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Lecture 13 of “Cultural Signs and Asian Community” —Qing-- A Good Example for Studying Signs and Culture in Chinese

    On May 28th, 2020, the thirteenth lecture of the research project conducted by Professor Wang Yongxiang, deputy dean of School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, was successfully held online. The lecture, given by Professor Wang Jun of Soochow University, began at 7 pm in the Tencent conference, entitled “‘Qing’: A Good Example for Studying Signs and Culture in Chinese”, presided over by Professor Wang Yongxiang. Teachers, postgraduates and undergraduates from our school attended the lecture.

    Professor Wang Jun is the deputy dean of the School of Foreign Languages of Soochow University, a doctoral supervisor, who is interested in comparative linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and theoretical linguistics. His research mainly involves body language, compound nouns, metaphor, metonymy, indirect anaphora and rhythm, etc. Professor Wang Jun has presided over two national social science fund projects and one provincial social science fund project. He has published two monographs on linguistics, and more than fifty papers in language journals such as Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies, Foreign Languages, Modern Foreign Languages, etc. Currently Prof. Wang Jun is a member of the Academic Committee of Soochow University, Secretary General of the China Linguistics and Semiotics Research Association, Executive Director of the China Cognitive Linguistics Association, Vice Chairman of the Jiangsu Foreign Languages & Linguistics Society, and Editor-in-Chief of Language and Semiotic Studies.

 

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    The lecture was divided into five parts: historical research on the word qing, current use of qing, the exposure of qing in the formation and expression of Chinese characters, Chinese-English translation issues, and qing as a cultural sign. Firstly, Prof. Wang Jun introduced some scholars’ historical research on qing and used two pictures to explain that the color word qing is unique to Chinese culture and is the grounding of Chinese culture and art. There are two characteristics of the use of qing at the early stage: one is that it does not refer to a single color, and the other is that it is directly related to specific objects. Then, Prof. Wang Jun explained the current use of qing through the interpretation of qing in the Chinese Dictionary. Later, Prof. Wang Jun discussed the exposure of qing in the formation and expression of Chinese characters from the frequency of the use of qing, the ability of collocation and formation, and explained the issues in Chinese-English translation. Lastly, Prof. Wang Jun introduced the signification of qing as a cultural sign. There are many references of qing, which does not exist a single “prototype”.

 

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    At the end of the lecture, Prof. Wang Yongxiang summarized the lecture, through which teachers and students are deeply inspired. Qing is a relatively confusing color word and people have various interpretations of its references. There are many studies on the color word qing, mainly related to the origin of this word, its collocation, etc. These research is of great value in sorting out the history of qing and its meaning changes.          (Wei Yaqing)