Metaphorical mapping of LIFE in the Hausa proverbs with regard to their cross-linguistic equivalents
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Proverbs are folklore texts particularly valuable for studying a culture, as they are based on the mechanisms of conceptualization which reflect the so-called Linguistic View of the World (Underhill 2011; Bartmiński 2006). The aim of this article is to analyse Hausa proverbs from the perspective of languages representing other cultures (English and Polish). The methodological approach is based on an extended version of Lakoff-Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory in which the metaphorical concept is identified with the proverb concept of figurative sayings (Lewandowska et al. 2014). Thus, the cross-linguistic comparison of proverbial statements is based on the idea of conceptual metaphor (Lakoff & Johnson 2003) and its constituent elements of the source and target domain (Szpila 2003). The objective of the article is to present equivalent set phrases (in Hausa covered by the term karin magana) which indirectly refer to the universal conceptual target domain of LIFE. The article also discusses the question of culturally relevant key words as the constituents of source domains of proverbs in Hausa and indicates their counterparts in Polish and English while encoding the same target domain. The data are taken from the published collections of Hausa proverbs (Kirk-Greene 1966; Yunusa 1977) and a dictionary (Abraham 1962). The comparison of karin magana with the English and Polish equivalents enables the identification of the lexical exponents of cultural distance between languages and cultures.
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