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Conceptual Metaphors of Happiness between English and Chinese

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Conceptual Metaphors of Happiness between English and Chinese

    Conceptual Metaphors of Happiness

    between English and Chinese

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    0000

    曹祥英

    (南昌理工学院,江西南昌330013)

    r一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一一1

    Abstract:TheConceptualmetaphorsofHappinessbetweenEnglishandChinesearecon- trastedfromacognitiveperspectivebasedoncorpus.Afterdataanalysis,some similaritiesanddifferencesbetweenEnglishHappinessmetaphorsandChinese Happinessmetaphorsarefound.Theconclusionisthatthesimilaritybetweenthem isbasedonthesamebodilyexperience,whilethedifferenceslieondifferentcultural models.

    Keywords:happinessmetaphor;corpus;bodilyexperience;culturalmodels 【中图分类号】H030

    【文献标识码】A

    [文章编号】10062831(2012)02O1035doi:10.3969/j.issn.1006

    2831.2012.O1.026

    L…………——……——……——一一.J

    1.Introduction

    MetaPhorisanessentiaImeansof

    thinkingandacommoncognitivephenomenon

    whichispervasiveandessentialinlanguage

    andthought.Humanbeingsunderstandthe

    surroundingworldbyusingthisperceptualand

    conceptualizingtoo1.Agreatdealofresearch

    onconceptuaImetaPhorshavebeendone bymanyChineseschoIars.ShuDingfang (1996,1998)exploredthenatureandworking mechanismofmetaphor.ShuDingfang(2009) expectedtodoresearchoncontrasting betweenEnglishandChinesebasedoncorpus. LinShuwu(1998)illustratedtheconceptual metaphorof"anger".Inthispaper,theauthor triestoconductatentativestudyoncontrasting conceptualmetaphorofHappinessbetween EngIishandChinese.TheChinesedatais mainlyfromChineseCorpus.

    2.Metaphor

    Metaphorhaslongbeenconsideredas

    asubjecttobestudiedwithintherealmof 收稿日期:20111125:修改稿:20111130

    literatureorrhetoric.Inthepastfewdecades, however,theinterestinmetaphorhasshifted toanewaspect.Theturningpointismarkedby LakoffandJohnson'sworkMetaphorsWeLive By(1980).Theyproposedthatmetaphorshould becalledafigureofthoughtratherthanafigure ofspeech.Metaphoriscommonineveryday life,notonlyinlanguagebutalsoinourthinking andacting.Therefore,theyholdtheviewthat ourconceptualsystemislargelymetaphorica1. Withthedevelopmentofcivilization.human beingsarefamiliarwiththeirbodies;anditis naturalforthemtorefertosomethingthatis notpartofthehumanbodyintermsofhuman

    body.ThemainpointofthemetaPhoricaI paradigmisthatweuseourbodilybased,

    concreteexoeriencestointerpretandencode non-bodilybasedabstractphenomena(Lakoff &Johnson,1980:3).Whenwedoso,we areusingconceptualmetaphors.Conceptual metaphorsareoftensoembeddedinlanguage andwaysofthinkingabouttheworldthatwe donotconsciouslyrealizewearestructuring CrazyEnglishTeachers103

    疯狂荚强mmi2o12年第1期一(2月号)

    theworldinaparticularway.Theirtheoryhas shedanewlightonthestudyofmetaphorby revealingtherelationbetweenmetaphorand humanthought.initiatingacognitiveapproach tothestudyofmetaphor.

    3.Happinessmetaphorsbetween

    EnglishandChinese

    31HappinessmetaphorsinEnglish

    Thenumberofc0nVentionalizedexpressions abouthappinessisconsiderableinEnglish.The followingaresomecommonlyusedexamples: (1)Wehadtocheerhimup.

    (2)Thatboostedmyspirits.

    (3)I'msixfeetofftheground.

    (4)Afterfinishingthetask,1waswalkingon airfordays.

    (5)Hercheekwasglowingwithjoy.

    (6)Nothingtoworryabout,cheerup. (7)Thesightfilledthemwithjoy.

    (8)Shecouldn'tcontainherjoyanylonger. AmongtheIinguisticexpressionsthat haMetodowithhaPPiness,wecanfind severaIconceptuaImetaPhors.Themajor one,proposedbyLakoffandJohnson(1980) isorientatIonal:HAPPYISUP.Thefirsttwo sentenceslistedabovejustbelongtothistype. Moreexpressionscanbeillustratedunderthis conceptualmetaphor.

