Corpus-Assisted Study of Gender Related Tiger Metaphors in the Chinese Context
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Corpus-Assisted Study of Gender Related Tiger Metaphors in the Chinese Context

Authors: Na Xiao


Animal metaphors have many different connotations, ranging from loving emotions to derogatory epithets, but gender expressions using animal metaphors are often imbalanced. Generally, animal metaphors related to females tend to be negative. Little known about the reasons for the negative expressions of animal female metaphors in Chinese contexts still have not been quantified. The study was based on the conceptual metaphor theory, and it used the Modern Chinese Corpus at the Center for Chinese Linguistics at Peking University (CCL Corpus) as a database, which identified the influencing variables of gender differences in the description of animal metaphors mapping humans in the Chinese context by observing the percentage of "tiger" metaphor. This study has proved that the tiger metaphors associated with humans in the Chinese context tend to be negative. Importantly, this study has also shown that the proportion of tiger metaphorical idioms that are related to women is very high. This finding can be used as crucial information for future studies on other gender-related animal metaphorical idioms and can offer additional insights for understanding trends in other animal metaphors.

Keywords: Chinese, CCL Corpus, gender differences, metaphorical idioms, tigers.

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