Discursive Metaphors Analysis: The Love Metaphor of Plant in Chinese Love Poetry

By Yangyang, Zhang | Cross - Cultural Communication, September 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Discursive Metaphors Analysis: The Love Metaphor of Plant in Chinese Love Poetry


Yangyang, Zhang, Cross - Cultural Communication


Abstract

A conceptual metaphor may have various meanings in different languages, and usually contains cultural background. Based on cognitive approach, this paper aims to study Chinese metaphor through analyzing four conceptual metaphors of four typical plants in traditional Chinese poetry. This article also discusses why these ancient metaphors can still be used commonly in modern Chinese language. At the same time, through analyzing these metaphors, relevant implicating Chinese cultural aspects are described.

Key words: Discursive metaphor; Ancient Chinese poetry; Love; Plant

INTRODUCTION

LOVE is A PLANT metaphor is quite common to most Chinese speakers. Consider the way native speakers of Chinese often talk about love ~ either their own love, emotions in love and lovers, or these love-relatives of others: a couple of lovers might say that they met each other occasionally in a café, and it seems to plant a seed for their love. Then, they made a few appointments, which encouraged their love to germinate rapidly. Afterwards, they became lovers and drown themselves into a love flower ocean. They firmly believed their relationship was growing well and strongly, and would flower and fruit in the near future. Unfortunately, the love withered away. What I show above is a small sample of all possible linguistic expressions of LOVE is A PLANT conceptual metaphor. The use of phrases above, such as to plant a seed, to germinate, to draw someone into a love flower ocean, to grow, to flower and fruit, and to wither away would be thought by most Chinese to be obvious cases of the plant concept for everyday purposes.

In spite of the metaphors used in ordinary Chinese, there are a lot of plant species as metaphor concepts describing love, which appears to be more frequent in Chinese literature, especially poetry, than everyday language. However, in modern Chinese language, a few plant species in ancient Chinese poetry used to be conceptual metaphors have been conventionalized. Why can these metaphors be used commonly in ancient even though modern China? This essay will focus on cognitive approach to analyze these conceptual metaphors of four typical plants in traditional Chinese poetry. In this paper, firstly, cognitive metaphor theory will be reviewed and methodology will be introduced. The second part will explain Chinese literary metaphorical expressions through four plant iconographies, and the cultural influence on the uniqueness of Chinese literary metaphor will also be considered. Finally, this essay will proposed some problems in the conclusion.

1. METAPHOR THEORY IN THE COGNITIVE LINGUISTIC VIEW AND METHODOLOGY

1.1 Metaphor Theory in the Cognitive Linguistic View

Why do people draw heavily on the domain of love plant in their effort to comprehend? In the cognitive linguistic view, they do so because thinking about the abstract concept of love is facilitated by the more concrete concept of plant. Further stated that people usually use metaphor to make some abstract of physical concepts (source domains) facilitated by more concrete concepts (target domains), which is easy and helpful to understand. But how does target domain is understood in terms of target domain? Actually, there are a set of mappings between the source and the target domain, which means that elements of the source domain correspond to elements of the target domain. For example, let us take the LOVE is A PLANT conceptual metaphor first. The sentence the relationship will flower and fruit suggests that future happy ending of lover's relationship are conceptually equated with a plant's flowering and fruiting. On the other hand, cognitive linguistics claims that the certain sources we select are motivated. In addition to pre-existing similarity, these metaphors are also based on and a variety of human experience, including correlations in experience, nonobjective similarity, biological and cultural roots shared (Kövecses, 2000, pp. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Discursive Metaphors Analysis: The Love Metaphor of Plant in Chinese Love Poetry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.