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A Cognitive Semantic Analysis of Perception and Cognition Expressions in Akan

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dc.contributor.author Eshun, E.S.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-07T15:10:26Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-07T15:10:26Z
dc.date.issued 2020-07
dc.identifier.uri http://localhost:8080/handle/123456789/38351
dc.description PhD. Linguistics en_US
dc.description.abstract This study examines linguistic expressions in Mfantse (Akan) that relate to the basic senses of the body such as seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing and touching. For each sense modality, both the literal and metaphorical expressions were investigated. It adopts the cognitive linguistics approach. Data were gathered from forty native speakers of Mfantse (Central region) in a variety of interview formats and elicitation from stimuli. The data gathered confirmed the empirical validity arrived at in the conclusions of the study. A significant finding of the study is that the perceptive verbs (PVs) do not only display physiological roles but also demonstrate diverse extended meanings depending on the context in which they occur. The study illustrates that hwέ (look) involves a durative process. On the other hand, hú (see) is a visual activity that occurs ‘on the spot’ or instantaneously. Sometimes hú can be durative where the visual line is directed towards compassion. Hwέ is volitional while hú is both volitional and non-volitional. These two PVs are classified as: intra-psychological (self-philosophies) and social-psychological experiences (interdependency). The findings from the gustatory expressions show six primary taste sensations in Akan: sweet/pleasant, salty, sour, bitter, congealing, and a semantically derived form, táblábáá (lacking taste; bland), in contrast to the five taste forms in English. The study also revealed that from the ethno-cultural background, dɛ́ẃ ‘sweet/pleasant’ can be described as a pleasant taste that includes: +/- sugariness, and non-food related experiences. Also, Mfantse (Akan) expresses different forms of specific perceived sour taste as: kàẁ, fèm̀and yèrɛ̀yèrɛ̀ẁ. Further, all the taste expressions revealed metaphorical expressions: Pleasant– gentle/good speech, enough money, sexual enjoyment, flattery and pampering. Bland – improper dressing. Sour– regret, disappointment, bad body odour. Bitter – offensive talk, difficulties in life, excessive judgment, and stinginess. Salty – dishonest. Results also show that Mfantse (Akan) profiles different semantic ways of representing and interpreting basic and extended meanings of olfactory, auditory and tactile sensory information. The olfactory sense revealed that m̀fáŕ/ǹká ‘scent’ may be understood to conflate good, bad, fragrant, stench and disapproving concepts in portraying odours. Also, the semantics of ǹká ‘scent’ demonstrates that there are few occurrences where ǹká ‘scent’ does not have a negative connotation. Perhaps the non-negative connotation can be explained in the context where the concept of ǹká ‘scent’ needs to be modified with positive adjectives. For extreme odours, Mfantse (Akan) identified specific terms: sùòǹǹ, kòóò, káńkáń, hùǹtùǹǹ and sùkùsùkù to describe them. Also, bɔ̀ǹ ‘bad odour’ exhibits: bad human body odour, lack of intellectual competencies and general bad odours. The term húáḿ indicate good odours. Additionally, the olfactory experience of hùà ‘to sniff/smell’ coded the sense of relaxation, satisfaction, love of, and to detect preference of the odour of an entity. Metaphorical resource show that olfactory experiences in Mfantse indicate: húáḿ ‘good odour’; ‘good mouth talk’ – ‘good/eloquent speech’; bɔ̀ǹ ‘bad odour’; ‘bad mouth talk’ – loud-mouthed or offensive speech; ‘bad breath/bad smell in the nose’– hostility, unfriendliness; ‘self-matter smells’– bad character. The study identifies two auditory terms: tsè ‘hear’ and tsíè ‘listen’. Semantically, meanings from these two verbs are contextually different, but they have similar syntactic structures in terms of the arguments they select. Extended meanings of the auditory sense display the following: tsìètsíèè ‘to investigate’, tsíè ‘give a hearing’ (legal context), tsíè no ‘agree’/‘permit’; tsíè nó àsò pá mù: ‘listen without prejudice’, tsíè /tsè… àsέḿ ‘obedience’, tsíé…ànó ‘act on hearsay’; à-tsè â ńńtséè: ‘pretence’ and tsè àsó mú: ‘listen to the right information’. Further, the tactile sense employed serial verb construction; kà…hwέ; súóm…hwέ; and míá…hwέ (touch). These constructions engage the hand for examining physical experiences as well as expressing feelings regarding metaphorical expressions such as comforting, subduing, pleasing, loving, stimulating, intimacy and painful expressions. Importantly, the Mfantse data make a contribution towards the concept of perception and cognition predicates normally moving in pairs as state and non-state pairs in Akan. Thus, for the state, we have concrete/non-metaphorical uses and abstract/metaphorical uses for the non-state roles. These play a major role in the range of semantic/pragmatic interpretations that allow for these. It is expected that comparable research will spring up from closely related dialects and in other Ghanaian languages, the Kwa language family as well as African languages in general to bring out similarities and differences in the linguistic analysis of these sensory modalities. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Ghana en_US
dc.subject Cognitive Semantic Analysis en_US
dc.subject Perception en_US
dc.subject Cognition Expressions en_US
dc.subject Akan en_US
dc.subject Mfantse (Akan) en_US
dc.subject Central Region en_US
dc.subject Perceptive verbs (PVs) en_US
dc.title A Cognitive Semantic Analysis of Perception and Cognition Expressions in Akan en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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