Ideas, Love and Food: Conceptual Metaphor in Chinese

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Pattra Pichetsilpa


            Chinese people is well-accustomed to the concept “food”, as they have both bodily and social experience about food. Chinese language users understand other target domains through the knowledge of source domain “food”. This study aims to explain the conceptual metaphors IDEAS ARE FOOD and LOVE IS FOOD in Chinese based on cognitive linguistics aspect. The data were collected from Corpus of Center for Chinese Linguistics (CCL). A result of study indicated that metaphorical expressions found in this study reflected the Chinese conceptual system “IDEAS ARE FOOD” and “LOVE IS FOOD”. The concepts of ideas and love are structured and understood in terms of food. These metaphors indicated that in which the language user tried to understand abstract object through the concrete object.  The study shows the mapping between source domain “food” and target domain “ideas” and “love”, which makes us understand more about Chinese people’s world view.


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