A Lexicological Study on Animal Fixed Expressions

Shelley Ching-yu Hsieh


This paper presents the research results of a project A
Lexicological Study on Animal Fixed Expressions in Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese,
German and English. Four corpora of animal fixed expressions in different
languages were compiled during the research. The research goals include (1) examining
the primitive semantic features, (2) mapping of the metaphorical tenors and
underlying conceits, (3) the lexical change, and (4) social functions of the animal
expressions. The findings include (a) the derivation of animal expressions, (b) the
attribute of such expressions, (c) the development of some vehicles, (d) modes of
thinking of the speakers. The research result can be found in, for example, Hsieh
2004, 2005, 2006a, and 2009. Animal fixed expressions are used in many languages, if
not all. They are vocabulary of values that show human emotion, such as swearwords
and terms of endearment. They also reveal different people groups’ social norms,
philosophy and ideology. They convey rich information of the speakers and are worth
researching on.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; fixed expression; Mandarin Chinese; Taiwanese; German; cross-linguistic study; culture; corpus; underlying concept; semantic molecule; derivation of animal expressions

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