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A LOVE METAPHORS IN SOME ENGLISH LOVE SONGS IN COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS INVESTIGATION

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY
--------------

M.A THESIS

A LOVE METAPHORS IN SOME ENGLISH LOVE SONGS IN
COGNITIVE LINGUISTIC INVESTIGATION

NGHIÊN CỨU ẨN DỤ VỀ TÌNH YÊU TRONG MỘT SỐ BẢN TÌNH CA
TIẾNG ANH DƯỚI GÓC NHÌN TRI NHẬN

DAO THI HAO

Major
Code
Supervisors

: English Linguistics
: 60220201
: Assoc. Prof. Dr. PHAN VAN QUE


Ha Noi 2017


CERTIFICATE OF THE STUDY
I certify that this thesis Love metaphor in some English love songs in
cognitive linguistic investigation is the result of my own research and the substance
of this thesis has not been submitted for a degree to any other university or
institution.
The work was done under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Van Que,
my supervisor.
Ha Noi, …………………….

Dao Thi Hao
Approved by
Supervisor

Phan Van Que
Date:

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My deep thanks also go to all the lecturers I would like to take this
opportunity to thank all the following people for their great supports during my twoyear time for the MA course.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Assoc. Prof.
Dr. Phan Van Que, my supervisor, for his clear guidance, insightful comments and
dutiful supervision at Ha Noi Open University for their knowledge, experience and
enthusiasm in their lectures, from which I have acquired valuable knowledge and
inspiration to fulfill this minor thesis.
I also would like to express my sincere thanks to my family any many of my
friends and colleagues for their valuable sharing and encouragements.
Finally, my sincere thanks are for the people who will give me the precious
comments after reading the graduation thesis.

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ABSTRACT


Metaphor is traditionally believed to be associated with literacy or poetic
language, now invade to music domain. English songs have become an ideal land
for us, who study English in a non- native atmosphere. Understanding love
metaphors in English songs helps us master to improve our communication,
discover composers’ view about love and learn how to share and multiply the
comprehension of the images of love metaphor. In this thesis, the writer has tried to
give an over view of the relevant literature review in the concern of the knowledge
related to metaphors basing on the theory of the famous writers, especially Lakoff
and Kovecses.. It will help the readers have a deeper sight into the theoretical
knowledge on metaphors in order to be able to find out, comprehend and analyze
the metaphors in songs. The writer also suggests some suitable ways for learners to
learn English better, for teachers to give the effective listening lectures by using
songs as a supplementary material and readers to translate the texts more exactly.
In the paper, the writer introduces, analyzes more than 80 quotes from about
60 love songs in 16 basic sets of metaphors: “Love is a natural phenomenon”,
“Love is Game”, “Love is war”, “Love is music”, “Love is the light”, “love is the
concrete objects”, “Love is the madness”, “ Love is abstract things”, “ Love is
closeness”, “Love is heaven”. “Love is a religion”, “Love is high/ deep”, “Love is a
journey”, “Love is living creature”, “Love is magic”, and “ Love is fire”. The writer
clarifies the metaphorical images of love in songs, analyzes and categories them
into 3 three subtypes: ontological, structural or orientation metaphors with some
sets of metaphors. Then, the writer introduces and explains the ways how these
metaphors are used as well as their artistic value in these songs.

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LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Table: 1.1. Occurrence and percentage of conceptual metaphors denoting Love in
some English songs from the cognitive perspective ............................................... 40
Table: 1.2. The occurrence and percentage of conceptual metaphors denoting love
in three types. ........................................................................................................ 41
Table 1: students’ favorite activities while they are listening to songs.................... 49
Table 2: the effectiveness of English songs in teaching listening and vocabulary
skill........................................................................................................................ 50

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CERTIFICATE OF THE STUDY ........................................................................ i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................................................................. ii
ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................... iii
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES ................................................................... iv
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .........................................................................1
1.1. Rationale of the study ...............................................................................1
1.2. Aims of the study ......................................................................................2
1.3. Research questions ...................................................................................3
1.4. Methods of the study ................................................................................3
1.5. Scope of the study .....................................................................................5
1.6. Significance of the study ...........................................................................6
1.7. Design of the study....................................................................................6
CHAPTER 2: LTERATURE REVIEW ...............................................................8
2.1. The previous studies .................................................................................8
2.1.1.

