Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-15T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 20m 23s
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Towards a dynamic behavioral profile of Mandarin Chinese temperature term (...)

Meili Liu (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)


Temperature terms are essential in human languages. They are the linguistic
manifestation of human’s conceptualization of temperature phenomena, which
“involves a complex interplay between external reality, bodily experience and
evaluation of the relevant properties with regard to their functions in the human life in a
particular cultural setting” (Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 2015: 2). The temperature domain is
carved up mainly by four temperature terms in Modern Chinese, i.e., re ‘hot’, nuan
‘warm’, leng ‘cold’, and liang ‘cool’. They can be used both literally, as in (1a) and
figuratively, as in (1b)1
(1) a. 天气热得很,我已经口渴了.
Tianqi re de hen, wo yijing kouke le.
Weather hot ADV very, I already thirsty PERF.
‘It is very hot and I have got thirsty.’
b. 出来以后,大家热烈辩论他不要编全集的理由。
Chulai yihou, dajia relie bianlun ta bu yao bian
Come out after, everyone heatedly debate he not want compile
quan ji de liyou.
complete collection GEN reason.
‘After he came out, everyone heatedly discussed the reasons for his being not
willing to compile a collection of his works.’
Chinese temperature terms have been studied both from the synchronic perspective
(e.g. Tang et al., 2011; Lei & Qin, 2013; Ma & Song, 2015) and the diachronic
perspective (e.g. Zhang & Wang 1995, Jiang 2005 and Wu, 2006). Despite all of this
attention, what is still largely lacking is corpus-based multivariate studies that
investigate how the usage pattens of temperature terms change over time. The current
study addresses precisely this gap. It examines the diachronic evolution of the polysemy
of the temperature term re ‘hot’, based on a corpus-based dynamic behavioral profile
(BP) analysis, derived from multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) maps. I combine
multifactorial usage-feature analysis and multivariate statistical analysis to identify and
quantify complex patterns in usage (Geeraerts, Grondelaers & Bakema, 1994; Gries,
2010; Glynn & Robinson, 2014).
The results show that (1) the behavioral profiles of re has been constantly changing
and they are determined by both language-internal (the meaning, the syntactic functions
and the morphological features of the term) and language-external factors (the evaluated
; (2) overall, the Chinese temperature term re tends to denote more and more
1 Abbreviations: GEN, genitive; PERF, perfective; ADV, adverbial marker. All the data of this study were retrieved from the
Center for Chinese Linguistics Corpus (Peking University):
2 These language-internal and language-external factors are the variables of the MCA analysis.
abstract meanings over time; (3) the semantic development of re is affected by the social
and cultural development in the history of China; (4) the semantic evolution of re
demonstrates culture-specificities, e.g. it was extended to describe power and wealth,
and to express the relationship between people.
Methodologically, this study presents the first application of the BP approach to
historical data of temperature terms and hence complements to the current body of
research in historical semantics of temperature terms. Theoretically, this methodology
contributes to a more comprehensive perspective on the evolution of the polysemy of
temperature terms.


Congreso Cilc 2021


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Serie: CILC2021: Lexicología y lexicografía basadas en corpus / Corpus-based lexicology and lexicography (+información)