Monday, May 15, 2023

Metaphorical personal names in Mabia languages of Ghana


"Metaphorical personal names in Mabia languages of Ghana" by Hasiyatu Abubakari (University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana) & Samuel Alhassan Issah (University of Education, Winneba, Ghana) Personal names provide a rich inventory of the use of metaphors in names and naming practices among speakers of Mabia (Gur) languages of Ghana. This study examines the use of figurative and non-figurative personal names that express concepts, opinions, world views, and belief systems of speakers of Dagbani, Kusaal, Likpapkaln and Sisali languages. The source domains of these names include flora and fauna terms, innuendos, death preventions names, circumstances surrounding the birth of the name bearer among others. Below is the use of flora and fauna terms for personal names: Names from Kusaal Adoonr [meaning] 'named after the African locust bean tree' Akugur [meaning]'named after a stone' Awaaf [meaning] ‘named after a snake’ The sociocultural and ethnolinguistic factors that influence the use of these names will equally be central to this study. The main research objectives are to (i) identify the various categories of metaphorical names in the four selected Mabia languages (ii) map these names to their respective source domains (iii) examine the sociocultural and ethnolinguistic underpinnings of these metaphorical names by discussing the impact of metaphorical names on both the name bearers and the culture of the people. It will be observed that experiences, belief systems, 'death weapons', flora and fauna, deities, are used as personal names. This work will be carried using both primary and secondary data. The conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 1993, Croft and Cruse 2004 among others) will be used for the analysis. DR. HASIYATU ABUBAKARI is a Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. Her research focuses on minority languages and cultures of Northern Ghana. Her interest covers both descriptive and theoretical linguistics in areas including Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics, Information Structure, Onomastics, Sociolinguistics, folklore, among others. DR. SAMUEL ALHASSAN ISSAH is a Senior Lecturer in linguistics and indigenous languages at the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. His research focuses on the syntax and literature of Dagbani and related languages. He focuses on information structure, the syntax of anaphoric elements, the expression of negation, among others.

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