Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
A Cognitive Approach to the Study of Chinese Internet Catchwords
Professor Zhang Weiyou
Dean, School of Foreign Languages
Huazhong Normal University
Date: 10 June 2010, Thursday
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Venue: B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F., Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU
Internet catchwords, a part of netspeak, pop up rapidly with the extensitive use of computer and Internet. These words are characterized by high frequency in use, novelty in meaning, and transiency in existence. Internet catchwords are a social phenomenon and a language phenomenon as well. So far most of the researches on Chinese Internet catchwords focus on their description, categorization and standardization. Most researchers have elaborated on the social, cultural or psychological factors that facilitate the prolific generation of such language phemnomenon. Yet less attention has been given to the linguistic mechanisms underlying it. This paper makes an attempt to approach Chinese Internet catchwords from a conginitive perspectve. It is believed that the production of Internet catchwords can be more plausibly interpreted with cognitive theories of categorization, iconicity, metaphor, metonymy and analogy. As a matter of fact, Chinese Internet catchwords, just like other types of netspeak, are the result of Chinese people’s, particularly Chinese netizens’ conceptualization of the changing Chinese culture and society in terms of categorization, metaphorization and analogy by means of iconicity in form or in concept.
Zhang Weiyou, Professor of English, Dean of School of Foreign Languages, Member of the Steering Committee of Teaching and Learning Ministry of Education, obtained his first degree in the Department of English Huazhong Normal Univeristy in 1974, and MA in University of London in 1992. He worked at Edinborough University of Pennsylvania as a Visiting Scholar in October 1982 – Janury 1984, and studied with a BC scholarship at College of Education University of London from January 1992 to April 1994. Two years later he did research in ELT material development at Luton University GB from September 1996 to January 1997. His academic interest covers English Lexicology, English Stylistics, EFL Teaching and Comparative Studies between Chinese and English. He has published more than 40 articles and over 15 books of various kind, the major ones being English Lexiclology, A General Survey of the English Language, Linguistics: An Advanced Course Book, English Learning Strtegies and Study Skills – A Course Book, Advanced Integrated Skills of English (Student Book: 4 Volumes, and Teacher’s Book: 4 Volumes), Comparative Stuides Between Chinese and English Vocabulary (Forthcoming). For his remarkable achievements in teaching and research, he was conferred Title of Guiyuan Mingshi (Teacher of Excellence by Central China Normal University) in 2009.