Chapter 5 is concerned with the linguistic, conceptual, and rhetorical details of how Chinese -isms are used in actual discourse. The chapter starts with a brief account of the morphology of words in -zhǔyì (‘-ism’) and a consideration of alternative morphological patterns. Then follows a discussion of the relationship of zhǔyì to foreign models. A few sections are concerned with the semantics of Chinese -Isms and lexical and conceptual relations between them. The last part of the chapter focuses on the rhetorical deployment of -isms in discourse, ranging from a consideration of the conceptual reductionism inherent in -isms to a concise analysis of a complete example of ismatic discourse. Here, the metaphorical use of -isms is especially important, as it enables one to reduce an entire period of history to a narrative of interacting -isms. Much conceptual and rhetorical analysis is built on a discussion of the lexical frames that can be used with words in -zhǔyì.

A Conceptual History of Chinese -Isms

The Modernization of Ideological Discourse, 1895–1925


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