'Euphemism versus Dysphemism in the Construction of Gender Ideology in Nigerian Novels'

24 November 2015 -24 November 2015 @ 17:00 - 18:00


November 24, 2015
05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Room 4, Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University
Event Type:


Will Bennett
046 603 7423

It is apparent that there are many approaches to the study of gender relations in linguistics and literary studies. Extensive treatment of the subject, from a feminist linguistic perspective, can be found in the literature. However, very few studies have combined aspects of socio-cognitive linguistic frameworks (socio-cognitive CDA, conceptual metaphor, dominance and social constructionist theories of gender) in illustrating how euphemistic expressions align with society’s expectation in shaping gender relations. This study investigates the metaphoric use of euphemistic and dysphemistic expressions in the construction of gender ideology in Nigerian novels. Specifically, it interprets how Nigerian novelists deploy cultural euphemisms and dysphemism in portraying patriarchal and feminist ideologies. Three Nigerian novels are purposively sampled – Sefi Atta’s Swallow, Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked, and Abimbola Adelakun’s Under the Brown Rusted Roofs (Brown Roofs), being contemporary novels with ample gender issues. The analysis shows that men and women can be upholders of tradition through their euphemistic and dysphemistic uses of language in portraying their gender ideology in cultural practices. Thus, the assumed sweeping wave of globalization has little impact in eroding Nigeria/Africa’s cultural practices in the area of gender ideology and relations.

University Upcoming Events