Conceptual Metaphor “THE HEART IS A CONTAINER” in Thai in Comparison with Mandarin Chinese

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Yao Siqi

Abstract

          This research aims to study and analyse the figurative meaning of “heart” when used as a metaphor and concept reflecting a container. In addition, it comparatively studies the conceptual metaphor “THE HEART IS A CONTAINER” in Thai and Chinese, following the cognitive linguistics theories on conceptual metaphor and image schema. The findings indicate that there are both similarities and differences in the cognition and comprehension of “heart” as a container in the two languages. The “THE HEART IS A CONTAINER” concept in both Thai and Chinese can be understood from the attributes and compositions of CONTAINER schema, which consist of three elements, namely interior, boundary, and exterior. “Heart” is viewed as a container that can be used to contain things with a boundary separating its internal and external sections. The internal section may be entered, while something may emerge from it. Differences do exist between Thai and Chinese approaches to the terms “container” and “heart,” possibly due to cultural factors in varying social settings. Thus, the comparison of the conceptual metaphor “THE HEART IS A CONTAINER” in Thai and in Chinese allows those who study both of these languages to comprehend the specific differences within the differing cultural senses. It helps people with different cultural backgrounds exchange and communicate across cultures more effectively.

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