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The Metaphor 'Love is A Journey' in English and Vietnamese

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tr−êng §¹i häc Vinh

T¹p chÝ khoa häc, tËp 40, sè 3b-2011

THE METAPHOR “LOVE IS A JOURNEY”
IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE
Phan Thi Huong (a)
Do Thanh Nhan (b)
Summary. Metaphor has been studied for a long time by many linguists. For
traditional schools of linguistics, metaphor is a figure of speech used in literature
only. However, cognitive linguistics presents a different view of metaphor, stating
that metaphor is not only pervasive in literature but also in daily life language. More
importantly, cognitive linguists have proved that metaphor does not only serve as a
means of expressing thoughts, it is a vehicle of cognition of human beings as well.
This paper summarizes major views of metaphor in the light of traditional linguistics
and cognitive linguistics. In the meantime, the paper investigates the representations
of the cognitive metaphor “Love is a journey” in English and Vietnamese, discussing
and making attempts to explain what mechanism helps language users to
metaphorize an abstract concept (love) on the basis of another concept that is easier
to explain (journey).

Metaphor
is
an
interesting
linguistic phenomenon which has
attracted the attention of many
linguists. It has been subject to a great
deal of research. There have been
proposed various definitions about
metaphor by different linguists as it
has been viewed differently from
various perspectives. In this article, the
author attempts first to have a brief
view of metaphor from traditional views
as compared to that in the light of
cognitive linguistics, and second to
probe into the metaphor ‘LOVE IS A
JOURNEY’ in English and Vietnamese
from the perspective of cognitive
linguistics.
1. Traditional view on metaphor
Metaphor has traditionally been
viewed as one of the figures of speech, a
rhetorical device, or a stylistic device
used in literature to achieve an
aesthetic effect (Radden & Divren,
Lakoff & Johnson). According to Lakoff

& Johnson, metaphor has been thought
to be “a matter of extraordinary rather
than ordinary language” [1; 05].
There have been proposed various
definitions of metaphor. Nguyen, H.
states
that
“Metaphor…is
the
transference of meaning (name) from
one object to another based on
similarity between these two objects”.
He explains that speakers of a language
compare one object with another, and if
they find some common features
between the two objects they will call
the second by the name of the first [2;
106].
Dinh, T.L. [3; 194] introduces a
similar view that “metaphor...
tr−êng §¹i häc Vinh T¹p chÝ khoa häc, tËp 40, sè 3b-2011
11
THE METAPHOR “LOVE IS A JOURNEY”
IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE
Phan Thi Huong
(a)
Do Thanh Nhan
(b)
Summary. Metaphor has been studied for a long time by many linguists. For
traditional schools of linguistics, metaphor is a figure of speech used in literature
only. However, cognitive linguistics presents a different view of metaphor, stating
that metaphor is not only pervasive in literature but also in daily life language. More
importantly, cognitive linguists have proved that metaphor does not only serve as a
means of expressing thoughts, it is a vehicle of cognition of human beings as well.
This paper summarizes major views of metaphor in the light of traditional linguistics
and cognitive linguistics. In the meantime, the paper investigates the representations
of the cognitive metaphor Love is a journeyin English and Vietnamese, discussing
and making attempts to explain what mechanism helps language users to
metaphorize an abstract concept (love) on the basis of another concept that is easier
to explain (journey).
Metaphor is an interesting
linguistic phenomenon which has
attracted the attention of many
linguists. It has been subject to a great
deal of research. There have been
proposed various definitions about
metaphor by different linguists as it
has been viewed differently from
various perspectives. In this article, the
author attempts first to have a brief
view of metaphor from traditional views
as compared to that in the light of
cognitive linguistics, and second to
probe into the metaphor ‘LOVE IS A
JOURNEY’ in English and Vietnamese
from the perspective of cognitive
linguistics.
1. Traditional view on metaphor
Metaphor has traditionally been
viewed as one of the figures of speech, a
rhetorical device, or a stylistic device
used in literature to achieve an
aesthetic effect (Radden & Divren,
Lakoff & Johnson). According to Lakoff
& Johnson, metaphor has been thought
to be “a matter of extraordinary rather
than ordinary language” [1; 05].
There have been proposed various
definitions of metaphor. Nguyen, H.
states that “Metaphor…is the
transference of meaning (name) from
one object to another based on
similarity between these two objects”.
He explains that speakers of a language
compare one object with another, and if
they find some common features
between the two objects they will call
the second by the name of the first [2;
106].
Dinh, T.L. [3; 194] introduces a
similar view that “metaphor is the
transference of meaning from one object
to another based on similarity between
these two objects.”
For Do, H.C., metaphor is “the
symbolic name of one object, which is
based on the similarity, realistic or
imaginary, between the identified
NhËn bµi ngµy 27/7/2011. Söa ch÷a xong 04/10/2011.
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