Chinese ideophones in historical corpora: A case study of mental space markers


This paper is a case study that explores the emergence of low-level constructional patterns of Premodern Chinese ideophones in the historical corpus of the Standard Histories (zhengshi 正史), using a corpus-driven methodology. It focuses on the digital procedures that are needed to handle a large amount of texts. As a case study, the emergence of post-ideophone mental space markers (ran 然, ru 如 and ruo 若) are studied in the four Three Histories (Shiji, Hanshu, Hou Hanshu, and Sanguo zhi). These mental space markers display considerable overlap with markers for second person pronouns and simile markers in Classical Chinese. Their motivation of their functionality as post-ideophone markers is studied from a Cognitive Grammar perspective. It is shown that a combination of these methodologies and frameworks provide a solid base for further research with a larger scope of texts, in order to establish a schematized network of linguistic phenomena that is related to the use of ideophones in Premodern Chinese.

Workshop on Mimetics II: New Approaches to Old Questions
Nagoya, Nanzan University 南山大学