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Towards a Lexical Semantic Theory of Synaesthesia in Chinese 中文「联觉」现象的词汇语义学理论初探

Abstract
「联觉」(Synaesthesia) 近二十年来在腦科學的研究得到突破,並集中於脑神经病异常或病变研究 (如The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Cytowic 1993) 。但是,我们虽然不能尝出形状,语言中以某种感官知觉描述另一种感官的隐喻现象却比比皆是:如声音甜美‘sweet voices’以味觉描述听觉, 及目光锐利‘sharp eyes’以触觉描述视觉。因此,联觉到底是認知的常態或病態呢?联觉的認知與語言理解機制為何?我們認為這兩個關乎人的认知能力与脑神经机制的重要问题的答案,必须建立在完整词汇语义理论分析的基础上。另外,从隐喻理论的观点,隐喻应该由具体的来源域对应到抽象目标域;但是联觉却是由具体到具体,建立在自身的感官经验上。从体知合一学说(embodiment theory)的观点,联觉有可能成为隐喻的特例,如何解释呢?这个议题的解答,也必须对牵涉联觉的隐喻有完善的分析。在认知与隐喻理论都有亟待解决的大问题的学术背景下,本文尝试为中文联觉的词汇语义学研究搭建基本框架。 中文联觉现象比其他语言复杂,但也有更丰富的语料与证据。其关键在于汉字为联觉隐喻提供了丰富的材料。单体汉字本身的意义就有可能来自联觉。而这些联觉现象,可以一)直接建立在意符与字意的对比上。比如 ‘闻’字从耳, 是听觉到味觉的联觉。二)來自意符/部件產生字意的過程:如羊大為美(味),是由視覺到味覺的联觉。三)更可經由联觉由本意產生隱喻意:如麻由植物名衍生觸覺(麻木)與味覺(麻辣)兩個意義,可互為联觉;另從美(味)本意到(貌)美是由味觉回到视觉的联觉(虽然视觉产生的是对外观的不同評價,由大小转到美丑)。四)同一漢字的不同义项间的关系亦可体现联觉,比如‘刺’本意爲以刀傷人,爲觸覺感官詞;其名詞可表達形尖物體(如魚刺),則轉為視覺感官詞。其次,汉语复合词也提供了多种表达连觉的语言模式:包括[感觉+感觉](冷香,甜黄),[感觉+感官](冷眼,长舌),[感官+感觉](眼高,嘴软),跨不同知觉领域的定中式[感觉+X](热钱,苦海),及跨不同知觉领域的谓宾式[Y+感官](刺耳)等。这些複合詞中所體現的多種联觉关系,也可以在句法層面呈现,如以共现模块(collocational pattern)或熟語形式以表達 (眼睛吃冰激凌,吃軟飯)。 在以上分析的基础上,本文提出的汉语联觉词汇语义研究的基本架构将涵盖体/知(感官/感觉),参与角色/谓语,极性,评价,联觉方向限制,及感觉(特别是视觉)内部概念层次等重要理论元素。
中文[连觉]现象的
词汇语义学理论初探
黄居仁 熊佳娟
香港理工大学中文及双语学系
CLSW2015,5月9日北京师范大学
大纲
!简介:何谓[连觉]?
!研究问题
!感官理论: 五种感官以及佛教六识
!汉语中的[连觉]
!汉字
!现代汉语
!汉译佛经
!
!
!,
!总结
2
Synaesthesia: An introduction
!Etymologically, the term “synaesthesia” consists of two
morphemes:
osyn: joined; together
oaesthesis: perception or sensation
!synaesthesis: the union of senses
!Synaesthesia is well known in neuro-cognitive science as
cognitive disorder
!the man who tasted shapes (Cytowic 1993)
!And opens a window for studying brain localization and embodiment theory
of brain mapping
!Synaesthesia is one instance of metaphoric transfer, i.e., the
transfer of information from one sensory modality to
another.
3
Instances of synaesthesia as
metaphor
"Acceptable instances of synaesthesia:
"甜美的声音 (sweet voice)
!gustatory-to-auditory mapping
"(利齿伶牙)(sharp tongue)
!tactile-to-auditory mapping
5
Research questions
!Neuro-cognitive research question:
!The neuro-cognitive mechanisms of synaesthetic mapping?
