Towards a New Typology of Meteorological Events: A Study Based on Synchronic and Diachronic Data

Sicong Dong, Chu-ren Huang, He Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we expand the typological studies on weather expressions by bridging linguistic and meteorological ontologies. Based on our investigations into weather words of Sinitic languages from both synchronic and diachronic perspectives, we propose a new weather event typology, typology of meteorological events (TyME), with two binary features, [±Process] and [±Material]. We argue that this typology covers more weather phenomena in a systematic and ontologically transparent way and can benefit synchronic and diachronic studies on weather and language. In addition, a cross-linguistic investigation is conducted on previously less studied meteorological expressions: fog, dew and frost. The results show that fog, dew and frost can be said to fall in the majority of the languages, which seems to contradict their meteorological formation behaviours, but in fact conforms to natural laws. Based on the new weather event typology and analysed data, we discover that fog, dew and frost all correlate with precipitation in terms of directionality and encoding types. The two binary features we propose account for these formerly overlooked weather events as well as others and can provide effective assistance in analysing the mechanisms underlying those seemingly scientifically infelicitous expressions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLingua
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2020

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