商务英语学习者隐喻产出能力研究

商务英语学习者隐喻产出能力研究

来源:www.51fabiao.org作者:lgg发布时间:2018-02-11 22:46
本文是英语硕士论文,笔者认为由于商务隐喻的普遍存在,商务隐喻对商务世界认知的能力对于商务英语学习者来说是非常必要的。
CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION
 
1.1 Introduction of Metaphor
Metaphor exists everywhere in languages during the process of historic evolution ofhuman beings. It’s a significant impetus towards affective exchange and effectivecommunication among people. Studies of metaphor begin very early, and researchersare obsessed with these studies even thousands of years ago, which leaves us ahandful of fortune related with metaphor researches since then. The earliest researchof metaphor can be dated back to Aristotle when he claimed that a word whichimplied one thing and was metaphorically substituted to represent another wasregarded as metaphorically used word (Aristotle, 1967). This is the well-renownedsubstitution theory, a representative perspective of traditional metaphor theory.Nowadays, there are two kinds of pervasive perspectives of metaphor: one is thetraditional metaphor theory, and the other is contemporary metaphor theory. Metaphoris viewed as a rhetorical phenomenon by traditional metaphor researchers. Theybelieve that metaphor is no other than a decorative device for language use. However,this viewpoint was challenged by Lakoff and Johnson in 1980 since they publishedtheir masterpiece Metaphors we live by, which has deliberately analyzed metaphor onthe foundation of cognitive science and henceforth, opened a new chapter forcontemporary metaphor theory. The new contemporary metaphor theorists believe thatmetaphor is the cognitive way for people to conceptualize their surrounding world,and that people get to know the unfamiliar by the familiar, understand the abstract bythe concrete via metaphor. The author agrees more on the latter theory, i.e. thecontemporary metaphor theory. So any word or expression related with metaphor inthis thesis is analyzed on basis of contemporary metaphor theory.
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1.2 Rationale
Globalization has brought a large amount of trade and business opportunitiesworldwide, expanding exchanges and communications among people from differentcountries and cultural backgrounds. English as a universal language, is used morefrequently in people’s daily utterances than it was before, especially for people who’reoccupied in various kinds of international business activities where businessmetaphors appear in many ways. Due to the ubiquitous existence of businessmetaphor, the ability to conceptualize the cognition of business world by means ofbusiness metaphor is quite essential for business English learners.However, business world is in a rather dynamic than static movement, the factthat business metaphors evolve with the change of business world makes it difficultfor people to catch the real meaning of business metaphors. Linguistic manifestationof business metaphor is merely its superficial appearance, and the key factor thatreally matters about business metaphor is its underlying conceptual mechanism thatconstructs cognition of business world.Business English, as a branch of ESP (English for Special Purpose) is supposedto train students to obtain not only the knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, orknowledge of syntactic structure, but also the conceptual mechanism hidden behindthe language. Questions such as what conceptual metaphor is, what metaphoricexpression is, why metaphoric expression occurs, how conceptual metaphor works,how the native speakers process and comprehend metaphors, and how metaphorinfluences people’s viewpoint towards their surrounding world are to be answered.
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CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW
 
This chapter mainly reviews preceding researches concerning metaphoric competenceand business metaphor. As the awareness of the importance of cognitive nature ofmetaphor increases, the metaphoric competence is now regarded as one of the mostimportant competences in foreign language learning. (Wang, 2004) The ubiquitousexistence of business metaphor also makes it a hot topic for researches to examine itsworking mechanism of foreign language learners to construct their cognition ofbusiness world.The researches of metaphoric competence are discussed from various perspectivesby preceding scholars, among which, discussion of the definition of metaphoriccompetence itself interests many scholars. Some scholars define metaphoriccompetence by comparing it to another concept, such as conceptual fluency (Danesi,1992), others offer definition of metaphoric competence by dividing metaphor intoseveral components such as Littlemore (2001), and there’re also definitions given onbasis of the creation of novel metaphors, such as Danesi (1986). In addition, themetaphoric competence is examined from diversified aspects, such as the perspectiveof metaphoric comprehension, metaphoric explication, and the creation of novelmetaphors, etc, but only a few of them are discussed with regard to metaphoricproduction. Business metaphor is usually studies as the carrier that links businessEnglish language and cognition of real business world. Main researches are focusedon its classifications, working mechanisms, influential factors and the underlyingideologies. Some studies have explored business English metaphor teaching methodbut there’s no study that involves business metaphor production of business Englishlearners and their metaphoric competence.
 