!Does linguistic synaesthesia and synaesthesia as neuro-cognitive disorder
share the same brain mechanism?
!If not, what it the difference?
!How can synaesthesia help to predict/verify functional mapping of brain
location? Embodiment Theory vs. Cartesian Dualism
!Linguistic research questions:
!What are the linguistic levels (lexical? Sub-lexical? syntactic?) and linguistic
mechanisms of endocing synaesthesia?
!How is synaesthesia is instantiated in the Chinese language?
!Are there any hierarchical constraints on inter-sensory domain mapping? Are
these constraints embodiment based?
!Is there any cross-cultural or cross-linguistic differences in linguistic
synaestesia?
!Is synaethesia a kind of embodiment metaphor?
6
The five senses
7
Linguistic Instantiation of
Synaesthesia
!Linguistically instantiated synaesthesia
!Is a kind of metaphor?
!Involves normal/what kind of brain function?
!Previous discussion on synaethesia in other
languages involves either lexical-semantic level or
phrasal level
!Sweet voice, sharp tongue
!Her voice is as smooth as silk
!Is there any evidence for synaesthesis at sub-lexical
level?
8
Synaesthesic characters:
Evidence from Hantology
!Chinese characters can embody synaesthesia in the sense that
lexical meaning or meaning extension of a particular character
may involve cross-sensory-domain mapping.
!The source sensory domains can be encoded in the radicals or
the combination of the radicals, as follows:
!Radicals:
!Combination of radicals, such as + =
9
A radical’s
sensory meaning,
such as ,
A radical’s
associative
meaning,
such as
CHINESE CHARACTERS
!The sensory radicals may indicate the source
sensory domain:
! a. to listen to, to hear; b. to smell
! is an auditory radical;
!auditory-to-olfactory mapping
!The combination of radicals may reveal the source
sensory domain:
! a. tasty; b. beautiful
! consists of and , whose combination ‘big sheep’
conveys the meaning of “tasty” in the gustatory domain.
!visual-to-gustatory-to-visual mapping
10
CHINESE CHARACTERS
! a. tasty; b. bright (in color)
!, according to the character formation, is basically gustatory in
meaning.
!The bright (color) comes from gustatory-to-visual mapping.
!The character per se does not contain any sensory
information. However, the various senses of a character may
resort to the mechanism of synaesthesia.
!a. hemp; b. numb (tactile); c. pungent (gustatory)
!The tactile and gustatory senses are mutually transferrable, as they
are equally basic without any derivational relation between them.
11
SYNAESTHESIA IN MODERN CHINESE
!Data Collection:
!introspection-induced examples and patterns
!Corpus-based: automatic detection program for synaesthesia
!Questions
!Is the mechanism of synaesthesia equally applicable to all the sensory
words, i.e., sensory organs, sensory objects and sensation actions? If
not, are there any preference(s) for synaesthesia among these sensory
words?
!Are there any dominant syntactic patterns that are most conducive to
synaesthesia?
12
SYNAESTHESIA IN MODERN
CHINESE
!Semantically, the mechanism of synaesthesia may be
employed when the following words occur:
!sensory organs
!sensory objects
!sensory actions
!Syntactically, synaesthetic expressions may involve the
following word categories:
!nouns (sensory organs and/or sensory objects)
!verbs (sensation verbs)
!adjectives/adverbs (sensory epithets)
13
SYNAESTHESIA IN MODERN CHINESE
!Introspection-induced data show that the commonest
synaesthetic examples are of the following two features:
#the syntactic feature: [adjective + noun]
#the semantic feature: [epithet + sensory object]
!高音 (high-voice)
!visual-to-auditory
!甜美的聲音 (sweet sound)
!gustatory-to-auditory
!話里帶刺 [帶刺的話] (thorny words; sarcastic words)
!tactile-to-auditory
14
SYNAESTHESIA IN MODERN CHINESE
!It seems that synaesthetic expressions encoded in sensory
organs tend to involve a secondary metaphor. In particular,
!(a) The meaning is not literal but metaphorical;
!(b) Word class conversion usually occurs.
