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Metonymic and metaphoric meaning extensions of Chinese FACE and its collocations

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This paper studies the extension of conventional meanings of Chinese FACE expressions in their collocations as well as the collocations themselves through metonymy and metaphor. The data with five FACE expressions included are sampled from the corpus of Center for Chinese Linguistics at Peking University. The conventional meaning of these five FACE expressions is ‘the surface of the front of the head from the top of the forehead to the base of the chin and from ear to ear’. The conventional meaning of FACE in its collocations is metonymically extended to ‘facial expression, emotion, attitude, person, health state, affection, sense of honor, etc.’, and metaphorically to ‘the front space or part of something, a part, a side or an aspect of something, the surface or the exposed layer of something, the geometric plane in math or scope/range of something, etc.’. When Chinese FACE is collocated with other words, its meanings are also extended through metonymy-metonymy chains, metonymy-metaphor continuums and metonymy-metaphor combinations. The meanings of Chinese FACE collocations (phrases) are mainly metonymically extended when used in certain contexts.

Keywords: Chinese FACE expressions; collocation; meaning extension; metaphor; metonymy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 30, 2020

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