Dissertation > Literature > Chinese Literature > The body of literature reviews and research > Poetry,verse > Poem

A Conceptual Integration Approach to the Imagery in Wang Changling’s Frontier Fortress Poems

Author DuHong
Tutor XiaRiGuang
School Changsha University of Science and Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords conceptual integration theory Wang Changling the frontier fortresspoems imagery
CLC I207.22
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Imagery is a processed figure about related cognitive object shaped in thethinking space after the cognitive subjects contact the object based on the presentativeinformation conveyed by origins of feelings. As a unique category in poetics, it is anaesthetic combination of the object and the realm of the poet’s spirit (i.e., hissensibility and his cognition, etc.). In Chinese classical poetry, frontier fortress poemsare rich in contents with their own distinct imagery group, representatives of whichare poems written by Wang Changling, a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty.Conceptual integration theory, proposed by Fauconnier and Turner as therepresentatives of cognitive scientists, is a new theory of meaning construction.Breaking through the traditional language comprehension hypothesis, this theory putsforward the cognitive mechanism of language comprehension from the perspective ofcognitive science and neurosciences. This cognitive mechanism is persuasive andexplanatory to the dynamic, random and ambiguous cognitive activity of thinking,which can be used to interpret the constructive mechanism of the imagery in WangChangling’s frontier fortress poems.Taking Wang Changling’s frontier fortress poems as the object of study, throughcomposition, completion and elaboration, this paper tries to apply the four-spacenetwork model of the conceptual integration theory to interpret the dynamic processof imagery construction in integration networks (mirror network, single-scopenetwork, and double-scope network), to reveal these four major imageries (wind,autumn, moon, sand) in his poems, and to analyze their emotional connotations.It has been found that wind imagery mainly expresses sad feelings andhomesickness; autumn imagery mainly conveys anti-war ideas and melancholy;moon imagery mainly denotes meditation and desolate feelings; sand imagery mainlyshows sadness and hardships of the expedition journey. It has been pointed out that the cognitive interpretation of Wang Changling’sfrontier fortress poems is a spontaneous and dynamic conceptual integration process.The emotional connotations of imagery cannot be reached literally. Readers only canmaster the dynamic construction process of the meaning, when the imagery isconnected with the cultural background knowledge of cognitive subject. Besides, themeaning of frontier fortress poems is not determined by a single imagery, but bypoets’ chosen groups of imageries. As a result, only connecting related imageries inthe poems through mappings and combining backgrounds, can readers be attached topoets’ creative intentions and inspirations, through which can imageries be presented,and imageries and connotations be blended together. Thus, connotations of imageriesare obvious and self-evident.The paper emphasizes that conceptual integration is a universal cognitive activity,and conceptual integration theory is explanatory to the cognitive interpretation of theimagery in Wang Changling’s frontier fortress poems. The application of the theoryprovides a brand-new angle for the appreciation of frontier fortress poems, especiallyfor the comprehension and translation of the imagery in the poems.

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