ISSN 2686 - 9675 (Print)
ISSN 2782 - 1935 (Online)

Cultural understanding of the homonymy of numerals in modern Chinese

Annotation. Numerals originated in China very early. Almost five thousand years ago, with the formation of a primitive society, the foundations of writing began to be laid in the culture of Yangshao and engraved signs that denoted numbers were discovered. During the Yin Dynasty, during the time of bone inscriptions, the numeral series became more complete and perfect. It included numbers from one to ten, a positional number system also appeared, including numbers such as one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, and so on.

With the development of the Chinese language, philosophy and culture, numerals began to be perceived as a source of positive and negative energy, good luck and evil, and even acquired a sacred meaning. Due to the widespread phenomenon of homonymy in the Chinese language, in particular, homophony, the semantics and symbolism of numbers in Chinese culture began to be enriched and changed depending on the connotation of the words with which these numerals are consonant. In this paper, we have tried to consider in detail the meaning of simple numerals in Chinese traditional culture, paying some attention to the question of how they are used in modern language, namely in Internet slang.

Keywords: numerals, Chinese language, Chinese culture, homophony, phraseological units, slang

For citation: Han Yong. Cultural understanding of the homonymy of numerals in modern Chinese. Modern Oriental Studies. 2022; 4(2). (In Russ.)

Han Yong, Kazan Federal University