Papers on Language III

Linguistics
Friday
9:00 am – 10:45 am
Room H

  • Vladislav Kruglov, “Opposition Pairs as a Peculiarity of The Classical Chinese Text and Its Phraseological Expression in The Socio-Political Discourse”
  • Tommaso Pellin, “How re 热 are Chinese reci 热词? A Temptative Survey on Most Frequent xinci 新词 and liuxingyu 流行语 in Some Corpora for Chinese”
  • Nerina Piedra Molina, “Pars pro toto: The Description of Individuality in Chinese through the Nose 自 and the Hand 手”
  • Ping-Hsueh Chen, “Chinese Equivalents of the French Causative Lexicon: Corpus, Methodology, Results”

Vladislav Kruglov, “Opposition Pairs as a Peculiarity of The Classical Chinese Text and Its Phraseological Expression in The Socio-Political Discourse”

The opposition of the concepts of traditional Chinese philosophy is manifested in the Classics and sets a certain terminological system, which gives the key to the analysis, interpretation, and translation of these classical texts and, precisely, philosophical terms. The author analyses the system of oppositions of central ontological terms and proposes a new approach to the translation of classical Chinese texts on the example of the commentary to I Ching, The Great Commentary 系辞传. The paper focuses on the analyses of such oppositional pairs, as 天地, 乾坤, 貴賤, 動靜, 剛柔, 象形, 男女, 易簡, 德業. The second step of this research is the revealing the usage of these terms in the form of traditional Chinese ideomatic expression chengyu 成语 in the socio-political discourse on the material of the speeches of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping. One of the results of the study is the fact that these concepts become ideologems in the light of speeches of Chinese politicians. Thus, the author traces the political tradition of modern China and the continuity of the top leadership through linguistic and lexicographic analysis.

Tommaso Pellin, “How re 热 are Chinese reci 热词? A Temptative Survey on Most Frequent xinci 新词 and liuxingyu 流行语 in Some Corpora for Chinese”

Since the first years of the twenty-first century, PRC’s language policy included the creation and maintenance of several linguistic corpora, collecting a vast amount of linguistic material, mined from several sources (written, spoken, video, web, etc.). This system of corpora is the basis for a number of surveys on the Chinese language. Among them, several lists for China’s most frequent neologisms and buzzwords are published every year. The Language Situation in China (LSC) reports, since 2006, including the “Neologisms yearly list”, as well as a number of lists of buzzwords. The lists of the LSC reports encompass a high number of entries, from 200 to 500 every year. Each list indicates the number of tokens of every entry and the number of texts where every entry occurs, within the corpus taken into study.
This contribution aims at looking up, in a number of Chinese language corpora, the most frequent neologisms and buzzwords published in the lists of the LSC reports. The goal of this survey is to verify the rate of their occurrence and, if possible, to explain the major differences. Considering that the corpora on which LSC reports are based seem not to be accessible, the corpora looked up are Cncorpus and Beijing Yuyan Daxue BCC, but also Sketch Engine corpora for Chinese. The corpora of Renmin Ribao and Xinhua were searched as well, inasmuch as these neologisms and buzzwords occur mostly infrequently updated corpora and in press.

Nerina Piedra Molina, “Pars pro toto: The Description of Individuality in Chinese through the Nose 自 and the Hand 手”

Human bodies play a prominent role in the establishment of certain linguistic meanings in the Chinese language. Given the theoretical perspective of cognitive semantics, we want to explore the process of metonymy that Chinese words referred to some body parts such as hands (shou 手) and nose (zi 自), by analysing words containing these two characters and their meanings. The fact that human body parts are one of the main categories of pictograms created according to the Shuowen jiezi has influenced the creation of metonymies as well. This depicts a necessity for representing them but also points out the fact that, as these were some of the first characters ever created, they might have experienced more changes than the ones created after them.
Max Black defended that “the metaphoric meaning is achieved when words appear in a linguistic context different than the regular one”. These words firstly related to body parts have gradually been used in more abstract contexts mainly representing oneself.
After the process of metonymy, a character can bear too many meanings, leaving the original one to a secondary stage and making it necessary to create another character to recover the original meaning. That is the case in zi 自 with the creation of bi 鼻, but it has not happened with shou 手. One possible explanation is that “hand” has not lost its meaning in its entirety, because the words which use shou as a metonymy for a person still keeps the nuances for “handwork.”

Ping-Hsueh Chen, “Chinese Equivalents of the French Causative Lexicon: Corpus, Methodology, Results”

This paper aims to show how Chinese expresses the causality conveyed in the French lexicon. To do this, we will start from the Scale of compactness (Dixon, 2000), which ranks the causative mechanisms from the most compact to the least compact, namely: causative verbs (eng: walk, melt, fr: causer, provoquer); causative morphemes (eng: lie / lay; fr: simplifier, moderniser); complex predicate (fr: faire+Vinf), and causative periphrasis (eng: make somebody cry; fr: forcer qqn à+Vinf). This ranking is an effective filter for the study of causality in languages (cf. Novakova, 2015: 106–107). We applied it to the analysis of French causative mechanisms function in comparison with Chinese. Our contrastive study, based on a parallel corpus (French→Chinese), shows that Chinese has four ways to express causality conveyed in the French lexicon, namely: causative verbs (yǐnqǐ 引起, lead to, zàochéng 造成, cause, etc.); suffixed verbs with huà化 (qiánghuà 强化, intensify, etc.); light verbs + V2/adj. (dǎ duàn 打断, litt. hit break, interrupt, etc.), and causative periphrasis (causative V1+non-causative V2: shǐ 使, make + V2, ràng 让, let + V2, etc.). Following the results, we will propose a range of Chinese functional equivalents of French causative verbs and constructions.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room H
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Linguistics