    (1)l'mfeelingup.

    (2)Theywereinhighspirits.

    (3)Thinkingaboutheralwaysgivesmea Iift.

    (4)Myspiritsrose.

    TheseexDressions

    up-downschema.We

    areineffectrelatedto

    humanshaveupright

    bodies.Therefore.UPunusuallypossessesa positivevaluationofemotionalstatesaswellas physicalstates(Connotationsofenjoymentand livelinessmaybefoundinhighspirits,highlife). Anotherimportantmetaphorconcerning 104CrazyEngfishTeachers

    happinessis:BEINGHAPPYISBElNGOFF THEGRoUND.Itissaidthatthismetaphor maybepartiallyrelatedtobirds.Birdsare generallyconsideredassymbolsoffreedom, andthusconcernedwithhappiness.Some otherinstancesofthistypeinclude:

(1)1wasflyinghigh.

    (2)Shewasoncloudnine.

    (3)1wasfloating.

    (4)l'mflyingintheclouds.

    (5)Heseemstobeinthesky.

    Besidesthosetwoconceptualmetaphors, HAPPINESSISLIGHTisalsoanimportantone underlyingmanyexpressions.

    (1)Whenheheardthenews,shelitup. (2)Nothingtoworryabout,brightup. (3)Heradiatesjoy.

    (4)Shehasasunnysmile.

    (5)Youarethesunshineinmylife. (6)Hewasgleaming.

    (7)Shewasshiningwithjoy.

    (8)Suddenlyasmilelit(up)herface. (9)Thesunshineisinherface.(YuNing, 1998:61,

    Again.theseexpressionsregardour bodilyexperienceasourreasoning.Aswe allknow,whenapersonishappy,thelooks oftenbecomebrighter.Thushappinessusually isconcernedwiththebrightness.TheIight appearstoderivefromtheinternaIenergy characteristicofahappypersonfibid.:62). ThefourthmetaphoristhatHAPPINESS oRJoYlSAFLUlDINACoNTAlNER.The emotionofhappinessisconsideredasthehot fluidinsideaclosedcontainer.

    (1)Wewerefullofjoy.

(2)Thesightfilledthemwithjoy.

    (3)Joywelledupinsideher.

    (4)Shecouldn'tcontainherjoyanylonger. (ibid.)

    Sinceemotionsalmosthavean"outward" asPectaswell,mostobviousIY,their "expression"inbehavior.Thetypicalreactions toemotionshelpexpressconceptsofemotions inametonymicfashion.Nowonderthereoften existsasystemofmetonymicexDressionsin thelanguage,whichstrictlyfollowsthegeneral metonymicprinciplethatphysioIogicaIeffectsof anemotionstandsfortheemotion.

    Here,theemotionofhappinesshasits larrupingoutwardbehavioralreactions,such asJUMPING,DANCING,SMILlNGAND

    BRIGHTEYES,whichyieldmanymetonymic expressionsinEnglishasfollows:

    JUMPlNG

    (1)Hejumpedforhappiness.

    (2)Shewasleapingwithjoy.

    DANCING

    (1)Weweredancingwithjoy.

    (2)Theyallhadaballattheparty.

    SMlLING

    (1)Shewassmilingwithhappiness.

    (2)Theywereallsmiles.

    REACTloNSINEYES

    (1)Amusementgleamedinhiseyes.

    (2)HiseyesgIintedwhenshesaythe

money.

    (3)Hiseyeswereshining.

    (4)Hereyesweresparklinglikediamonds. (Kovecses,1991:2946)

    3.2HAPPINESSmetaphorsinChinese

    Chineseseemstosharethemajor

    conceptualmetaphorswithEnglish.(YuNing, 1998:63).

    IntheoPinionofChinese,""(the

    upwardorientation)alsodemonstratesa positiveevaluation,suchas"高品质","

    ","高论","高尚","兴高采烈".

    Sincehappinessisapositiveemotionproviding peoplewithmorevitality,itoftengoeshand inhandwith"up".Theorientationalmetaphor HAPPYlSUPincIudesaIargegrouPof

    conventionalexpressionsinChinese: 0

    (1)人人眉飞色舞,个个兴高采烈.

    (2)他高兴极了.

    (3)船上的游客兴致高昂.

    (4)回顾整个活动过程,现场气氛热烈,

    宾情绪高扬.

