A Study on the Metaphor of the Chinese Zodiac Rabbit Four-character Idiom and the Meaning of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
Keywords:Chinese Zodiac Rabbit, Idiomatic Semantics, Metaphor, Cultural Images , Chinese Teaching
There are currently studies on the cultural connotation, semantics, and metaphors of the Chinese zodiac idioms both at home and abroad, but there are few studies on the connotation and metaphors of the idioms of each animal, and there is no study on the metaphors of the idiom of "rabbit." Because the rabbit is a significant animal in Chinese culture, it is worthwhile to investigate the metaphors and idioms associated with the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. This paper uses the examples of "rabbit" idioms in Chinese idiom dictionaries as a corpus to first summarize and analyze the semantic meanings of rabbit, and then analyze the metaphorical source and target domains of Chinese "rabbit" idioms from the perspective of conceptual metaphors, as well as the metaphorical types. We then analyze the metaphorical source and target domains, as well as the metaphorical types of the Chinese idioms, in order to investigate the metaphorical situation and cultural meaning, and to understand the metaphorical mechanism and characteristics of the Chinese idioms. Through the study, the author has come to the following conclusions: 1.The idioms related to rabbit in Chinese zodiac use "rabbit" as a mammal that can be eaten and made into clothes, the mythical animal "moon rabbit", the appearance and physique of rabbit, the behavior and actions of rabbit, and the character and habits of rabbit as the main semantics of the idioms; 2.The above semantics are used as the source domain of metaphors and mapped to the target domain of "people, things and events"; 3.The abstract concepts of people's behavior, actions, life style, appearance, character and psychology, as well as time and events are vividly reflected through metaphors; 4.The main types of idiom metaphors in Chinese zodiac Rabbit are structural metaphors and entity metaphors, and also orientation metaphors; 5. The rabbit has a unique metaphorical meaning when it co-occurs with other animals in the same idiom, and most of the idioms in the same phrase form have basically the same metaphorical approach; 6.The metaphorical analysis helps us understand the image and connotation of the Chinese zodiac rabbit in Chinese culture deeply. Finally, based on the results of the study, we propose suggestions for teaching idioms in Chinese international education from the perspectives of metaphor analysis and cultural meaning.
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