SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF METAPHORICAL EXPRESSIONS AS USED BY POLITICIANS

SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF METAPHORICAL EXPRESSIONS AS USED BY POLITICIANS

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the use of selected Hausa metaphorical expressions in the speeches of Kano State politicians from Cognitive Semantic field for six years (2008 – 2014). It was observed that the politicians in the State were using metaphor in the manner that it did not only persuade the listener but sometimes produced unintended meanings that were mostly to the detriment of the speaker. The study, therefore, sought to establish the concepts the politicians were employing to discuss political issues metaphorically, the way they were concealing the intended meanings in the metaphors so as to avoid being held responsible for the negative outcomes of the speeches, the reason why the speeches produced unintended meanings, and the factors influencing the selection of a metaphor. Cherteris-Black‟s (2004) critical metaphor analysis (CMA) was used as both the theoretical framework and method of data analysis. The three stages of CMA were used to analyse metaphor: metaphor identification, interpretation and explanation. Data for the study was collected from the speeches of Kano State politicians who attended different radio political programmes. The programmes were aired by seven FM radio stations from Monday to Friday every week. The study found that the politicians drew metaphors from twenty-one concepts to account for a political subject matter. They utilised Lakoff and Johnson‟s (1980) skill of highlighting and hiding to encode their messages in the way that they directed the audience‟s attention towards a view and at the same time avoided the liability of any harmful outcome of the speech. However, it was also found that sometimes unintended meaning that was of disadvantage to a speaker escaped from a speech due to the speaker‟s negligence in foreseeing other possible meanings which might manifest from the speech. Moreover, the study found that the ideological and geographical among other contexts that had impact on the selection of one metaphor instead of another. Following the findings of this study, it was concluded that the politicians in the State were utilising different concepts as source domains to talk about political issues. The manifestations of the linguistic metaphors served as evident proof that they conceptualised a political issue before they structured a particular source domain in order to satisfy their desired political needs. This cognitive ability enabled them to strategically send a forceful message that could influence the listening public in an intended direction. However, it was also concluded that some of the metaphors did not always suit the confidence the speaker reposed on them. Instead, they revolved and affected the sender of the message badly. The ideological as well as other factors were found to have impact on the politician‟s selection of a particular metaphor over the other.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

This study examines the use of Hausa metaphorical expressions in the speeches of Kano State

politicians from the cognitive semantic perspective. It is one of the qualities of politics that

individuals sharing similar ideology often form political party based on this belief. Likewise,

politicians in Kano State are largely divided into various groups according to their ideological

affiliations. This diversity of interest leads to a political rivalry that generates hostile arguments

among the parties. In some cases, however, there are even intra-party oppositions producing

groups that are metaphorically known in Hausa as ‘yan adawar cikin gida (the in-house political

opponents). This is not surprising because politics in Nigeria is generally characterised, in the

words of Alo (2008), Hill (2012), Fadakinte (2014) and Corentin (2015), as chaotic – it is linked with

violence.

The era between 2008 and 2014 witnessed a severe opposition between the supporters of the

former governor of the State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and that of the immediate former


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