Semantic Analysis of the Japanese verbs 飲?（drink） and 食?（eat） A Comparison with Chinese Directional Complements
|Keywords:||語意分析;多重語意;認知語言學;隱喻;借喻;提喻;過度推論;焦點化;意象圖式;semantic analysis;JSL;polysemy structure;contrastive study;cognitive linguistics;metaphor;metonymy;synecdoche;focalization;semantic range||Issue Date:||2011||Abstract:||
A crucial skill for JSL students to acquire when mastering the Japanese language is to select the correct verb in constructing a sentence. The key is the understanding of the polysemy of verbs. Generally speaking, when it comes to the learning of verbs which express more than one meaning, JSL students tend to memorize each separately, rather than associating them with one another. The purpose of the thesis is to address this tendency by examining relationships between the plural meanings of select verbs and comparing them with their Chinese counterparts, investigating the difference during these two languages. The framework of the analysis is based on cognitive linguistics: by using the theory of metaphor, metonymy, and synecdoche, the thesis clarifies the semantic extension mechanism as well as the concept of focalization and image schema which form the polysemy structure expressed by the Japanese verbs 飲む（nomu） and 食う（kuu） and their Chinese counterparts. The results of the comparative analysis are summarized as follows:
1. In contrast to Chinese directional complements which only partner with liquid objects, the Japanese verb 飲む（nomu） demonstrates a broader semantic range because of it is applied to solid, liquid, gas objects. In addition, the appearance of inanimate subject sentences is also a distinguishing property of 飲む（nomu） against its Chinese counterpart.
2. The Chinese verb 吃（chi） expresses a broader semantic range and more complex polysemy structure than the Japanese verb 食う（kuu）; especially in relation to extended meanings based on the focalization of the mouth’s movement as well as abstract metaphorical meanings. The multiple utilization of吃（chi） implies that it is one of the more basic Chinese verbs which has been gradually incorporated into various formal and informal situations, and therefore has been consistently used over a long period of time.
3. The two Japanese verbs 飲むnomu and 食うkuu demonstrate similar semantic properties in regard to certain aspects; however, their Chinese counterparts reveal a totally different consequence: 吃（chi） possesses a more complicated polysemy structure than 喝（he）. This may be attributed to two hypotheses: first, because the focus is placed on the masticate behavior owned exclusively by 吃（chi）, several polysemous words associated with the movement of mouth are generated; second, the cultural concept “While we are eating, and nothing is bigger than eat” in Mandarin society, and the law of the jungle in survival, play important roles during the process of generating metaphorical meanings exhibited by the Chinese verb吃（chi）.
|Appears in Collections:||日本語文學系|
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