• Track Your Paper
  • Submit Now
  • Join Us

ISSN: 2456-7620

A Cognitive Analysis of meta phorical euphemisms of death In Kenyan Newspaper Obtuaries

A Cognitive Analysis of meta phorical euphemisms of death In Kenyan Newspaper Obtuaries ( Vol-3,Issue-2,March - April 2018 )

Author: Dr. Anashia Nancy Ong’onda

Keyword: Death euphemism, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Obituaries, Kenyan cultural concept of Death, Kenyan Newspapers.

Abstract: This paper examines metaphorical euphemisms of death appearing in Kenyan newspaper using the theoretical framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory as initiated by Lakoff and Johnson (1980). Obituaries are used to publicly announce death, giving details that can be used to identify the deceased. Thus, a cognitive approach enables us to demonstrate the mitigating capacity of metaphors used as a power fulsource for euphemistic reference. Specifically, this paper investigates metaphorical expressions for death found in Kenyan obituaries, and to which conceptual mappings do these expressions belong and the cognitive processes underlying death euphemisms. Drawing on a corpus of 100 randomly death obituaries collected from the Daily Nation, and the Standard newspaper, the study found that metaphors are used as a euphemistic device for speaking about this fear-based taboo and conceptual mappings of Death in Kenyan obituaries are to some extent culture-Specific. The study found that the social cultural perceptions that the society has towards death greatly influence the language used in the writing of obituaries.


[1] Allan, K. & Kate B. (1991).Euphemism and Dysphemism: Language Used as Shield and Weapon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[2] Bultinck, B. (1998). Metaphors We Die by: Conceptualizations of death in English and their implications for the theory of metaphor. Antwerpen: University of Antwerp.
[3] Dancy, J, & Davis W. D. (2006).Key Topics on End-of-Life Care. Derived from the Last Miles of the Way Home Nation Conference to Improve End of Life Care for African mericans. In Collaboration with the Duke Institute of Care at the End of Life. Family and Psychosocial Dimensions of Death and Dying in African Americans; pp. 187–211.
[4] Deignan, A. (2005). Metaphor and Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub.
[5] Evans, V.& Green, M. (2006). Cognitive Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
[6] Eyetsemitan, F. (2002). Cultural Interpretation of Dying and Death in a non-western Society: The Case of Nigeria. Available from: http://dx.dx.doi.dx.doi.org/10.10.9707/2307-2307-0919.2307-0919.1090 .
[7] Fernández, E. C. (2006). The Language of Death: Euphemism and Conceptual Metaphorization in Victorian Obituaries.In SKY Journal of Linguistics 19:101–130.
[8] Fowler, H. (1957).A dictionary of Modern English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[9] Gibbs, R. (1994). The poetics of mind: figurative thought, language, and understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[10] Goatly, A. (2007). Washing the brain. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
[11] Gross, J. (1985). "Intimations of Mortality." In D. J. Enright,Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemism, pp. 203–219. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
[12] Kövecses, Z. (2008). Metaphor and Emotion.In R. Gibbs (ed.),The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought, pp.380-396.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[13] Kövecses, Z. (2010). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction, 2nd Ed. Oxford:Oxford University Press.
[14] Hernando, B. M. (2001). “La muertemensajera . Las sequel as de defunción Comoelementoin for mativo”. [http://www.ucm.es/info/perioI/Period_I/EMP/Numer_07/7.5-Inve/7-5-03.htm]
[15] Hughes, G. (2000). A history of English words. Oxford: Blackwell.
[16] Hymes, Dell. (1971). Sociolinguistics and the ethnography of speaking.In Social anthropology and language, ed. by Edwin Ardener, 47–93. London: Routledge.
[17] Kövecses, Z. (2002). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[18] Kövecses, Z. (2005). Metaphor in Culture: Universality and variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[19] Kövecses, Z.2006. Language, mind, and culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[20] Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
[21] Lakoff, G. (1987).Women, Fireand Dangerous Things. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
[22] Lakoff, G, & Turner, M. (1989).More Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.
[23] Lakoff, G. (1993).The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor. In Andrew Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and Thought (2nded.), pp. 202–251. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[24] Leech, G. (1974). Semantics. Harmonds worth: Penguin
[25] Mey, J. L. (2001). Pragmatics. An Introduction. Maiden, MA: Blackwell.
[26] Moses, R. &Marelli, G. (2004).Obituaries and discursive construction of dying and living.Texas Linguistic Forum47: 123-130

ijeab doi crossrefDOI: 10.22161/ijels.3.2.15

Total View: 18 Downloads: 9 Page No: 213-220