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Manual Action Metaphors in Chinese

A Usage-Based Constructionist Study

Heidi Hui Shi    University of Oregon, USA    

Sophia Xiaoyu Liu    University of Oregon

Zhuo Jing-Schmidt    University of Oregon, USA    

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abstract

This article examines Chinese manual motor metaphors involving manual object manipulation as the source domain. Specifically, we use corpus data to investigate two transitive constructions, [抓紧 zhuājǐn ‘grab tightly, clutch’ NP] and [把住 bǎzhù ‘grasp firmly’ NP], and a causative construction, [把 NP 捧 pěng COMPL] ‘lift np with deliberation’, where the referent of the np does not lend itself to manual manipulation in the literal sense and must be interpreted as metaphoric in the unity of semantic domains. Results from both quantitative and qualitative analyses show that the two transitive grasping actions are systematically used to abstract actions requiring a keen sense of urgency and/or importance, and that the causative action of lifting systematically conceptualises over-promotion of an undeserving entity. The findings point to the bodily origin of social cognition and the embodiment of conceptualisation.

Accepted
April 9, 2020
Submitted
Feb. 17, 2020
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-407-3
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-406-6

Keywords: Manual Motor MetaphorObject ManipulationChineseEmbodiment

Copyright: © 2020 Heidi Hui Shi, Sophia Xiaoyu Liu, Zhuo Jing-Schmidt. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.