Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Semantics,vocabulary, word meaning ( exegesis ) > Modern vocabulary > Foreign words

A Sociolinguistic Study of English Loanwords in People’s Daily

Author YinJianKun
Tutor CuiZuo
School Shandong University of Science and Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords English loanwords language contact People’s Daily sociolinguistics
CLC H136.5
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Language is one of the most important means of communication and it is an indispensable part of culture. Every living language is in a state of continuous change at various times and in various regions. When people from different speech communities interact with each other, language contact thus takes place, of which the most usual effect is linguistic borrowing. The most active part of languages is its vocabulary and thus lexical borrowing is regarded as one of the most important aspects of linguistic borrowing. The loanwords are the "envoy of different cultures" (Shi Youwei,1991) and the exchange of lexical borrowing can enrich both the language and the culture.With the increasing exchanges with foreign countries in economy, technology and culture, China has made unprecedented progress since the reform and opening-up. Meanwhile, it seems unavoidable that a large amount of loanwords, especially the English loanwords have infiltrated into people’s daily life, which is independent of man’s will. However, the famous linguist Chen Yuan and some other scholars begin to worry about the fact that quantities of loanwords imported may affect the purity of the Chinese language. Under such circumstances, this thesis takes the loanwords in People’s Daily as an example, analyzes the use as well as some current problems of the loanwords from the perspective of sociolinguistics.This thesis consists of five chapters. The structure is presented as follows.The first chapter is the literature review both at home and abroad as well as the introduction of study purpose and thesis structure. Chapter Two reviews the Chinese contemporary loanwords, including definition, sources, classification and characteristics of the loanwords. Chapter Three analyzes the outcomes when different languages come into contact based on the language contact theory, mainly from such sociolinguistic aspects as social, cultural and psychological factors. Chapter Four is a case study with the linguistic methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis. It analyzes the current use of the loanwords in Chinese society on the basis of the investigation in formal written papers—People’s Daily from November 1st to December 31st in 2009. Through the method of stratified sampling, the survey shows that there exist some loanwords nearly every day in every module. However, there also exist some nonstandard uses of the loanwords. Therefore, this thesis proposes the concept of standardization and some further discussions. Chapter Five is the conclusion, which summarizes the whole paper and provides some suggestions for the future study on loanwords.

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