Dissertation > Language, writing > Sino-Tibetan > Vietnamese

A Comparative Study on the Symbolization of Chinese and Vietnamese Color Words

Author RuanYunZhuang(Nguyen Van Trang)
Tutor LiBaiLing
School Shanghai Jiaotong University
Course Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Vietnamese Chinese color words symbolization comparative study
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Every language includes its series of color words describing the colorful world and people’s association with them. Frequent use of color words makes language more vivid, imaged and emotional. Different color words are culturally characterized by different nations.Apart from referring to the colors of the nature, quite a few color words function as cultural symbols. The symbolic functions of color words reflect the universality of human being as a“symbolic animal”and the differences among nations in history, geography, culture, politics and customs. Due to the differences of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures, the symbolic functions of their color words are not all the same. This thesis finds the similarities and differences of symbolic functions of Chinese and Vietnamese color words by a comparative study and discusses their background of ethnic consciousness and cultural features as well, in order to offer some implications and helps with the cultural exchange between Chinese and Vietnamese peoples and the teaching of Chinese as a second language to Vietnamese people.To begin with, this thesis gives a detailed description of the symbolic functions of five major color words in Chinese that are“红”(red)、“黄”(yellow)、“绿”(green)、“白”(white)、“黑”(black) and their equivalents in Vietnamese that are“(?)(?)”(red)、“vàng”(yellow)、“tr(?)ng”(green)、“xanh”(white)、“(?)en”(black)and concludes their different and similar points. And then, it tries to analyze their historical and cultural roots for the similarity from the perspectives of the influences of Chinese language on Vietnamese language, of the Western languages on both of Chinese language and Vietnamese language and of the Western languages on Vietnamese language indirectly via Chinese language, and to analyze their cultural factors for the difference on the perspectives of different geographic and natural features and of different ethnic cultural and psychological factors. At the end, it tries to put forward some suggestions to the teaching of Chinese color words to Vietnamese people.

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