A contrastive study on the meanings of the verb “run” in english and “chạy” in vietnamese from a cognitive semantic perspective

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY M.A THESIS A CONTRASTIVE STUDY ON THE MEANINGS OF THE VERB “RUN” IN ENGLISH AND “CHẠY” IN VIETNAMESE FROM A COGNITIVE SEMANTIC PERSPECTIVE (NGHIÊN CỨU PHÂN TÍCH ĐỐI CHIẾU NHỮNG Ý NGHĨA CỦA ĐỘNG TỪ “RUN” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ “CHẠY” TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT TRÊN QUAN ĐIỂM NGỮ NGHĨA HỌC TRI NHẬN) NGÔ THU TRANG Hanoi, 2016 Front hard cover Back hard cover NGÔ THU TRANG ENGLISH LANGUAGE 2013 - 2015 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY M.A THESIS A CONTRASTIVE STUDY ON THE MEANINGS OF THE VERB “RUN” IN ENGLISH AND “CHẠY” IN VIETNAMESE FROM A COGNITIVE SEMANTIC PERSPECTIVE (NGHIÊN CỨU PHÂN TÍCH ĐỐI CHIẾU NHỮNG Ý NGHĨA CỦA ĐỘNG TỪ “RUN” TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ “CHẠY” TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT TRÊN QUAN ĐIỂM NGỮ NGHĨA HỌC TRI NHẬN) NGÔ THU TRANG Field: English Language Code: 60220201 Supervisor: Do Kim Phuong, Ph.D Hanoi, 2016 CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report entitled A STUDY ON THE MEANINGS OF THE VERB “RUN” IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE FROM A COGNITIVE SEMANTIC PERSPECTIVE A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in English Language Except where the reference is indicated, no other person‟s work has been used without due acknowledgement in the text of the thesis Hanoi, 2016 Ngo Thu Trang Approved by SUPERVISOR Date: 11/12/2016 i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This thesis could not have been completed without the help and support from a number of people First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms Do Kim Phuong, my supervisor, who has patiently and constantly supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas, expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as an academic researcher A special word of thanks goes to my best friends and my colleagues, without whose support and encouragement it would never have been possible for me to have this thesis accomplished Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my husband for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this academic work ii ABSTRACT The study is aimed at the meanings of the verb “run” in English and “chạy” in Vietnamese from a cognitive semantic perspective by using Contrastive Analysis as the major method The research is done to investigate the semantic features of the English verb “run” in the light of cognitive semantics and find out several the similarities and differences between Vietnamese and English verb” run” In doing the research, descriptive method and contrastive analysis are done either to describe the meanings conveyed by the English verb “run” in the light of a cognitive semantic perspective or to determine the differences and similarities between verb “run” in English and its equivalents in Vietnamese Data for this study were collected from three novels, namely, the Vanity Fair by Thackeray [58], A Game of Thrones by Martin [38], and Gone with the wind by Mitchell [40] and all of their Vietnamese translational equivalents, namely “Hội chợ phù hoa” translated by Trần Kiêm [63], “Trò chơi vương quyền” translated by Hà Ly [65] and “Cuốn theo chiều gió” translated by Vũ Kim Thư [67] This study has been primarily carried out to answer two questions, one is to investigate the possible meanings of the English verb “run” and the other is to investigate its Vietnamese equivalents in the light of cognitive semantics The results provide some supports for learners to have a good understanding in learning and translating English verb from a cognitive semantic perspective iii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS A Adverbial C Complement O Object Od Direct object Po Object predicative S Subject V Verb iv LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 4.1 Possible meanings of run and frequency of occurrences 43 Table 4.2.Vietnamese equivalents of run and frequency of occurrences 59 Figure 4.1 Radial network of run 42 v TABLE OF CONTENTS Certificate of originality i Acknowledgements ii Abstract iii List of abbreviations iv List of tables and figures v Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Rationale for the research 1.2 Aims of the research 1.3 Objectives of the research 1.4 Scope of the research 1.5 Significance of the research 1.6 Organizational structure of thesis Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Review of previous studies 2.2 Review of theoretical background 2.2.1 A brief overview of