The indigenous Māori population of Aotearoa New Zealand has a long and rich cultural tradition that has been passed on and recorded up to the present day in a range of practices as well as in oral and written texts. One theme that is central to Māori culture or Tikanga Māori (cf., e.g., Mead 2003) is how the world and life on earth came into being: Ranginui the Sky Father and Papatūānuku the Earth Mother bearing six children that represent gods of natural elements. The children separated Earth Mother and Sky Father bringing light and life to this world. This central narrative in Māori cosmogeny relies on personification as a metaphorical way to make sense of human environment and experience. Reed emphasizes the important function of personification in Māori lore when he says that “I am not attempting to prove the superiority of the Māori imagination, but rather to show that a people who lived close to nature evolved a form of belief that expressed itself in a genius for personification” (2008 [1963]: 3). Based on the centrality of personification in the Māori worldview, the current study aims to explore metaphors of personification in English spoken by Māori bilingual and bicultural people (Aotearoa English). We draw from a data collection of small stories (cf. Georgakopoulou 2007) told by Māori-English bilingual speakers following a set of picture prompts (see, e.g. Onysko and Degani 2017). The notion of personification will be investigated from a cognitive linguistic point of view with due consideration given to the complex relation between metaphor and metonymy (see MacKay 1986, Cameron 2003, Low 1999). The analysis will focus on both culturally specific and unspecific instances with the aim in mind to establish a typology of personification based on the narratives. In the larger frame of world Englishes, the question will be addressed of whether personification can be seen as a diversifying characteristic of Englishes in New Zealand.

Cultural metaphors of personification in Aotearoa English

Marta Degani;
2021

Abstract

The indigenous Māori population of Aotearoa New Zealand has a long and rich cultural tradition that has been passed on and recorded up to the present day in a range of practices as well as in oral and written texts. One theme that is central to Māori culture or Tikanga Māori (cf., e.g., Mead 2003) is how the world and life on earth came into being: Ranginui the Sky Father and Papatūānuku the Earth Mother bearing six children that represent gods of natural elements. The children separated Earth Mother and Sky Father bringing light and life to this world. This central narrative in Māori cosmogeny relies on personification as a metaphorical way to make sense of human environment and experience. Reed emphasizes the important function of personification in Māori lore when he says that “I am not attempting to prove the superiority of the Māori imagination, but rather to show that a people who lived close to nature evolved a form of belief that expressed itself in a genius for personification” (2008 [1963]: 3). Based on the centrality of personification in the Māori worldview, the current study aims to explore metaphors of personification in English spoken by Māori bilingual and bicultural people (Aotearoa English). We draw from a data collection of small stories (cf. Georgakopoulou 2007) told by Māori-English bilingual speakers following a set of picture prompts (see, e.g. Onysko and Degani 2017). The notion of personification will be investigated from a cognitive linguistic point of view with due consideration given to the complex relation between metaphor and metonymy (see MacKay 1986, Cameron 2003, Low 1999). The analysis will focus on both culturally specific and unspecific instances with the aim in mind to establish a typology of personification based on the narratives. In the larger frame of world Englishes, the question will be addressed of whether personification can be seen as a diversifying characteristic of Englishes in New Zealand.
9781350157552
New Zealand, Aotearoa English, personification, metaphor, stories
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1045531
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact