Edited By Giuliana Elena Garzone and Paola Catenaccio
In their variety of topics and approaches, the studies collected in this volume testify to the criticality of representing personal, professional and organizational identities through the new media, as their ability to reach a virtually unlimited audience amplifies the potential political, cultural and economic impact of discursive identity constructions. They also confirm that new highly sophisticated media can forge identities well beyond the simply iconic or textual representation, generating deeply interconnected webs of meaning capable of occupying an expanding – and adaptable – discursive space.
CLARA BULFONI Lexical Borrowing from English in the Internet Era: How to Preserve Chinese Identity? 215
CLARA BULFONI Lexical Borrowing from English in the Internet Era: How to Preserve Chinese Identity? This chapter focuses on the evolution and transformation of the Chinese language as a result of the influence of computer science in the Internet era. Lexical borrowing is of course not new in the history of Chinese, and over the centuries the Chinese lexicon has absorbed a large number of loans. In recent times, however, the impact of the Internet and, more in general, of globalization phenomena on language use and evolution has been causing huge changes in the morphology of Chinese and in its synonymic and stylistic systems. At the moment this phenomenon is the most widely researched area in the field of Chinese linguistics. The plethora of recently published papers on the topic provide extensive explanations of the processes at work in this new wave of borrowing, highlighting at the same time the fact that Chinese language purists are making a determined effort to preserve the cultural identity of the Chinese language, which is perceived as being threatened by a contamination with Internet English. The issue was also a main topic of discussion at a conference held in Beijing in November 2007 on ‘Language Identity and Lan- guage Change in Collision and Dialog Between Civilization’. On that occasion, the conclusion reached by the scholars participating in the debate was that language identity can only be reached through careful language planning, which will enable the different languages and their varieties to find their relative...
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