ pressions concretize the Igbo worldview. This worldview, be‐ liefs and values are represented in the cultural connotations of referents of Igbo metaphors. The study identified some refer‐ ents with their cultural connotations such as animals, and natu‐ ral/physical objects. The author concludes that understanding of metaphor in Igbo entails knowledge of cultural and contex‐ tual nuances of the referent of the metaphor in the Igbo lan‐ guage and culture. [Nigeria, Igbo, anthropolinguistics, metaphor, Igbo language, culture] Chim obi Onwukwe, PhD; Department of Linguistics and Communicati n studies/Igbo Abia State University,Uturu, Nigeria. Email: chima. wukwe2016@gmail.co Introduction Metaphor as a figure of speech does not only re‐ late one entity to another by associating their fea‐ tures but also are vital expressions of traditional thoughts, belief and worldview of the Igbo. The Igbo value and use metaphors in conversations. Like in other climes or cultures, the Igbo use metaphors by associating features of an entity-ani‐ mate or inanimate, to a person, or situations. Metaphorical expressions in Igbo could be about a person, conduct or behaviour as well as on cultur‐ ally significant issues such as religion, thoughts, practices etc. The Igbo conceptualize and con‐ cretize realities as well as their worldview implic‐ itly using metaphorical expressions. The con‐ cretizing of their realities is achieved by associat‐ ing features or attributes of an entity to another. Also, s me conc pts in Igbo ar conceptualized using the same as ociation pattern. Metaphor has been studied from different per‐ spectives: as a rhetoric and cognitive aspect of Ig‐ bo language (Zhang and Hu 2009; Guo 2013; Okeogu 2015; Onumajuru 2017). From the angle of rhetoric, which is where the present study looks at metaphor, it is seen that a gap exists in terms of analysis of etaphor in Igbo taking into cog‐ nizance linguistic and cultural implications of metaphor. Hence, the present study focuses on an‐ thropoli guistic analysis of Igbo metaphorical ex‐ pressions and asp cts of the Igbo c lture implied (implicature) in Igbo metap ors. The word “Igbo” i used to denote both the peo‐ ple and the language. Igbo is spoken by tens of mil ons of people in the South-Eastern geo-politi‐ cal zone of Nigeria. It is spoken as the only lan‐ guage in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. These are monolingual states. It is also spoken as a major language in multilingual states of Delta and Rivers in t e South-South geo-politi‐ cal zone. Igbo is a major language of communica‐ tion in Nigeria with approximately 25 million peo‐ ple talking it as their first language (Agbo 2010). In presenting data for this study, the Gre n and Ig‐ we (1963) tone marking conventio is adopted, where low and step tones are marked and high tone unmarked. Anthropos 115.2020 Study Objectives and Methodology The study has the following objectives: (i) Examine metaphorical expressions in Igbo (ii) Analyze the linguistic features and implied cultural values and beliefs in Igbo metaphors. In order to achieve these objectives, we adopted the qualitative, descriptive and analytical ap‐ proaches. As a study with a qualitative paradigm orientation, I also adopted the Key Informant In‐ terviews (KII) involving oral interview method of some 20 informants in Igbo who are believed to be relevant enough as to elicit appropriate responses on Igbo metaphor. Also introspection featured in data collection as the researcher is a native speak‐ er of the Igbo language, born and bred in the Igbo culture area. Theoretical background Metaphor Metaphor as a concept has been variously con‐ ceived. Our concern in this section however, is to present an overview of the various definitions of metaphor and subsequently discuss different per‐ suasions in the conception of the term metaphor. Lodge (1981: 10) observes that “Metaphor is a figure of substitution based on similarity.” He further asserts that that two things being consid‐ ered must be similar as to be substituted, one for the other. It is based on similarity between things that are otherwise dissimilar and separate in space and time. Metaphorical statements assert some‐ thing to be what it is known not to be. Emezue (2015: 119) states that a construction is defined as metaphorical when as implied comparison is made between two unlike things. Metaphors are means by which words carry cultural, linguistic and liter‐ al meanings. A simple way of defining metaphor is to “say that it is a way of using language to make a comparison so that people are caused to understand something in relation to something else.” According to Zhang