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A Study Of Synaesthetic Metaphor Based On Conceptual Integration Theory

Posted on:2010-03-15Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y Q YuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360275455366Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
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Traditionally,synaesthetic metaphor is regarded as a neuropsychological phenomenon or a figure of speech,which functions as an ornamental device,thus it is often studied from the neuropsychological and rhetorical perspectives.However,in recent studies,synaesthetic metaphor is regarded as a cognitive tool in serving specific communicative goals and descriptive needs,and is studied more and more from cognitive perspectives.Conceptual metaphor theory, metonymic theory and conceptual integration theory are successively used to interpret synaesthetic metaphor.However,there are some problems with the former two theories,that is, they cannot account for the fact that synaesthetic metaphor forms mapping and transfers from more than one source domains to the target domain.The theory of conceptual integration is a complex and large-scale theory on cognitive processing,which can account for the creative and innovative online production and comprehension of novel expressions.Moreover,it can explain the working mechanism of synaesthetic metaphor more clearly and precisely,and the most important thing is that it can explain language phenomena that cannot be solved by conceptual metaphor theory.Thus in this thesis,the study of synaesthetic metaphor is carried out within the general framework of conceptual blending theory.The thesis aims to interpret the phenomenon of synaesthetic metaphor by using the theory of conceptual integration.Synaesthetlc metaphor refers to the phenomenon that the stimulation of one sensory modality consistently causes sensations in one or more other senses,so it is more than a set of mappings between a source domain and a target domain.It is held in this thesis that synaesthetic metaphor is a kind of sensory integration that interrelate our perceptual experience, and involves a complex of mappings with multiple spaces in conceptual integration networks.In the integration network of synaesthetic metaphor,there are two or more input spaces,a generic space and a blended space,which then dynamically develops into an emergent structure,which is the core of this theory.At the same time,a generic mental space maps onto each of the input spaces and contains what the input spaces have in common.In synaesthetic metaphor,these common elements are usually a perceiver,a sensory stimulus,and a sensation with certain features.The two-space model and many-space model as two basic models of conceptual integration theory are used in this thesis for interpreting the working mechanism of different kinds of synaesthetic metaphor.This is classified according to the number of input spaces. Besides,composition,completion,and elaboration as three cognitive processes of conceptual integration theory are also used in the analysis of synaesthetic metaphor.It is maintained in the thesis that the processes of conceptual blending are rooted in the speakers' or writers' imaginative capacities,which focus on the ability to combine elements from familiar conceptualizations into new and meaningful ones.Typical examples of English and Chinese synaesthetic metaphor in literary and non-literary works are used in this thesis in order to show that the conceptual integration theory provides a plausible account of how the readers construct meaning during the process of understanding synaesthetic metaphor.Moreover,these examples can show that the process of meaning construction in synaesthetic metaphor is a dynamic process of conceptual integration.
Keywords/Search Tags:synaesthetic metaphor, conceptual integration theory, cross-space mapping, emergent structure, dynamic process
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