cognitive linguistics 2.2.1.1 Definition of cognitive linguistics 2.2.1.2 Major principles of cognitive linguistics 2.2.2 A brief overview of cognitive semantics 2.2.2.1 Definition of cognitive semantics 2.2.2.2 Major principles of cognitive semantics vi 2.2.3 Motion verbs 10 2.2.3.1 Definition of motion verbs 10 2.2.3.2 Classification of English motion verbs 10 2.2.3.3 Syntactic and semantic features of English motion verbs 12 2.2.3.4 Syntactic and semantic features of the verb “run” 15 2.2.4 Cognitive semantic approach to motion verbs 16 2.2.4.1 Experiential realism, image schemas 17 2.2.4.2 Metaphor 19 2.2.4.3 Prototype, radial category 20 2.2.4.4 Polysemy 22 2.3 Summary 23 Chapter 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 24 3.1 24 Research orientations 3.1.1 Research questions 24 3.1.2 Research setting 24 3.1.3 Research approaches 25 3.1.4 Principles/criteria for intended date collection and data analysis 25 3.1.4.1 Data types 25 3.1.4.2 Sources of data 26 3.1.4.3 Reliability and authenticity of data 26 3.2 27 Research methods 3.2.1 Major methods and supporting methods 27 3.2.2 Data collection techniques 27 vii (100a)… And the two daughters of the house of Queen's Crawley would have been allowed to run utterly wild … [58, p.309] (100b) … có lẽ hai thiếu nữ trở nên hư đốn mất… [63, p.528] 4.1.2.14 “Run” in English corresponds to “lướt/ lùa” in Vietnamese Only a humble number, out of 330 examples (2,42%) of run in the corpus are mapped into “lướt/ lùa” in Vietnamese Consider the following examples: (101a) Varys lifted the knife with exaggerated delicacy and ran a thumb along its edge [38, p.174] (101b) Varys nâng dao lên với duyên dáng thể lướt ngón lưỡi dao [65, p.260] (102a) Mrs Tarleton went toward the kitchen, throwing her hat carelessly on the sideboard and running her hands through her damp red hair [40, p.680] (102b) Bà Tarleton phía bếp, liệng nón lại tủ lùa ngón tay vào mái tóc đỏ, ướt đẫm mồ hôi [67, p.646] 4.1.2.15 “Run” in English corresponds to “hết” in Vietnamese A considerably small proportion (0,91%) of run-occurrences in the corpus is equivalent to hết in Vietnamese According to the findings, when run is used with the prepositions out of, it is translated as hết Take a look at the following example: 55 (103a) Sansa was running out of patience now [38, p.142] (103b) Giờ Sansa hết kiên nhẫn [65, p.213] 4.1.2.16 “Run” in English corresponds to “kéo dài” in Vietnamese Only one example of run in the corpus is equivalent to kéo dài in Vietnamese as follows: (104a) The fight ran until six o‟clock [38, p.513] (104b) Trận đánh kéo dài tới tận [65, p.513] 4.1.2.17 “Run” in English corresponds to “tăng lên” in Vietnamese out of 330 examples of run in the corpus are equivalent to tăng lên in Vietnamese As far as the findings are concerned, all the run-occurrences meaning to increase are translated as tăng lên in Vietnamese Consider the following examples: (105a) He had conducted the retreat in masterly fashion, for they had lost few men and the Yankees killed and captured ran high [40, p.218] (105b) Ông điều động lui quân quy củ nên quân đội miền Nam tổn thất nhẹ quân Yankee chết bị bắt tăng lên nhiều [67, p.290] (106a) The Confederate dead and wounded at New Hope Church ran high [40, p.282] (106b) Số thương vong quân đội miền Nam trận New Hope Church ngày tăng lên [67, p.291] 56 4.1.2.18 “Run” in English corresponds to “hoạt động” in Vietnamese In the corpus, out of the run-examples are translated as hoạt động in Vietnamese as follows: (107a) Prices of lumber, brick and stone soared and Scarlett kept the mill running from dawn until lantern light [40, p.629] (107b) Giá cây, giá gạch tăng lên vùn Scarlett cho trại cưa hoạt động tới tối [67, p.603] 4.1.2.19 “Run” in English corresponds to “phát hành” in Vietnamese Phát hành is chosen as a Vietnamese equivalent to the verb “run” It accounts for a very humble proportion, out of all instances of run (0, 61%) in the corpus Take a look at the following example: (108a) You know as well as I that the Confederacy ran a printing press instead of a mint [40, p.546] (108b) Cô biết rõ tơi Chính phủ Liên bang miền Nam có phát hành tiền giấy khơng có xưởng đúc kim khí mà [67, p.537] 4.1.2.20 “Run” in English corresponds to “có hiệu lực” in Vietnamese Có hiệu lực is also chosen as a Vietnamese equivalent to run It accounts for a humble proportion, out of all the examples of run (1,21%) Consider the following example: (109a) The contract runs through this year [58, p.125] (109b) Hợp đồng có hiệu lực đến hết năm nay.