and Hu (2009: 1), “A study of metaphor is an infant branch of linguistic study and has held tremendous allure to scholars ever since the ancient times. Naturally a great diversity of views have come into being, mainly falling into two schools, namely traditional metaphor and modern metaphor, which interpret metaphor in the line of rhetorics and cognition respectively.” We therefore approach the review from these two per‐ spectives. The Greek Philosophers led by Aristotle championed the traditional conception of the term metaphor. Traditional metaphor or a study of metaphor in the line of rhetoric can be traced back to scholars from Aristotle to Richards. In his fa‐ mous works Poetics, Aristotle gives his definition of metaphor: “Metaphor consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else; the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, or on grounds of analogy” (Lan 2005). Richards (1936) asserts that the essence of metaphor lies in an interaction between a metaphorical expression and the context in which it is used. The Interaction Theory arises from a correct observation in that as for a conventional metaphor which links a source domain and a target domain, speaking about the source domain alone may bring to mind the target domain. On the modern conception of metaphor, Zhang and Hu (2009: 1) state that “Studies of metaphor have taken on an absolutely new look ever since 1980 s, evidenced by “Metaphors We Live By” collaborated by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), which has rocked to the core studies of metaphor in lin‐ guistic field, attributing to their interpretation of metaphor system in the line of cognition named modern metaphor and proposes that metaphor is a matter of thought and action rather than a device of poetic imagination and the rhetoric flourish.” Similarly, Kövecses (2002) presents a demonstra‐ tion that emotions such as anger, pride and love are conceptualized structure in everyday language. All these studies illustrate the cognitive idea of metaphor, i.e. metaphor mediates human under‐ standing and world view (Lan 2005). Theory of “Implicature” Grice‘s (1967) most influential contribution to philosophy and linguistics is his theory of implica‐ ture, which he first began developing in his 1961 article, “The Causal Theory of Perception,” but which is most fully explored in his 1967 William James Lectures on “Logic and Conversation.” Ac‐ cording to Labov (1998) the theory of implicature has been useful in analyzing language use and meaning contextualization in literary works partic‐ ularly poetry of various genres where some cultur‐ al values, norms and beliefs are implicatures derivable from analyzing the use of words and ex‐ pressions in poetry. This has influenced our choice of this theory since this study is about the cultural implications of Igbo metaphor. Grice (1967) 108 Chimaobi Onwukwe Anthropos 115.2020 makes the following distinctions: the saying/impli‐ cating distinction. According to Grice, what a speaker means by an utterance can be divided into what the speaker “says” and what the speaker thereby “implicates.” Grice makes it clear that the notion of saying what he has in mind, though related to a colloquial sense of the word, is somewhat technical, referring to it as “a favored notion of ‘saying’ that must be further elucidated.” Nonetheless, Grice never set‐ tled on a full elucidation or definition of his fa‐ vored notion of saying, and the interpretation of this notion has become a contentious issue in the philosophy of language. In relation to this study, we examine value, norms and culture of the Igbo as “implicatures” embedded in the metaphors. This is considered as aspects of conventional and generalized implicatures of Grice’s (1967) theory of pragmatics. Data Presentation, Analysis and Discussion of Findings References of Metaphorical Expressions in Igbo Referents are entities to which a person, action, situation, conduct etc is associated with in metaphors. Concretizing the Igbo worldview or re‐ alities using metaphors is essentially achieved by the referents. For this reason, the Igbo are selec‐ tive of referents of their metaphorical expressions as they have cultural significance. We identified the following referents of the Igbo metaphors: (i) Body-parts (ii) Animals (iii)Natural and physical objects. Some body-parts In Igbo, body-part centered expressions reveal sig‐ nificant aspects of emotions and thought patterns. They often center on persons, conduct and behav‐ ior. According to Okoye (1992: 176) “Igbo bodypart metaphors mediate on analogy or a trait, strengths, and frailties, beauty, ugliness, kindness, wickedness