Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background and Aims
1.1.1 Study on Perception Clauses
Human beings start to know the world from themselves, and the sense organs are the tools of getting information from outside world. People’s organs are the first objects to understand and experience the world, so they are in the significant position in the cognitive system. The perception through five sense organs is the foundation of acquisition and accumulation for the higher level of information. In this sense, perception is the starting point of cognitive activities and the source of knowledge about the world. Obviously, the metaphorical study on perception is helpful to explore the cognitive motivations and the nature of language.
The perception of the external world is realized by perception verbs of see, hear, smell, taste and feel. People discover and know the world, establish concepts and meanings, acquire and accumulate experience through eyes, ears, noses, tongues and hands. From the perspective of cognition, the perception of human being is bound to be reflected in the meanings of perception verbs, and then form projections between them. Whether in Chinese or English, the meanings of perception verbs are very rich. The perception concept, as the result of the conceptualization of perceptional events, is also one of the most pervasive concept in the world. Its linguistic representation occupies a prominent position in language. An overview of the study of English and Chinese tells us that many scholars at home and abroad have made various researches on perceptional verbs and perception clauses. The thesis provides a contrastive study of perceptional clauses in English and Chinese.
1.2 Research Questions and Methodologies
This thesis centers on the following questions:
(1) Which are the congruent forms and metaphorical forms in perceptional clauses?
(2) How do the metaphorical perceptional clauses shift between transitive processes?
(3) How do we analyze and explain the metaphorical phenomenon in perceptional clauses in the view of GM theory?
(4) What are the similarities and differences between English and Chinese?
Based on these questions, the thesis is going to take the perception verb see, hear, smell, taste and feel as examples with the purpose of analyzing the metaphorical forms in perceptional clauses and make an analysis on their transitive processes.
The methods used in the research are as followings:
(1) The method of literature research
Through searching for the previous relevant literature, we work out the theories on grammatical metaphor, prototype theory. We take Halliday’s method to identify the congruent and metaphorical forms in perceptional clauses. These have laid the foundation for the following research.
(2) Corpus approach
Through searching for perceptional clauses in British National Corpus (BNC) and Center for Chinese Linguistics PKU (CCL), we collect examples of perceptional clauses and make classifications for them. Then we pick out the frequent and typical examples to analyze their metaphorical meanings. On the one hand, the thesis makes an objective description for the examples. On the other hand, it tried to give reasonable explanations and further find out the general rules underlying the examples from the perspective of cognitive linguistics.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Research of Perception Verbs
During the process of our literature collecting, we find that many scholars have studied on perception verbs which are beneficial to the study of this thesis. As we know the perception verbs are the core of perceptional clauses, it is great significant to review the previous research on perceptions from different perspectives.
2.1.1 Research from Traditional Grammar
Traditionally, the previous study on English perception verbs are mainly on their definitions and classifications. In terms of their functions and uses, the perception verbs are classified to three types: verbs of action, perception, and copula according to their meaning and category features. For example, we usually regard the verbs see and hear as perception verbs. However, there exists a problem that when they are used in the sentence of We saw the film last night and the sentence of We are going to hear a concert tonight. In both of the clauses see and hear express the meanings of action.
Quirk (1985) makes a comprehensive and throughout research on perception verbs on their usages in the perspective of traditional grammar. Perception verbs in his view include see, hear, smell, feel, perceive watch, notice, observe, spot, spy, overhear, appear, seem, etc. According to his classification, all verbs about people’s senses of the material world belong to perception verbs. Quirk classified perception verbs into two types consisting of stative and dynamic perception verbs. In the perceptional clauses with stative verbs, the sensers can be put in the subject position or object position. In other words, the subject can be acted by perceiver or percept. The dynamic perception verbs can also divided into non-agentive and agentive verbs furtherly. Quirk also points out that see also have the meanings reflecting mental activities, which are the non-perceptual uses of the perception verbs. He also distinguish the use between visual perception and mental perception. When see is in the sentence of I see what you mean, it belongs to a mental perception verb, which express the meaning of understanding. However, Quirk neither make specific classification on perceptional meaning of perception verbs, nor discuss the semantic relations between different perceptional meanings.
2.2 Study of Grammatical Metaphor Theory
Halliday (1985) firstly put forward the concept of grammatical metaphor in his An Introduction to Functional Grammar (1st edition). Through over 30 years’ development, grammatical metaphor has made great progress and became the hot topic in academic circles. Halliday (1985, 1993, 1994, 1995/ 2007, 1998a, 1998b/ 2007), Halliday and Martin (1993), Goatly (1997), Halliday and Matthiessen (1999, 2004, 2014) have been made a comprehensive study on it. Many scholars also make an extension to Halliday’s research model and introduce new categorizations for grammatical metaphor. Ravelli (1988), Martin (1992) and Goatly (1993) make study on grammatical metaphor related to ideology and register. Many Chinese scholars also make a detailed introduction and research on grammatical metaphor.Hu (2000), Yan (2000, 2003), Zhu and Yan (2000), Fan (2007), Zhu (2006), Zhang and Zhao (2008), Lin and Yang (2010), Cong (2011, 2014), Cong and Wang (2012, 2017), Zhang and Lei (2013) mainly involve the classifications, motivations, manifestation forms and philosophical meanings. Jin and Chen (2004), Yang (2013), Chen (2014), Lin and Zhang (2014) study the grammatical metaphor under the cognitive perspective. Based on the previous researches, the thesis is going to make an introduction on grammatical metaphor.
2.2.1 Definition and Categorization
Halliday (1985) firstly puts forward the concept of grammatical metaphor and has a special exposition to it in this book. He points out that it is the interface between the syntactical layer and sematic layer. Halliday classifies grammatical metaphor into conceptual grammatical metaphor and interpersonal grammatical metaphor. The former describes processes and quality in forms of nouns instead of verbs and adjectives. The latter expresses the mode and modality by clauses instead of adverbs. Briefly, the main manifestation form of conceptual grammatical metaphor is nominalization; the manifestation forms of interpersonal grammatical metaphor are sentence patterns such as “It seems like… ”, “I think…” and “It is likely…”. Later, Halliday points out that the expressions which are accustomed to being used by language users actually undergo a series of grammatical metaphorical shifts. So he proposed the concept of grammatical metaphor syndromes, and makes a re-classification on grammatical metaphor. For example,