本文是英语论文，What kinds of target concepts are frequently represented by the source concepts“oak” in popular English songs?The oak is one of the most common trees in North America and Europe. It hasclose relation with human life. When it comes to metaphor and metonymy, the oakcould stand for divergent concepts.As for metaphor, some specific aspects of “oak” are motivated by the similaritiesfor various target concepts in divergent contexts. In this thesis, as the only image, theauthor metaphorically expresses “love”, “life”, “kinship”, “peace”, “immortality”,“fortitude”, “righteousness”, “arrogance” and “obstinacy” by “oak”.To be more specific, as the ordinary tree, the oak undergoes the same process ofrooting, sprouting, flowering, fruiting and withering as other trees. The expressionslike “an acorn becomes a big oak” and “from an acorn grows an oak” stands for thegrowth of human life. The growth of the oak is a gradual process, and carefulcultivation is needed to make sure its growth. Likewise, the physical or mental growthof people is also a gradual process. So attentive cultivation of life is of primeimportance as well. The mapping of LIFE IS THE OAK is realized as below.Besides, the realization of metaphors and metonymies of oak is also based onpractical experiences. The development and changing of ancient European countriesare inseparable from the ocean. In British maritime navigation, oaks aged 100 andabove are the optimal materials for warship because of its wood with fiber of hardnessand strength. It becomes the morale booster and the crucial element of success duringthe marine war. For instance, the most honored warship named “Victory” was built byutilizing more than 5000 oaks in British history. Thus massive use of oaks guarantees the victory of British marine war and colonial expansion.In addition, cultural elements play a crucial part in formation and interpretationof metaphors and metonymies of the oak. As the ordinary inherent cognitive patternsand cultural behaviors, the employment of metaphor is inseparable from specific cultures (Sun Yi 2013:105). So the oak with specific cultures can display specificfeatures. In this thesis, the holy Bible has an impact on the formation andinterpretations of metaphors and metonymies of oak.
Chapter One Introduction
In the field of cognitive linguistics, metaphor and metonymy are both treated ascognitive strategies, which broadens the relative studies from linguistic phenomena tocognitive science. In traditional view, metaphor and metonymy are only constrainedto a rhetoric device in the aspect of language. While since the publishing ofMetaphors We Live By written by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980), thecognitive aspects of metaphor and metonymy have gained increasing attentions. Intheir book, metaphor is a conceptual strategy, which refers to the understanding of oneconcept in terms of another from different domains; and metonymy is also aconceptual strategy, which means the substitution of the more salient or more easilyperceived concept for the less salient or less easily perceived concept occurs in thesame domain. Both metaphor and metonymy are based on our experiences to theworld, where experiences lay the foundation for the interpretation of the abstractconcepts. So, metaphor and metonymy are inevitably compared to the bridge betweentwo different concepts to help us comprehend the rich meanings of variousexpressions.Since the 1980s, the studies of metaphor and metonymy by applying cognitivestrategies have been on the rise, especially the cognitive functions that are valued byscholars and researchers both in China and abroad. Besides, on account of culturalelements having an impact on human thinking, people with divergent cultures maythink differently. So many studies are carried out in a language community with thesame culture, or some are done by comparing or contrasting people’s thinking patternsin two or more language communities with divergent cultures.There are five chapters in this thesis. Chapter one introduces the general knowledge and reasons for applying the cognitive approach to the study of metaphorand metonymy, involving background, significance, and research questions. Chaptertwo introduces the literature review. In this chapter, both metaphor and metonymy areminutely illustrated from the aspects of its definitions, categories, perspective,functions and research situations abroad and in China. Then, some crucial informationon the research subject, including categories and features of popular English songs, isintroduced. In chapter three, research material, research method and data collectionare elaborated. Chapter four is the main section of this thesis. In this section, with thecombination of human experiences to the oak such as its features and functions,metaphors and metonymies of oak are clearly described and explained. So this chaptergives answers to those questions listed in the first chapter. In chapter five, the authorsummarizes metaphors and metonymies of the oak as well as the reasons why theconcept of the oak is mapped onto those abstract concepts. In the end, based on somelimitations of this thesis, the author gives some further suggestions for researchers.
Chapter Two Theoretical Basis
Although the study of metaphor has been carried out for more than 2000 years,different schools have their respective understandings in terms of the definition ofmetaphor. There isn’t a united metaphor theory and a general agreement on theessence as well as the definition of metaphor. Currently, metaphor is simply classifiedinto traditional view and cognitive view.For instance, in Webster Third International Dictionary (1986), metaphor is “afigure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object oridea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.”Likewise, in Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary (2017),metaphor is “an imaginative way of describing something by referring to somethingelse which has the quality that you are trying to express.” In The CambridgeEncyclopedia of Language (Wang Yin 2007), metaphor is defined as figure ofspeech of linking two different concepts and implying the identity between them.These definitions show that metaphor is viewed as a kind of rhetoric device which ismainly applied on the lexical level in languages, and hence, comparison andsubstitution are widely used in language in terms of the traditional view.In the aspect of rhetoric devices, many scholars give the definition aboutmetaphor respectively. The earliest definition can date back to the age of Aristotlewho studied metaphor systematically. In Aristotle’s opinion, metaphor, similar tosimile, was used to express the same meaning by using one object to substituteanother. He stressed the rhetorical function of metaphor and highlighted its status inliterature and poetry.
