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|Abstract:||語言相對論的議題在最近十多年裡再度受到科學家的重視，新的證據陸續出現，新的詮釋也被提出與討論。在這些新的證據中，有一項與說漢語者的時間隱喻觀有關，被廣泛地引用，但是這部分的證據存有一些爭議。我過去的研究發現Boroditsky（2001）的研究有前提假設上的謬誤，其實驗結果亦無法被複製。Boroditsky之後以不同的實驗派典提出新的證據（Boroditsky et al., 2010, 2011; Fuhrman et al., 2011），但是我追蹤這些研究所得到的結果仍與之所得不同（Chen et al., 2011）。我的研究點出了一個重要的混淆因素—文字的書寫方向—可能可以解釋說英語和說漢語者時間觀上的不同，這個混淆因素需要進一步檢視。因此，本計畫擬以兩個實驗檢視說英語和說漢語者時間觀上的不同是否與文字的書寫方向有關，接觸橫排與直排文字的經驗是否與不同的時間觀有關。實驗將採用Boroditsky所用的新派典，實驗一比較中文系（比較多接觸直排文字的經驗）和英文系（比較少）的學生在實驗上的表現，以檢驗接觸橫排與直排文字經驗的多寡是否與不同的實驗表現有關。實驗二比較美國、大陸、台灣的受試者在實驗上的表現，以檢驗語言的差異及接觸橫排與直排文字經驗的多寡是否與不同的實驗表現有關。本計畫另將以Google和Yahoo搜尋台灣與大陸的網頁中水平與垂直空間隱喻時間的出現頻率。實驗的受試者也將以主觀報告的方式估計這兩種隱喻的相對比例。此外，受試者也將填寫一份接觸橫排與直排文字的經驗。我在這個特定議題上的過往研究已經產生重要的學術影響，本計畫的研究成果預計將深化這樣的影響，在與漢語有關的語言相對論議題取得學術發言權。|
Research on linguistic relativity has regained much enthusiasm in recent years among linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, and cognitive scientists. Encouraging new evidence has been reported and different conceptualizations of linguistic relativity are being considered and discussed. Among the published work, one kind of evidence related to the metaphorical conception of time in Chinese has been widely cited, and yet the evidence appears controversial. Our early work (Chen, 2007) challenged Boroditsky (2001) with respect to her findings and her conclusion. Boroditsky responded recently with new evidence (Boroditsky et al., 2010, 2011; Fuhrman et al., 2011). Our recent work again failed to replicate her recent one, and pointed to an extraneous factor that could account for the cross-linguistic difference between English and Chinese speakers’ conception of time. In the present study, we propose to investigate this factor, namely, the directionality of print, while controlling for the language factor. Frequency of usage of horizontal and vertical spatial metaphors in Mandarin Chinese will be surveyed and counted by means of Google and Yahoo search of the web pages in China and in Taiwan. Subjective estimation of the relative percentages of the two types of metaphors will also be made by participants of experiments, both in Mandarin Chinese and in the dialects the participants are familiar with. In addition, two experiments will be conducted to directly test the effects of language and directionality of print. The experiments will employ a task that requires the participants to judge whether the event depicted in the second picture occurs earlier or later than the event depicted in the first. Canonicity of response (left is earlier or right is earlier) is manipulated and canonicity effect is used as the key dependent variable. Response axis is also manipulated to serve as one of the key independent variables. It will assume either a horizontal, sagittal, or vertical (perpendicular to the surface of a desk) orientation. Experiment 1 will compare the horizontal and vertical canonicity effects between Mandarin Chinese speakers majoring in Chinese language and literature with those majoring in English language and literature. The language factor is held constant here, but the experience of vertical print may vary, being more for the Chinese majors. Experiment 2 will compare the horizontal and vertical canonicity effects among participants from two cities in the United States of America, two cities in Taiwan, and four cities in China. The study sites represent different extents of urbanization and modernization, as well as different languages. The fairly large and diverse samples are necessary to allow for a reliable test of the effects of language and the directionality of print. In both experiments, the participants will be asked to estimate the frequencies of encountering vertical prints in various media. Our previous work has made a significant impact on the research on linguistic relativity. The research proposed herein is expected to continue and deepen that impact.
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