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A Study on Cultural Perspective of Basic Color Terms in Minorities

Author: DuanLiQiong
Tutor: LiuBaoJun
School: Central South University for Nationalities
Course: Chinese Ethnic Language and Literature
Keywords: National Language Basic Color Terms National Culture Connotations
CLC: H13
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 37
Quote: 0
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Language likes a mirror which reflects national cultures clearly, including thematerial and spiritual ones. All those are fully recorded in kinds of languages, thenhanding down to generations. As an important component of the linguistic symbolsystem, basic color terms of minority languages have been full of humanistic both inwords emergence and semantic development. So, we can say there is a synchronousrelation between basic color words and social cultures. Its cultural connotations havebeen rich in national emotions and zeitgeists, developing with their nations.The paper intends to make a study on basic color terms in minorities, which baseson the large number of basic color terms and historical documents gathered, and focusmainly on six color words: black, white, red, yellow, green and blue. Meanwhile, it triesto discover the semantic development of the words from the relationship betweenlanguage and culture, prospect the culture behind them which include geographicalenvironments, religious belief, social customs, thinking mode and aesthetic sense.The paper launches from the following three aspects:1. The definition of basic color terms in minorities. By introducing Brent Berlinand Paul Kay’s decision theory about basic color words, the chapter describes colorwords in minorities and determines six common basic ones——black, white, red,yellow, green and blue as the research subjects.2. Cultural connotations of basic color terms in minorities. Based on analysis oflots of lingual materials, this part discusses cultural connotations of these six colorwords respectively. It clearly shows us the semantic evolution and distinguished culturalcognition of words in different nations.3. The basic color terms and social culture in minorities. This part summarizes theculture characteristics of basic color words, mainly behaving in reflecting ecological condition, precipitating life style, embodying mentalities, representing social customs.Next, analyzing the relation between national traditional culture and languages fromreligious belief, aesthetic sense, concepts of superiority and inferiority, discovering thenew meanings of red, green and yellow emerge in modern culture.The paper tries hard to extend color words in national languages and research thecolor cognition of minorities by analyzing the interrelationship between language andculture. However, the basic color terms changes with the development of society,culture and nation, then, I should try my best to keep on the studying.

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CLC: > Language, writing > Chinese > Semantics,vocabulary, word meaning ( exegesis )
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