Metaphoric Conceptualizations of Death in Gĩkũyũ

Volume 18
Issue 2
Moses Gatambuki Gathigia
Using the dictum that metaphor is a conceptual mapping from a concrete source domain to an abstract target domain, this paper identifies and categorizes the metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ using the Conceptual Metaphor Theory. To achieve this objective, a purposive sample of twenty speakers of Gĩkũyũ was interviewed. The study collected 47 metaphors of death as the target domain. Having employed the mnemonics “TARGET DOMAIN IS SOURCE DOMAIN” as posited by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), the study identi ed four conceptual metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ as follows: DEATH IS A JOURNEY; DEATH IS THE END; DEATH IS A REST; and DEATH IS A SUMMON. The study concludes that the Cognitive linguistics model provides tools for understanding, interpreting and accounting for metaphors of death in Gĩkũyũ.

Keywords: Death, metaphors, Gĩkũyũ, cognitive linguistics