A Comparison of Love Metaphors in Mandarin and English Lyrics (2006-2015 Popular Songs)

  • 林 潔欣

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Metaphor according to the literature is a common mechanism for us to get vague ideas or abstract concepts (Lakoff 1987; Lakoff 1993; Lakoff & Johnson 1980) When popular songs which are considered as the medium between poetry and our daily language and metaphor are mentioned together there are supposed to be some specific characteristics constructed For example complex abstract concepts expressed in songs can somehow be processed and understood by the listeners and the metaphors expressed in songs are tightly and closely related to our daily life The aforementioned two characteristics can be proven easily since the common feelings and thoughts of people are triggered when songs are played and lyrics are sung Actually there are some features that have already been discovered in previous studies (W C Chang 2008) However the most important but divergent idea of love metaphors can lay in the lyrics of different languages In this paper some lyrics talking about love from two languages Mandarin and English are chosen in order to examine the similarities and differences of expression through love metaphors in different languages Lyrics with obvious and unquestionable love metaphors are selected to avoid individual experience that might vary the interpretation of the love metaphors Different background of language use leads to divergent expression of love metaphors
Date of Award2017 Sep 1
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHui-Chi Lee (Supervisor)

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