本文是一篇英语论文，笔者通过英语look和汉语“看”的语义扩展对比，发现有如下共同点：(1) 概念隐喻视角下，两者均可从视觉域映射到心智域，扩展出“思考”之义。(2) 两者均可通过事件转喻和行为转喻，扩展出“阅读”、“照顾”、“欣赏”、“检查”之义。
Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background of the Thesis
Cognitive linguistics emerged in the 1980s. Cognitive linguistics holds that cognition is the level between language and the objective world. The objective world is not directly reflected by the meaning of language. However, the semantics of language reflects the cognitive structure that people use to understand the external world. Its core viewpoint emphasizes the experience view. That is, semantics is based on empirical perception. Concepts are formed through the body, brain and experience of the world and can only be understood through them. The experience of human and the objective world always begins from the sensation obtained by each sensory organ of the human body. Perception is the most elementary information about the cognitive object obtained by the cognitive subject. It is the basis for the subject to obtain higher-level information. It can be said that perception is the starting point of human cognitive activities and the source of all knowledge about the world.
Senses includes sight, hearing, touch and taste, which are the most important ways for human beings to understand the world. The structure of the visual organ is more complex than that of other senses, and the area of the brain responsible for processing visual information is much larger than that of other senses. Because of the complex function of vision, 80% of the information that human beings get from the outside world comes from vision. Obtaining information about the shape, size, distance, direction, color and movement of things through vision plays an irreplaceable role in the survival and development of human beings. Therefore, vision is regarded as the most important sense in the human sensory. The visual process involves many aspects such as visual organs, visual behaviors and visual effects. The different experiences formed are reflected in different parts of speech at the language level. In the category of sense, the words expressing visual concepts are the most abundant in number and content, especially visual verbs, which have been studied by scholars at home and abroad.
1.2 Literature Review
1.2.1 Research Abroad
Scholars at abroad have studied the visual verbs mainly from the cognitive perspective. Ullmann (1951: 32-34) found the extension of sensory verbs was from sensory domains to abstract concepts. He believed that visual verbs can be mapped into abstract mental and thinking domains through metaphorical extension. Vision is one of the most fundamental sources of concrete human experience. As for Viberg, he (1983) thought that the distinction between look and see is an activity and an experience. He also noted the problem of lexicalization between sensory verbs by analyzing the most common verbs in eleven European languages. He held that there was a universal hierarchy in sensory verbs which was unidirectional. For example, verbs meaning “sight” can extend their meaning to “hearing”. But this study was limited to verbs of the five senses and did not examine the extension of individual verbs themselves.
Alm-Arvius (1993: 65-76) investigated “see” in a variety of corpus. She determined that “see” had nine meanings, which were extended through the metaphorical mechanism. In her book Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphor and Cultural Implications for Semantic Structures, Eve Sweetser (1990: 32-34) conducted a diachronic examination of the evolution of sense verbs from an etymological perspective. He held that the evolution of the meaning of these words is a metaphorical projection from material behavior domain to the abstract spiritual activity domain. It is the metaphor of “body to mind”. He proposed that the connection between vision and mind was almost universal, which was at least fairly common across cultures. But this interpretation is too vague. It is just the author’ s own introspection so that is not very convincing. Her analysis is limited to the transformation of meaning from material behavior domain to abstract spiritual activity domain. It is too general.
Chapter Two Theoretical Foundations
2.1 Conceptual Metaphor Theory
2.1.1 Definition of Conceptual Metaphor
Traditionally, metaphor has been regarded as a figure of speech. Aristotle once argued that when a word denoting something was used as a metaphor for something else, the word becomes a metaphor. In the 1930s, metaphor study became a branch of cognitive science. Since the 1970s, metaphor has proven to be a universal human way of thinking and cognitive tool. It was presented in all natural languages, and it was not only a language, but also an integral part of the thinking system. Contemporary cognitive science generally agrees that metaphor is not essentially a rhetorical phenomenon, but a cognitive activity that has a potential and profound impact on our understanding of the world and plays a very important role in the formation of human categories, conceptual structures and reasoning.
The earliest foreign interpretation of metaphor from the cognitive perspective can be traced back to Locke, who put forward a viewpoint similar to conceptual metaphor in 1689. Leary pointed out in 1990 that Locke recognized that our basic conception of mind is metaphorical. Many foreign scholars have discussed metaphor from the cognitive perspective. For example, Sweetser (1990: 8-19) argued that metaphors allowed people to understand one thing as another without considering whether the two were objectively identical. Metaphor was a major constructive force in semantic change. It operated between different conceptual domains.
