Quantitative Research on the Origins of Contemporary Chinese Vocabulary Based on The Great Chinese Dictionary

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8922)

Abstract

The evolution of the Chinese vocabulary is one of the indispensable parts of the research on the history of the Chinese language, and is the basis of clarifying the origins of contemporary Chinese vocabulary. For lack of the high-quality and large-scale diachronic corpus, the overall evolutionary process of the Chinese vocabulary is hard to demonstrate and the quantitative-analytical description of the Chinese lexical evolution still remains a problem. The Great Chinese Dictionary records over 490,000 senses of both ancient and contemporary words. By manually labeling the historical period of the example sentences for every sense in the dictionary, a diachronic Chinese lexical database was built. Then we probed into the distributions of the number and word length of contemporary vocabulary in each historical period. Eventually, we estimated the correlation between the number of words and their age by regression analysis.

Keywords

The Great Chinese Dictionary Contemporary vocabulary Quantitative analysis Glottochronology 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Zhao, K.Q.: The Study of Ancient Chinese Vocabulary (古代汉语词汇学). The Commercial Press, Beijing (2005). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wang, L.: Chinese Language History Draft (汉语史稿). Zhong Hua Press, Shanghai (2004). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jiang, S.Y.: Preliminary Exploration of the Historical Development of the Meaning and Vocabulary System of Chinese Language. Journal of Peking University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 43(4), 84–105 (2006). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zhao, Q.: Research on Rules of Lexical Semantic Change and Cognitive Motivation of Chinese Body Nouns. PhD Thesis at Beijing Language and Culture University (2007). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Su, X.C.: The semantic trend of studies of contemporary Chinese vocabulary (当代汉语词汇研究的大趋势──词义研究). Journal of Guangdong Education Institute, 38–42 (1994). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Su, X.C.: The Realization of Statistical Method in the Study of Vocabulary (词汇计量及实现). The Commercial Press, Beijing (2010). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Su, X.C.: A Quantitative Study of Chinese Vocabulary (汉语词汇计量研究). Xiamen University Press, Xiamen (2001). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Li, B., Xi, N., Feng, M., Chen, X.: Corpus-Based Statistics of Pre-Qin Chinese. In: Ji, D., Xiao, G. (eds.) CLSW 2012. LNCS, vol. 7717, pp. 145–153. Springer, Heidelberg (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Xiang, X.: The Study of Polysyllabic Words in Classic of Poetry (《诗经》里的复音词), Linguistics Review (The 6th). The Commercial Press, Beijing (2010). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Su, X.C.: Computational Methods’ Functions in Chinese Vocabulary Studies and Statistical Methods for Frequency. Yangtze River Academic (2), 118–124 (2007). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The Great Chinese Dictionary 2.0 [CD]. The Commercial Press, Hong Kong (2005). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Swadesh, M.: Lexico-statistic Dating of Prehistoric Ethnic Contacts: with Special Reference to North American Indians and Eskimos. Proceedings of the American philosophical society 96(4), 452–463 (1952)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Feng, Z.W.: Studying Language by Quantitative Methods. Foreign Language Teaching and Research (Bimonthly) 44(2), 256–269 (2012). (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Campbell, L.: How to Show Languages are related: Methods for Distant Genetic Relationship. The Handbook of Historical Linguistics. Blackwell Publishing, UK (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chinese Language and LiteratureNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Lab for Novel Software TechnologyNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations