Semantics of Abstinence: Blending between the Chinese Character "horn" and Wine Vessel Design in China

Ka Nin Chow, Xiao Chao Xi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


In this article, the authors research wine vessel design in China and conduct a deep investigation on the semantics. Chinese characters and a group of classic wine vessels (bottom-pointed vessels) are analyzed systematically. Then, using a cognitive science method called the "blending theory," the authors explore how the design of ancient wine vessels (bottom-pointed vessels) could blend to the Chinese characters "horn and "the tenth earthly branch conceptually. Following this research and investigation, an argument of the origin and the embodiment of the wine vessel deign is proposed, which also provides a new perspective for designers creating new vessels in current times.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Designed Objects
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Chinese Character
  • Cognitive Blending
  • Semantics
  • Wine Vessel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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