A STUDY OF CONCEPTUAL METONYMY OF EMBODIMENT IN VIETNAMESE AND ENGLISH
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Bài assignment mẫu đề tài: A STUDY OF CONCEPTUAL METONYMY OF EMBODIMENT IN VIETNAMESE AND ENGLISH
1.1 Problem statement
There is no doubt about the richness and complexity of Vietnamese grammar in comparison with other languages in the world, like the idiom “Struggling to natural disaster isn’t as hard as learning Vietnamese”. In particular, the rhetoric used in both written and spoken expression is one of the characteristics of Vietnamese, including conceptual metonymy. It has been studied for more than two thousand years by a lot of phonemologists and linguists. During this long period of time, metonymy was identified as a rhetorical method, a matter entirely related to in the linguistic field (Brown & Keith, 2005) … However, in recent years, the situation has changed. From the new research results, especially from the cognitive sciences, metonymy, along with metaphor, has been endorsed as a conceptual phenomenon, a process of cognitive process, an element, a principle that builds human cognitive ability. Therefore, conceptual metonymy is not only a language problem but also a matter of thinking and action, intellect and culture (Ta, 2015).
In this regard, we have to mention the application of conceptual metonymy to express the phenomena and issues in term of economy, which are fairly popular in both Vietnamese and English economic articles. One of the common features in the expression is that embodiments associated to a person’s appearance and character are used, for examples: The attraction of stock market, the recovery of financial market…Let’s consider the following examples to have an overview of conceptual metonymy which are broadly available in both Vietnamese and English economic articles:
 Điều đảm bảo cho thành công giai đoạn đầu của mỗi Chaebol trong quá khứ, đó là sự vắng mặt của yếu tố cạnh tranh từ các đối thủ quốc tế. Điều này không còn hợp lý với bối cảnh tân thời khi Việt Nam gia nhập Tổ chức Thương mại Thế giới (WTO) (BBC News, 2012)
 Cán cân thanh toán quốc tế có tác động rất quan trọng đến tỷ giá hối đoái. Tình trạng của cán cân thanh toán quốc tế sẽ tác động trực tiếp đến cung và cầu ngoại hối, do đó nó tác động trực tiếp và rất nhạy bén đến tỷ giá hối đoái (Dân Kinh Tế, 2014)
 The idea of using currency as a measure of well-being emerged, apparently, simultaneously with the appearance of money, but as a theoretical concept, it took first shape within the framework of mercantilism in the XV century (Isabella et.al, 2015)
As can be seen from the above mentioned examples, the conceptual metonymy is recognized through the words like: “attraction”; “recovery”; “sự vắng mặt”; “nhạy bén”, “the apprearance”. These languages are often used to describe the embodiment via body parts. It is daily language that are metaphorically utilized to express abstract ideas creatively, persuasively and bear high aesthetic value. Stimulated and attracted by innovative conceptual metonymy about embodiment in economic matters, the author determine to choose the topic “A Study of Conceptual Metonymy of embodiment in Vietnamese and English” as the focus for my research.
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1.2 Research questions and objectives
1.2.1 Research objectives
The purpose of this research is to make an analysis into the conceptual metonymy of embodiments used in economic articles by Vietnamese and English on the background of cognitive theory to discover how the style of writing, using such competent tool to reflect the reviewers’ intentions and to find out the similarities and differences between conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese reviews about economy. Accordingly, the study is expected to fulfil the following objectives:
• To investigate conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese economic articles through the embodiment.
• To discover and explain the similarities and differences between a person’s appearance and character in term of conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese.
• To contribute in the purpose of teaching and translating.
1.2.2 Research questions
In this regard, this research aims to answer the following research questions:
• What are the embodiments associated to a person’s appearance in term of conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese?
• What are the embodiments associated to a person’s character in term of conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese?
• What are the differences of embodiments associated to a person’s appearance and character in terms of conceptual metonymy in English and Vietnamese?
• What are the possible implications for language teaching and learning and translating?
1.3 Significance of the study
Through conducting an examination on conceptual metonymy applied in economic articles, the research is expected to facilitate a comprehensive grasp of economic term expressions, thus, helps understanding effectively. In addition, the significance of the study is also to make a useful contribution to utilizing metonymy in teaching, learning, reading, translating, writing and discussing about economy. Furthermore, the implications of the thesis can be a useful source of references for the other researchers with the same topic in the future.
