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A semantic contrastive study of Chinese and English verb “跑/run” from the perspective of cognitive semantics

Peiyao Fang, Qi Liu

Article ID: 1458
Vol 4, Issue 1, 2022, Article identifier:100-115

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Based on corpus data, this paper finds that the semantics of “跑/run” have similarities, which lie in the consistency of the central meanings and common usages. The differences are: 1) the meanings of “run” are significantly more than those of “跑”, resulting in a great divergence in the numbers of meanings; 2) compared with “跑”, the implications of “run” display a higher level of specificity.
On the basis of cognitive theories, the paper has yielded the following findings. The semantic overlaps of “跑/run” root in their identical prototypical meanings. The semantic differences are generated by the following factors: 1) the image-schema distribution of “run” is wider with more abstract representations than that of “跑”, due to which many unique semantic items come into being; 2) semantic systems of “跑/run” adopt different metaphorical methods, contributing to more comprehensive cognitive domains of the semantic mapping and closer semantic interrelations of “run” than those of “跑”.


contrastive study; cognitive semantics; polysemy; verb

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