Vol. 7:2 (2020) ► pp.257–273
A cultural linguistic analysis of Swahili body metaphors
This study describes the relationship between language, culture and conceptualization, considering in particular the embodied cultural metaphors of ‘heart’ and ‘liver’. The recent study by Kraska-Szlenk (2014) on the semantic analysis of Swahili body terminology has demonstrated that moyo (heart) has a prominent role in the conceptualization of numerous emotional states, with several different metaphorical meanings (e.g., love, generosity, will). However, from a diachronic perspective, ini (liver) is equally important for the metaphorical expression of emotions or character traits in Swahili. Considering in addition the practice of Swahili traditional medicine (uganga), this study highlights Swahili bodily conceptualizations involved in the expression of emotions and personal traits. The data were collected mostly through interviews with Swahili speakers during fieldwork conducted in Tanzania.
- 2.Embodied cultural metaphors
- 3. Moyo (heart) and ini (liver) as seats of emotions
- 4.Body metaphors from a diachronic perspective
- 5.Swahili body practices
- 6.‘Fossilized’ cultural metaphors