Discourse Analysis of Chinese Hoof-shaped Gold Ingots

Honglian Zheng


Chinese hoof-shaped gold ingots are cultural relics excavated from Haihunhou tomb of the Western Han Dynasty in recent years. From the perspective of social cognitive linguistics, this article aims at exploring the discourse essence and discursive construction of hoof-shaped gold ingots. Firstly on the level of discursive types, it is proposed that the ingots fall into the category of multi-modal discourses, and to be more specific, the cognitive category of materialized discourses. Then based on the social cognitive model of strong differentiation advanced by Wang (2019), it is found that the ingots are essentially a kind of materialized power discourses developed on the social cognitive model called strong differentiation model of power. Furthermore, it is discovered that the cognitive premise of the social cognitive model is that bestowals are power, which serves as an immediate motivation for the emergence of the ingots in Chinese history. The findings suggest that the cognitive motivation for discursive construction of hoof-shaped gold ingots is the rationalization of power stratification and the natural legitimation of imperial authority in Chinese feudal society.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsss.v9i2.20424


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