COLOR POLYSEMY: BLACK AND WHITE IN TAIWANESE LANGUAGES
Huei-ling Lai, Siaw-Fong Chung
This study profiles the polysemous nature of black and white expressions in Taiwanese Mandarin, Taiwanese Hakka, and Taiwanese Southern Min. The literal meanings for both black and white are the most dominant whereby black and white serve attributive functions modifying their collocating head nouns. The opaqueness of the meaning of the expression correlates with the degree of lexicalization. Some usages are compositional with the combinations metonymically projecting to the whole expressions. Some usages are metaphorically extended, leading to versatile nuances in meaning. These extensions give rise to different connotations and inter-cultural and intra-cultural variations. In addition, the analysis reveals that Taiwanese Mandarin has developed the most prolific usages of black and white expressions, followed by Taiwanese Southern Min, and Taiwanese Hakka.
Key words: Color Polysemy, Lexicalization, Metaphor, Metonymy