Vol. 1:1 (2011) ► pp.90–112
Variation in the (non)metonymic capital names in Mainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese
This paper examines the (non)metonymic usage of capital names in news articles from Mainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese and shows that this phenomenon is actually more complex than might have been expected. We annotated capital names extracted from a self-built news corpus with insights from previous studies on place name metonymies in Cognitive Linguistics and identified factors that would influence their (non)metonymic usage. To quantitatively explore the data, logistic regression analysis was employed. The statistical results reveal that the variation in the (non)metonymic capital names is a result of an intricate interplay of a number of conceptual, lectal and discursive factors: (1) more metonymic capital names are found in subject than non-subject position and in political than non-political news topics; types of capital may influence their metonymic usage; (2) differences between Mainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese cannot be ignored, especially for the interpretation of a specific metonymy, i.e. CAPITAL FOR GOVERNMENT; (3) the (non)metonymic usage of a capital name is also determined by its sequencing and location in discourse. We hope this study may shed some light on the usage-based trend of current Cognitive Linguistics, i.e. investigating metonymy in authentic linguistic data by a range of empirical methodologies.
Cited by 5 other publications
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