Abstract：The previous studies on non-literal language mechanism did not treat different forms of non-literal language as an entire and coherent system,but as segmented and isolated entities. Besides certain deficiencies in methodologies,those researches failed to distinguish the similarities and variances of processing mechanism between different non-literal language forms.Non-literal language understanding, one of the advanced cognitive activities, presents a more abstract performance of language and mind.Taking conventionality as the axes,this study tries to place conventionalized metaphor(such as conventional metaphor,idioms)and novel metaphor(such as humor,irony)on a continuum of conventionality. The features of a particular non-literal language form as well as the comparisons with other forms in the non-literal language system from both temporal and spatial dimensions have been discussed and analyzed,so as to bring light on the continuum of Chinese non-literal language mechanism and to build a model of Chinese non-literal language cognitive processing.In terms of temporal dimension,there are three models,namely the multi-step model,the direct access model and the parallel competitive model for non-literal language processing.The multi-step model and the direct access model give extreme answers to the debate of whether literal meaning is activated in the non-literal language understanding.The former holds that literal meaning should be activated initially,while the latter believes that regardless of literal meaning activation,non-literal meaning could be accessed with the contribution of context,salience,etc. The parallel competitive model does not illustrate the direct or indirect processing of literal meaning,but focuses much on the factors influencing the process,discussing the context effect in terms of time and means of processing in understanding. Regarding spatial dimension,the right brain theory,the left brain theory and the whole brain theory are the three main prevailing views on the argument of the role the brain plays in non-literal language processing.The right brain theory argues that most right-handed and some left-handed people's language comprehension and production rely heavily on left hemisphere,but their understanding of non-literal language and other complex language forms mainly depends on their right hemisphere.On the contrary,the left brain theory goes against this view by insisting in the left hemisphere's participation in non-literal language processing. Different to these dichotomous categories,the whole brain theory suggests that corresponding to different language forms,processing tasks and processing difficulties, the bilateral hemispheres cooperate and interact with each other instead of limiting to the isolated performance of either left or right hemisphere. Since the non-literal language processing is a whole system,instead of staying in some particular model or hypothesis to conclude non-literal language processing mechanism segmentally,we should integrate and optimize the different theories in terms of different understanding stages to build a general and dynamic model under a uniform cognitive frame. Besides running through different non-literal language forms in terms of the degree of conventionality and synthesizing various influence factors, this model could incorporate information similar to or different from the processing system for literal meaning provided by time course and spatial regions to flexibly explain how non-literal language be understood from the temporal and/or spatial dimensions.This study will be helpful for our attempt to find the processing features of particular forms of non-literal language under the cognitive framework,and to give a reasonable explanation for these features in a particular context.
王小潞 郭晓群. 汉语非字面语言认知神经心理系统[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2016, 2(6): 6-.
Wang Xiaolu Guo Xiaoqun. Neuropsychological System for Chinese Non-literal Language Processing. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2016, 2(6): 6-.