Cognitive Semantic Analysis of Shehu Sani’s Poem for the Broom


  • Aboh Sopuruchi Christian Department of Linguistics, Igbo and Other Nigerian Languages,
  • Awolor Toochukwu M. Department of Linguistics, Igbo and Other Nigerian Languages
  • Ezema Chinenye Anthonia Humanities Unit, School of General Studies,


Cognitive semantics, Poem for the Broom, Shehu Sani, analogical mapping


This research aims at studying Shehu Sani’s ‘Poem for the Broom’ from a cognitive semantic perspective. The objectives of the study are to examine the attribute mapping, relational mapping, and the system mapping of the poem. The datum for the study is elicited from Shehu Sani’s Facebook page. The theory of analogical mapping, which has a bearing with cognitive poetics, is adopted as the framework for data analysis. The research found out that there are attribute mappings of concrete entities into abstract entities as were seen between ‘Broom’ and ‘leadership,’ ‘blood’ and ‘killings,’ ‘swords’ and ‘wars,’ ‘carpets’ and ‘secrets’ amongst others. The study also discovered that, at the relational level, the idea of the Broom is mapped onto the ideals of good leadership. Non-partisan discharge of duties is the source domain whereas sweeping those of friends under the carpet is the target domain. At the system mapping level, the study showed that the ‘Broom’ was used as a proper noun and the pronoun ‘it’ serves as its replacement. Hence, the structural metaphor observed from the poem proceeds from ‘politics is a game.’ From a semantic point of view of the system mapping, the research revealed that the ‘Broom’ in the poem is a metaphor representing APC, which uses broom as its logo. Therefore, in a good democratic government, a country should not be tainted with corruption and other forms of misconduct. The research recommended that a cognitive semantic analytical approach should be adopted in analysing poems and discourses of political actors in Nigeria. 

Author Biographies

Aboh Sopuruchi Christian, Department of Linguistics, Igbo and Other Nigerian Languages,

University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Awolor Toochukwu M., Department of Linguistics, Igbo and Other Nigerian Languages

University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 

Ezema Chinenye Anthonia, Humanities Unit, School of General Studies,

University of Nigeria, Nsukka


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How to Cite

Sopuruchi Christian, A. ., Toochukwu M., A. ., & Chinenye Anthonia, E. . (2019). Cognitive Semantic Analysis of Shehu Sani’s Poem for the Broom. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 22(2), 70–78. Retrieved from