In English .........................................................................................8

2.1.2.

In Vietnamese ...................................................................................9

2.2. Theoretical background ...........................................................................9
2.2.1.

Cognitive linguistic ...........................................................................9

2.2.2.

Concepts of metaphor ..................................................................... 10

2.2.3.

Classification of metaphor .............................................................. 11

2.2.4.

Conceptual (cognitive) metaphors. ................................................. 11

2.2.5.

Classification of conceptual (cognitive) metaphors. ........................ 12

2.2.6.

Target domain and source domain of conceptual metaphor ............ 13

2.3. Summary ................................................................................................. 14
CHAPTER 3: LOVE METAPHORS USED IN SOME ENGLISH SONGS .... 15
3.1. The types of love metaphors used in some English songs from cognitive
linguistic ........................................................................................................... 15
3.1.1.

Ontological metaphors ................................................................... 15

3.1.1.1. Love is a concrete and real object .................................................. 15

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3.1.1.2. Love is a living creature. ............................................................... 18
3.1.1.3. Love is a natural phenomenon ....................................................... 19
3.1.1.4. Love is a game .............................................................................. 21
3.1.2.

Structural metaphors. ..................................................................... 22

3.1.2.1. Love is light .................................................................................. 22
3.1.2.2. Love is madness. ........................................................................... 23
3.1.2.3. Love is the abstract thing. .............................................................. 25
3.1.2.4. Love is religion.............................................................................. 26
3.1.2.5. Love is closeness. .......................................................................... 27
3.1.2.6. Love is magic ................................................................................ 31
3.1.2.7. Love is music. ............................................................................... 32
3.1.2.8. Love is journey. ............................................................................. 33
3.1.2.9. Love is the heaven. ........................................................................ 34
3.1.2.10. Love is fire .................................................................................. 35
3.1.2.11. Love is war. ................................................................................. 37
3.1.3.

Orientional metaphors .................................................................... 38

3.1.4.

Occurrence of linguistic items used metaphorically in songs .......... 39

3.1.5.

Occurrence of love metaphors in English songs in three types ........ 41

3.2. How these metaphorical images are expressed in songs. ...................... 42
3.3. Summary ................................................................................................. 44
CHAPTER 4: USING ENGLISH SONGS AND THE SONG LYRICS AS A
SUPPLEMENTARY IN TEACHING VOCABULARY AND LISTENING
FOR THE FIRST – YEAR- SUNDERLAND PROGRAME STUDENTS AT
BANKING ACADEMY....................................................................................... 45
4.1. Subject profile ........................................................................................... 45
4.2. Procedures ................................................................................................. 45
4.3. Questionnaire and test .............................................................................. 46
4.4. The use of songs in the lectures ................................................................ 46
4.5. Difficulties in teaching listening skill through English songs .................. 47
4.6. Tests’ result analysis ................................................................................. 53
4.7. Findings ..................................................................................................... 59

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4.7.1. Achievements........................................................................................ 59
4.7.2. Challenges ........................................................................................... 60
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION ............................................................................ 64

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1.

Rationale of the study
Metaphor has been studied for a long time by many linguistic. It is merely a

figure of speech used in literature. However, cognitive linguistics presents a
different view of metaphor stating that metaphor is not only in literature but also
pervasive in daily life language, and it is served as a mean of expressing thoughts as
well as vehicle of cognitive that helps human beings recognize the world. Life
becomes more beautiful with the colorful flowers and language becomes more
legend and lovely with the metaphorical images. Understanding metaphors is
crucial to comprehend figurative language in literature and to enhance practicing
skills of learning English.
Metaphors are used to describe something that the author can not adequately
represent in a literal fashion or in a simple declarative sentence. They can broaden
or bring a fresh perspective to a familiar or overused subject. Writers use metaphors
to give clarity to their writing or to paint a visual picture by words. Whatever the
author’s intent, analyzing the context in which metaphors are used will reveal much
about the poem’s or prose work’s meaning. By adding metaphors when writing
stories, poems or songs means adding interest and depth to writing. Metaphors
create more specific and clearer visual images of what the writer is trying to
express.
Metaphors, which are traditionally believed to be associated with literary or
poetic language, are an ideal new land in music world for musicians and the
language learners. It is an effective device to make the communication more lively
and colorful.
By teaching students how to understand metaphors, we can lead them
unleash their creativity and imagination. Metaphors can be also effective in training
learners in abstract thought as well as familiarizing them early with literary skills
they will need later in their education.
Love is a beautiful song in life. People in love create the unique words to
give the lovely messengers to each other and with the power of metaphor, love

