The semantics of all Oromo adposition of verticality the case of irra ' oll/ove.:'

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


This paper is about the semantics of one of the Oromo adposition of verticality, namely irra, 'on/over'. In cognitive linguistics it is argued that lexical items exhibit category of meaning whereby a single lexic al item can have a primary meaning which gives rise to various extended mea nings. This meaning extension is obtained by the virtue of Conceptual Metaphor. With the assumption th at meaning is encyclopaedic instead of dictionaric, and words are pol ysemic by nature, it has been discussed that this Oromo adposition yields a number of metaphorical meanings which result from the primary spat ial senses. Data obtained from introspection supplemented with elic itation have been anal yzed and it has been found that irra as its primary sense des ignates a trajector located higher than a landmark in contact or without contact with each other. And in the case of the absence of contact between a trajector and a landmark, the trajector is conceived to be within the potential reach or sphere of influence of the landmark. From this primary spatial meaning of the adposition, various extended meanings have been systematically deri ved in li ght of the Theory of Conceptual Metaphor. Thus, it has been shown that the Oromo postposition irra is a highly polysemous lexi cal i' em. From primary meaning of relat ing a trajector located higher than a landmark, a number of abstrac t metaphorically ex tended senses can be systematically deri ved from the proto-scene.



Oromo adposition