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Auteur: Lilian ACHIENG

Co-Auteur(s): Pamela OLOO, Maseno University (Kenya)

Unveiling the AIDS cognitive model

Abstract/Résumé: This paper examines the ubiquitous usage of AIDS metaphors in the works of epidemiologists, feminists, anthropologists among other scholars, by analysing their figurative conceptualizations of AIDS. Lakoff (1987) argues that man's conceptualization of concepts inclusive of ailments is guided by image schemas, however an in-depth analysis of AIDS metaphors in cognitive linguistics remains uninvestigated. It is against this background that the two-goals of this paper are to first and foremost, investigate metaphors used in reference to HIV and AIDS in AIDS-related literature, with the aim of constructing an AIDS cognitive model derived from the figurative discourse on AIDS. The second goal of this paper is to affirm that the AIDS metaphors are consistent with Lakoffian notion of radical and peripheral categories hosting image schemas such as AIDS IS A DEATH PERSONIFIED, AIDS IS A DESTRUCTIVE PHENOMENON which fall under the radical categories, whereas AIDS IS SORCERY or AIDS IS A MYTH cognitive models are accommodated within the peripheral category. Keywords: AIDS metaphors, figuratice language and cognitive model References: Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. What Categories reveal about the Human mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lakoff, G. (1999) "Cognitive models and prototype theory". In Margolis, E. & Stephen, L. (Eds) (1999) Concepts. Core Readings. London: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. p. 391-421 Sontag, S. (1988). AIDS and its metaphors. London: Penguin Group. Semino, E., Heywood,J. & Short, M. (2004) "Methodological Problems in the analysis of metaphors in the corpus of conversations about cancer". In Journal of Pragmatics. Vol 36. 1271-1294. Elsevier Publishers