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becomes the wings in sky. Metaphors are wonderful device for musicians to write
love songs. Through the love songs, metaphor is understood and studied more
interestingly and effectively.
The research was carried out at Banking Academy with the participation of
sixty first – year students. They are all in the second term and from different classes
of Economic management Department. To those students, English was not their
major but a compulsory subject in the schedule. Being economic students, English
to them is really an impossible subject as they always complained that “it has so
many rules, it is so complicated” and that they “have no head for English”.
However, as English was taught and examined through four skills: listening,
speaking, reading and writing, it has become more indigestible to them. Of the four
skills, listening and understanding the lyrics of the songs were always the most
horrible to the students as it was the first time they learn English via skills so they
could not get used to listening to English and understand all words of the lyrics that
they hear because there are metaphorical words that students cannot get on well
with. That was the reason why many of them either often played truant or did their
private things during listening lessons. That state resulted in their very low marks or
even failure in the examination of English. That was the reason why the author
would like to investigate the “love metaphors used in some English songs” in order
to help students and other learners to understand and use English metaphor better.

1.2.

Aims of the study
Aims of the study

In this paper the researcher found out how metaphor is used in English love songs
that helps Vietnamese students understand and acquire the beauty of music lyrics
through the metaphors of love in English love songs.
Objectives of the study
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To find out love metaphors used in English songs

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To understand and use love metaphor which is used in some English love
songs
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To enrich the English vocabulary

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To use, teach and learn English more effectively

1.3.

Research questions
In order to achieve the aims of the study, the objectives will be elaborated into

the following research questions:
1. What types of metaphors of love are used in English songs from the
cognitive perspective?
2. How are the metaphors of love expressed in the English love songs?
3. What are some possible suggestions for teaching, learning and translating
English metaphors in songs?
1.4.

Methods of the study
The study is mainly carried out through the documentary analysis and

descriptive study with the support of qualitative and quantitative approach. The data
is quantitative analyzed in terms of the percentage of the occurrence of
metaphorical images in the songs to see the preference for which sets of expressions
as well as frequencies of three types of metaphors: structural, ontological, and
orientational. Through qualitative approach, the metaphors, after being divided into
categories according to the procedure of transferring meaning from the vehicles to
the tenors guided by a theoretical lens, will be analyzed in detail, synthesized and
evaluated.
Data collection and data analysis
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Data
The data for analysis are mainly samples taken from the famous English love

songs of all kinds. There are 68 songs used with 86 sentences quoted. They almost
come from the collections of Carpenter, Beatles, Holly Knight, Blink, Amy Wine
House, etc… They are also collected from internet, newspapers, magazines,
books…. In this way, the natural and practical manner of the materials will
reinforce the accuracy of the results. The major method to collect data is surveying
with observation of instances of linguistic expressions used to signal metaphor,
selecting the samples related to the research.
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Data collections instruments
Reading, reviewing, and selecting documentary are considered as the main

ways for selecting data that is selected in textual form on the basic of observation of
previous works and songs and references related. The author reads any and all kinds
of documentation related to metaphors used to provide useful information.
To gather the various and valuable data, the author had to listen to any song
she heard by chance anywhere and write down all the sentences related to metaphor,
then categorize them according to the criteria such as time published, types and
choose the one suitable for the topic. After the process of researching and collecting
data, the information continues to be classified into different categories depending
on the requirements of the research in order to make it easy for the researcher to
find and to analyze the data.
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Data analysis techniques
After the process of reading and collecting data from the songs found, the

