Domestic Animal Metaphor in Akan

Representing Human Behaviour in Nana Ampadu’s Song Obiara Ne Ne Suban

Adwoa Arhine, Benjamin Amakye-Boateng, Kofi Agyekum and Joshua A. Amuah


The article examines the animal metaphor (henceforth AM) in Akan by using the conceptual metaphor propounded by Lakoff and Johnson. The article discusses how the Akan use animal behaviour, structure, and movements to represent human behaviour metaphorically. The areas to be covered where animals are used to represent humans based on Akan sociocultural and socio-cognitive perspectives are folktales, proverbs, panegyric poetry, folksongs, and drum language. The article argues that the Akan use animal metaphors to depict their indigenous knowledge, worldview, philosophy, religion and environmental knowledge about Akan fauna. The study is purely qualitative and depends on library study on Akan oral literature works in books, and journal articles. The main data is tapped from a recorded folksong dubbed and transcribed from YouTube. Data is sourced from interviews with three renowned Akan scholars and musicians. The article further argues that AM is universal, but the attributes given to specific animals are language and culture-specific. This article gives insight into new interdisciplinary research in Akan language and culture in the areas of linguistics and folksongs.

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