The Ideal Foreign Oriented Definition Model of Words with Chinese Characteristics


  • Wanling Guo Foreign Language College of Hanshan Normal University Author



words with Chinese characteristics (WCCs), Ideal Cognitive Model (ICM), cultural contradiction, cultural vacancy, foreign-oriented dictionary


The rapidly growing number of Chinese learners around the world requires us to seek for a more effective definition of Words with Chinese Characteristics (WCCs), which refers to the category of words that bear characteristics of Chinese ethic, life context, natural environment, customs and, religious belief, etc. They reflect the accumulation of Chinese culture. Learning Chinese language is inseparably associated with acquiring certain Chinese culture knowledge. As what Humboldt said, a nation’s language is a nation’s spirit (2005). This study aims at constructing a model for satisfactorily analyzing WCCs from foreigners’ perspective as an important preparing procedure for defining them in the foreign-oriented learning dictionaries. Based on the Ideal Cognitive Model (ICM), the means of structures by which people constantly organize their knowledge (Lakoff 1987: 85), a new model will be effective in describing the WCCs within a theoretical framework connecting language, cognition, and culture. Practically, this study provides samples of defining WCCs and sets up a model of defining them for foreign-oriented dictionaries, helpful for Chinese language learning as SLA. Theoretically, the analysis of these words offers an approach to bringing deeper insight into Chinese language and to appropriately interpreting more culture-loaded words. Furthermore, this study proves the feasibility and advantage of application of cognitive linguistic theories in construing and interpreting language.


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How to Cite

Guo, W. (2022). The Ideal Foreign Oriented Definition Model of Words with Chinese Characteristics. Researching and Teaching Chinese As a Foreign Language, 3(2), 87–112.