A Corpus-Based Comparative Study of Chinese EFL Learners’ Use of Temporal Metaphor in English


  •  Yi Guo    

Abstract

This paper adopted a corpus-based approach to compare the uses of the conceptual metaphor “TIME IS MONEY” between Chinese non-English major college students and native speakers of English. The results revealed no direct correspondence between frequency of metaphorical use and proficiency level of English. While EFL learners differed with native speakers in terms of the diversity of metaphorical uses, the patterns of high-frequency uses were similar between the two groups. Chinese EFL learners were prone to produce unidiomatic metaphorical expressions that literally make sense. These expressions could be the mixed results of negative L1 transfer and insufficient L2 proficiency, especially the lack of adequate semantic knowledge in English. To language learners, conceptual metaphor in L2 cannot be randomly created, but has to be acquired with the help of the cultural knowledge embedded in the metaphorical expressions.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.