with certain parts of the body.” In ad‐ dition, Okeogu (2015) holds thus: “The use of body-part metaphors results from the fact that the Igbo attach central importance to the body. Some of the identified body-parts often used as referents in Igbo metaphors include: 1) Face (ihu) – the face as a referent of Igbo metaphorical expressions has many folk inter‐ pretations. The face houses the eyes, nose, ears and mouth; an area above the neck and is frontal area of the head. In Igbo, it can be used metaphorically to depict shame, bad or good fortune, hypocrisy and cheerfulness as can be seen in the following examples: (a) ihu o͎ma – good/fine face (“one of good fortune”) (b) ihu o͎jo͎o͎ – bad/ugly face (“one of bad for‐ tune”) (c) mmechù ihu – getting the face dirty (“shame”) (d) ihu o͎cha – clean face (“cheerfulness”) (e) ihu abuo͎ – two faces (“hypocrisy”) 2) Heart/Belly (obi/afo) – the heart/belly serve as referents of Igbo metaphorical expressions. The Igbo use the two interchangeably to often represent emotions such as kindness, content‐ ment, wickedness, and anger. We see such in the following examples: (a) ̀Onye obi/afo͎ o͎ma – good heart/belly (“kind person”) (b) Onye afo/obi ojoo – bad heart/belly (“wicked person”) (c) Afo j̀uru ̀– filled belly (“contentment”) (d) Obi iwe – “anger” (e) Obi ike – “strong heart” (f) Obi uto͎ – sweet heart (“happiness”) (g) Obi mmirì – “kind/sift hearted” (h) Obi okwute – “heartless” (i) Obi ilu – “bitterness” 3) Tongue (ire) – the use of the tongue as referent of Igbo metaphors is borne out of the fact that the tongue is significant in the Igbo culture. It is often associated with negative/deceptive ten‐ dencies in conduct and bahaviour. Some exam‐ ples are: (a) ire u͎to͎ – sweet tongue (“deceptive”) (b) ire nko͎ – sharp tongue (“dangerous/snip‐ per”) (c) ire u͎gba – “flippant/talkative” 4) Foot (ukwu) – the Igbo often use the feet as metaphorical referents. The feet have cultural interpretations when used metaphorically and they include bad/good fortune, character or conduct and disposition of a person. For con‐ ducts, we have depiction of promiscuity, avoid‐ ance of trouble, exposed/troubled, opposition or fastness/speed. The disposition could be “state of being restrained/handicapped” as can be seen in the following examples: Anthropolinguistic Analysis of Igbo Metaphorical Expressions 109 Anthropos 115.2020 (a) U͎kwu͎ ako͎/di n’ezi – the feet that are al‐ ways outside (“promiscuity or trouble‐ some”) (b) Ichiba u͎kwu n’ulo͎ – take the feet into the house (“avoiding trouble”) (c) Ichipu͎ta u͎kwu n’ezi – take the feet outside (“exposed/troubled person”) (d) Igbaa u͎kwu – to kick (“opposition”) (e) Ukwu nko͎ – sharp leg (“fast one or one with speed”) (f) u͎kwu ejiela – feet broken (“restrained/ handicapped”) Animals The Igbo often associate certain features or at‐ tributes of some animals in describing things espe‐ cially human beings hence such animals serve as referents of such metaphors in Igbo. This is based on the attributes or features of such animals whether negative or positive. In fact, virtually all animals can serve as referents depending on what the speaker wants to describe. We have the follow‐ ing animals and some of their attributes which could be associated with in metaphorical sense: (a) ̀Enwe – monkey (“ugly, wayward, primitive”) (b) O͎dum – lion (“fearless, brave, strong”) (c) ̀Mbe – tortoise (“cunning, deceitful”) (d) Enyi – elephant (“fatness, bigness”) (e) Egbe – kite (“sharpness”) (f) Mgbaàdà – antelope (“fastness, swiftness”) (g) ̀Nkita – dog (“promiscuity”) (h) Ud̀elè – vulture (“ugly, not-useful, has no ene‐ my, associate of deities”) (i) At̀urù – lamb/sheep (“harmless, gentle, fool‐ ish”) (j) Ewu – goat (“senseless, foolish”) (k) agwo̟ – snake (“deceitful, long”) Natural and Physical Objects In Igbo metaphors, people or things could be de‐ scribed by associating them with natural and phys‐ ical objects of cultural significance. It is the at‐ tributes of the natural and physical objects that de‐ scribe the thing or individual hence they serve as referents of Igbo metaphorical expressions. Con‐ sider some examples below: (a) Aja (Ego bu aja) – sand/soil (“plenty”) (b) Ahia (Uwa bu ahia) – market place (“seasonal, temporal, periodic,” etc.) (c) O͎ji (Emeka bu o͎ji) – iroko tree (“a figure, rare personality, celebrity,” etc.) (d) Ugwu (Enyi m bu ugwu) – mountain (“hin‐ drance/obstacle”) The connotations of the referents are associated with the thing described. These connotations are culturally defined. Anthropolinguistic Analysis Igbo metaphorical expression derive their mean‐ ings linguistically (contextually/pragmatically) and culturally. Traditional