論縮略作為漢字語素義的演變途徑之一 : 從大陸 2012 年度新詞新語談起

Morphemic Sense Changes in Chinese Characters

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageChinese (Traditional)
Pages (from-to)183-201
Journal / Publication漢字漢文教育
Volume37
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Abstract

漢字的學習必須聯繫生活才能達到語境化的要求, 這樣才能讓漢字的 知識聯繫到詞語的知識進而聯繫到社會文化的知識, 從而達致更強的聯 想和記憶的效果. 在學習漢字的時候, 漢字由於代表漢語的語素, 而一個 漢字由於代表語源上相關或不相關的(例如簡化後的‘發展’和‘頭髮’)不同 的語素而這些語素又可能有一個到數個不同的語素義,所以對學習上會 造成一些困擾. 如果瞭解這些漢字代表的語素義是怎樣分合, 如何由原 始的基本意義變成現在的共時意義, 之間到底根據的是什麼原則來使用, 最後又怎麼引申成不同的語素義, 會是對提高漢語水準很重要的階梯. 如果學生掌握到的這種語言學的知識越多, 相信不止能夠增加學習的興 趣, 而且也能夠更好地理解跟活用語言.

Chinese characters are so-called combinations of 'graph, sound and meaning'. Basically, 'graph' is the written form and 'sound' the spoken form so they both refer to forms. More importantly, Chinese characters are ideographic and the 'meaning ' refers to morphemic sense. As we all know, in real life language use, words are the basic units. Laymen are only concerned with discourse meaning, sentential meaning, and at most lexical meaning. They will not think much of morphemic senses, if at all. Since people either do not know about morphemes or care to find out about morphological principles in word formation, thus language will change unconsciously, causing characters to change their meanings in time. The reason for that is we use language in different contexts making use of existing words and coining new ones, thus causing changes in morphemic senses. For instance, we all know a tax payer (納稅人) is someone who pays taxes. But for most words that contain the character '納' , the morpheme sense is 'to accept', eg 'to enjoy the cool' (納涼), 'to accept' (接納), 'to receive' (收納), 'to receive happily' (笑納), 'to take in a concubine' (納妾)、'to accommodate' (容納), 'to absorb' (吸納), 'teller' (出納員). So where did the new morphemic sense of 'to pay' come from which is just the opposite? Surely we can argue that '繳納' has an antonymic conjoined structure, and the sense of 'to pay' (納) was finally lost, as in the word '人馬' (literally man and horse) which no longer conveys the meaning of 'horse' (馬). However, why does the word '納稅人' make use of the character '納' 'to accept' instead of '繳' (to pay). Or is it simply a case of mistranslation? Nevertheless, the language has been changed accordingly. To cite another example, in Taiwan there is a new word '陸妻' that is used to refer to 'a mainland wife' or 'a new immigrant wife from mainland China'. The morphemic sense of (陸) has narrowed down from 'land' to 'continent' to 'continental China'. The sense has been narrowing down and the reference is getting more specific. You will not call a wife from the US '陸妻' even though she is from the American continent, not from Hawaii. Moreover, this morphemic sense is productive, and they have derived a new word '陸生', meaning 'students from mainland China'. This paper will discuss the changes in morphemic sense through the study of new words and expressions in mainland in 2012, and how we can make use of such etymological knowledge to improve lexicography, so as to promote better acquisition of meanings of Chinese characters.

Research Area(s)

  • 語素, 語素義, 構詞法, 語源知識, 詞典編纂, 漢字學習, morpheme, morphemic sense, morphology, etymological knowledge, lexicography, Chinese character learning

Bibliographic Note

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