!冷眼 (cold-eye; impartially; with detachment)
!adjective or adverb (tactile-to-visual)
!刺耳 (pierce-ear; jarring; harsh)
!adjective (tactile-to-auditory)
!刺鼻 (pierce-nose; pungent)
!adjective (tactile-to-olfactory)
!長舌 (long-tongue; long-tonged; gossip)
!adjective or verb (visual-to-auditory)
15
SYNAESTHESIA IN MODERN CHINESE
Summary
!Linguistic synaesthesia is pervasive in Chinese and may occur
at sub-lexical, lexical, and phrasal level
!The character-based synaesthesia seems to motivated by the
nature or Chinese characters of having to represent abstract
meanings with (association) of concrete meanings
!The mapping hierarchy of synaesthesia does not support results
of previous studies based on English
!In the figurative language, the interpretation of which is usually
confined to a particular language community.
!眼睛吃冰淇淋。
!visual-to-gustatory mapping
16
SYNAESTHESIA IN CLASSICAL CHINESE
and Buddhist Texts
!Sensory organs:
!,,,,,
!Sensory objects:
!,,,,,
!Sensory actions:
!,,,,,
!我眼見色我耳聞聲我鼻香,我舌甞味我身覺觸我意識法
[雜阿含經]#
17
The Buddhist View of the Six
Senses 六識
Six internal sense spheresContact
Six external sense spheres
Sense objectsDimensionsQualifying terms
the eyelook at; seethe formscolor; shape; size; space
bright, dull, round,
straight, big, small,
full, empty…
the earlisten to; hearthe soundsuni-dimensional
loud, quiet, melodious,
jarring, pleasant-to-
the-ear, ear-piercing…
the nosesmellthe smellsuni-dimensional
fragrant, aromatic,
perfumed, smelly,
odorous…
the tonguetastethe tastesuni-dimensional
yummy, tasty,
delicious, savory,
unsavory, insipid…
the bodyfeelthe tangiblessolidity, fluidity, heat,
mobility
hard, soft, fluid,
watery, hot, cold, fast,
slow…
the mindperceive; think
the ideas;
the emotions
abstract (positive, negative,
neutral)
happy, sad, clam,
tranquil,
equanimous…
18
CASE STUDY —
in Āgama (阿含經)
(1) : literal uses (gustatory)
(2) synaesthesia
!visual-to-gustatory
!tactile-to-gustatory
!mental-to-gustatory (or metaphor)
19
CASE STUDY —
!: gustatory (literal uses)
$諸比丘具如是戒如是法如是慧之彼比丘
〔即使受白淨米之施食添加種種調
食者,對彼不為障害。
$而不再問予,于飲食嚼之時,糞尿之時,除睡眠
疲勞外,不得問答。
$緣舌於而舌識生……依舌識於即生起迷執之想
分。
20
CASE STUDY —
$色味visual-to-gustatory
$諸比丘!云何是色?曰:於此,若有
王族女、婆羅門女也,其齡或是十五、
或是十六,不高亦不矮、不瘦亦不胖、
不黑亦不白者,其女於此時應為最美妙
端麗也。諸比丘!緣美妙端麗而生喜樂,
此是色也。
21
CASE STUDY —
$受之味: tactile-to-gustatory
$諸比丘云何是受之?曰:於此,比
丘離欲離不善法有尋有伺離生
喜樂成就初禪而住比丘如是離欲
離不善法有尋有伺離生喜樂,成
就初禪而住其時比丘對自無瞋害心
對他無瞋害心對兩者無瞋害心如是
比丘受無害之受諸比丘予言此受之
為最上無害。
22
CASE STUDY —
$慾之味: mental-to-gustatory (or metaphor)
$然者,摩訶那摩!云何為欲之?曰:此等有五種欲分,其五者:〔一〕
依眼識色,對色而有所欲、所愛、所好。對所愛諸相而欲著,以慫其情者
也。〔二〕依耳識聲,對聲而有所欲、所愛、所好。對所愛諸相而欲著,
以慫其情者也。〔三〕依鼻識香,對香而有所欲、所愛、所好。對所愛諸
相而欲著,以慫其情者也。〔四〕依舌識,對而有所欲、所愛、所好。
對所愛諸相而欲著,以慫其情者也。〔五〕依身識觸,對觸而有所欲、所
愛、所好。對所愛諸相而欲著,以慫其情者也。摩訶那摩!此等是五種欲
分也。緣此等五種欲分而生喜樂,是欲之也。
23
CASE STUDY —
in Lotus Sutta (法華經)
(1) Literal uses
(2) Synaesthesia
%visual-to-gustatory, e.g.,
%tactile-to-gustatory, e.g., 色聲香細滑之法
(3) conceptual metaphors , e.g., 解脫,法
%NATURE IS TASTE. or
%PROPERTY IS TASTE.
