Metaphors in Chinese Accompanying Gesture Modality and Cognition

  • Dengfeng Yao
  • Minghu JiangEmail author
  • Abudoukelimu Abulizi
  • Renkui Hou
  • Lifei Shu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10709)


Chinese accompanying gestures are a common phenomenon in life, and native speakers of Chinese use gesture modality to express metaphors. This study analyzes metaphors in Chinese accompanying gesture modality from the perspective of cognitive linguistics and cognitive neuroscience rather than the multimodal metaphor theory. Both spoken language and accompanying gesture modalities of metaphors are integrated into discourse, indicating that metaphor creation is based on general cognitive rather than linguistic features. The case study of Chinese accompanying gestures shows that conceptual metaphors can be cognitively activated when they are not expressed in oral modality. The close interaction between modality and language indicates that metaphors are a dynamic attribute rather than a static in the physical and interactive context. The study of metaphors in accompanying gesture modality provides a specific case for further studies on metaphors and offers support for creating a non-literal language cognitive model.


Chinese accompanying gestures metaphor cognitive linguistics cognitive neuroscience 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dengfeng Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Minghu Jiang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Abudoukelimu Abulizi
    • 2
  • Renkui Hou
    • 3
  • Lifei Shu
    • 4
  1. 1.Beijing Key Lab of Information Service EngineeringBeijing Union UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Lab of Computational Linguistics, School of Humanities, Center for Psychology and Cognitive ScienceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studiesthe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  4. 4.Special Education CollegeBeijing Union UniversityBeijingChina

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