Greener Journal of Social Sciences

Open Access


Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (2), pp. 110-119, February 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 111612268


When metaphorical language use fails: A case of Zoosemy in the late Qaddafi’s political speeches during the uprising


Wekesa Nyongesa Ben


St. Augustine University of Tanzania- Mtwara Centre P.O Box 674 Mtwara- Tanzania


Email: nyongesawekesa @yahoo .com, Cell phone: +254 0726541883, +255 0763478473, Fax number: +255 (0)232334483


Politics is marked by power play among the politicians themselves and between the politicians and their subjects. When no amicable solution is arrived at, an uprising is eminent. During such uprisings, discourse plays a key role in either restoring peace or fuelling animosity. This paper explores the zoosemy in Qaddafi’s speeches with the view of attempting an explanation to what metaphors accomplish in political discourse in our troubled times. The paper, from a socio-cultural perspective, explains why metaphorical language use failed with the Libyan case. The paper argues that the effectiveness of metaphorical language depends heavily on the socio-cultural context in which it is used. Any language use that is outside the society’s habitus gets suppressed and resisted. Secondly, when a metaphor becomes too common, it loses its metaphorical touch among the audience. Lastly metaphorical language use depends on power play between interlocutors. When it becomes apparent that you are manipulating the language for personal interests, however, powerfully you chose and use metaphors, you are pound to meet resistance.

Key words: Animal metaphor, Context-Limited Simulation Theory, dehumanisation, Linguistic Ideology, Power Resistance, Political Discourse.

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