2.2 Conceptual Metonymy Theory
2.2.1 Definition of Conceptual Metonymy
In traditional rhetoric, metonymy is a substitute relationship between A and B. In modern rhetoric, Ullmann (1962: 218) defined metonymy as the proximity between the meanings of words. With the development of cognitive linguistics, people realize the cognitive nature of metonymy. It is not only a rhetorical tool, but also a cognitive mechanism. Cognitive linguists believe that metonymy is the basic cognitive means of human beings, just like metaphor. The relationship between concept and thinking is metonymy. Because of its conceptual nature, it is called conceptual metonymy. Cognitive linguists have given different definitions of conceptual metonymy.
Lackoff proposed the CM theory in 1987. He believed that cognitive model was a relatively fixed mental structure formed by people in the process of understanding things and the world, and a mode of organizing and representing knowledge, which was composed of concepts and their relatively fixed connections. Lackoff proposed the ideal cognitive model in 1982 and 1987. Ideal cognitive model refers to the abstract, unified and idealized understanding of the speaker’ s experience and knowledge in a certain field in a specific cultural background. It was a complex and integrated gestalt structure built on many cognitive models, a complex cognitive model with gestalt properties.
Chapter Three Analysis on Meaning Extension of English Visual Verb Look ..... 15
3.1 Basic Meaning of Look ........................ 15
3.2 Metaphorical Approach to Look ........................ 15
Chapter 4 Analysis on Meaning Extension of Chinese Visual Verb Kan .............. 31
4.1 Basic Meaning of Kan ............................. 31
4.2 Metaphorical Approach to Kan ........................... 31
Chapter Five Comparative Research between Look and Kan ....................... 42
5.1 Similarities in Meaning Extension .......................... 42
5.1.1 Common Target Domains ............................... 42
5.1.2 Common Metonymic Relationship ......................... 42
Chapter Five Comparative Research between Look and Kan
5.1 Similarities in Meaning Extension
5.1.1 Common Target Domains
From the discussion in the above chapters, it can be found that look and kan share similarities and differences in the process of meaning extension through conceptual metaphor. Mapping works in the meaning extensions of look and kan.
Through the conceptual metaphor, look in English and kan in Chinese will be mapped from the vision domain to the same target domains, including mind domain, emotion domain. In the same target domains, there are the same metaphorical expressions. Sweeter (1990: 35) thought that people’ s thinking and consciousness are based on the external foundation. In other words, thinking activity can be conceptualized in terms of visual activity. For the English and Chinese, we can get information through eye. There is a relationship between the vision and mind. Therefore, there is a metaphor CONSIDERING IS LOOKING and KAN. They can be mapped from the vision domain to the mind domain. The meaning of look and kan is extended to considering.
Chapter Six Conclusion
6.1 Major Findings
First of all, the basic meaning of the visual verbs look in English is to make eye towards somethings. The basic meaning of kan in Chinese is to make eye contact with something or someone. They emphasize a visual action. The mechanism of meaning extension on look and kan are conceptual metaphor and conceptual metonymy.
The basic meaning of look is to make eye towards somethings. The meanings of look are extended from its basic meaning through the conceptual metaphor and conceptual metonymy. Look is an intransitive verb. The meaning extension of look is relevant to the elements (mainly prepositions and adverbs) after it. When it is combined with different prepositions or adverbs, look has different expressions.
The combination with prepositions has transitivity and can be followed by nouns to form meaning extension. In addition, when it combined with adverbs that have dynamic meaning, it will occur meaning extension. The adverbs themselves are metaphorically extended. Based on their meaning extension, look also has a metaphorical expression. The meanings of look can be mapped from the vision domain to mind domain. The conceptual metaphors are Considering is Looking, Thinking about the past is Looking and Expecting is Looking. It combines with prepositions at with transitivity, followed by nouns expressing abstract concepts, it is extended to considering. It can also be combined with adverbs of dynamic meaning, such as forward and back. It is extended to expecting and thinking about the past. Look can be mapped from the vision domain to the emotion domain. It is combined with adverbs, such as up and down. The conceptual metaphors are Respecting is Looking and Despising is Looking. The meaning of look is extended to respecting and despising. Look can be mapped from the vision domain to the warning domain. It is used with the adverb with dynamic meaning, such as out.