Overview on Conceptual Metaphor Theory Home and Abroad
Metaphor studied at linguistic level has always been viewed for asthe traditional metaphor. All the studies of the traditional metaphor arecentered on the linguistic perspective—metaphor is a rhetoric device, akind of figures of speech, a semantic deviation or a semantic creation(mainly in the theory of interaction). Aristotle is forefather of traditionalmetaphor. The Comparison Theory has had a great influence on othermetaphor theories for two thousand years. Aristotle claims some of themetaphor functions, that is, an ornament of language in poetics or rhetoricand a deviation of language in semantics. Semantic derivation takes placein the same domain.Another traditional metaphor theory which is labeled as substitutiontheory holds that semantic derivation appears in two domains.Traditionally, most rhetoric researchers and critics, including Quintilian,who inherited and innovated the substitution theory, hold the view(ShuDingfang;2001:23). In effect, under the circumstance ，a metaphor is aprocess that says one thing but means another.Researches related to English instruction and conceptual metaphorare not very abundant, but there are some studies which giveenlightenments for follow-up researchers. Jia Dongmei(2008) on thetheory of conceptual metaphor and the teaching of metaphor; Xu Zhiyuan& Wang Xiaolu(2014) have studied Chinese EFL learners' understandingof metaphor and its model construction; Xu Zhiyuan & Zhao Ming(2014)have made a study on metaphor comprehension strategies of differentEnglish proficiency learners, etc.
Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Vocabulary Learning
The foreland of the study of metaphor has been in the westerncountries. In whichever perspective metaphor is studied, the researchersin the western country have found that metaphor has a close relationshipwith the appearance, development and use of vocabulary. Even thecognitive linguists have recognized that the conventional vocabulary ismostly metaphorical, because metaphorical expressions are governed andarranged by the conceptual metaphor. In recent years, the western scholars has gradually shift the academic fruit of metaphor study to thelanguage pedagogy and begun to take insights into the relationshipbetween metaphor and vocabulary acquisition and learning. Some famouscomments on it will be displayed as follows:Hester (1967:21) points out the fact that if the source of every wordis examined carefully, it is quite possible to find the trace ofmetaphorization on them.Leech (1983: 9-27) expresses his belief that the conceptual meaningor the cognitive meaning of vocabulary is the most basic in linguisticcommunication and that without conceptual meanings, linguisticcommunication can't be made.
Constructivist Teaching Theory
Constructivism is a kind of theory of knowledge and learning. It laysemphasis on learner’s initiative. Learning is considered as a process ofmeaning generation and understanding construction which based onlearner’ original knowledge and experience. The process is usuallyperformed and completed under the interaction of social culture. Theconstructivism come into being with profound ideological origins. It ismuch different from the traditional teaching and learning theory. Theconstructivism has important value and implications for teaching designmodels.Constructivism come into being with the foundation of researches onchild cognitive development. Then the new leaning theory forms andaccompanies with the new teaching theory. At the present, the quitemature teaching models under the influence of CLT are ScaffoldingInstruction(SI), Anchored Instruction(AI) and Random AccessInstruction(RAI). Because that SI and RAI are related closely with theresearch. They help to construct the teaching model of metaphoricalpolysemy teaching. The SI and RAI are introduced here.
Conceptual Metaphor Theory
The publication of Metaphors We Live By throws an brand-newunderstanding of metaphor and metonymy: metaphor and metonymy arenot anymore two kinds of figures of speech, but two kinds of ways ofthinking. It is also the vital cognitive means to the formation of human’scognitive system.Metaphor at its essence is conceptual. It is not only a linguisticphenomenon but also a cognitive mechanism through which peopleexperience and understand one thing from another thing(Lakoff &Johnson 1980:5). Metaphor in language use is the result and tool ofhuman’s cognitive activities. Concrete concepts are usually used tocomprehend abstract concepts in metaphor. It is one of the mainmechanisms for people to understand abstract concepts and conductabstract reasoning(Lakoff 1993:232).
Results & Discussion
The Fundamental Status of Knowledge about Metaphorand Polysemous Words of EG and CG.
The results and discussion are based on the data collected with theresearch instruments that is pretest, immediate test and delayed test. Thetotal score of the three test are 100, 100, 50. There are two parts in pretestwhich the first part is compiled with ten fill-in-the-blanks(each scores 2points), ten multiple choices(each scores 1 point) and five short answerquestions(each scores 4 points). The second part is compiled with fiveconceptual metaphor induction questions(each scores 2 points), tenmultiple choices(each scores 1 point), ten recognition questions(eachscores 2 points) and five translations(each scores 2 points). The questionstyle and grade of immediate test is the same as that of pretest. There isonly one part in the delayed test. The questions are the same as that of thefirst part of pretest. The collected data are processing by SPSS21.0.
Chapter three gives a detailed and reliable analysis to the results ofthe study. In this chapter the author makes a conclusion mainly from twoaspect. The first part summarizes the major findings and the second partpoints out the limitations and suggestions for further study.The research is devoted to the application of Conceptual MetaphorTheory to English vocabulary teaching in senior high schools with anempirical study on polysemous words teaching since a large quantity ofvocabulary are polysemy. Considering the unsatisfied polysemous wordsteaching and learning situation. The study put forward two researchquestions in order to give some effective and feasible pedagogicalimplications for polysemous words teaching and finally help to removethe obstacle on the way of senior high students’ vocabulary learningespecially polysemous words learning. The research questions are asfollows:
(1) In contrast with traditional polysemous words teaching, whatimpacts does polysemous words teaching based on Conceptual MetaphorTheory have on polysemous words learning of senior high students.
(2) What effects does classroom metaphor instruction have on seniorhigh students’ ability of conceptual metaphor identification and meaningdeductionHere is the answer to the first question. In contrast with traditionalpolysemous words teaching, there are three kinds of impact polysemouswords teaching based on Conceptual Metaphor Theory have onpolysemous words learning of senior high students.