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Discursive Construction of Bicultural Identity

A Cross-Generational Sociolinguistic Study on Oromo-Americans in Minnesota


Oromiya-Jalata Deffa

The author examines the cultural identity development of Oromo-Americans in Minnesota, an ethnic group originally located within the national borders of Ethiopia. Earlier studies on language and cultural identity have shown that the degree of ethnic orientation of minorities commonly decreases from generation to generation. Yet oppression and a visible minority status were identified as factors delaying the process of de-ethnicization. Given that Oromos fled persecution in Ethiopia and are confronted with the ramifications of a visible minority status in the U.S., it can be expected that they have retained strong ties to their ethnic culture. This study, however, came to a more complex and theory-building result.
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6. Qualitative data analysis: Conceptual metaphors (CMAs), conceptual metonymies (CMOs), and tactics of intersubjectivity


A brief repetition of what CMAs and CMOs are:

As already explained in the methodology, conceptual metaphors facilitate the understanding of an abstract domain of experience in terms of another, more concrete domain of experience. Metonymies, on the other hand, are “stand-for” relations that highlight a particular aspect of a conceptual domain (see

In the following, the use of CMAs and CMOs in the interviews will be analyzed in view of the cultural orientation of the speakers (informants).

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