researcher starts to analyze the image of love in terms of conceptual metaphor.
From numerous samples, the researcher tries to choose the most interesting and
concrete ones to illustrate important points under the investigation. The next step is
to synthesize to information analyzed in order to fit into the thesis. The stage of
analyzing and synthesizing are all conducted manually. By analyzing and
synthesizing the researcher hopes to be on the right way of mapping out the images
of love in songs.
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Data analysis
All the samples are categorized and described, then qualitatively and

quantitatively processed. In order to achieve the aims of this study, both qualitative
and quantitative methods are adopted for data analysis. The data is qualitatively
analyzed and in sixteen sets of

expressions denoting love according to the

conceptual metaphor theory, Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and Kovecses (1986): Love
is conceptualized as natural phenomena, games, war, music, light, concrete things,
madness, abstract things, closeness, heaven, religion, journey, living creature,
magic, and fire. The data is also quantitatively analyzed in terms of the percentage

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of occurrence of metaphorical images in all the songs to see the preference for
which sets of expressions as well as frequencies of structural, ontological, and
orientational metaphors which are suggested by Lakoff and Johnson (1980). The
metaphors, after being divided into categories according to the procedure of
transferring meaning from the vehicles to the tenors, will be analyzed in details. In
the procedure of analyzing, the researcher will make clear the value of figure
language in songs.
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Research procedures
After choosing the topic, the author will orient the research by the

appropriate steps to support the content. At the same time, reading and searching the
relevant materials related to metaphor are compulsory. Then, the writer must
determine the reason why she choose the topic by clarifying the aims and objectives
with three research questions above. When reading the materials on metaphor, the
writer will collect the important and representative theoretical framework of
metaphors for discussing in order to guide the study. The most decisive process is
collecting and analyzing data because of its effect the whole procedures of the
study. After reading and considering a great number of songs, the author finally
decides to choose sixty eight representative love songs with eighty six quotes.
Next, all the collected data are mostly qualitatively processed. Metaphors are
divided into different categories to analyze according to the procedure of
transferring meanings from the vehicles to tenors. In this model, conceptual
metaphors are classified into three different kinds, namely structural metaphors,
ontological metaphors, and orientational metaphors. Afterwards, they are
categorized and synthesized basing on the similarities and differences of metaphors
of love. Then, the writer suggests some ways of perceiving metaphors and look for
their distribution in the value of songs. Last but not least, the implication for
learning, teaching , and translating together with the limitation, and suggestions for
further study will be presented.
1.5.

Scope of the study

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In this paper the researcher focuses on the metaphors of love in some famous
English songs from cognitive linguistic.
In this study, the author also intended to deal with the question of how to
motivate students through the English songs not taking care of other kinks of
activities such as poems, stories, or games. They included love songs that have soft
music with quite easy words and simple content. These songs were experimented
for the period of one term (15 weeks). They were used at the end of the lesson not at
the beginning as warmer. Due to the limited time, the author could not implement
the research for a longer term and study on a larger population. The chosen
population contained 60 students from two classes at the same level. The aimed
teaching purpose was practicing listening skill and enriching the vocabulary fro
students through some English love songs.
1.6.

Significance of the study
This study is to find out typical images of love in some famous love songs

with a view to contribute to the study of linguistics from cognitive perspective. That
how these metaphorical images are expressed in cognition and the artistic value of
these images in songs will be analyzed specifically can provide a new look into
English literature.
This research is performed with the purpose of helping Vietnamese learners
and teacher of English better understand conceptual metaphors in English songs and
then create the suitable tips to apply language flexibly. As a result, they will be able
to learn and teach English effectively. In addition, it can contribute to the teaching
of literature, semantics, cultural linguistics applied in Vietnamese universities of
foreign languages. Especially, the translators will take the necessary notes when
working with metaphors in the process of translation.
1.7.

