Metaphors for Sexual Desire : A SNS-based Study

Research output: Faculty's ThesesMaster's thesis

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Original languageEnglish
Award date13 Aug 2018
Number of pages83
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018


Based on the foundation that language, emotion, and culture are so closely interrelated that culture would affect the way people express their emotions, it could be hypothesized that metaphors (an important role in language) for sexual desire (an emotion) could be analyzed in a cross-cultural way. The Cognitive Theory of Metaphor and Metonymy (CTMM) has been provided as a particularly apt tool for linguists to explore people’s conceptualization of some emotions. With the development of cognitive linguistic studies, more and more emotion concepts have been interpreted within this framework and the role of cognitive metaphors and metonymy in people’s conceptual system has also become prominent. In this research, how people conceptualize sexual desire will be illustrated by metaphoric expressions excerpted from a major Chinese Social Network Site (SNS), on which plenty of figurative language has been used.
The purpose of this research is first to explore the cognitive mechanism behind metaphors for sexual desire in Chinese. Then, since metaphor could serve as a vehicle that brings language, emotion, and culture together, this study is also intended to gain some new insights of sexual desire metaphors by comparing Chinese expressions found in the corpus with those in other different languages or culture, and try to validate that it is due to the constrain from a particular culture or people’s basic experience, on which those metaphors are grounded, that the universality and specificity of the conceptualization co-exit.