Basic Color Terms from Chinese: Semantic Analysis, Comparison with Hungarian, Effects from SLA

Xie Jing, Huba Bartos
In any language, color code is a special kind of word group. Its particularity is caused by the particularity of the object it refers to. Color, as an objective existence of a special material form, is not only dependent on the specific objective things, but also relies on the subjective world of human beings to perceive and feel, such as green mountains and blue rivers, blue sky and white clouds. These subjective perceptions are hidden behind the rich semantics of the color words. Cognitive
more » ... guistics asserts that language is an experience-based cognitive ability. With time passing by, cognitive ability develops, and the language also develops. As a result, the quantity of semantics also increases. Therefore, both the semantic analysis of the basic color words in a language and the semantic contrast of the same color words in different language provide valuable experimental sites and raw data for cognitive linguistics. Based on the semantics of eight basic color words in Chinese, illustrated by many examples from corpus, this thesis makes use of prototype theory, image schema, metaphor and metonymy theory in cognitive linguistics, and proves that the rich semantics of Chinese basic color words are developed based on the meaning of the prototype, and motivated by the cognitive approach of image schema, metonymy and metaphor, instead of being developed randomly. So, these semantics of Chinese basic color words are not isolated, but interrelated. This provides a livelier and practical material for teaching color words in Chinese as a foreign language. In order to have a deeper and more comprehensive understanding and observation of a language, in addition to the discussion and analysis on the language itself, comparison and analysis between different languages also provide a new viewpoint. Through investigation, the author collected the associative meanings of basic color words from Chinese and Hungarian. None of those Chinese informants have learned Hungarian, nor have those Hungarian learned Chinese.
doi:10.15476/elte.2018.007 fatcat:ur6c35eo4fhkbifj4a2p2hucam