Papers on Language II

Culture
Thursday
11:00 am – 12:45 pm
Room H

  • Adeline Tan, “Path Verbs in a Motion Event: A Comparative Approach between Chaozhou Dialect and Standard Mandarin”
  • Pen-Ying Wang, “Tonal Convergence in Southern Hunan Province—Evidence from the Linguistic Strata of Southwestern Mandarin and Tu-hua”
  • Xinyu Zhang, “The Language of Chinese Food”
  • Yaroslav Akimov, “Sensitive Vocabulary in the Contemporary Chinese Media Landscape: Between the Scylla of ‘Linguistic Positivity’ and the Charybdis of Radical Censorship”
  • Wen-Huei Cheng, Yin Yee Leong, “A Study on Transformation of Concept Clusters through Temporal Similarity of Keywords: Using “Individual” Idea in Modern China as Example”

Adeline Tan, “Path Verbs in a Motion Event: A Comparative Approach between Chaozhou Dialect and Standard Mandarin”

Chaozhou is a Sinitic language of min group, mainly spoken in Guangdong, in the south-east of China. The purpose of this paper is to describe the use and the syntactic features of path verbs in a motion event. Unlike path verbs in Standard Mandarin, those in Chaozhou can introduce a locative noun phrase (NP) denoting the Goal (the endpoint of a motion) whatever the paradigm they appear (Li 1999). Besides, we show that path verbs in Chaozhou can have the causative use, just like Cantonese (Yiu 2014). We argue that Chaozhou differs significantly from Standard Mandarin in terms of typology of displacement events. This implies that the nature of the verbal complex in Chaozhou may be different from that of Standard Chinese.
Our analysis is based upon data collected through elicited videos showing different scenes of motion events and through the narrations of Pear story.

References
LI Hai’ou 李海鸥. 1999.〈“回北京去” 跟“翻去北京” “转去北京”〉[Rentrer à Pékin]. In 陈恩泉主编, 《双语双方言 (六) 》, 154–162. 香港 :汉学出版社.
YIU, Yuk-man Carine. 2014. The Typology of Motion Events: An Empirical Study of Chinese Dialects. Berlin/Boston : De Gruyter Mouton.

Pen-Ying Wang, “Tonal Convergence in Southern Hunan Province—Evidence from the Linguistic Strata of Southwestern Mandarin and Tu-hua”

Convergence, a linguistic phenomenon in language contact, can mostly be found in the syntactic system. The languages in contact share the same syntactic structures but the lexical words may be retained. In contrast, convergence in the phonological system has been rarely discussed. What would it be like for convergence in the phonological system? With a focus on the phonological system in Chinese dialects, it seems that the tonal system would be the component to converge most in language contact. Southern Hunan Province has been a diglossic community in which the locals are speakers of Southwestern Mandarin and Tu-hua. The latter serves as the low variety while the former acts as the high variety and the regional lingua franca as well. An analysis on the literal-colloquial readings of the Southwestern Mandarin and Tu-hua reveals that the literal-colloquial distinction mostly remains in initials and finals. For example, in Lanjiaoshan, Hunan, diào(drop) has a literal reading (tiao324) and two colloquial readings (t’iao45, ɖiao324) in Southwestern Mandarin. The same character in Tu-hua has a literal reading (tiao324) and two colloquial readings (t’ie324, tie324). In contrast with the variations in initials and finals, the tones of the six readings show a surprisingly consistent. Five out of the six readings from the different linguistic strata of both dialects are the same. Based on the analysis of the linguistic strata and other dialects in contact, we conclude that the tones would be more susceptible to language contact than initials and finals.

Xinyu Zhang, “The Language of Chinese Food”

Gastronomy consists of the cornerstone of all civilisations and the essence of every culture worldwide. Chinese cuisine has been enjoying growing popularity internationally over the years. The richness of Chinese food not only resides in its delicate and abundant tastes but also in its millenary history, which contributes to the numerous regional cuisines and deep gastronomic culture.
The nomenclature of Chinese dishes is considered as a linguistic art, which is composed of various cultural elements, including culinary techniques, utensils, anthroponyms, metaphors, historical legends and so on and so forth. Moreover, it is denominated following certain patterns, which could be roughly divided into regular, figurative, and mixed kinds.
In this presentation, the language of Chinese food will be interpreted in detail with the hope to reveal the linguistic beauty of the Chinese gastronomic culture.

Yaroslav Akimov, “Sensitive Vocabulary in the Contemporary Chinese Media Landscape: Between the Scylla of ‘Linguistic Positivity’ and the Charybdis of Radical Censorship

If one treats the global phenomenon of political correctness linguistically, two major trends are discernible in Chinese mass media. On the one hand, novel items with new connotational value are formed and deployed instead of unfavoured expressions in order to avoid any unpleasant associations emerged between communicants, namely offence, aggression, and exclusion. Apart from the pursuit of new language forms in the challenging and highly sensitive domains of sex, gender, race, disability etc., “linguistic positivity” is being manifested in broader contexts, cf. euphemistic paraphrasing in English ‘sandwich artist’ for ‘sandwich maker’; or translinguistically in Mandarin 负增长 / ‘negative growth’ instead of ‘decline’. Alternatively, silence, also known as “the ultimate euphemism” (Epstein), can be applied concurrently in an attempt to conceal inappropriate or undesirable content, which is exemplified in the fiercely debated List of Taboos and ‘Use-With-Caution’ Words in News and Information Reports of the Xinhua News Agency 新华社新闻信息报道中的禁用词和慎用词, along with other cases of print or Internet censorship.
Both tendencies apparent in official Chinese media have not been adequately described or thoroughly explored. Mandarin Chinese shows a wide range of formal and non-formal (semantic) mechanisms of euphemistic formation, and Renminribao officialdom style and Xinhua reports provide the easiest access route into the analysis of sensitive vocabulary with graphic examples which have been given a prominent place in this paper.

Wen-Huei Cheng, Yin Yee Leong, “A Study on Transformation of Concept Clusters through Temporal Similarity of Keywords: Using “Individual” Idea in Modern China as Example”

In Chinese history, the conceptual idea of “Individual” is a hybrid of “Home” and “Country”. Along with the modernisation, especially after the 1915 New Culture Movement, the “Individual” concept has been deconstructed. Modern “Individual” concept is no longer consists of “Country” idea. In this study, we analyse the data from the year 1902 to 1904 through database related to Modern Chinese Thought and Literature. This research investigates the formation and development of the concept of “individual” in early modern China. However, due to the complexity and large quantity of keywords, distinguishing main idea becomes a daunting task for human reading and resulting in inaccurate outcome. To cope with this problem, the study applies cluster analysis, a common approach to unsupervised machine learning method. Several “conceptual clusters” have been discovered after using the clustering approach. Moreover, we design BIC (Bayesian Information Criteria), an index based on likelihood principle to decide the best cluster numbers according to the CUSUM statistical characteristics, and then applies the index on the CUSUM curves to perform cluster analysis. By doing so, it establishes a more repeatable operating model and demonstrates the significance of various groups of keywords in a temporal context by regarding CUSUM curves as time series.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room H
-
Culture