A Study on the Conceptual Metaphor of English mind and Korean maum

  • Published : 2006.12.30


This paper deals with the various conceptual metaphors of 'mind' in Korean and English within the Cognitive Semantics. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the metaphorical expressions of the concept 'mind' represented andunderstood in various ways in Korean and English, to find out the linguistically-universal conceptual metaphors underlying the uses of the metaphoric expressions. In addition, this paper discusses the differences in linguistic realization of the concept 'mind' between Korean and English from the socio-cultural background. In the traditional view, metaphor was thought only as the linguistic matters and a deviance from literal or normal use. However, within the Cognitive Linguistic view such as Lakoff and Johnson(1980), metaphor has been considered as a means of understanding and conceptualizing world. According to them, metaphor is found in everyday life because it is not only as a matter of language but also as a nature of human conceptual system controlling cognition, thought and behavior. Conceptual metaphor is suggested as a device to understood abstract and less familiar things through concrete and more familiar things. Conceptual metaphors may be realized linguistically as well as non-linguistically, in the form of movies, arts or behavior. To define the concept 'mind' shared among the Koreans, conceptual metaphors used to represent 'maum(mind)'in Korean are examined. Then they are compared with the ones used to represent 'mind' in English. This is based on the idea that conceptual metaphors represented in linguistic expressions naturally reflect the speakers' concept and conceptualization is a universal irrespective of language. This paper exemplifies the Korean sentences as well as English sentences to utilize some conceptual metaphor such as Johnson(1987)'s THE MIND IS THE BODY and shows many other conceptual metaphors used in Korean and English to represent the same concept 'mind'. What are some metaphors shared by two languages and what is specific to one of them will be shown, too. This paper also suggests that the different conceptualization or lexicalization is partly due to the effect of the oriental cultural background that is more interested in the mental world than the physical world.