Centrum för kognitiv semiotik (CCS)

Humanistiska och teologiska fakulteterna | Lunds universitet


A Socio-Cognitive Approach to Metaphor in Chinese: A case study of motion-emotion metaphors

Hongbo Li (College of Foreign Languages, Sichuan University, Chengdu)

My project is to explore Chinese metaphors from a social-cognitive perspective, implying an interaction between individual cognition, social interactions and cultural norms. In this particular study, I apply this approach to the analysis of motion-emotion metaphorical expressions such as “I fell into depression” and “My spirit soars with joy” (cf. Zlatev, Blomberg & Magnusson 2012). While these authors investigated similarities and differences between such metaphors in English, Swedish, Bulgarian and Thai, I will present a case study of Chinese motion-emotion metaphors, comparing these to such metaphors in English and Thai. The preliminary results show both considerable overlaps (in relation to concepts such as RISE and FALL), and language/culture specificity. Some factors that may help explain this variation will be discussed.