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Metaphorical extensions of 'eat' --> [OVERCOME] and 'drink' --> [UNDERGO] in Hausa

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Abstract

The consumption verbs <i>ci </i>‘eat’ and <i>shaa </i>‘drink’ in Hausa are rich sources of metaphorical extensions into a variety of cognate semantic domains (Gouffé 1966; Williams 1991). Prototypical <i>ci </i>‘eat’ metaphors encode <i>overcoming/control</i> of a patient or theme by an animate/human agent (and part experiencer) functioning as subject, e.g., <i>mun cii sù </i>‘we beat (ate) them’. Metaphorical transfers of <i>shaa </i>‘drink’ usually have an <i>undergo</i> interpretation with a non-agential experiencer subject, e.g., <i>sunàa shân wàhalàa </i>‘they are suffering (drinking) trouble’. Thus, the metaphorical <i>overcome</i> and <i>undergo</i> outputs are often maximally distinct in meaning, and these correlations are directly inherited from their differing physical/ontological properties: the <i>eat</i> act entails a higher degree of subject agentivity/manipulation and object affectedness, and is higher in transitivity than the <i>drink</i> act.

References

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