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英语“狗”类习语语义生成机制的认知研究

时间:2016-06-25 21:16来源:硕士论文作者:lgg 点击:
This thesis aims to conduct an overall study on English dog idioms from the perspective of cognitive semantics, a sub-branch of cognitive linguistics.
Chapter 1 Introduction
 
1.1 Research background 
Idiom, as an important composing part of every language, carries rich historical and cultural  elements.  Seidl  and  McMordie  (1978:7)  even  stressed  that  ―idiom  is  an indispensable  part  of  language‖.  Idiom  is  special  for  its  unique  form  and  meaning, especially  meaning,  which  cannot  be  predicted  from  the  meaning  of  its  constitute  parts. Therefore,  it  has  aroused  great  interests  and  efforts  of  linguistic  scholars  to  conduct various  studies  on  it.  However,  present  studies  on  English  idioms  mainly  focus  on  its syntax  structure,  cultural  background,  translation  and  even  comparison  among  different  languages.  Since  the  spring  up  of  cognitive  linguistics,  scholars  find  new  powerful explanatory  perspective  on the  semantics  of  English  idioms. So  many  studies are  carried out  on  the  syntax  and  semantics  of  English  idioms  from  cognitive  perspective,  and achieved  rich  results.  There  is  still  a  problem  that  is  most  of  these  results  are  general summary of the whole English idiom system, few of them  are specific conclusions about certain kind of idioms. As for why this thesis takes English dog idioms as study target, the reasons  are  as  the  following  two  points.  Firstly,  recent  studies  on  English  idioms  are always  taking  the  idioms  as  a  whole,  without  deeper  classification,  which  results  in  the mismatch in some typical kind of idioms. Therefore, this thesis intends to take a specific kind of idioms to get a more precise conclusion. Since it is difficult to collect data based on the semantic meaning of source domain, this thesis takes the target domain as the basis to  collect  data.  Moreover,  cognitive  linguistics  advocates  knowing  the  world  through embodied  experience.  Dogs  play  an  important  role  in  people‘s  life,  especially  in English-speaking  countries.  Therefore,  this  thesis  takes  dog  idioms  as  the  study  target, trying to explore the encyclopedic meanings of word dog from these collected dog idioms,and the emergent mechanism of English dog idioms from cognitive linguistics. 
.........
 
1.2 Research questions 
This thesis aims to answer the following questions: (1). What are the  semantic  meanings  of  word  dog revealed in  collected English  dog idioms? (2). What are the relationships among these semantic meanings? (3). What is the semantic emergent mechanism of English dog idioms? (4) How to understand the affective meanings of English dog idioms? This thesis is instructed by these questions step by step to conduct an overall study of English dog idioms.  
.........
 
Chapter 2 Literature Review 
 
This  chapter  presents  an  overview  of  previous  studies  on  English  idioms  and  dog idioms. It first starts from three main approaches on idiom studies, to summarize the main viewpoints of each approaches and make comments . Then it goes to the review of present studies  on  English  dog  idioms.  The  study  results  and  weakness  provide  foundation  and space for this thesis. 
 
2.1 Studies on English idioms 
Studies  on  English  idioms  have  gone  through  a  long  history.  Reviewing  all  the studies  conducted  by  now,  there  are  mainly  three  perspectives,  namely  the  traditional approach,  the  compositional  approach,  and  the  cognitive  approach.  The  traditional approach holds that idioms are just special lined words in terms of semantic and syntactic structures  and  that  the  meaning  of  an  idiom  is  arbitrary  without  contribution  from  the meaning of its components. On the contrary, the compositional approach argues that every component  part  of  an  idiom  has  its  own  individual  meaning  and  their  meanings  do contribute to the implied meaning or figurative meaning of the idiom. With the emergence of  cognitive  linguistics,  cognitive  approach  argues  that  idioms  are  not  merely  the production  of  language,  so  the  idiomatic  meaning  of  an  idiom  both  relies  on  linguistic function  and  human  being‘s  conceptual  system  and  encyclopedic  knowledge.  The following section will present an overview of these three approaches in details.  
......
 
