||This thesis aims to construct a semantic system for the disparate uses of peh in TSM and peh’s pragmatic functions in actual language uses in terms of cognitive accounts. Firstly, based on the data collected from dictionaries of the Ministry of Education, the present study divided the various meanings of peh into two main types, i.e., prototypical meaning and extended meanings. Prototypical meaning is further classified into perception-based type. How peh is perceived in perception-based type is in close relationship with the actual environment where we interact with. On the other hand, the main category under extended meanings is conception-based type, which is divided into four subcategories of cognitive mechanisms. That is, the diverse meanings of peh in conception-based type will be interpreted in the perspective of four subcategories of cognitive mechanisms. They are metonymic extension, metaphorical extension, the interaction of metaphor and metonymy, and culturally-related extension. |
Then, to better understand peh’s pragmatic functions in TSM, the study shifts its foucus to the examination of the interrelationship between peh and the shared Taiwanese cultural background knowledge in actual language uses. Basically, the function which peh serves in discourse depends mainly on the context where it is used, and the world or the community will determine and pick up the most appropriate wordings for us (Mey, 2008). There is no definite answer as to which linguistic expression bears which meaning or interpretation when we try to sort out all possible interpretations and meanings for each linguistic expression containing peh. We need both contextual clues and cultural background knowledge to decipher peh’s underlying meanings. The encodings of color perception do not lie in our biology; instead, it is structured socially (Lucy, 1997). In addition, certain uses of peh, e.g., pe̍h-pau (白包), pe̍h-thiap-á (白帖仔), etc., in real life discourse make the function of peh more than a representation of the color itself but bridge the gap and create interpersonal relationship between their language users at the same time. On the whole, this research may shed light on the cognitive understanding of peh in TSM not only semantically but also pragmatically.