Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Grammar > Modern,modern syntax

A Contrastive Study of the Semantic Components and Lexicalization of the Chinese and English "Take" Type Hand Verbs

Author SunChengJiao
Tutor ShuDingFang
School Shanghai International Studies University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords the “take” type Hand verbs semantic components degree oflexicalization lexicalization pattern
CLC H146
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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As an important issue of modern linguistics, lexicalization has been studiedaround a broad range of topics, among which lexicalization pattern and degree oflexicalization are the focuses of this thesis. Talmy’s study of lexicalization pattern ismost influential. In the framework of cognitive semantics, he has examined howdifferent semantic elements are packaged in the surface linguistic elements anddistinguished three main typological categories for Motion verbs, namely Motion+Path, Motion+Co-event, and Motion+Figure. Inspired by Talmy, throughcontrastive studies of verbs of the same semantic fields in Chinese and English bymeans of componential analysis, many Chinese researchers come to the conclusionthat verbs in the two languages are lexicalized in the pattern of “Motion+Manner/Cause+X” and that English verbs are of a higher degree of lexicalizationthan their corresponding ones in Chinese, but some also claim that the Chinese “take”type body verbs are more strongly lexicalized than the English ones. However, noneof them have done in-depth researches into the verbs of this type.Combining componential analysis with the Semantic-Component ModelAnalysis proposed by Fu Huaiqing, the thesis makes a semantic analysis of the “take”type Hand verbs (in Chinese an overwhelming majority of the “take” type body verbsbelong to this type) in Chinese and English, which reveals verbs in the two languagesshow preferences for different semantic components, that in general the English verbshave a higher degree of lexicalization than the Chinese ones and that both arelexicalized in the pattern of “take+Instrument+Manner+X”. Through a discussionof the reasons behind these similarities and differences in lexicalization, the thesisgoes farther into the relationship between language and thought with the conclusionthat language is grounded in and shaped by human cognition.The study has both theoretical and practical significances. On the one hand, itrevises componential analysis, redefines the component of Manner and extends thestudy of lexicalization pattern to the “take” type Hand verbs. On the other, it alsocontributes to English teaching, translation, and intercultural communication.

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