1.4 Thesis structure
This research paper includes five chapters. A brief introduction of the purpose of each chapter is presented in the following:
Chapter 1: Introduction
The first chapter provides background of the research topic, the benefits and significance of this research, research questions, research objectives, and research scope and the structure of this dissertation.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
To build a theoretical framework for this research, this chapter presents the relevant literature, some of the previous studies and addresses the theoretical background, laying the foundation for further discussion in the whole thesis.
Chapter 3: Methods and Procedures
This section presents the research designs with both quantitative and qualitative approach, establishing hypotheses, and introduces sampling approach to support data collection. In addition, the chapter also provides a detailed description of the data used in this research, and data analysis methods.
Chapter 4: Findings and Discussion
Through employing the research methods, this chapter will present the findings of the conceptual metonymy used in English and Vietnamese economic articles and then describes, analyzes, discusses and compares the similarities and the differences of conceptual metonymy between the two languages.
Chapter 5: Conclusion, Recommendations and Limitations
The final chapter generalizes the main conclusion as a summary of previous results and findings. It also proposes some recommendations, limitations of this study, and suggestions for researches in the future
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Definition of conceptual metonymy
Metonymy has been identified by traditional rhetoric as a part of the trilogy including metaphors, metonymy, and synecdoche (Lakoff et.al, 1980). The earliest definition of metonymy is mentioned in Rhetorica ad Herennium as a metaphor by the use of the names of objects that are close and neighboring, through which we can understand something that is not named by its own word (Panther et.al, 1999). Similarly, Geeraerts also agrees that metonymy is a seminal relationship between two meanings of a vocabulary unit based on a close relation between the projections of an expression in each sense (Geeraerts & Dirk, 1994). Vietnamese scholars also tend to regard metonymy as a transposition, a method of making words, a rhetorical tool, that is, within the sphere of language, unrelated to thought or action. Do Huu Chau (2009) regarded the metonymy, along with metaphor, is one of the “two common modes of translation in all languages in the world.” He divided in very detail the mechanisms by which the metonymy based on them: part-relation – the whole, the relation of the material – the container, the relation of the material – products, the relation of the instrument use…. Therefore, in traditional point of view, metonymy is only regarded as a transfiguration, a change of name between things that have close or neighboring connections that often exist and appear together.
From the point of cognitive linguistic, Lakoff and Johnson (1980) argue that metonymy “First of all, it has a reference function, that is, it allows us to use one entity as a substitute for another.” However, when referring like that, metonymy expresses our attention to one point, a certain aspect of the entity, not the other. As we say, we need some good heads for the project, the problem is not just to use a part (the head) to refer to some people but also to select a particular human characteristic: Intelligence – related to the head. Like metaphor, metonymy also serves human cognitive function, which is a model for people to organize thinking and acting. The metonymy with “face” represents the way that we collect and identify information about a human being, first and foremost, through his face, not his posture, or anything else. This is evident in the art of portraiture, when the face is the central position, the most important part. Thus, like metaphor, metonymy notions structure not only language but also our thinking, attitudes and actions.
2.2 Classification of conceptual metonymy
Due to the different definitions, the researchers also makes differences in classification of conceptual metonymy. Warren distinguishes conventional and clause metonymy. In specific, conventional metonymy is based on reference relationships (as between cause and effect, container and the thing is contained). Example: “The bathtub is running out” (bathtub – water in the bathtub). Clause metonymy bases on antecedent – result relationships, for example: “That will not happen as long as I breathe” (breathing – live) (Panther, 1999)
Geeraerts and Dirk (1994) stated that metonymy can be subdivided into two categories: source in destination or destination in source. An example of source in destination: The hamburger is waiting for the check. The close connection between customers and hamburger is not part – part relationship in the restaurant domain but rather a source metonymy in the destination in which hamburger is conceptualized as is an entity within the customer destination domain.
Brown and Keith (2005) distinguishes 18 types of metaphors involving 18 different metonymic principles, of which there are six main groups: Cause – Impact, Action and Major Participants, Division – Whole, Experience – Conventions, Owners – Ownership. Panther (1999), meanwhile, identifies five potential metonymy relationships between the three “actual realities”: notions, forms, language and phenomena in the real world, and thus finds 49 types.
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