Dimensions of Construal Operations in Igbo

Chinenye Esther Onuoha


Construals are cognitive operations which are often strikingly similar to principles of visual perception (Radden & Dirven 2007). They refer to the different ways of viewing a particular situation, and languages linguistically provide means for different kinds of construals. However, construal events differ across languages. Some languages may not have available means to express, represent and organize the different spatial relations, this leads to the inability of the speakers to freely choose the construal they want to portray as a result of lack of alternatives in their language of use. This paper aims at investigating the existence of construals in the Igbo langage. Owing to the fact that no investigation has been done on construal operations in Igbo language prior to this study, there is therefore no existing template for this research. The data for this work will however be drawn partly from examples in works on construals in addition to the researcher’s intuitive knowledge as a speaker. The classifications of construals by Radden and Dirven (2007) shall be adopted as the theoretical framework in this pursuit. Part of the findings is that Igbo expresses these construals. Secondly, this finding goes to falsify Verhagen’s (2007)’s. opinion that some languages may not be able to express all the construals.


Construal; Attention; Communication; Viewpoint; Cognitive operation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12955


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