The cognitive study of metonymy has been carried out since the 1980s with themilestone book Metaphors We Live By written by Lakoff and Johnson (1980). In theiropinion, different from the metaphor which occurs in two ICMs, metonymy onlyoccurs in one ICM. In an ICM, the more salient concept or more easily perceivedconcept substitutes for the less salient concept or less easily perceived conceptconcept. Later, Barcelona (1993:30) defined metonymy as the projection of conceptsin a common experiential domain, in which the experience was partially recognizedand understood in terms of another.On the basis of preceding definitions, Radden and Kovecses (1999:21) indicatedthat within the same ICM, metonymy was a kind of cognitive process in which oneconceptual entity offered metal access to another. This definition has been deemed asthe authoritative definition and widely accepted by scholars.In new definitions, contiguity and saliency of concepts are two importantfeatures of metonymy. Based on preconceived knowledge and experiences in the brain,specific concepts are selected to refer to another, and its saliency varies with contextand user.In a word, based on our experiences from the real world, metonymy is also acognitive strategy for thinking and provides available access to reach the mutualunderstanding and communication. Besides, metaphor and metonymy both contributeheavily to human thinking and language.
Chapter Three Research Design ..................................32
3.1 Research Materials ......................................... 32
3.2 Research Methods .......................................... 33
Chapter Four Oak in Popular English Songs ...............35
4.1 Metaphors of Oak ...........................................35
4.2 Metonymies of Oak ........................................78
Chapter Five Conclusion .............................................93
5.1 General Summary ...........................................93
5.2 Limitations and Suggestions .......................... 97
Chapter Four Oak in Popular English Songs
4.1 Metaphors of Oak
Each song has its own orientation of attitudes and emotions. In the process ofcreation and composition, lyricists prefer to express their emotions and attitudes bymeans of specific objects. After collection and detailed analysis of each song, theauthor thinks there are nine target concepts, involving love, peace, life, kinship,fortitude, righteousness, immortality, arrogance and obstinacy, represented by oak inpopular lyrics.Endlessly was a single album with the genre of pop soul music which originatedfrom African-American communities. Brook Benton, born in 1937, was an Americanrock & roll music and soul music singer. He lived a better life by writing andrecording songs for artists like Roy Hamilton and Nat King Cole. In addition, hissuccess also lay in his contributions to music, with 20 albums from 1959 to 1977 and87 singles from 1955 to 1978.In this song, the lyricist narrates that he has an unswerving love for the girl thatno one could replace her position in his heart forever. Just as the stout oak whichwon’t easily die, his love also brings a sense of invulnerability. Thus the love for thegirl arouses the same spiritual experience in his mind.Hide and Seek was written by Big Joe Turner in 1955 as one of the mostsuccessful singles for Big Joe is Here, hitting No. 3 on American R&B chart. Born onMay 18, 1911 and died on November 24, 1985, Big Joe Turner was a well-knownblues shouter and lyricist, who gained greatest fame on account of his rock & rollrecordings during the 1950s.The oak is one of the largest flowering plants in the world, since the oak hashuge and lush appearance. Animals and birds tend to settle down in the oak. Peoplealso treat the oak as the perfect place to hide.Playing hide-and-seek under the oak is simple and enjoyable for children. In theabove song, the boy would like to play hide-and-seek with his girl under the oak, it’snot hard to see that the love between the boy and the girl is simple and innocent. Inthis enjoyable game, there is no one else involved except “you and me”, thus the bigoak is not a location, but instead it is the witness of the boy and the girl’s simple love.Born in a musical family in 1970, Avishai Cohen was influenced by his parentsand went in for the creation of jazz music for fun at the age of nine. When he movedto New York City, he started to work on music career with other jazz players. AlonBasela was also a song with jazz music style, which was released in 2009 from hiseleventh album, Aurora.Again, the oak with the feature of strength and endurance can withstand thestorm. Based on psychological similarity, the lyricist maps this feature onto hischaracter. More specifically, “I believe I'm an oak tree in the rock even if a storm willhit me, I will keep standing” shows that the lyricist equals his fortitude towarddifficulties and obstacles to the strength and endurance of the oak toward the storm,so that when he faces with setbacks and sorrows in life, he won’t be devastated, butinstead he keeps pursuing happiness during his life.