A SYNTACTIC STUDY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS IN NOLLYWOOD MOVIES
Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos
Syntax deals with structural arrangement of grammatical elements in phrases, clauses and sentences. It does not only involve words ordering in a sentence: it also investigates the relationship between the forms of words in a sentence (Dadzie, 2004). Conceptual metaphor is the expression of a concept in terms of another. Every aspect of language is structurally organised to achieve grammaticality, part of which is figurative language. This study is interested in the syntactic representation of structural patterns in the conceptual metaphors found in two Nollywood movies: Aya wa ni (Yoruba) and He Goat (English), and also the meaning mechanism involved in the interpretation of metaphorical structures. One of the two movies selected was produced in Yoruba subtitled in English with Yoruba socio-cultural and sociolinguistic settings while the second was produced in English with Igbo socio-cultural and sociolinguistic settings. Since the study is based on structural analysis of metaphorical expressions, Chomsky’s (1993) minimalist program is used as the main analytical framework while Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) conceptual metaphor theory is used as supporting analytical tool for metaphorical interpretation of the text. This study argues that conceptual metaphor has structural pattern similar to literal language; its syntactic structure does not affect complexity of its interpretation; there are technicalities such as movement and merger operations in the structure of conceptual metaphor, and conceptual metaphor is interpreted through mapping of the sets of correspondences shared by the two conceptual domains in the metaphor.
syntax, metaphor, Nollywood, film