Publication details [#7104]

Lan, Chun. 1999. Transliterated title not available (A cognitive approach to spatial metaphors in Chinese). Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 4(120) : 7–15. 9 pp.


Within a cognitive approach to spatial metaphors in Chinese, it is assumed that (1) metaphor is part of the cognitive processes through which human beings conceptualize the world, and (2) spatial metaphors play an indispensable part in human thinking because many of the abstract concepts are structured through spatial metaphors. This paper focuses on two fundamental spatial concepts in Chinese, 'shang' and 'xia', and attempts to determine the metaphorical extensions along which the two concepts develop, i.e., to ascertain which abstract concepts Chinese uses 'shang' and 'xia' to structure. The following results are obtained from the analysis of 1.8 million characters of written Chinese materials: (A) Upward trajectories are usually linked with things considered to be undesirable in Chinese culture. (B) 'shang' and 'xia' are used to structure five target domains: abstract location, state, quantity, social hierarchy, and time. (C) A mapping from vertical to horizontal dimensions occurs with 'shang', so that it specifies a particular horizontal direction. (LLBA, Adapted from the source document, Accession Number 200003763, (c) CSA [1999]. All rights reserved.)