2.2 Studies on animal idioms 
The above  studies are just  some  examples  from the  theoretical  perspective of idiom studies; on the other hand, the research target of idiom study is also in variety. One of the most frequent study target is animal idioms.  Studies  on  animal  idioms  mainly  focus  on  cultural  and  semantic  aspect,  especially animal metaphor. Animal metaphor has gone through a long history. Craddick and Miller (1970)  analyze  the  identification  of  concept ―self  in animal  metaphor through animal idiom  study.  Whaley  and  Antonelly  (1983)  propose  the  assumption  that  animal  idioms revealed  the  ―women  are  animals  metaphor  in  male-female  relationships  in  culture. Sutton  (1995)  also  points  out  that  animal  idioms  are  derogation  against  women  through ―women  are  animals metaphor.  Low  (1988)  and  Newmark  (1988)  argue  that  animal metaphor in animal idioms are mainly used to refer to inferior or undesirable behavior and characters.  In  cognitive  linguistics,  Lakoff  and  Turner(1989)  point  out  that  animal metaphor is based on The Great Chain of Being Theory. 
............ 
 
Chapter 3 Theoretical Foundation and Methodology ...... 15 
3.1 Theoretical foundation ...... 15 
3.2 Methodology ...... 23 
3.3 Summary .... 24
Chapter 4 Analysis on the Semantic Emergent Mechanism  ..... 25 
4.1 Definition and major features of English idiom ...... 25 
4.1.1 Definition of English idiom ........... 25 
4.1.2 Major features of English idiom ........... 27 
4.2 Semantic meanings of word dog ...... 28 
4.2.1 Basic semantic meaning ........ 29 
4.2.2 Associate semantic meanings ........ 32 
4.2.3 Relationships among semantic meanings ..... 42 
4.3 Semantic emergent mechanism of dog idioms ........ 47
4.4 Pragmatic affection of dog idioms ........... 60 
4.5 Summary .... 62 
Chapter 5 Conclusion .... 65 
5.1 Major findings of the study ....... 65
5.2 Implications of the study ........... 67 
5.3 Limitations of the study .... 67 
 
Chapter 4 Analysis on the Semantic Emergent Mechanism of English Dog Idioms 
 
This  chapter  is  the  main  body  of  the  whose  dissertation.  This  chapter  intends  to analyze  the  emergent  mechanism  of  English  dog  idioms.  Idioms,  as  a  special  linguistic form,  its  meaning  is  not  simply  the  combination  of  the  semantic  meanings  of  each composing  parts,  but  an  interacting  product  of  the  whole  idiomatic  frame  and  its composing parts. This chapter includes four parts. The first part is about the definition and features of English idiom. The second part analyzes the semantic meaning of word dog to lay  a  foundation  for  further  study.  The  third  part  discusses  the  emergent  mechanism  of English  dog  idioms.  Idioms  are  divided  into  two  types,  non-human  related  idioms  and human  related  idioms,  and  discussed  respectively.  This  part  is  the  essence  of  the  whole thesis,  with  specific  example analysis. The last part  provides a  new understanding  of the affective meanings of English dog idioms in practical use. 
 
4.1 Definition and major features of English idiom 
This  part  presents  several  definitions  of  English  idioms  given  by  various  English dictionaries and intends to put forward the viewpoints of this thesis on English  definition and then summarizes the major features of English idioms, so as to lay foundation for the following analysis. What is idiom?  Although there are  many researchers conducted  on  English Idioms, the definition of English idiom has not reached on a consensus yet. The word ―idiom can be traced back to Greek, the meaning of ―specialty and ―peculiarity. In recent research field, there are many definitions and viewpoints about what kind of linguistic forms can be called  idioms.  Experts  put  forward  their  understandings  respectively  from  various perspectives.
..........
 
Conclusion 
 
This thesis is designed to explore the semantic meanings of word dog revealed from collected English dog idioms. In addition, the emergent mechanism of English dog idioms is  explored  from  the  approaches  of  metaphtonymy  and  conceptual  blending  theory.  The previous  chapters have  conducted a detailed discussion and analysis  centered around the research  questions.  This  chapter  summarizes  the  major  findings,  and  then  proposes  the implication and limitations of this thesis.Firstly, there are ten semantic meanings of word dog analyzed from collected English dog  idioms, of which the basic meaning is ―image  of  dog  species‖. The other  nine  are associate semantic meanings derives from dog behavior, habit, merits and the activation of collocation and context. The ten semantic meanings are not equal in the semantic category of  word  dog.  The  basic  semantic  meaning  of  dog  image  locates  in  the  center  of  the category  and  the  others  distributes  gradually  from  the  near  center  to  the  periphery.  The more frequent the semantic meaning is used, the closer it locates to the prototype. Besides, the  semantic  category  of  word  dog  is  open  and  continuous,  overlapping  with  other semantic  category.  As  a  result,  these  overlapping  semantic  categories  constitutes  a chain-like semantic map. Through the semantic study of word dog, this thesis enriches the semantic category of word dog and lays a foundation for future study. 
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