24
CASE STUDY —
%— literal uses (gustatory)
#色香美皆悉具足
#是人舌根淨,  終不受惡
其有所食噉,  悉皆成甘露。
25
CASE STUDY —
&— synaesthetic uses:
&若好、若醜,若美、不美,及諸苦澁物,在其
舌根,皆變成上味,如天甘露,無不美者。
(visual-to-gustatory)
$如是舍利弗如來正覺以力無畏建立眾德
善權方便修勇猛慧覩見三界然熾之宅欲以
救濟眾生諸難故現聲聞緣覺菩薩之道
以是三乘開化驅馳使棄愛欲教諸萌類滅三界
火、婬怒癡縛色聲香味細滑之法三處五欲
五欲燒人不猗三界便得三乘勤精三乘則超
三界,進三乘者諸佛所訓也。
(tactile-to-auditory)
26
CASE STUDY —
'— metaphor
'NATURE IS TASTE.
'如來演法一品如是,至解脫味離欲寂滅,入諸通慧,
若聽受持諷誦奉者,不自識省無所觀念。
$縱為女人有說經緣,不於是中污染法味,不令受取
而廣誼理。
$若不察之於定生染貪著禪味
27
CASE STUDY —
$in metaphorical use is attested to be
syntactically versatile.
$一切法中無受念著不 (savor, degust; be
attached to)不亂。是名禪。 (verb)
$如來說法,一相一——所謂:解脫相、離相、滅
相,究竟至於一切種智。 (noun)
$佛平等說,如一雨, 
隨眾生性,所受不同,
  如彼草木,所稟各異。 (classifier)
28
CASE STUDY —
!Data analyses:
!in Agama (阿含經) was attested to be both literal and synaesthetic. In
the synaesthetic cases, the gustatory , as a target sensory domain,
could be linked to different source domains, such as visual, tactile and
mental domains.
!in Lotus Sutta (法華經) was attested to be semantically as well as
syntactically versatile. Meaning-wise, can go beyond synaesthetic
mappings to encode abstract meanings (e.g., 法味,解脫味) under the
mechanism of conceptual metaphor. Syntax-wise, can function as a
noun, a verb and a classifier.
29
CASE STUDY —
!Moreover, the metaphoric use of is retained in Modern
Chinese, such as:
!意味深長
!Synaesthesia: visual-to-gustatory
!Metaphor: NATURE/PROPERTY IS TASTE.
30
CASE STUDY —
in Āgama (阿含經)
$exclusively auditory
$名德遠, 釋師遠
"visual-to-auditory (synaesthesia)
"REPUTATION IS SOUND. (metaphor)
31
CASE STUDY —
in Nikāyas (南傳大藏經)
$exclusively auditory
$名聞甚高 ‘reputation’ (noun)
$visual-to-auditory (synaesthesia)
$REPUTATION IS SOUND. (metaphor)
32
CASE STUDY —
in Lotus Sutta (法華經)
$ is attested to be used in the olfactory domain
in 妙法蓮華經法師功德品第十九
$以是清淨鼻根,於三千大千世界上下內外種種諸香。
$象香、馬香、牛羊等香,男香、女香、童子香、童女香,
及草木叢林香——若近、若遠、所有諸香,悉皆得,分
別不錯
33
CASE STUDY —
$是人鼻清淨,  於此世界中,#
若香若臭物,  種種悉知。
$如是展轉乃至梵世,上至有頂諸天身香,亦
之,并諸天所燒之香。及聲香、辟
支佛香、菩薩香、諸佛身香,亦皆遙,知
其所在。雖此香,然於鼻根不壞不錯,若
欲分別為他人說,憶念不謬。#
34
CASE STUDY —
!Data analyses:
!, as a auditory verb, can be transferred to the olfactory domain to refer
to the olfactory action “smell” ().
