Analysis of Conceptual Metaphors in Gichuka Social Discourse: An Ontological Perspective

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science
© 2022 by SSRG - IJHSS Journal
Volume 9 Issue 3
Year of Publication : 2022
Authors : Emise Kageni Miriti, Nancy W. Mbaka
How to Cite?

Emise Kageni Miriti, Nancy W. Mbaka, "Analysis of Conceptual Metaphors in Gichuka Social Discourse: An Ontological Perspective," SSRG International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, vol. 9,  no. 3, pp. 74-83, 2022. Crossref,


This paper analyses the conceptual metaphors used in Gichuka social discourse, focusing on ontological metaphors. Its purpose is to investigate how language is manipulated by Gichuka speakers through metaphor to achieve varied social goals and shape social reality. Metaphor determines how people think and how they understand their reality. Therefore, people use metaphors both as a rhetorical tool and as a tool to enhance comprehension. The study is guided by the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) by Lakoff and Johnson. It employs purposive sampling of five main Gichuka speech events: a birthday party, a burial ceremony, a religious meeting, menial work activity, and a dowry negotiation. It also employs pile sort tasks to group the data for analysis. Metaphor is identified using Metaphor Identification Procedure Vrije Universiteit (MIPVU). The results reveal that Gichuka's social discourse is highly motivated by metaphor. Entities, activities, states, and emotions are conceptualized as CONTAINERS, SUBSTANCES, and OBJECTS. The CONTAINER metaphor is found to be the most predominantly used ontological metaphor. Ontological metaphors are also found to perform other functions such as referring, identifying aspects, setting goals and motivating actions, and quantifying and identifying causes within the social discourse. The most prevalent function of ontological metaphor in Gichuka social discourse is referring. This study conventionalizes and invigorates the use of Gichuka social discourse metaphors. It puts the Gichuka language in the limelight, and the results of this study can be used for cross-culture studies. This study also contributes to the linguistic theory by demonstrating that Gichuka conforms to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory(CMT).


Conceptualize, Discourse, Ontological metaphors, Source Domain, Target Domain.


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