An Analysis of Metaphoric Use of Names of Body Parts in the Bantu Language Kifipa

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Languages and Linguistics, Dar es Salaam University College of Education

2 Ruaha University College

Abstract

This paper focused on the way names of body parts are artistically used to convey meanings and messages in Kifipa, a Bantu language spoken in Tanzania. Since the body parts metaphors are used by people to portray meanings in their daily conversations (Kovecses, 2004; Vierke, 2012), the paper investigated such linguistic richness in the language. Methodologically, the study identified names of body parts expressed in Kifipa and analysed their metaphoric use. Results showed that metaphoric use of names of body parts in Kifipa relies on politeness (Watts, 2003), stylistic, and cognitive hypotheses (Jilala, 2012) as well as helping in word economy. It was argued herein that, before interpreting metaphors related to names of body parts, the context of use must be taken into account so as to arrive at the intended meanings. Thus, meanings and functions of the metaphors originating from names of body parts in Kifipa do not create universal terms that can be applied everywhere, at every time in every socio-cultural group, rather they are context-based.

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