A Study of English Allusions from the Perspective of Conceptual Integration Theory
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||English Allusions Meaning Construction CIT CIN Difficulties in Understanding|
Allusion is the crystallization of cultures of all nations. It has profoundconnotative meaning with concise forms and has been applied to almost all aspects ofpeople’s daily life. As the quintessence of western culture, English allusions not onlypossess general characteristics of allusions, but have their unique culturalconnotations and forms. In addition, English allusion is an important medium to knowmore about western culture.Up till now, many scholars have focused on the study of English allusions.However, most scholars carry out insightful studies from the perspective of traditionallinguistics. They discuss the definitions of English allusions, their culturalconnotations, rhetorical functions, translation strategies and make comparativeanalysis of English and Chinese allusions. Their researches yield fruitful results. Withthe introduction and rapid development of cognitive linguistics, a few scholarsattempt to study English allusions from the perspective of Conceptual MetaphorTheory. Although some ideas and approaches have been put forward, none of themtouches upon the meaning construction and understanding mechanism of Englishallusions in human brains. Hence, this study tries to apply Conceptual IntegrationTheory to illustrate the process of meaning construction and process of understandingEnglish allusions. Then, this study points out difficulties in understanding allusions aswell.In 1997, Fauconnier formally put forward Conceptual Integration Theory(CITfor short). It builds integration network model with two input spaces, a generic space,a blend space, mapping, compression and so on. In addition, conceptual integrationnetwork(CIN for short) is the core of CIT, including simplex network, mirror network,single-scope network and double-scope network. CIT has mighty explanatory powerin illustrating language phenomena and is applied to linguistic studies to a large extent.Nevertheless, few people attempts to apply CIT to the study of English allusions.This study takes CIT as the theoretical framework and makes qualitative analysisof the collected data. Through analysing, the author finds that the process of meaning construction of English allusions is dynamically presented in the integration network.Meanwhile, four patterns of networks provide a comprehensive account of theunderstanding process of allusions. This study proves the strong explanatory power ofCIT in illustrating allusions and provides a new perspective for future study. At last,limitations of this study are pointed out and some suggestions for future study ofallusions are given.