[63, p.153] 57 4.1.2.21 “Run” in English corresponds to “kiểm tra” in Vietnamese Interestingly, out of 330 occurrences (0,61%) of run in the corpus were found to be made equivalent to kiểm tra in Vietnamese as follows: (110a) Scallett ran through the bills [40, p.214] (110b) Scallett kiểm tra lại hoá đơn [67, p.232] 4.1.2.22 “Run” in English is translated as a copular verb in Vietnamese In addition to the above-mentioned Vietnamese equivalents to run, out of 330 examples of run in the corpus are translated as copular verbs in Vietnamese Take a look at the following example: (108a) There are many brave and patriotic man in the blockade arm of the Confederacy‟s naval service”, ran the last of the doctor‟s letter….[40, p.223] (108b) “Có nhiều cơng dân u nước dũng cảm lực lượng Hải quân Liên bang miền Nam uỷ nhiệm phá phong toả”, đoạn cuối thư bác sĩ viết [67, p.235] The above sections have been devoted to thoroughly investigating potential Vietnamese equivalents of the English verb “run” As can be seen from the findings, the majority of run-examples found in the corpus correspond to chạy in Vietnamese There is also evidence to acknowledge that run can be made equivalent to other Vietnamese verbs The table below illustrates potential Vietnamese equivalents of run and the percentage each of them accounts for in the corpus: 58 Vietnamese equivalents of run chạy Frequency of occurrences Percentage 173 52,42 53 16,06 chạy dọc 1,52 trải dài 1,21 lan khắp 1,52 chạy đua 0,91 chảy 15 4,55 tràn 1,52 27 8,18 vận hành 0,91 nhìn 0,61 gặp 0,61 trở nên 1,21 lướt/ lùa 2,42 hết 0,91 kéo dài 0,30 tăng lên 0,91 hoạt động 0,61 phát hành 0,61 có hiệu lực 1,21 kiểm tra 0,61 copular verb 1,21 330 100,00 chạy trốn/ trốn quản lý Total Table 4.2: Vietnamese equivalents of run and frequency of occurrences 59 4.2 Discussion 4.2.1 The similarities between the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents According to the table 2: Vietnamese equivalents of run and frequency of occurrences, the biggest percentage of run-occurrences in the corpus (52,42%) corresponds to chạy in Vietnamese, highlighting that English verb “run” and Vietnamese verb chạy, to a significant degree, constitute similar conceptualisation, i.e fast pedestrian motion or “to move quickly by both feet” It is interesting to find that run in English and chạy in Vietnamese share at least senses such as: fast pedestrian motion, fast motion, motion, to escape, to move without restraint, to campaign, to extend, to function and to execute The reason for these similarities lies in the universality of the language In other words, human languages share universal features that are dictated by human brain structure Human experiences with motion are held to be identical since human beings are endowed with the same biological features and can be exposed so similar experiences with the environment 4.2.2 The differences between the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents At first glance, people may believe that “run” in English is the same as “chạy” in Vietnamese The point is not absolute When investigating the meanings of the verb “run” in English and its Vietnamese equivalents, the author discovers that in addition to “chạy”, the polysemous verb “run” was found to be made equivalent to at least twenty verbs in Vietnamese It means that, there are senses that „run‟ has but chạy does not have, such as to flow, to overflow, to increase, to run out of, to become, to check/ to 60 rehearse, etc and vice versa such as chạy chức, chạy tội, chạy làng, etc Furthermore, there appear to be a distinction in encoding path between English and Vietnamese In English, path information appears in nonverbal elements such as run into, run along, run across, etc However, with the use of directional complement verbs after manner-of-motion verbs, Vietnamese tends to choose and emphasize the whole trajectory of motion such as chạy xuống, chạy tới, chạy lên, etc These distinctions are due to the differences of socio-cultural rules in each language Language is closely attached to culture Culture contains language and influences language Language and the use of language are not separable from culture Vietnamese culture is different from that of western countries, culture differences cause language differences Therefore, in order to truly master English, learners of English as a foreign language have to master the cultural contexts in which the language occurs 4.3 Implications for learning and translating English As mentioned before, cognitive linguistics is based on the assumption that meaning is embodied and attemps to explain facts about language in terms of other properties and mechanisms of the human mind and body Cognitive semanticists say that people understand what words mean when they form in their minds mental representation of word meaning More often than not, these mental representations are formed in