• Prof. Chukwu, Ephraim Department of English and Literature, NnamdiAzikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
  • Agwuocha, Ugomma Anaekperechi Directorate of General Studies, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
Keywords: Ecolinguistics, Conceptual Metaphor, Critical Metaphor, Environmental Degradation, Niger Delta Poem, Oil exploration


The quest for environmental protection is no longer domesticated only within the natural sciences. Academic researchers from language and literature are also contributing to such clarion call to oppose activities that degrade the environment. In contribution, this paper studied selected Niger Delta poems on environmental degradation within the purview of ecolinguistics. Using the purposive sampling technique, twenty-seven excerpts of the data were taken from ‘Delta Blues’ and ‘When Green was the Lingua Franca’ written by TanureOjaide. Charteris-Black’s Critical Metaphor Analysis and, Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory guided the qualitative analysis of the selected data. The findings revealed the various metaphorical expressions with which the poet used to depict the oil exploration activities in Niger Delta states in Nigeria. It also revealed interesting ways these activities have been conceptualized and talked about in these eco-poems. Consequently, the following Conceptual Metaphors, amongst others were realized: ‘NIGER DELTA OIL WEALTH AS DEATH/DEATH BED’; ‘AS PAIN’; ‘NIGER DELTA OIL EXPLORATION ACTIVITIES AS WAR’ and ‘AS TOTAL ENSTRANGEMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS FROM THE ECOSYSTEM THAT SUPPORT THEM’. It discovered that the poet’s linguistic choices evoked these concepts in our cognitive systems with which we interpreted the level of environmental degradation in the area. From these findings, the study concludes that language has being effectively used in such eco-poems to create awareness and call for redress in the unguarded oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta, which constitute stories that Nigerians will always live by.


Download data is not yet available.


Abba,A.A. and Onyemachi, N. D. (2020). Weeping in the face of fortune: Ecoalienation in the Niger-Delta ecopoetics. Humanities 2020, 9 (3), 54: https//
Charteris-Black, J. (2004). Corpus approaches to critical metaphor analysis. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillian.
Chukwu, E, and Agwuocha, U.A. (n.d). Interpreting conceptual metaphors of flood disaster in select Nigerian print media reports. (Unpublished)
Ezeifeka, C.R. (2013). Strategic use of metaphor in Nigerian newspaper reports: A critical perspective. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines, 6(2): 174- 192. Retrieved from, on 23rd June, 2021.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lakoff, G. and Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. New York: Basic books.
Mazid, B. (2021). Poetry in (and after) Pandemic times: An ecolinguistic, ecocritical analysis. Asian journal of language, literature and culture studies, 12-26, 4 (4)
Nwagbara, U. (2010). “Poetics of resistance: Ecocritical reading of Ojaide’s Delta blues and Home Songs and Daydream of ants and other poems. African study monographs
Oguntuase, A.A. (2019). The Niger Delta conundrum: An assessment of TanureOjaide’s Delta blues and Home Songs and Daydream of ants and other poems. Journal of Humanities and Social Policy, 5(2).
Ojaide, T. (1998). “Delta Blues and Home Songs”. Ibadan: Kraft Books Limited.
Onyema, C. C. (2021). Writing next door to (S) Hell: Oil and environmental rights discourse in the Niger-Delta. Inaugural Lecture at Federal University Otuoke. Yenagoa: Dahani printing press. ISBN:978-978-58402-8-5
Steffensen, S. and Fill, A. (2014). Ecolinguistics: The state of the art and future horizons. Language Science, 41(6): 25
Stibbe, A. (2015). Ecolinguistics. Language, ecology and the stories we live by. New York: Routledge
Ungerer, F. and Schmid, H. (2006). An introduction to cognitive linguistics (2nded.) Britain: Pearson Education Limited.
How to Cite
Ephraim, P. C., & Ugomma Anaekperechi, A. (2022). STORIES WE LIVE BY: CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS AND ECOLINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION DISCOURSES IN SELECT NIGER DELTA POEMS. GPH-International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research, 5(05), 99-109.