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Home > Archives > Volume 19, No 1 (2021) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2021.19.1.NQ21004

A Cognitive Corpus-based Study of Spatial and Temporal Metaphors in Chinese

Limei Shi

Abstract

Conceptual metaphors are believed to be ubiquitous in human language and thought which may vary with different socio-cultural contexts. This corpus-based study attempts to investigate the metaphorical extensions of space and time in Chinese, taking three pairs of spatial terms shang(up)/xia(down), qian(front)/hou(back), zuo(left)/you(right) and one temporal term shijian(time) as searching words for space and time respectively. The results showed that in spatial metaphors, metaphorical extensions mainly include TIME, STATE, QUANTITY, SCOPE and SOCIAL STATUS which sometimes overlap among these three spatial dimensions, but with one sense being more prominent in one dimension or with some of the senses missing in certain dimensions. In temporal metaphors, three main metaphorical extensions are found, i.e., A MOVING ENTITY, VALUABLES and ANIMATE OR INANIMATE CREATURE. The findings indicate that conceptual metaphor, although rooted into embodied experience, needs to be examined in combination with specific socio-cultural backgrounds.

Keywords

Corpus-based, Metaphorical Extension, Time, Space, Chinese.

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