International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

A Comparative Cognitive Study of the Direction of Transfer in Ditransitive Constructions in Chinese and English
Yawen Zhong

Ditransitive constructions, universally observed across languages, exhibit varying notable variations, especially in the directionality of transfer between Chinese and English, with the unique presence of bidirectional transfer in Chinese. This study aims to thoroughly explain this difference. It is found that culture differences fundamentally underlie the different construal of transfer events. Chinese, a spatiality-dominant language, construes transfer events from multifaceted perspectives, whereas English, with a temporal focus, conceptualizes transfer events in a linear way. This variance in conceptualization leads to differences in verb usage within ditransitive constructions, thereby resulting in different construction meanings in two languages. The construction itself, in turn, can have different degrees of effect on the transfer of direction in two languages. By uncovering the differences of transfer direction in ditransitive constructions between Chinese and English, we can achieve a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between language, cognition, and culture.

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