Cultural Semantics in the Lexicon of Modern Chinese


What is cultural semantics? How to define and analyze it in the lexicon of modern Chinese?
This book outlines the development and research results of cultural semantic theory, and then proposes the distinction between two types of cultural semantics at the synchronic level: conceptual gap items and items with a cultural meaning. It provides criteria for identifying these items by using detailed examples from theory and application. Finally, the two types of cultural semantics are applied to the case of modern Chinese. The criteria proposed for determining the Chinese cultural semantics apply not only to this, but also to other languages. Therefore, this book offers an operational basis for further studies of cultural semantics in academia.

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Zhao Ming, Ph.D. (2014), Peking University, is Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He has recently published "Swearing in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties: The principles and cultural beliefs in Shuǐhǔ zhuàn (水浒传)" in the International Journal of Language and Culture, (9/1, 2022).
List of Tables
List of Figures

1 Introduction
 1.1 Why This Topic?
 1.2 Literature Review
 1.3 Research Questions
 1.4 Disciplinary Significance
 1.5 Research Methodology
 1.6 Summary of Chapters

2 The Relationship between Semantics and Culture in One Language
 2.1 Culture and Its Classifications
 2.2 The Relationship between Language and Culture
 2.3 The Relationship between Lexicon and Culture
 2.4 Conclusion

3 Determining Conceptual Gap Items in a Language Lexicon
 3.1 Introduction
 3.2 “Cultural Words” – Too Many Uncertain Meanings
 3.3 The Phenomenon of Conceptual Gaps  3.4 Conclusion

4 Determining Items with Cultural Meaning in a Language Lexicon
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 The Study
 4.3 Criteria for Determining Items with Cultural Meaning
 4.4 Conclusion

5 Cultural Semantics Analysis Methods
 5.1 The Cultural Sememe Analysis Method
 5.2 The Cultural Seme Analysis Method
 5.3 The Process of Cultural Semantic Analysis
 5.4 Conclusion

6 Application 1 – a List of Conceptual Gap Items
 6.1 Theoretical Background
 6.2 The Nature and Function of Conceptual Gap Item Lists
 6.3 The Relationship between Generic Items and Conceptual Gap Items
 6.4 The Relationship between Generic Item Lists and Conceptual Gap Item Lists
 6.5 Manual Intervention and Inclusion Criteria Issues of Conceptual Gap Items
 6.6 The Process of Word List Development
 6.7 Sample List of Conceptual Gap Items – Grammatical Classification
 6.8 Sample List of Conceptual Gap Items: Cultural System
 6.9 Sample List of Conceptual Gap Items: Core Conceptual Gap Items
 6.10 Conclusion

7 Application 2 – Interpretative Analysis of Cultural Semantics in CFL Dictionaries
 7.1 Background
 7.2 Current Problems of Chinese Cultural Semantics Interpretation in CFL Dictionaries
 7.3 Suggestions for Improving Annotation of Cultural Semantics in CFL Dictionaries
 7.4 Conclusion

Primary Sources
Students and scholars interested in linguistics and in the relationship between language and culture.
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