Ning Yu

Ning Yu

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Asian Studies
304 Sparks Building
(814) 863-0030
Area(s) of Specialization: Cognitive Semantics, Metaphor Studies
Ning Yu


Ph.D. University of Arizona, 1996
M.A. Central China Normal University, 1987

Professional Bio

Ning Yu is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Asian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his PhD from the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona in 1996. He conducts research within the theoretical framework of Cognitive Linguistics (particularly Cognitive Semantics), often with a cross-linguistic perspective comparing Chinese and English. His research focuses on the relationship between language, culture, and cognition, the embodied nature of human language and cognition, and the cognitive-linguistic approach to metaphor studies known as conceptual metaphor theory. His book publications include The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor: A Perspective from Chinese (John Benjamins, 1998), The Chinese HEART in a Cognitive Perspective: Culture, Body, and Language (Mouton de Gruyter, 2009), From Body to Meaning in Culture: Papers on Cognitive Semantic Studies of Chinese (John Benjamins, 2009), and The Moral Metaphor System: A Conceptual Metaphor Approach (Oxford University Press, 2022). The courses he has recently taught include Language, Culture, and Social Interaction (APLNG 200), Figurative Language and Cognition (APLNG 597), Language, Culture, and Cognition in East Asian Context (ASIA 402), and Chinese Language, Culture, and Society (ASIA/CHNS 414).

Selected Recent Articles and Book Chapters

Yu, N. (2021). Figurative language. In J. M. Stanlaw (ed.), The international encyclopedia of linguistic anthropology (pp. 1-5). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

Yu, N. (2020). Linguistic embodiment in linguistic experience: A corpus-based study. In I. Kraska-Szlenk (ed.), Body parts in conceptualization and language usage (pp. 11-30). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Yu, N., & Huang, J. (2019) Primary metaphors across languages: Difficulty as weight and solidity. Metaphor and Symbol, 34, 111-126.

Yu, N., & Wang, B. P.-Y. (2018). Cognitive linguistics approaches to Chinese second language acquisition. In C. Ke (ed.), The Routledge handbook of Chinese second language acquisition (pp. 31-47). New York: Routledge.

Yu, Y., Yu, L., & Yue, C. L. (2017). Primary metaphors: Importance as size and weight in a comparative perspective. Metaphor and Symbol, 32, 231-249.

Yu, N., (2016). Spatial metaphors for morality: A perspective from Chinese. Metaphor and Symbol, 31, 108-125.

Yu, N. (2014). Embodiment, culture, and language. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and culture (pp. 227–239). London: Routledge.

Yu, N. (2012). The metaphorical orientation of time in Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 1335–1354.

Yu, N. (2011). A decompositional approach to metaphorical compound analysis: The case of a TV commercial. Metaphor and Symbol, 26, 243–259.

Yu, N. (2011). Beijing Olympics and Beijing opera: A multimodal metaphor in a CCTV Olympics commercial. Cognitive Linguistics, 22, 595–628.