A Graduation Thesis
At the School of Humanities
ON STRUCTURAL AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES OF SURNAMES BETWEEN ENGLISH AND CHINESE: LEXICAL PERSPECTIVE
Submitted by SU
Jin to Fujian University of Technology as a thesis towards the Degree of Bachelors of Arts in English (Special Field: English for Business Purposes) June 2014
On Structural and Cultural Differences of Surnames Between English and Chinese: Lexical Perspective
2010 级 1004 班 姓名：苏 津
[Abstract] Surname is an intangible but precious cultural heritage, has been playing an important role in human?s daily life, social and political activities. In the same time, it bears close relationship with language, history, politics, economy, geography, religion and custom, etc. It is the linguistic phenomenon of every nation. Using the method of comparison and analysis, examples and argumentation, this paper probes into the origins of English and Chinese surnames and unveils the morphological rules of their formation. As far as the semantic aspect is concerned, the generalization of surnames is discussed in the papers. Last but not least, the cultural connotation and significance of English and Chinese surnames are elaborated on the basis of the relationship between language and culture. This thesis aims to acquaint language learners with similarities and differences of English and Chinese surnames in the sense of lexicology, and to deepen their understanding of linguistic characteristics and cultural connotation of the two language systems. Meanwhile, the study is supposed to demonstrate the applied value of lexicology theories and embody their significance in practice. [Key Words] surnames; cultural differences; etymology; morphology; semantics
I. Introduction Surname is regarded as a precious heritage, which reflects various aspects of human development. There is a constant popular fascination with surnames-what they mean, when they originated, and where they came from. The academia at home and abroad continuously sees many meaningful results of all kinds of research concerning surnames. In foreign, A Dictionary of English Surnames is a classic work wrote by P. H.
Reaney and R. M. Wilson (1997). The dictionary provides not only meanings of over 16,000 English surnames but also their early forms, sources, dates and variants. With its rich resources inside, it is undoubtedly an essential referential volume for linguists, historians, and students of either discipline. David Hey (2000) in his book—Family Names and Family History shows how, when and where families first got their family names. According to this book, family names is an essential part of everyone ?s personal history. The story of its evolution has been integrated into family history. Derived from first names, nicknames and occupations, names allow people at present to trace the movements of their ancestors from the Middle Ages to today. In another book Family Names and Their Story, S. Baring-Gould (2004) gives a detailed account of the different types of family names and analyzes the origin, development and disintegration of them. Historically, human surnames have undergone three stages of their occurrence, evolution and development: totem, drawing and surname, which in sociologists? eyes, correspond with three social conformations: clan, tribe and society (Sheng Yuedong, 2004). And the formation such as prefixation, suffixation and compounding of some surnames are introduced. In a few chapters in this book the surnames are discussed as common lexis. Though not much information available, can we see that foreign scholars are trying to study surnames from various new perspectives. Chinese scholars also do many researches of surnames. Li Yan and Wang Yuehong (2006) compiled a book called Chinese Surnames. This book discusses the origin and social function of surnames, and includes the change and factors affecting the phenomenon. It provides a clear overview of Chinese surnames. Wu Lin (2002: 193) shows three similarities in Chinese and English Surname System. Although they belong to different culture, both of them bear close relation with place, occupation or status and patriarchal rules. In 2009, Duan Shiqi (2009： 166-169) published his article Cultural Differences of Surnames Between English and Chinese. This article indicates cultural differences of English and Chinese from the origin, formation, development of surnames. Gao Yongchen and Ren Rui (2003: 36-39) also published an article in Tianjin Foreign Studies University Journal entitled The Different Cultural
Connotation in Chinese and English Surnames which explores the associations or images that both Chinese and English names convey. Scholars of different fields have studied surnames from different perspectives such as sociology, demography and psychology etc. Thus, this paper aims to analyze structural and cultural differences of English and Chinese surnames from lexical perspective. This paper will use the method of comparative analysis and exemplification to discuss the origin, evolution and connotation of surnames. For example, from etymology perspective to study origin of English and Chinese surnames, from morphology perspective to analyze word formation rule of surnames, from semantic aspect to expound semantic evolution of surnames. Provided implications about how lexicology can be combined with the study of surnames. II. Cultural differences of surnames: morphology “English belongs to synthetic language while Chinese belongs to analytic language” (Fu Yushan, 2009: 26). So there are many differences in structure or formation between English surnames and Chinese surnames. In this chapter, writer will discuss cultural differences of surnames between English and Chinese from morphological respective. 