Design of the study

The thesis is divided into five chapters as follows:
Chapter 1:

INTRODUCTION which includes the rationale, the aims and

objectives, the purpose of the study, the scope of the study, research questions and
organization of the study

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Chapter 2: Briefly reviews previous research works related to the topic and presents
the theoretical background of the study.
Chapter 3: Findings and Discussion in which the writer will present the metaphors
of love in the data. Various kinds of metaphors of love present the different aspects
of the most powerful emotion of human beings.
Chapter 4: The implications of the study: After studying metaphors of love in some
English love songs, the researcher has found out implications for using metaphors in
general and metaphors of love in particular for learners, teachers, and translators….
Chapter 5: in the last chapter the writer summarizes the results of the tasks done.
This part also gives out some suggestions for further studies.

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CHAPTER 2: LTERATURE REVIEW
2.1.

The previous studies

2.1.1. In English
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Richard Nordquist on his article “Love is metaphor”
The writer lists 99 metaphors of love in many literature works. These

metaphors come from the real and concrete things in our life such as rose, star,
journey, flame…. However, this is only the examples of love metaphors. The
readers expect to have a more specific interpretation on these kinds of metaphors
basing on the theoretical background.
In short, these works play an important role in building language instructions
in general and instructions for use of metaphors in particular. However, up to now,
not many studies base on the cognitive perspective to analyze the metaphors of love
in songs deeply and systematically. Also, the number of metaphors of love quoted
are not diverse and various. In addition, these have little authentic and practical
value in teaching and translating. It is the reason why the researcher decided to do
the research entitled “ A study on metaphor of love in some English songs from the
cognitive perspective” with the hope to give the reader the interesting experience
through the metaphoric images in songs as well as their artistic value and from this
analysis to make a meaningful contribution to learn English in reading and writing
skills for learners, teachers and translators.
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“Metaphor we live by” (1980) by Lakoff and Johnson.
Lakoff and Johnson are the most remarkable writers with the famous books

on metaphor that introduce the overview and deep knowledge on metaphor. Of all,
“Metaphor we live by” (1980) is the most helpful and worth for the researcher to
take as a basic theoretical background for their thesis. The book has a great
influence on our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind.
The author s supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has
developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary
understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.
Lakoff and Johnson launch into a stimulating deconstruction of what they term

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“conceptual metaphors”, and the complex way in which they interact to structure
our experience of reality. Lakoff sets out to show that metaphors are a fundamental
part of our thought processes whenever we try to think abstractly. His book does not
provide a rigorous scientific proof, but it does present a lot of evidence in favor of
the thesis.
2.1.2. In Vietnamese
There have been proposed various definition of metaphor. Nguyen, H (2: 106)
stated that “Metaphor ….is the transference of meaning from one object to another
based on the similarities between the two objects”. He explained that speakers of a
language compare one object with another, if they find some common features
between the two objects they will call the second by the name of the first.
Dinh, T.L (3: 5-6) introduced a similar view that “metaphor is the transference of
meaning from one object to another based on similarity between these two objects”
Do, H.C said, “metaphor is “the symbolic name of one object, which is based on the
similarity, realistic or imaginary, between the identified object called “A” and the
object called “B” of which the name is transferred to “A” (3:6)
To cut it short, from the traditional view, metaphor is a hidden comparison and
transference of name of one thing for another, and it is a linguistic means used by
writers to serve the purposes of creating certain effects in their work.
2.2.

Theoretical background

2.2.1. Cognitive linguistic
According to Lakoff (1991:53) argues that the cognitive linguistics enterprise is
identified by two key commitments. The first key commitment is the Generalization
commitment which represents the characterization of general principles that are
responsible for all aspects of human language. Other approaches try to separate the
language into distinct aspects or modules such as phonology (sound), semantics
(word and sentence meaning, pragmatics (meaning in discourse context),
morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and so on. As the result,
the generalization across these aspects of language or the study of their interrelation
is incompletely recognized. Conversely, cognitive linguistic when mention
Generalization Commitment, disagree that “the ‘modules’ or ‘subsystems’ of

