Publication details [#13418]

Zhao, Guo. 2017. A Colexification Analysis of Tou: A Linguistic Typology Theory. Contemporary Rhetoric 3 : 80–89. 10 pp. URL
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Article in journal
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This study investigates how the lexical meanings of tou (head) in 14 languages are extended both metonymically and metaphorically. In metonomy, tou co-occurs with the features of the physical head, and refers to the length, shape, function, its composites, and the human body as a whole. In metaphor, tou is conceptualized in terms of the spatial position of head, for instance, as the bottom part or the starting point of something. Unique in Chinese, tou is used both as suffix and prefix indicating mood, time, and remains of an object. The study also finds the semantic domains of tou in Chinese have been extended from body and space to time.