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20 - Foreign Infusion

from Part III - Other Signs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 February 2024

Zheng-sheng Zhang
Affiliation:
San Diego State University
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Summary

In mainland China, Reform and Opening up in the last few decades has opened a floodgate of foreign infusion. Foreign businesses such as KFC, Starbucks, Walmart, McDonalds, and Carrefour are seen everywhere. There have also been many loanwords. Some of the loanwords have become so much a part of the Chinese lexicon that their foreign origin may not even be clear to all. Apart from the social and cultural implications, the influx of things foreign presents quite a challenge to Chinese with its non-phonetic script. Various accommodation strategies have been used to represent foreign words with Chinese characters, including meaning translation, phonetic transliteration, or a combination of both, resulting in varying degrees of semantic and phonetic approximation. Incidentally, the fact that the Rebus (phonetic loan) Principle is extensively used for phonetic transliterations, whereby Chinese characters are used only for their sounds without regard to their meanings, gives the lie to the persistent ideographic myth concerning Chinese characters.

Type
Chapter
Information
Chinese Signs
An Introduction to China's Linguistic Landscape
, pp. 189 - 200
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • Foreign Infusion
  • Zheng-sheng Zhang, San Diego State University
  • Book: Chinese Signs
  • Online publication: 29 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108979603.023
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  • Foreign Infusion
  • Zheng-sheng Zhang, San Diego State University
  • Book: Chinese Signs
  • Online publication: 29 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108979603.023
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Foreign Infusion
  • Zheng-sheng Zhang, San Diego State University
  • Book: Chinese Signs
  • Online publication: 29 February 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108979603.023
Available formats
×