ERIC Number: ED026640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: N/A
Interlingual and Interdialectal Borrowings in Chinese.
The processes involved in "borrowing" words and structures between languages and among dialects are discussed and illustrated. Interlingual borrowings between Chinese and other languages have taken place in several different ways. Sometimes the sounds of the foreign word are imitated using the sounds of the borrowing language ("leidar" for 'radar' or "chop suey" for the Cantonese 'dzaapsoy'). Another common occurrences is that of translation borrowing or calque--the literal translation of foreign compounds or phrases into the native vocabulary ("jiwoei huey" meaning 'cocktail party'). Much more subtle are changes in meaning caused by the influence of foreign words with similar meanings. The adjective "weimiaw" used to mean 'delicate' in the sense of 'frail' or 'fine'; but because of the influence of English, it has come to be used to describe political and social situations as well. In another type of borrowing the structure of the borrowing language is changed by analogy with foreign forms, as illustrated by the current use of the Chinese sentence form as a nominal phrase construction ("The coup is in Vietnam" meaning 'coup in Vietnam'). Interdialectal borrowing of items is sometimes clearly noticeable but often hidden and "almost naturalized." As in borrowing between languages, there are a number of ways by which borrowing takes place. Examples are given in Cantonese, Mandarin, and other dialects. (JD)
Descriptors: Cantonese, Chinese, Chinese Culture, Diachronic Linguistics, Dialect Studies, English, Etymology, Linguistic Borrowing, Mandarin Chinese, Onomastics, Orthographic Symbols, Pronunciation, Semantics, Vocabulary
Limited number of copies available from the Chinese Linguistics Project, Green Hall Annex, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. 08540 ($1.50 for handling).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Chinese Linguistics Project.
Note: Preprint appearing in "Unicorn No. 2" and to be published in a festschrift honoring Professor Hattori Shiro.