An Analysis of Illocutionary Force of Metaphor of Abuse in a Nollywood Movie – House of Trouble

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Sobola, E
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Department of English, Ekiti State University, Nigeria
This paper investigates the illocutionary force of metaphor of abuse in a Nollywood movie House of Trouble, which is a Nigerian movie produced in English with elements of sociolinguistic background of the setting of the movie. The movie employs several linguistic and cultural nuances to display linguistic features that characterized language usage in the social context in Nigeria one of which is metaphor. Metaphor is a semantic shift in language use which performs diverse communicative functions in social context and has contextual interpretations. Speech acts theory is applied to the metaphors with abusive tendency extracted from the movie, through media monitoring process, to analyse their communicative intention which is also known as illocutionary force of an utterance. The study has shown that every metaphoric utterance has communicative intentions; metaphors of abuse are performative utterances capable of creating social conflicts; metaphors of abuse are social practice with illocutionary force which may provoke perlocutionary reactions; the perlocutionary reactions of metaphors of abuse may escalate to physical violence or psychological torture. The import of the study is that movies are means of expressing social practices, especially language use with communicative intentions through re-enactment. The communicative intentions may be a source of social conflict.
metaphor, metaphor of abuse, Nollywood, illocutionary force, speech acts, peace linguistics