Maduabuchi Agbo

The Metaphorical extensions of the Constructions with the verb ri ‘eat’ in Igbo

The act of eating is a rich source of metaphorical extension into various domains in Igbo. This study investigates a number of syntactic constructions with the verb –ri ‘eat’ and their metaphorical mappings onto a number of domains. The work is done within the framework of cognitive linguistics which strives to illuminate how language use is shaped by human cognition. The constructions fall into two categories: those with actor-oriented extensions and the other with undergoer-oriented extensions. The meaning of the metaphor in the former group is derived from the effect on the subject NP of the action the verb denotes, while the metaphorical elaboration of the second category is derived from the prominent adversative features of the object NP in the construction. This study is a contribution from Igbo to the cross-linguistic investigation of the metaphorical extension of ‘eat’.