It's more than eye to eye: Eye expressions in Mandarin Chinese and German

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This study examined the body-part eyes in Mandarin Chinese and German with the majority of the data taken from corpora and dictionaries.1 Our research goals are to explore: (1) whether Mandarin is a Satellite-framed language as Talmy (2000) and Peyraube (2006) proposed; (2) the characteristics of morphosyntactic structure of the eye expressions; and (3) if certain cognitive modeling of eye expressions can be observed. The main findings are: (a) verbs of eye expressions in Mandarin can be categorized into three thematic types: agent independence, path-patient dependence, and agent-theme causation; (b) German is a satellite-framed language, but Chinese is a verb-framed language; and (c) through crosslinguistic comparison, we verify the typology of concept structuring. Linguistic studies mutually verify one another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-315
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Chinese Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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