Article published In:Review of Cognitive Linguistics: Online-First Articles
Hydro-political power of the Nile
A cognitive-linguistic analysis of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Egyptian–Ethiopian discourse
This study examines cognitive representations of Ethiopia and Egypt’s hydro-political stances on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Data were analysed using image schema theory and conceptual metaphor theory to identify how political leaders deploy conceptual structures to construct, maintain, and reproduce (counter-)hydro-hegemony for water management and international relations broadly. Results suggest that the gerd represents physical and symbolic boundaries constructed/activated to block and animate power. Egypt prefers multilateralism on gerd matters; whereas, Ethiopia acts unilaterally in its national interest. The findings indicate that international public opinion can be cognitively and discursively manipulated to legitimise (in)action sanctioning (counter)hydro-hegemony using original metaphor mappings and mini-narratives. This study posits that interstate hydro-disputes can be viewed as either a journey or trial. While Egypt suggested a family-threat-journey-destination script where all regions correlate to garner power, Ethiopia invoked a victim -threat-defendant-plaintiff-trial narrative to defend confrontational move(s) and motivate the illegitimate jury to dismiss the case.
Keywords: cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphor, hydro-hegemony, image schema, power, water management discourse
- 2.Literature review
- 3.Theoretical framework
- 5.Results and analysis
- 5.1Analysis of the Egyptian Speech
- 5.2Analysis of the Ethiopian speech
Published online: 6 June 2023
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