thoughts, belief and val‐ ues represent the life of the Igbo which could be reflected in metaphors. Metaphorical expressions project and reinforce the Igbo core values. In addi‐ tion, some ills and social abnormalities are ex‐ pressed using metaphors and these forms of metaphors represent what we call metaphors about culturally significant issues and some examples are given below: (a) U͎wa bu͎ ahia – life/existence is a market place (“Life/existence is seasonal, temporal, pur‐ pose-driven etc.”) (b) U͎wa bu͎ o͎ku – life/existence is fire (“Life/exis‐ tence is filled with challenges and pains”) (c) O͎nwu bu͎ agu̟ – death is a lion (“Death is strong, fearless, formidable”) (d) Amamihe bu͎ oke o͎hia – wisdom is a big forest (“wisdom is inexhaustible”) From the examples above, it is evident that these forms of metaphorical expressions do not deal with a person, conduct, behavior but are on Igbo worldview. Their referents are essentially animals and natural /physical objects. Igbo metaphorical expressions derive their meanings contextually. In pragmatic sense, metaphors in Igbo can be analyzed in terms of context of usage, presuppositions, inferences and schemata knowledge. By context of usage, we consider the situation/circumstances or even sub‐ ject of discussion. By presupposition, we mean in‐ formation that is taken for granted as common or shared knowledge between a speaker and hearer. By inference, we refer to the meaning or interpre‐ tation given to an utterance base on some knowl‐ edge of the world around language users. Schema‐ ta knowledge refers to knowledge shared on a sub‐ ject matter by language users or between speaker and hearer. We therefore proceed to analyze the meanings of some metaphors in Igbo based on the above‐ mentioned linguistic indices in relation to the Igbo cultural values and beliefs. Consider the following examples: 110 Chimaobi Onwukwe Anthropos 115.2020 (a) ihu abuo͎ – two faces (literally); “deceitful” (metaphorically) (b) ihu o͎cha – clean/white face (“cheerfulness”) (c) Obi mmir̀i – heart of water/river/sea (“kindhearted”) (d) Obi ilu – bitter heart (“wickedness”) (e) Emeka bu͎ Udele ̀– Emeka is a vulture (“Eme‐ ka is ugly, associated with the deities”) (f) Ada bu agwo̟ – Ada is a snake (“Ada is deceit‐ ful,” etc.) (g) Uwa bu͎ ahia – life/existence is a market place (“Life/existence is seasonal, temporal, etc.”) (h) O̟nwu bu agu͎ – Death is a lion (“Death is forceful, strong, brave” etc.) The literal meaning of the metaphors is necessary in identifying the context of usage, presupposi‐ tions, inference and schemata knowledge. Exam‐ ples 8 (a-h) have the following as context of us‐ age: example (a) and (b) reference to conduct, while (c) and (f) are used in context referring to behavior/conduct. However, (g) and (h) are used in the context of explaining a belief, thought or values. The meanings of the metaphors are tightly embedded in the context of their usage. We take them on after another. Example (a) ihu abuo, “deceit” presupposes that both the speaker and hearer are of or immersed in Igbo language and culture to be able to by analogy and structured correspondence, interpret the metaphor. The inferences that could be drawn in identifying the meaning are (i) the face (ihu) in Ig‐ bo culture represents a person, his conduct/behav‐ ior and is symbolic of fortune. According to Nwoye (1992: 164), “Among the Igbo, the face is symbolic of a personality and his life as orches‐ trated by his individual providence chi” (ii) two (abuo) is duality which when paired with the face represents an abnormal situation by creation. An understanding of these leads to interpretation of ihu abuo as metaphorical expression for “deceit.” The same interpretation process goes for Ihu ocha, “cheerfulness,” obi mmiri “soft-kind hearted,” and obi-ilu “wickedness.” The face (ihu), to the Igbo represents a personality and when paired with ocha (clean/white), infers a personality that is “cheerful.” To the Igbo, the heart/belly (obi/afo) is contain‐ er or seat of one’s action or behavior and thus ex‐ plains their use in metaphorical expressions. They are symbolic of one’s traits and when paired with mmiri (water, sea, and river) which connotes an ‘undisturbed/untroubled’ situation, it infers a be‐ havior/ trait of “kindness” or “accommodating.” It is believed that kindness comes partly from an un‐ troubled/undisturbed and accommodating disposi‐ tion. Bitter (ilu), when paired with obi (heart-seat of behavior), infers a wicked disposition or trait. For the examples in (e) and (f), udele (vulture) and agwo (snake), have varied presupposed con‐ notations in the Igbo culture. For udele “vulture,” the