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language are organized in significantly divergent ways, or indeed that distinct
modules or subsystem event exist” (Evan and Green, 2006: 28). Thus,
Generalization Commitment extensively investigates the abilities of linguistic
knowledge emerge from a common set of human mind upon which they draw,
rather than amusing that they are produced in encapsulated modules of the mind.
The second defining key feature of Cognitive linguistic is Cognitive Commitments.
While the common Generalization Commitment concentrates on the research of the
common principles of all aspects of language, Cognitive Commitments helps
cognitive linguistics recognize the principles of linguistic structure in which the
knowledge about human cognitive is reflected from other cognitive and brain
disciplines. Naturally, Cognitive Commitment is basically interdisciplinary such as
psychology, artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy.
In brief, how people can draw unconsciously on enormous cognitive and cultural
resources, call up models and frames to set up numerous connections, organize
large arrays of information, and use creative mappings, transfers, and elaborations
when human beings engage in any language activity are undoubtedly recognized
thanks to cognitive linguistics.
2.2.2. Concepts of metaphor
Language is a very powerful tool as it reflects the way we categorize and
conceptualize the world we live in. it is almost impossible to understand a thing
without grouping it with other category members that share the same properties. In
doing so, we acquire different kinds of concepts and, as a result, build our general
knowledge. Metaphors supply these requirements. Often we treat them only as
stylistic devices, but in fact metaphorical expressions verbally represent the way of
human thinking and reasoning. People tend to conceptualize emotions, love being
one of them, metaphorically because both emotions and metaphors connected with
them are inevitable parts of everyday life.
“Without our ability to categorize, we would not function at all, either in the
physical world or in our social and intellectual lives” (1990: 6), Lakoff explained.
So many definitions of metaphor are created but it can be understood in the most
common way: according to Lakoff and Johnson (1980: 4), “Metaphor is for most
people a device of the poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish – a matter of
extraordinary language rather than ordinary language”. A metaphor can be defined
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in the other ways for instance, “The application of a word or phrase to an object or
concept it does not literally denote, suggesting comparison to that object or
concept”. (Baars. B.J, 1998: 4), it is clear that the term metaphor refers to the
meaning of the word that can be expended beyond its literal meaning. For example,
“a sea of troubles” or “All the world’s a stage” – Shakespeare.
According to Tran Van Co (2011: 4), confirmed that metaphor is meaning
transference. These definitions give the readers the insight into the metaphorical
nature of the concepts that structure our everyday activities. Metaphor is one kind of
comparisons. It is the same given to a way of using language in a way that relies
more on imagination than literal reality. For example “Love is a rose”. In this
example, the word “rose” has a connotative meaning that is thought to be a very
beautiful and fresh object to people. The essence of love is likened and understood
in terms of characteristic of a rose. So, this meaning is transferred to refer to the
characteristic of love to simply that love is lovely and wonderful.
2.2.3. Classification of metaphor
There are many ways to classify the metaphor. According to Lakoff and
Johnson, three types of metaphoric concepts can be distinguished, marginal
metaphoric concepts (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 55), conventional metaphoric
concepts (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 4), and new metaphoric concepts (Lakoff and
Johnson 1980: 145). Metaphoric concepts tale public form in metaphoric
expressions, also called “metaphor”. Metaphors, like any other stylistic devices, can
be classified according to their degree of unexpectedness. As it is stated by Nguyen
Hoa (2004: 109), basing on the degree of unexpectedness, there are three main types
of metaphors namely living metaphors, faded metaphors and dead metaphors.
2.2.4. Conceptual (cognitive) metaphors.
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson claimed that metaphor is not just a matter
of language, but a matter of thought (1980: 7). They believe that language is an
indicator of the nature of our conceptual system, and metaphor is so pervasive in
language that it actually structures how we make sense of and interact with the
world around us. Hence the term “conceptual metaphor” appeared.

