IJLLL 2018 Vol.4(1): 33-38 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2018.4.1.146

Spatial-Temporal Metaphoric Expressions of Time in Mandarin and Cantonese

Zhu Pan
Abstract—While Cantonese speakers share the same cultural background with Mandarin speakers, Cantonese differs sharply from Mandarin in terms of some use of temporal expressions. For example, the concept of "last year" and “next year” in English are expressed as 去年qunian and 明年mingnian respectively in oral Mandarin while上年soeng6 nin4 and 下年 haa6 nin4 respectively in oral Cantonese. Aside from the collocation with 年 nian ‘year’, is there any other difference between Cantonese and Mandarin involving spatial morphemes plus time units? In the present study, we attempt to explore whether there is a difference in space-time metaphors between the two languages and whether the Mandarin speakers and Cantonese speakers have preferences on sagittal axis and vertical axis in terms of spatial-temporal metaphors.

Index Terms—Spatial-temporal metaphors, sagittal axis metaphors, vertical axis metaphors, time conceptualization.

Zhu Pan is with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong (e-mail: xiaopan.zhu@connect.polyu.hk).


Cite:Zhu Pan, "Spatial-Temporal Metaphoric Expressions of Time in Mandarin and Cantonese," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 33-38, 2018.

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