In and out: Senses and meaning extension of mandarin spatial terms nei and wai

Yiching Wu, Cui Xia Weng, Chu-ren Huang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the semantic properties and extension paths of modern Mandarin Chinese spatial terms nei4 'in, inside' and wai4 'out, outside'. Their symmetric and asymmetric contrasts are accounted for with idealized cognitive models (ICMs) and metonymic models. These models are used to delineate the core meaning and main meaning extension routes of nei4 and wai4: from the area of a region to the length of the radius or side, and then to distance. Locations of the observer, marked foci, container metaphors and social backgrounds also contribute to the asymmetry of the two terms. The synchronic difference between nei4 and wai4 can also be attributed to diachronic changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPACLIC 19 - Proceedings of the 19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 19 - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 1 Dec 20053 Dec 2005

Conference

Conference19th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 19
CountryTaiwan
CityTaipei
Period1/12/053/12/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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