2.1 The structure of English surnames The structure of English surname is simple, almost they are single-character, which composed by a word. For example, Smith, Jones are good examples of this. A few of English surnames are double-character, which are composed of two words. An English full name is made of given name and surname. Given name is put behind of surname. For example: Martin Luther King, John Jay Smith. Although someone has two or more names, most English people just use one name: first name, ( given name / Christine name ) or baptismal name. Christian name ( first name / given name ) subjects to formal legal recognition. Middle name usually named by children?s parents or relatives, they even directly give their own name to children, or give celebrities? name to their children. Middle name reveals the relationship between children and their relatives, middle name rarely used in communicating, only used in handling official business or sign the file. Moreover, sometimes middle name is omitted or
replaced by the first letter. 2.2 The structure of Chinese surnames In China, there are several kinds of surnames: single-character, double-character, compound surname, namesake, three words surname, multi character surname. Single surname composed of a character, the majority surnames is single surname. For example, Zhao, Qian, Sun, Li, etc. Compound surname, has two characters, for example, Sima (司马), Situ (司徒), Simen (西门), Gongsun (公孙). Put two single surnames together to form a new surname called compound surname. Compound surname was due to intermarriage and adoption. Wang Qian (王钱), Fan Jiang (范姜), Liu Hu (刘胡) etc. are examples of compound surname. The three words surname, multi character surname are very rare, most of this surname are used by minorities. Chinese full name is composed of given name and surname. For example, Zhao Benshan (赵本山), Zhang Liang (张亮). 2.3 The formation of English surnames Zhang Weiyou says, “The expansion of vocabulary in modern English depends chiefly on word formation. The most productive are affixation, compounding and conversion. Words produced through affixation take up thirty to forty percent of the total number of new words; compounding constitute twenty-eight to thirty percent; conversion brings twenty-six percent. The rest that came from shortening including clipping and acronym amount to eight to ten percent, together with one to five percent of words born out of blending and other means” (2004: 54). As an important part of its vocabulary, the development of English surnames also followed the morphological rules. 2.3.1 Compounding “Compounding ( or composition ) is the formation of new words by joining two or more bases. Words formed in this way are called compounds” (Zhang Weiyou, 2004: 67). Basing on this theory, this section will list some compounding English surnames: (1) n.+n. : Goldsmith, Arrowsmith, Shoesmith, Shawshank, Campbell, Hallman, Ashburner, Fieldsend etc.
(2) a.+n. : Longfellow, Goodman, Hightown, Broadhead, Tallboy, Brownsmith, Bigland, Barefoot, Shorthouse, Stronghill etc. (3) v.+n. : Shakespeare, Hitchcock, Hitchman, Killman, Bendbow, Catchpole, Drinkwater, Castlake, Makepeace, etc. (4) n.+a. : Armstrong, Lilywhite, Haygreen, Noteyoung, Seabright, Godfree, Tollfree, Woodfine and so on. 2.3.2 Affixation According to Zhang Weiyou, “Affixation is generally defined as the formation of words by adding word-forming or derivational affixes to bases. The words created in this way are called derivatives. According to the positions affixes occupy in words, affixations fall into two subcategories: prefixation and suffixation” (2004: 55). Observing English surnames, we can find that many surnames are mainly created through prefixation and suffixation. 126.96.36.199 Prefixation Some prefixes are available in forming new surnames. Basing on their particularity, we find it possible to infer the nationality of the bearer?s ancestor. (1) Mac- or Mc-: The prefix is supposed to come from “Maikos” in Gaelic and often used by Scottish and Irish. The one we most familiar with may be McDonald, as the fast food chain stores can be seen everywhere in cities. Others like MacArthur, McCarthy, McFarland and McMillan are famous too. (2) Fitz-: Originating from old Norman French, it is preferred by Irish. Many of them bear surnames like Fitzgibbon, Fitzjohn, Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, Fitzroy, Fitzwalter and so on. (3) O- or O?-: The two prefixes, meaning “descendant of” , are derived from Irish. Such as Eugene Gladstone O?Neil, American poet Francis Russell O?Hara and Irish fiction writer Liam O?Flaberty. Others like O?Brien, O?Connor O?Neary and so on. 188.8.131.52 Suffixation
(1) -son, -s, -es, -ez: Which means son of somebody. In old English these suffixation are added to father or forefather?s personal name to form surnames. For example, Johnson ( son of John ), Wilson ( son of Will ), Jackson ( son of Jack ),
