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Culturally Loaded Words In English And Chinese--A Contrastive Study

Posted on:2001-02-07Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:J L ZhongFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360002952864Subject:English Language and Literature
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Culturally Loaded Words in English and Chinese------A Contrastive StudyAbstract"(Language can't exist separately from culture." Vocabulary or lexicon is the basic store or foundation to the language building. Naturally, it is influenced and conditioned by cultural factors, like the society, religion beliefs, customs, ways of life, value systems, conceptions of beauty, literary, etc., of a given people. Therefore, vocabulary or lexicon is the mirror or an index to a culture.Cultures in the world have similarities as well as differences. The distinctions of a culture manifested in the lexical system are called 'folk custom terms". By this, we refer to those, which have no, or not completely equivalents in another language and culture. The additional meanings assigned to the designative meanings of words are called "folk custom semantics" or "national culture semantics".Scholars in different countries, even those in the same ccç±¾ntiy tenn such words differentiy. In Ihe former Soviet Union, they are termed "linguistic units loaded with national culture information or representative of cultural origins"; in European countries and America, they are called "keywords (to a society or culture)"; in our country, they mainly have two names: one is "folk custom terms", the other is "culturally loaded words". However, through a close examination of their definitions, we find they have one thing in common, namely, all of them stress that such kind of words carrying cultural information reveals the culture of a given society and people. So, we conclude that these seemingly different terms actually refer to the same kind of words. For convenience of discussion, we deal with all the related words in this dissertation under one term, namely, culturally loaded words.Any person, since he'she was bom into the world, is all the time embraced by the culture that he/she is in. Therefore, in intercultural communication, no matter whether the participant realizes or not, he/she always encodes or decodes linguistic messages according to his/her own culture. But actually, discrepancies always exist between lexicons in the two different languages and cultures. Such words carrying national culture semantics thus usually present problems in intercultural communicatioa Worse still, they even sometimes result in the breakdown or conflict in the course of communicatioa Nowadays, with increasing cultural exchanges between countries, more and more scholars come to realize the practical significance of culturally loaded words. This realization brings atom deeper and more extensive study in this field.On the basis of hs precedents, this dissertation attempts to contrast the culturally loaded words in English and Chinese with the contrastive linguistics approach. At the same time, the author tries to probe into hs appliance in translation. And since in essence, translation is an important device in intercultural communication, the translator can by no means neglect the cultural information embodied in linguistic messages.In contrasting the culturally loaded words in English and Chinese, we deem it essential first of all to find out their distributions in the language system. Scholars have already provided us with some means to recognize them. More on this will be discussed in Part D*.In making a detailed comparison, we meet great difficulties. As two unrelated languages function in two distinct cultures with a long history, English and Chinese surely have a large number of culturally loaded words. Therefore, how to group them into categories is our first concern. Scholars have put forward several kinds ofclassifications. Guang Shijie holds that there are five types of the lexicons between two different languages. They are (IXvords culturally overlapped; (2Xvords culturally parallel; (SXvords culturally blank; (4Xvords culturally half-blank; (SXvords culturally conflicting. Therein, generally speaking, culturally overlapped words will not cause problems in intercultural communication. Words culturally parallel are more...
Keywords/Search Tags:contrastive linguistics, language and culture, culturally loaded words, intercultural communication, translation
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