Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 2(1), pp. 11 - 15
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2014.020102
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A Cognitive Account of Mandarin Chinese Jin

Li Larry Hong-lin *
General Education Center, National Taiwan University of Arts, New Taipei City, 22058, Taiwan, R.O.C.


In this study, we explore the polysemy of Jin. It is found that the polysemous network of Jin can be divided into two groups. The first sense group is composed of three senses. The sense ‘to proceed’ is the prototype of the first group. As in the LIFE IS A JOURNEY metaphor, progress in terms of time can be viewed as the distance traveled, and hence another sense arises. As for another sense, the GOOD IS FRONTWARD metaphor accounts for why Jin stands for good. The second sense group comprises five senses. Jinlai ‘to enter a bounded space’ is the central instance of the second group. The containment metaphor, which conceptualizes not only physical objects but also non-physical phenomena including an area, a stomach for digesting, eyesight, and wealth as containers, provides a basis for why Jin are tied to the other three senses of the second sense group, all of which describe an entity moving into the inner space. The findings of this study indicate that the discrepancy between language and mental process is not one of kind; in addition, meaning is built on the conceptual structure formed by the interaction with the outer world rather than objective reality.

Polysemy, Metaphor, Cognition, Prototypicality

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Li Larry Hong-lin , "A Cognitive Account of Mandarin Chinese Jin," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 11 - 15, 2014. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2014.020102.

(b). APA Format:
Li Larry Hong-lin (2014). A Cognitive Account of Mandarin Chinese Jin. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 2(1), 11 - 15. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2014.020102.