Publication details [#60068]

Shu, Dingfang. 2015. Chinese xiehouyu (歇 后 语) and the interpretation of metaphor and metonymy. Journal of Pragmatics 86 : 74–79.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


The unique Chinese linguistic occurrence Xiehouyu usually precedes or succeeds something said or stated, which functions as the topic, and the saying is a sort of vehicle plus elucidation about the topic. It contrasts with other kinds of metaphor or metonymies in that its clarification is always spelled out when first employed. In 30% of the cases, the selection of a vehicle in a xiehouyu is casual, which indicates that the speaker is more interested in causing a particular -often humorous- discourse effect than employing metaphor or metonymy to attain a cognitive effect, thus rendering the more interpersonal nature of some sorts of metaphorical language.