Edited by Réka Benczes and Veronika Szelid
[Benjamins Current Topics 124] 2022
► pp. 263–282
The chapter presents an in-depth analysis of the language of death in Chinese and discusses the relation between language and occupation as a social factor in analyzing the language of death. In this chapter, I address in what specific ways Cognitive Linguistics may serve as a useful analytical framework in studying Chinese idioms used in funerals, in an attempt to uncover cultural elements and viewpoint structure in communicating death. The study introduces basic constructs in Cognitive Linguistics which could be used for such an analysis, and applies this CL machinery to analyzing three selected groups of four-character eulogistic idioms used at funerals in Taiwan. The analysis shows that, in addition to Conceptual Metaphor Theory, which has been considered the classic CL tool for studying abstract concepts like death, the subjectivity/objectivity distinction in Cognitive Grammar may also be employed as a complementary and useful theoretical construct in studying the language of death, as it helps identify the special characteristics of the eulogistic idioms for teachers as a special profession in the Chinese culture.