2.1 Metaphoric Competence
Metaphoric competence was first proposed by Flahive & Carrell (1977), Gardner&Winner (1978) and Pollia & Smith (1980). Other scholars, such as Danesi, Littlemorehave furthered their studies and illustrated this theory from different perspectives.Danesi (1986) believes that the ability to identify and create novel metaphors can beregarded as metaphoric competence, and according to his theory, metaphoriccompetence is composed of context-appropriateness and instrumental strategy.Context-appropriateness, as he claims, is the ability to identify conceptual metaphors,while instrumental strategy stands for one’s ability to correctly apply conceptualschemas images during communication. He (Danesi, 1994) argues that metaphoriccompetence, as a basic characteristic of a language, constitutes the fundamentalelements of native speakers’ conceptual fluency. Conceptual fluency (also known asCF) stands for the ability to associate surface linguistic structure of the targetlanguage with the underlying conceptual structure it reflects. It’s not a simplecombination of linguistic forms with the cultural knowledge of the target language,but a process of conceptual reorganization. Danesi (1994) believes that the utterances(written or verbal) of second language learners embody the correct grammatical rulesand have realized successful communication with great verbal fluency (VF) , butwhen compared with native speaker, there’s always unnaturalness due to the lack ofthe correspondent conceptual system of native speakers. The unnaturalness is notresulted from low standard of VF, but their low degree of CF.
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2.2 Preceding Studies of Business Metaphor
Business metaphor is pervasive in all kinds of utterances related with business affairsand activities. It may be called by other scholars as economic metaphor or financialmetaphor, which functions for people to conceptualize business activities and theircognition of business world. Henceforth, metaphors that appear in any business,financial, or economic materials are regarded as business metaphor in this thesis.Many studies concerning business metaphors are made by preceding scholars.Metaphor appears in all kinds of discourses, assisting people to construct theircognitions of surrounding world. Henderson is the first scholar who starts the researchof metaphor in commercial discourse (McCloskey, 1990) and his further studies havehelped to discover the universe existence of metaphor in commercial discourse andterminology (Henderson & Hewings, 1987). Afterwards, more studies of metaphorsare launched under commercial and business contexts. Charteris-Black (2000)classifies several regular metaphors of commercial texts after compares commercialtexts of different languages, including metaphor of marriage, war, health, etc andclaims that people’s understanding of economy is metaphoric in essence. Wu & Duan(2010) has concluded several metaphors on basis of metaphor studies of foreignscholars (Charteris-Black, 2000; Chateris-Black & Ennis, 2001; White, 2003), Liang(2007) analyses the business metaphor from economic news and classifies three mainmetaphors. She argues that business metaphor improves economic thinking andEnglish writing. Other scholars have classified business metaphors from comparisonof business texts of two different languages, and explain the differences of metaphoricexpression from cultural perspective. Feng et al. (2007) analyses several regularmetaphors appeared in commercial news of Chinese and English language and claimsthat the differences of linguistic expressions are resulted from diversified culturalbackground. Kong (2002) has done similar researches.
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CHAPTER THREE THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK....14
3.1 Contemporary Metaphor Theory...........14
3.1.1 Cognitive Model of Metaphor.....14
3.1.2 Systematicity of Metaphor..........15
3.1.3 Cultural Coherence of Metaphor............16
3.2 Critical Metaphor Analysis.........16
3.3 Application of Theoretical Framework............18
CHAPTER FOUR RESEARCH METHODOLOGY....20
4.1 Research Questions.........20
4.2 Research Instrument........22
4.3 ResearchProcedure..........20
CHAPTER FIVE ANANALYSIS of WRITTEN BUSINESS REPORTS.........24
5.1 Classification of Source Domains of Business Metaphors.... 24
5.2 Metaphoric Misapplication........ 58
5.3 Resources of Metaphor Choice.............60
5.4 Metaphor Choice Leads to Persuasion.............70
CHAPTER SIX IMPLICATIONOF BUSINESS METAPHOR TEACHING........72
 
CHAPTER SIXIMPLICATION OF BUSINESS METAPHOR TEACHING
 
The author has analyzed overall metaphor usage of business written reports, theinfluential factors that lead to metaphoric misapplication and resources that influencemetaphor choices in discourse in previous chapters. It should be well acknowledgedthat due to the lack of conceptual system of the target language and the awareness toobtain metaphoric competence, business English learners are more likely to producebusiness reports on basis of the conceptual system of their mother language. Thisprocess is usually generated unconsciously, which means, they input the linguisticsurface of the target language to have gained scattered, unsystematic conceptualmodels during the process of foreign language learning and output linguisticexpressions while both the input and output process are undertaken unconsciously.Under the impact of conceptual system of mother language, the metaphoricexpression will be easily understood if the underlying conceptual system of certainmetaphoric expression of mother language matches that of second language, but if not,the metaphoric inference of the reader will fail. Henceforth, to get the businessEnglish learners to realize the difference between the underlying conceptual system ofa mother language and that of the second language is very important. Only by doingthis can they transform their second language acquisition from an unconsciouslearning to conscious acquisition. It’s significant to scientifically discover theunconscious acquisition process and reify it into conscious learning. In this sense,consciously acquired knowledge would be reinforced in business English learners’mind which in turn helps them to apply those reinforced knowledge unconsciously, i.e.to externalize the implicate learning and internalize explicate learning, enhancingstudents’awareness during the process of learning.

 
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CONCLUSION
 
The author finds out that the metaphorically used words in business written reports ofbusiness English learners have actually covered more semantic fields of sourcedomains than expected. Source domains of human being, war, journey, construction,nature, sports game and orientation take a large proportion. In addition, the rank of themost frequently applied source domains remains approximately the same as the mostdiversified source domains, yet the rate of source domains differ a lot from each other.Human being metaphor ranks top in the most frequently applied source domain with arate of 17.61%, yet it rates 37.06% in the most diversified source domain and rankstop as well, which indicates that the source domain of human being is still the mainsource for business English learners to conceptualize business world. From thelinguistic metaphors the author finds out that these metaphoric expressions are greatlyinfluenced by conceptual system of the mother language of business English learners,and the underlying conceptual mechanism of most of the metaphoric expressionsshare commonality with the conceptual system of the target language.It occasionally appears metaphoric misapplication, and the proportion is smallerthan expected. One reason for the small proportion of metaphoric misapplicationmaybe that students are hesitate to express their ideas metaphorically for fear ofmaking mistakes, so they tend to express their idea in a more direct and literal way,especially when the conceptual system of their mother language is in conflict with thatof the target language. The situation of metaphoric misapplication appears whenbusiness English learners mistakenly apply their conceptual system of motherlanguage to that of the surface linguistic structure of the target language, and in thiscase, even though the linguistic forms, grammatical rules and structure of the expression is correct, the business contextual meaning that the producer wants togenerate fails to be extracted by native speaker with improper metaphoric inferenceand semantic association.
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References (abbreviated)