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Metaphor is a way of understanding a concept and according to Lakoff and
Johnson, meaning and truth depend on understanding. Truth is not objective, but
depends on context; it relies on a human thinker. Thus, metaphors structure what we
perceive as truth. Kovecses believed that metaphor involves using one conceptual
domain to understand another conceptual domain (Kovecses, 2002: 4).
Cognitive Linguistics allows us to understand that metaphorical thinking is
crucial to human cognition. Thus, Lakoff and Johnson propose a cognitive theory of
metaphor, as a process thanks to which one concept is understood using another
concept (Lakoff, 1980: 5). The best example of this is talking about love in terms of
journey. As mentioned previously, our ability to categorize allowed us to gather
knowledge about journeys that we can depend on in understanding love. Kovecses
emphasized that we need to differentiate conceptual metaphor from metaphorical
linguistic expressions. He proved that the latter disclose the existence of the former.
To know a conceptual metaphor is to know this set of mappings A is B. it was also
pointed that metaphor in cognitive linguistic view is primarily conceptual metaphor.
2.2.5. Classification of conceptual (cognitive) metaphors.
According to Lakoff and Johnson in “Metaphors we live by” (1980: ) and
Zoltan Kovecssesors in “Metaphor : A practical introduction”, there are three kinds
of conceptual metaphors: structural metaphors, orientational metaphors, ontological
metaphors.
a. Structural metaphors:
Structural metaphors are generally understood conceptual metaphors where
one concept is metaphorically structured in terms of another. Structural metaphor is
the most productive type of all conceptual metaphors. “Structural metaphors” occur
when a concept is metaphorically structured by another concept”, as Lakoff and
Johnson (1980) wrote, eg: Love is a journey. In “Metaphor we live” written by
Lakoff and Johnson stated that “the conceptual system is metaphorical in nature”
(Lakoff, 1980: 61).
b. Orientational metaphors:

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Orientational metaphors organize immaterial concepts in terms of physical
orientation: happiness is up (high spirits) and sadness is down (feeling low), the
future is ahead and the past behind. The group of orientational metaphors is said
tobe connected with our orientation in space (Lakoff, 1980: 16).
c. Ontological metaphors:
In ontological metaphors experiences are treated as concrete objects, e.g.
containers (I put a lot of energy into preparing decorations). When we deal with
them in such a way we can “refer to them, categorize them, group them, and
quantify them – and by these means, reasons about them” (Lakoff, 1980: 25)
Love is fire metaphor is an example for the structural metaphor. “My heart is
on fire, I do not want to get burned again, that kindled love in his heart”. Thanks to
metaphorical expression that kindled love in his heart, we can conceptualize love as
having a beginning and an end just as fire has. When the fire is kindled, the love
begins; when it goes out, the love ends. These examples also prove that we not only
talk about love in terms of fire. The lover can be consumed by love when he/she is
so in love that it is all that he/ she thinks about. If the lover does not want to get
burned again it may mean he/she does not want to experience the same serious
disappointment after an unsuccessful relationship.
2.2.6. Target domain and source domain of conceptual metaphor
Conceptualist views consider metaphor as a cognitive mechanism used to
structure our knowledge in the mind by means of one domain of experience
understood in terms of the first one.
A metaphor has two conceptual domains: one is the thing that is to be
understood, which is called the target domain, and the other is the thing that used to
understand the first one, and it is called the source domain (Kovecses, 2001:4). The
source domain and the target domain interact in “a set of systematic
correspondences between the source and the target” which “are often referred to as
mapping” (Kovecses, 2002: 6).
According to Barcelona (2000:3), Metaphor is the cognitive mechanism
whereby one experiential domain is partially mapped or projected onto a different

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experiential domain so that the second domain is partially understood in terms of
the first one. In the example “love is a game, “love” is compared to a game,
describing it with the attributes of “game”; “love” is the tenor, and “a game” is the
vehicle.
2.3.

Summary
To sum up, in this part, the researcher has tried to give an overview of the

relevant literature in the concern of the study. It has dealt with the knowledge
related to metaphors such as word, word meaning, meaning transference as well as
detailed description about metaphors introduced such as definitions of metaphor,
cognitive metaphor, types, mapping. Furthermore, the chapter helps the readers
understand more profoundly and typically about metaphors- a very important
knowledge to learn, teach, translate and study.

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CHAPTER 3: LOVE METAPHORS USED IN SOME ENGLISH SONGS
3.1.

The types of love metaphors used in some English songs from cognitive
linguistic
In this section, the writer will present the metaphors of love in the data.