connotation of “ugly” reflects its form as bird, while the connotation of “not being useful,” re‐ flects the fact that unlike other birds, it is not edi‐ ble. Other connotations are “associate of deities/ spirits” which reflects a cultural belief among the Igbo that vultures are messengers of the spirits/ deities and as such they go about unharmed and seen to have no enemy. Onukawa (2016) observes that “the Igbo revere the deities or spirits and they transfer the reverence to objects, persons, animals or things associated with them.” These connota‐ tions are inferred in the statement: Emeka bu Udele which could metaphorically mean: (i) Emeka is ugly; (ii) Emeka is not useful; (iii)Emeka is an associate of the deities/spirits; (iv) Emeka has no enemy; For the example (f), agwo (snake), has some con‐ notations such as “long” which reflects its form as reptile as well as “deceitful” which reflects the role played by the snake in some Igbo traditional folk and myths. Associating these connotations to the person of Ada, would led to the metaphorical meanings of “tall/long, deceitful.” For the exam‐ ples of (g) and (h), u͎wa bu ahia and o͎nwu bu agu͎, they are examples of conceptualization of the Igbo worldview using metaphors. The concepts: U͎wa (existence/life) and o͎nwu (death) and the percep‐ tion of the Igbo about them are implied in the metaphorical expressions. “Implicature is what a speaker can imply, suggest or mean as distinct from what is literally said” (Emezue 2015: 107). The Igbo beliefs on these concepts are implied by associating them with ahia (market place) and agu̟ (lion). By associating U͎wa (life/existence) with ahia (market place, the belief of the Igbo im‐ plied is that life is a journey, seasonal, purposedriven. To the Igbo, the market place is seasonal, periodic, gone for a purpose after which one re‐ turns to one’s abode. The association of ahia with U͎wa suggests or implies the belief of the Igbo in reincarnation because by leaving a market place after achieving your purpose, one could as well visit it again when it (market) holds. So, the ex‐ pression (U͎wa bu Ahia) could metaphorically mean: Anthropolinguistic Analysis of Igbo Metaphorical Expressions 111 Anthropos 115.2020 (i) Life/existence is temporal (ii) Life/existence is seasonal (iii)Life/existence is purpose-driven (iv) Life/existence could be reincarnated. The market place to the Igbo has the connotations of transiency, and purpose-driven because it is be‐ lieved that no one except the mad or mentally de‐ ranged visits the market place without a purpose or goal which he/she achieves and thereafter leaves, suggesting the temporary nature of the market place. It is pertinent to state that as ob‐ served by Onukawa (2016: 7) “Human existence is a very important issue in the Igbo traditional thought. Human life is synonymous with “exis‐ tence” and this is the core meaning of the nominal uwa. For the expression: O̟nwu bu agu, (“death is a lion”), the belief of the Igbo about Onwu (“death”) is implied by associating the attributes of the ani‐ mal (agu – “lion”) with the concept of Onwu. Lion has the attributes or connotations of “strong, brave, formidable, and powerful.” So the expres‐ sion could metaphorically mean: (i) Onwu (death) is strong (ii) Death is brave/fearless (iii)Death is formidable (iv) Death is powerful (v) Death is dreadful In support of these metaphorical meanings as be‐ liefs of the Igbo about the concept of death, Onukawa (2016: 15) observes that: “The Igbo be‐ lieve that death (Onwu) is an inescapable fact of life. They believe in the inevitability of death as a necessity for reincarnation, yet they have an innate fear for death.” He further alludes that for the Ig‐ bo, death is the society’s strongest foe. “They therefore have names in which they express their apprehension of death’s awful activity such as On‐ wudiegwu (death is dreadful), Onwuatuegwu (death is fearless), etc.” (p.16). Dreadful and fear‐ less are some connotations of the Lion (agu) which further justifies its use in metaphorical sense to describe death (Onwu). In support of our findings and on the place of culture in decoding metaphors, Zhang and Hu (2009) hold as follows: “Self-evidently, context is of great importance to recognizing and decoding metaphors. Moreover, there exists an interaction between context and subject, for which reason many scholars argue that metaphors should be ap‐ proached from the perspective of pragmatics, for no linguistic element can stand isolated from the context.” The inference from this observation is that by context, Zhang and Hu refer to cultural in‐ terpretation of the referents of a metaphorical ex‐ pression. Further lending credence to our findings, Okodo (2012) posits that idioms are expressions that have agreed meaning from culture to culture. Using data from the Igbo language, the same au‐ thor claims that idiomatic meanings are analytical‐ ly realized from the meanings of the individual words in the expressions. Still on metaphorical interpretation as an aspect of culture cognition, Okoye and Madike (2016) are of the view that the cognitive approach to id‐ iom posits that metaphor and metonymy are rele‐ vant to the understanding of idiomatic expres‐ sions. The importance of the cognitive approach has to do with the analysis of idioms as structures that are understood in terms of cognitive mechan‐ isms. The study of language generally within this view, involves the description and analysis of pat‐ terns of conceptualization. The approach also rec‐ ognizes background knowledge as being essential in meaning interpretation in the minds of language speakers. Those who hold this view include Lakoff and Johnson (2003), Kövecses (2002) and Langlotz (2006) among others. The finding that Igbo project some culturally significant issues through metaphors has been al‐ luded to by some scholars. For instance, in recog‐ nizing the place of personal names in society, Onukawa (2016) observes that the Igbo metaphor‐ ically reveal their innate fear for such concepts as death, deities/spirits, and other concepts. He holds that such names as onwubiko (death please) sug‐ gests the awe associated with death and that leads to the appeal to it. Also, on body-parts as referents of Igbo metaphor, Nwoye (1992) submits that the Igbo concretize their world and make culturally interpreted meanings to body-parts. These bodyparts reveal the understanding of the Igbo about human actions, inaction and general behaviour. Summary and Conclusion It has been revealed in this study that like other cultures, the Igbo frame their world and realities using metaphorical expressions. Metaphors are custodians of Igbo views about life and issues that substantially reflect the core values of the Igbo so‐ ciety. This is achieved by the use or choice of ref‐ erents. We identified some referents of Igbo metaphorical expressions to include body-parts, animals and natural and physical objects. Bodybased expressions are found to have varied cultur‐ al interpretations which explain their use in metaphors in Igbo. It was found that some body 112 Chimaobi Onwukwe Anthropos 115.2020 parts like the face, heart/belly, tongue; the feet as well as the head among others serve as referents of the Igbo metaphors. Also, animals are often used in Igbo to describe things by associating the at‐ tributes of such animals to those things described. Some of such animals include goat, snake, dog, vulture, sheep, etc., as well as natural and physical objects such as sand (aja), iroko tree (oji), etc are also used as referents. They have cultural signifi‐ cance among the Igbo for which they are associat‐ ed with certain things being described. The study equally found that interpretation of metaphors in Igbo involves an understanding of the linguistic issues such as context of usage, pre‐ suppositions, inferences and schemata knowledge as well as the cultural dimension. We have been able to show through analysis of some metaphors in Igbo that inferences are basic in identifying cul‐ tural nuances of referents used in metaphor while implicature (implication) reveal some belief and values in metaphors. It is the conclusion of this study that metaphor in Igbo is a figure of speech that reveals cultural aspects of the Igbo, and its in‐ terpretation is carried on contextually. Metaphors in Igbo concretize and conceptualize the realities of the Igbo. Hence, an understanding of metaphor in Igbo entails knowledge of cultural and contex‐ tual nuances of the referent of the metaphor in the Igbo language and culture. Works Cited Agbo, Maduabuchi On the Igbo Verbs with Body-Part Complements. Jour‐ nal of Linguistics and Language Teaching 3/2: 173– 196. Emezue, Godwin I. Introduction to English Semantics. Enugu: Springfield 2010 2015 Grice, H. Paul Logic and Conversation. Syntax and Semantics. In: Pe‐ ter Cole and Jerry Morgan (eds.), Speech Acts, vol. 3; pp. 71–97. New York: Academic Press. Guo, Song Metaphor Studies from the Perspectives of Critical Dis‐ course Analysis. A Case Study of Business Acquisition. Theory and Practice in Language Studies 3/3: 475–481. Kövecses, Zoltan Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP. Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Lan, C. Cognitive Linguistics and Metaphoric Study. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press Lodge, B. Stylistics of Writing. London: London Press Nwoye, Onuigbo G. Body-based Metaphors in Igbo. Journal of Asian and African Studies 44: 167–177. Okeogu, Chidinma I. Body-Parts Metaphor in Igbo. Nigerian Language Stud‐ ies 2/3: 92–97 Okodo, Ikechukwu The Art of Rhetoric among the Igbo People of Nigeria. Mgbokoigba Journal of African Studies 1/1: 191–208. Onukawa, M. C. Gini bu Aha gi? Topical Issues on Personal Naming in Traditional Igbo Society. Uturu: Abia State University. Onumajuru, Virginia C. The Semantics of Metaphorical Extension in Igbo. African Research Review 11/1: 232–245 Richards, I. A. The Philosophy of Rhetoric. London: Oxford UP. Zhang, Fachun and Jianpeng Hu A study of Metaphor and its Application to Language Teaching and Learning. International Education Stud‐ ies 2/2: 77–81 1975 2013 2002 1980 2005 1981 1992 2015 2012 2016 2017 1936 2009 Anthropolinguistic Analysis of Igbo Metaphorical Expressions 113 Anthropos 115.2020

Abstract

The study examines metaphorical expressions in Igbo. It specifically analyzes the linguistic and cultural values, and beliefs in Igbo metaphors. The study adopted the Key Informant Interview method in data collection as well as introspection as a native speaker of Igbo. It was discovered that interpretation of Igbo metaphorical expressions involves the linguistic features of implicature, inference and referencing well as understanding of the cultural nuances of the referents used in Igbo metaphors. The study identified that metaphorical expressions concretize the Igbo worldview. This worldview, beliefs and values are represented in the cultural connotations of referents of Igbo metaphors. The study identified some referents with their cultural connotations such as animals, and natural/physical objects. The author concludes that understanding of metaphor in Igbo entails knowledge of cultural and contextual nuances of the referent of the metaphor in the Igbo language and culture.

References
Agbo, Maduabuchi
2010 On the Igbo Verbs with Body-Part Complements. Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching 3/2: 173–196.
Emezue, Godwin I.
2015 Introduction to English Semantics. Enugu: Springfield
Grice, H. Paul
1975 Logic and Conversation. Syntax and Semantics. In: Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan (eds.), Speech Acts, vol. 3; pp. 71–97. New York: Academic Press.
Guo, Song
2013 Metaphor Studies from the Perspectives of Critical Discourse Analysis. A Case Study of Business Acquisition. Theory and Practice in Language Studies 3/3: 475–481.
Kövecses, Zoltan
2002 Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson
1980 Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Lan, C.
2005 Cognitive Linguistics and Metaphoric Study. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press
Lodge, B.
1981 Stylistics of Writing. London: London Press
Nwoye, Onuigbo G.
1992 Body-based Metaphors in Igbo. Journal of Asian and African Studies 44: 167–177.
Okeogu, Chidinma I.
2015 Body-Parts Metaphor in Igbo. Nigerian Language Studies 2/3: 92–97
Okodo, Ikechukwu
2012 The Art of Rhetoric among the Igbo People of Nigeria. Mgbokoigba Journal of African Studies 1/1: 191–208.
Onukawa, M. C.
2016 Gini bu Aha gi? Topical Issues on Personal Naming in Traditional Igbo Society. Uturu: Abia State University.
Onumajuru, Virginia C.
2017 The Semantics of Metaphorical Extension in Igbo. African Research Review 11/1: 232–245
Richards, I. A.
1936 The Philosophy of Rhetoric. London: Oxford UP.
Zhang, Fachun and Jianpeng Hu
2009 A study of Metaphor and its Application to Language Teaching and Learning. International Education Studies 2/2: 77–81

Abstract

Anthropos is the international journal of anthropology and linguistics, founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt, missonary and member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Its main purpose is the study of human societies in their cultural dimension. In honor of Wilhelm Schmidt‘s legacy, the cultivation of anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies remain an essential component oft he Anthropos Institute – the organizational carrier of the journal.

Zusammenfassung

Anthropos - internationale Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde wird vom Anthropos Institut St. Augustin seit 1906 zweimal jährlich herausgegeben. Ursprünglich als Sprachrohr für katholische Missionarsarbeit geplant, gilt sie heute als wichtige Fachzeitschrift der allgemeinen Ethnologie. Sie behandelt sowohl kulturelle als auch sprachliche Themen in mehreren Sprachen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Völkern des gesamtamerikanischen und afrikanischen Kontinents.