Metaphorical Extensions of Ye (eat) Verb: The Case of Gᾶ

Ruby Otoo


The aim of this paper is to examine lexical semantics from a cognitive approach in Gᾶ, a Kwa language. In Gᾶ, the verb Ye ‘eat’ has polysemous and metaphorical uses. There has been linguistic research in Gᾶ and there is still the interest to study the language. Currently, to the best of our knowledge, there is no study that specifically explores lexical semantics from the cognitive approach. This is the gap the researcher attempts to fill. The verb denoting perception has metaphorical expressions that will have some relationship with the original verb. In the discussion, we consider the pragmatic implications and relevance of the extensions derived from the verb ye ‘eat’.. We look at the nature of the derived semantic patterns and consider the extent to which they are peculiar to the Gӑ language and culture. The study is based on Sweetser’s (1990) cognitive approach of semantic change. The paper shows that most of the metaphorical extensions are based on human perception and interaction with the physical world. The findings of the study reveal that the metaphorical meanings reflect the socio-cultural experiences of the Gӑ land, hence, the more they move away from the physical realms, the greater the realizations.

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