Various kinds of metaphors of love present the different aspects of the most
powerful emotion of human beings. Only a few of them, the most fascinating and
outstanding ones have been chosen. In spite of the fact that it is impossible to
present all the sides of this special feeling, the writer tries to give a general
overview on metaphors. Therefore, it is very important to comprehend this abstract
feeling by using more concrete concepts such as a journey, war, or fire, etc….
Thanks to metaphors, we create in our minds the breathtaking pictures of an
incredible world we live in.
There are a variety of ways to classify metaphors, as Kovecses (2002:46)
states. As for this thesis, the metaphors found in the lyrics are categorized under
appropriate conceptual metaphors, which in turn are classified either as, ontological,
structural or orientational metaphors.
3.1.1. Ontological metaphors
Ontological metaphors, according to Kovecses (2002: 328), arise from
speakers’ experiences in terms of objects, substances, and containers. They usually
show something abstract through something concrete. “Ontological metaphors
usually show something abstract through something concrete”. Lakoff and Johnson
(1980/2003) say that our understanding of our experiences in terms of objects and
substances makes it possible for us to reason about them and to make them more
concrete, so to speak. Followings are the ontological metaphors of love.
3.1.1.1. Love is a concrete and real object
Kovecses (2001: 4) proposed that in the majority of cases, the roles of source
and target domains are irreversible since our experience lays a foundation for the
comprehension of more abstract domains. - Love is an abstract emotion but thanks
to metaphor – an effective language tool, it turns out a concrete thing that we can

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possess, can use senses to perceive. Therefore, we can conceptualize this knowledge
to reason for “ love is a concrete thing” metaphor.
Relationships as real objects are perceived to develop in a natural order from
infancy to maturity. They are born, they grow, they mature, they require nurturing,
and they can wither and die. They are like “love”. They have five senses: sight,
hearing, smell, taste and touch to receive knowledge of things in the world around.
The heart can use its eyes to catch the images of love in these example bellows:
“ Here’s the morning that my heart had seen
Here’s the morning that just had to come through”
(The Carpenter/ Those Good Old Dream)
The eyes of heart are really sensitive and gentle to feel everything in the
world, especially the changes in love stories: love can be a pristine and fresh
morning with the exciting new feeling and full emotion of the lovers. It also can be
a sunset when the souls are closed and blue. It is not easy to have the sophistication
in one’s mind unless they are in the real love.
Love is a part of mental life. It is familiar and essential as a part of body
“You were my eyes when I couldn’t see”
(Celine Dion- Because you love me)
A imagine is so touching that it can make everyone arouse strong feelings of
sympathy: lovers are the eyes and the light of each other no matter how dark it is
and how blind the lover’s eyes are. An eye is enough for them to go to the end of
life. He is every reason. Every hope, and every dream she has ever had, and no
matter what happens to them in future, every day they are together is the greatest
day of my life.
In feeling of lover, the heart is melody, sound of which only lovers can hear.
“Take my heart, don’t lose it
Listen to my heart.”
(Modern Talking- Cherry Lady)

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It’s hard to find words to tell how much lovers mean to each other. Maybe,
the man doesn’t say anything at all. But the girl will understand, will realize what
his heart is whispering.
We can see sweet taste of love through the song lyrics in English.
“You’ll always be a part of me
If you should find you miss the sweet and tender love we used to share”
(Naked Eyes- Always Something There To Remind Me)
To the world, you maybe one person, but to one person you are the world.
That is the message lovers want to send to each other “You’ll always be a part of
me”. That part belongs to body and it is indispensable in life: “you are all what I
live for”- you and I are growing up and together go through the storms of life. My
love for you is like a sweet and tender candy both taste. That love experiences the
wonderful memories which make their love be a beautiful never – ending story.
Love can be the concrete things such as: the voice when a person couldn’t
speak, the shoulder to cry on in the moment of disappointment, the strength or
power to make lovers stronger; here are examples:
“You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak”
(Celine Dion- Because you love me)
“Chiquitita, tell me the truth
I’m a shoulder you can cry on
And your love’s a blown out candle”
(ABBA- Chiquitita)
“You cut away the heart of my life”
(Rockwell – Knife)
“You’re the power and I’m in it
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold”
(Neil Young- Heart of gold)
“Ooh you’re a holiday, everyday, such a holiday
Now it’s my turn to say, and I say you’re holiday”
(Bee Gees- Holiday Lyrics)

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