concrete situations or when they encounter a new word within a rich context The semantic description of the English verb “run” proposed in this study might have useful applications for learning and translating the verbs from English into Vietnamese and vice versa By means of semantics, students will be made aware of the fact that polysemy, idiomaticity, cultural diversity and diversity in the use of a single linguistic item are vividly manifested 61 The understanding of these will help explain what the speakers and mean when they produce utterances, particularly in the case of run In this way, EFL learners will be able to make gorgeous improvements in their English language learning in general and English-Vietnamese translation in particular It is worthily noted that, a verb is claimed to possess the prototypical meaning and other derived ones via image schema transformations and metaphorical extensions In this way, Vietnamese EFL learners are supposed to be aware of more concrete configurations and constantly reminded of the links among the chain of meanings Therefore, it will be easier for them to master the meanings of a verb Finally, this thesis may be beneficial to the field of translation Basing on the semantic descriptions of the English verb “run”, translators might either choose the most equivalent meaning and use it in translating the context of the utterance in order to be as faithful to the original as possible while it still sounds natural in the target language Therefore, Vietnamese EFL learners, as well as translators are supposed to be aware of cultural and social conventions encoded in Vietnamese and English so that they can resort to appropriate Vietnamese equivalents of English verbs in certain contexts 4.4 Summary This chapter has been devoted to thoroughly investigating the possible meanings of the English verb “run” and its potential Vietnamese equivalents basing on the data in the manual corpus collected by the author The prototypical sense of run is “fast pedestrian motion” In addition to this sense, the verb “run” was found to have at least 23 other derived senses and metaphorical extensions The majority of run-examples in the corpus 62 correspond to chạy in Vietnamese Besides chạy, the English verb “run” was found to be made equivalents to at least twenty verbs in Vietnamese This chapter has also analysed the similarities and differences between English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents, and presented the reason for these similarities and differences 63 Chapter V: Conclusion 5.1 Recapitulation The graduation thesis includes 04 chapters Chapter presents rationale for the research and states what the research is aimed at Scope of the research, significance of the research and structural organization of the thesis are indicated Chapter provides a review of related previous studies, fundamental and essential theoretical background concerning the subject under consideration which serves as the basic foundation of data analysis and findings, discussion in the following chapters Chapter is designed to describe research-governing orientations and research methods Chapter presenting distinct but related meanings of the polysemous English verb “run” and demonstrating Vietnamese translational equivalents to the verb “run”; and discussing the similarities and differences between the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents Thanks to the research result, learners will have a good understanding in learning and translating English verb from a cognitive semantic perspective 5.2 Conclusions on each of the thesis objectives The work described in this study has been primarily carried out to answer two questions, one is to investigate the possible meanings of the English verb “run” and the other is to investigate its Vietnamese equivalents in the light of cognitive semantics First, the study has provided the theoretical background of cognitive linguistics and cognitive semantics Such cognitive semantic notions as image schemas, prototype theory and radial category, and metaphorical meaning extension have been exploited to immensely account for not only 64 the prototypical meaning of the verb but also its derived meanings by means of image schema transformations and metaphorical extensions Next, the study is also an attempt to figure out the syntactic and semantic features of English motion verbs as well as those of the verb “run” More importantly, the author conducts a corpus-based study with the aim to investigate the meanings and the frequency use of the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents The results show that to run is a highly polysemous verb, the radial network of which consists