!This transference is observed in Lotus Sutta (法華經), but not in Agamas (
含經).
!, as a sensation (auditory or olfactory) verb, is quite inert with regard to
synaesthetic mappings. This feature verifies our finding that sensation
verbs, compared to sensory organs and objects, are less likely to have
synaesthesia. However, could form disyllabic nouns (e.g., 名聞甚高),
which are more amenable to synaesthesia.
!, as a monosyllabic verb, is most likely to be used as an olfactory verb in
Modern Chinese.
35
CONCLUSIONS 如是我聞
!In the Chinese language, synaesthesia can be embodied in at
least three levels, i.e., sub-lexical level (characters), lexical levels
(words) and syntactic levels (SV or VO). The former two are much
more dominant than the third one.
!Synaesthesia may play a role in the diachronic development of
lexical changes (e.g., ).
!Synaesthesia-related sense domains could be conceptually
equal in the sense that not one domain can be said to be more
embodied or abstract than the other, as in the case of (both
tactile and gustatory). This feature makes synaesthesia
qualitatively different from conceptual metaphor.
36
Selected references
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!Hong, Jia-Fei, Sue-Jin Ker, Kathleen Ahrens and Chu-Ren Huang. 2011. Sense
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!Hsieh, Shelly & Kolodina, E. 2007. Synaesthetic Metaphors in Mandarin Chinese and
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!Marks, Lawrence E. & Catherine M. Mulvenna. 2013. “Synesthesia on our mind”,
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Prospettive a confronto, Milano, Franco Angeli, 19-51.
37
Selected references
!Ramachandran, Vilayanur S. & Hubbard, Edward M. (2003). “The phenomenology of synesthesia”,
Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (8), 49–57.
!Ronga, Irene, Carla Bazzanella, Ferdinando Rossia, Giandomenico Iannetti. 2012. “Linguistic
synaesthesia, perceptual synaesthesia, and the interaction between multiple sensory modalities”,
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!Rosiello, Luigi. 1963. “Le sinestesie nell’opera poetica di Montale”, Rendiconti 7.
!Schrader, Ludwig. 1969. Sinne und Sinnesverknüpfungen. Studien und Materialien zur Vorgeschichte
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!Shen, Yeshayahu & Michal Cohen. 1998. “How come silence is sweet but sweetness is not silent: a
cognitive account of directionality in poetic synaesthesia”, Language and Literature 7 (2), 123-140.
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38
Selected references
!Strik Lievers, Francesca (to appear). Synaestesia: A corpus-based study of
cross-modal directionality, Functions of language.
#
!Strik Lievers, Francesca, Xu Ge & Xu Hongzhi. 2013. A Methodology for
the Extraction of Lexicalized Synaesthesia from Corpora. Paper
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Genève, Switzerland.#
!Strik Lievers, Francesca. 2007. Italian Perception Verbs. A Corpus-based Study. In
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!Suárez-Toste, Ernesto. 2013. “One man’s cheese is another man’s music:
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39
Selected references
!Ullmann, Stephen. 1957. The Principles of Semantics, 2nd edition, Oxford,
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!Yang, C. T. (2000). Synaesthetic words in Mandarin: Perceptual
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This is a international consortium led by Noël Ngyen of LPL-CNRS at Aix-Marseille is funded by ANR-MERSI has two goals. The first is to train our participants with inter-disciplinary research compe…" [more]
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We are looking at linguistic synaesthesia with a corpus-based approach aiming to find the linguistic representation (esp. in terms of (dis-similarity) with metaphor and mapping direction), as well…" [more]
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This is a collaboration with LPL-CNRS at Aix-Marseille and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University aiming at looking at how language varies and what are the language science research methodologies tha…" [more]
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We take a comparable corpus based, using both syntactic, lexical semantic, and statistic tools to tease apart the subtle grammatical differences between Mainland an Taiwan Mandarin. We try to devel…" [more]
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