Author: Wu, Haibin
Title: Organic metaphors in English real estate reports in China
Advisors: Li, Lan (ENGL)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2019
Subject: Metaphor
Discourse analysis
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: 205 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The organic metaphor, as a universal linguistic phenomenon, has long been an exciting topic in metaphor studies. Over more than two thousand years, the study of metaphor has changed - from theoretical research to empirical research. Traditionally, the understanding of metaphor was confined to the thoughtful discussion of language and belonged to the level of language expression. Most of the research on metaphor at this stage was within the field of literature. In 1980, Lakoff and Johnson jointly published Metaphors We Live By, which marked the beginning of metaphor research from a cognitive point of view. Since then, metaphor has been seen not only as a modification of language but as an essential means of understanding the world. The metaphor of the organism, as a common metaphor in the human cognitive process, is widely used in literary works and everyday discourse. As the world's second largest economy, China has attracted the attention of the world. An essential window for China's understanding of the world and for the world's understanding of China, Shanghai Daily is the preferred Chinese, English-language media outlet for professionals at home and abroad. Shanghai Daily's business model has unique characteristicsï¼›it is a Chinese newspaper that both enters international mainstream society and has an appreciable circulation in Shanghai. This thesis focuses on the content of the Property column for text analysis. Four hundred real estate reports, dating from January 1 2009 to October 31 2018 and published in Shanghai Daily, were collected and analysed.
The real estate market is important to a country's economy. Real estate reports are an essential channel for people seeking to understand the current affairs of this market. The metaphor of the organism is found to be widely used in this language category. It thus provides a textual possibility for studying organic metaphors. Although previously scholars have carried out cognitive research on metaphors in real estate language, to date, they have not systematically studied the metaphors of organisms in real estate reports from a cognitive and functional perspective or, indeed, explored the cognitive processes behind them. Therefore, building on previous research, this thesis systematically analyses the metaphor of organisms in English-language real estate reports written by Chinese reporters. The study attempts to address two research questions. Firstly, how do organic metaphors being used to describe the Chinese real estate market achieve the cognitive procedure of mapping from the source domain to the target domain through a trinocular perspective? Secondly, what are the functions of organic metaphors as prominent language forms in English-language real estate discourse in China? According to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) developed by Lakoff and Johnson, this thesis uses case studies to analyse the main types, linguistic features and cognitive functions of organic metaphors in real estate reports, as well as the evolution process of the metaphorical frame. The trinocular perspective, originally used in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to describe the language system, is adjusted in this study to analyse metaphorical phenomena from three levels: language, cognition and society. The thesis reveals that in real estate reports, there are three main types of human metaphor: the UP/DOWN metaphor, the HEALTH metaphor and the PHYSICAL COMBAT metaphor. Among them, the UP/DOWN metaphor appears most frequently. With the organic metaphor UP/DOWN, typically MORE IS UP and LESS IS DOWN. Moreover, the distribution of each metaphor is distinctive in different themes. Subsequently, the thesis analyses the cases involved; that is, it undertakes a linguistic and functional analysis of the organic metaphors in real estate reports, taking into account such aspects as the frequency, frame, construction pattern, network, function and user. It shows the mapping from the source domain to the target domain is not random but subject to certain conditions. At the end of the thesis, the cognitive function of the organic metaphor is proposed. It can be said that the organic metaphor provides a fundamental perspective for us to understand the world. This research has important implications for the study of English vocabulary and writing, especially writing within the real estate report genre.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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