    (5)他得意扬扬.

    ThoseexpressionsfromChinesefurther suppo~theclaimthatmetaphoricalorientations arenotarbitrary.buthaveabasisinthe physicaIandcuIturalexperience.fLakoff& Johnson,1980)

    ThesecondconcePtuaImetaPhorin

    English:BEINGHAPPYISBEINGOFFTHE GROUND.IsitapplicabletoChinese"高兴"?

    Among1000examplesentences,onlyone exampleshowsBEINGHAPPYISBElNGOFF THEGROUND.Forexample:

    (1)看远山白雪皑皑,眼前绿野沃然,心就

    和车一样,兴高采烈地飞起来.

    ThisindicatesthatBElNGHAPPYIS

    BEINGOFFTHEGROUNDdoesnotseemto beuniversalinChineseowingtoourChinese conMentionaImodeofthought.Thereisa Chinesesaying:"脚踏实地",whichmeans"be

    earnestanddown-to-eaCh".Thus,beingoffthe groundisconsideredasbeingoutofself-control andisnotunsatisfactory.Itisnotmapped positivelyontohappiness,butnegativelyonto complacency.Forexample.whenwesay"

    飘飘然起来"(Heisfloating.),weindicatethat thepersontakesprideinhimselfthathehas losthissenses.Therefore,beingsustainedoff thegroundisnotsodesirableinChinaasin English.

    HaPPinessinEnglishisaIsoPictured intermsoflightorbrightness.HAPPlNESS ISLlGHTmetaPhoraIsoaccordswiththe conceptualizationofhappinessinChinese, whichisdescribedbysuchexamPIesas foIlows:

    (1)听到自己将被提升为局长,他喜形于色.

(2)他容光焕发,喜气洋洋.

    CrazyEnglishTeachers105

    霸擅曩湖倩嘲西蕊2D77f,2月号誊孽磐鬟磐||:

    (3)他喜笑颜开.

    (4)工人吃着可口的饭莱,笑逐颜开.

    Itisworthnoticingherethat""in(3)

    and(4)reallymeansboth"color"and"face"or rather"happyglowingface"inChinese,which isalwaysusedasymmetricallyinahappybut neverunhappysense.Thus,wecansay"

    "(smngface),butnot"哭颜"(crying

    face).

    Moreover,Chinesesharessimilaritywith EnglishintheCoNTAlNERmetaphor.which mapstheemotionofhappinessontoafluid inacontainer.ThismetaphorHAPPINESSIS AFLUlDINACoNTAINERismanifestedin Chinesebythefollowingsentences: (1)他心中充满喜悦.

    (2)喜悦之情如泉水流入他的心里.

    (3)他俩一见如故,言谈中,他觉得有一种

    无名的欢愉涌上心头.

    (4)我再也按捺不住心中的喜悦.

    (5)他们满怀喜悦.

    AlthoughbothEnglishandChineseuse theC0NTAlNERmetaPhorinexpressing haPPiness.there'restilIsomedifferences betweenthemjustaccordingtothoseexamples listedabove.InEnglish,thecontainermainly referstothebody,whileinChineseitismostly

    theheartinsidethebodythatcountsasthe container.ontheotherhand.ofcoursein English,theheartcanalsobethecontainer ofhaPPinessasthesentenceMyheartis filledwithjoyshows,butsuchphenomenonis veryrare.InChinese,otherbodyparts,such asbosomorchestcanbespecifiedasthe containerofhappiness.Bytakingthisdifference intoconsideration,wecanseemoregeneral differencebetweenEnglishandChinese,that is,Chinesetendstousemorebodypartsthan Englishdoes.

    BesldestheabovethreemetaPhors,

    Chinesecommandsanothermetaphorthatis notapplicableinEnglish:HAPPINESSISA 106CrazyEngfshTeachers

    FLOWERINTHEHEART.wherehappiness isconceptuaIizedasflower.Theexampies include:

    (1)她心里乐开了花.

    (2)人人心花怒放.

    Themeta0horicalconceptisprofoundly rootedintheChinesecuIture.inwhich happinesstraditionallyembodiesinflowers, especiallybigredflowers.Atthesametime, thisFLOWERmetaPhortoagreatextent reflectstheintrovertedcharactertypica10f Chinesepeople.Asweallknow,eventhough somethingveryexcitinghappens,Chinese peopleseldomrevealtheirhappinesswildly

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