of a prototype (fast pedestrian motion) and other senses derived from the prototype What is more, to run can be made equivalent to a wide range of Vietnamese verbs Among the Vietnamese equivalents of to run found in the corpus, chạy takes up the majority This can be inferred that chạy in Vietnamese and run in English, to a significant degree, constitute similar conceplization However, to run also corresponds to at least twenty other verb in Vietnamese, namely chạy trốn, chạy dọc, trải dài, lan khắp, chạy đua, chảy, tràn, quản lý, vận hành, nhìn, gặp, trở nên, lướt/ lùa, hết, kéo dài, tăng lên, hoạt động, phát hành, có hiệu lực, kiểm tra Finally, the study has proved the fact that language is a part of human cognition The process of using language and producing language is a cognitive process involved human‟s perception and conceptualization It has also presented that cognitive semantics and cognitive linguistics have provided us with convincingly theoretical framework on which we have a firm ground for the task of language study 5.3 Limitations of the research The scope of the present thesis has limited the research itself to the study of the meanings of the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents in 65 the light of cognitive semantics Thus, it can never give a complete account of all the meanings of the verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents Due to the limitation of time, the present study has only investigated the meanings of run in form of S + run and S+ run + O, where run plays the role of an intransitive and transitive verb One matter that the author left unresolved is the meanings of the verb “run” in idioms and the meanings of run as a whole lexical unit Hopefully, those issues and aspects will be profoundly analyzed in the next further researches by people who are interested in the study of the meanings of the English verb “run” and its Vietnamese equivalents in the light of cognitive semantics 5.4 Suggestions for further research Some suggestions for further researches include: - Investigate the meanings of the English verb “run” in idioms; - Investigate the meanings of the whole lexical unit run, where it functions as a verb, or a noun 66 REFERENCES Barcelona A (1997), “Cognitive Linguistics: A usable approach”, Cuadernos de Filología Inglesa, 6(2), pp 7-32 Barcelona A (2003), Metaphor and 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Infinitival Complement Clauses in the Survey of English Usage Corpus: English Computer Corpora, Selected Papers and Research Guide, Mouton de Gruyter 21 Martin G R R (Eds) (2011), A game of thrones, Bantam books, New York 22 Mitchell M (Eds) (2013), Gone with the wind, Pan Books, London 23 Palmer F R (1965), The English Verb, Longman Group Limited, London 24 Nguyễn Lân (2000), Từ điển từ ngữ Việt Nam, NXB Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 25 Nguyễn Như Ý, Nguyễn Văn Khang, Vũ Quang Hào (1999), Đại từ điển tiếng Việt, Nhà xuất Văn hóa - Thơng tin 68 26 Papafragou A., Massey C., Gleitman L (2001), Shake, rattle „n‟ roll: The Representation of Motion in Language and Thought, University of Pennsylvania 27 Quirk et al (1985), A comprehensive grammar of the English language, Longman, London 28 Reference Resource, Retrieved 2nd December 2013, from http://millercenter.org/president/reagan/essays/biography/1 29 Richards J C, Schimidt R (2002), Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, (eds), Peason Education Limited 30 Slobin D (1996), Two Ways to Travel: Verbs of Motion in English and Spanish In M Shibitani & S Thompson (ed.), Grammatical constructions: Their Form and Meaning, pp 195-220, Oxford Clarendon Press 31 Talmy L (2000), Toward a Cognitive Semantics Vol I: Concept Structuring Systems, MIT Press 32 Taylor J R (2002), Cognitive Grammar, Oxford University Press, New York 33 Thackeray W M (Eds) (2001), Vanity fair, Wordsworth Editions Limited, Hertfordshire 34 Trần Kiêm (2012), Hội chợ phù hoa, Nhà xuất văn học, Hà Nội 35 Vũ Kim Thư (2012), Cuốn theo chiều gió, Nhà xuất văn học, Hà Nội 69 ... is aimed at the meanings of the verb “run” in English and “chạy” in Vietnamese from a cognitive semantic perspective by using Contrastive Analysis as the major method The research is done to investigate... states that meanings come from human mind; or rather, meanings are in the head[15] Cognitive semantics also sees linguistic meaning as a manifestation of conceptual structure: the nature and. .. above-mentioned reasons, it is strongly desirable for the author to carry out the thesis titled: A contrastive study on the meanings of the verb “run” in English and “chạy” in Vietnamese from a cognitive
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