Rodriguez ( son of Rodrigo ), Hernandez, Lopez, Martines ( son of Martin ), and Gonzales. “-s” is applied in Welsh surnames, such as Edwards, Richards, Roberts, Andrews, Adams, Williams. (2) -ing: Which means blood relationship or someone?s generation. For example, Willing ( the generation of Wild ), Wilding ( the generation of Wild ), Golding and Henning. (3) -man: In old English it means someone?s servant. Such as, Bowman, Whitman, Bowman, Rodman, Killman, and Hoffman, etc. (4) -er or -smith: Usually reflect ancestor?s work or occupation. For example, Potter ( someone sells pot ), Taylor ( tailor ), Baker ( making bread ), Goldsmith ( sell gold ), Arrowsmith, Shoesmith etc. 2.4 The formation of Chinese surnames Since Chinese completely different from English, the analyzing of Chinese surnames should be based on different theories. Chinese surnames? formation follow the principle of Liushu (六书), a theory proposed by linguist Xu Shen (许慎) of Eastern Han Dynasty in his work Shuowen Jiezi (说文解字). In the book he divided the presumed methods of forming characters into six categories and the characters were classified into six correspondent types: Pictogram (象形字), ideogram (指事字), ideogrammic compound (会意字), phono-semantic compound (形声字), transformed cognate (转注字) and phonetic loan character (假借字). The former four methods are commonly used, therefore the following discussion will focus on the former four types. 2.4.1 Pictogram Pictograph is the base of conformation of Chinese character. Pictograms are used as the earliest form of writing. Pictogram is a simple drawing that using simple lines or strokes to represents objects? shape and features. These photograms very similar in objects? shape. Chinese surnames from totem animals and objects around people tend to be pictograms. For example, the early characters of Long (龙), Feng (凤), Niu (牛), Yang
(羊), Yu (鱼), Lu (鹿) demonstrated the shape or form of the imagined or real animals. Others like Shan (山), Shui (水), Mu (木), Huo (火), Yue (月) are also simplified pictures that imitating the objects. 2.4.2 Ideogram When people can not or inconvenient to use photogram to present some things, ideogram was created. It is an abstract method of creating characters, which adopting simple mark or visualized icons to express abstract concept or complicated thinking based on pictographic characters. Though this category is the smallest one, we can still find some instances in Chinese surnames. The surname Gan (甘) in early form looks like a “口” ( mouth ) with a short line “一” that symbolizes food or something. Therefore, the basic meaning of it is “something sweet or pleasant ”. Wang (王), is derived from the shape of ax, the token of power and authority. And the earliest character of Gao (高) looks like a graph of tall tower. The concept “ tallness ” is expressed by direct iconic illustrations. More others like Zhu (朱), Hui (回), Shu (束) , Qu (曲), Ding (丁) are also simple ideograms. 2.4.3 Ideogrammic compound Ideogrammic compound developed based on pictograms and ideograms. People used two or more pictograms or ideogram to create a new character. Ideogrammic compound represented broader and more complicated meaning than that of pictograms or ideogram. For instance, two pictograms “木” ( mu, a tree ) produce “林” ( lin, forest ), as a forest is definitely consisted of countless trees. Three pictograms “口” ( kou, mouth ) produce “品” ( pin, taste ). While combining “日” ( sun ) and “月” ( moon ), the two natural sources of light, we got “明” ( ming, light ) it means “ bright ”. Another interesting example is “苗” ( miao ). The components of it are “艹” ( concerns some plants ) and “田” ( means the field ). So it is not difficult to understand that “苗” refers to seedling grown in the land. Other common Chinese surnames such as 聂 (Nie), 付 (Fu), 伍 (Wu), 闻 (Wen), 彭 (Peng), 步 (Bu), 北 (Bei) and so on are also included in this type. 2.4.4 Phono-semantic compound
80.44% of all Chinese characters is composed of a meaning element (形旁), which suggests the general meaning of the character, and a sound element (声旁), which suggests pronounce. In some phono-semantic compounds, the semantic component appears on the left side inside the whole character and the phonetic component on the right, such as surnames like 杜 ( Du ), 纪 ( Ji ), 汪 ( Wang ), 钟 ( Zhong ), 柯 ( Ke ), 鲍 ( Bao ), 咚 ( Tong ) and so on. On the contrary, 胡 ( Hu ), 巩 ( Gong ), 魏 ( Wei ), 邵 ( Shao ), 乌 ( Wu ) are all pronounced similar to their phonetic components on the left. Besides, 龚 ( Gong ), 蒋 ( Jiang ), 茅 (Mao ), 荀 ( Xun ), 景 ( Jing ), 简 ( Jian ), their phonetic components are placed on the upper part of the character and the semantic ones at the bottom. As the combination has great flexibility and creativity, most Chinese characters are formed in this way. 2.5 Summary Seen from a broader view, writing systems are directly related to thinking modes, and the former reflect the latter. From the analysis on formation of English and Chinese surnames, we know that English is alphabetic writing, which shows that westerners are relatively versed in abstract thought or logical thinking while Chinese characters, ideography in nature, are characterized by pictography, which reveals that Chinese people are good at thinking in images. III. Cultural differences of surnames: etymology 3.1 The classification of origin of English surnames From prototype to development stability, English surname has gone through nearly three centuries. According to Wang Yin, in ancient time English people were simply known by a personal name. They did not possess hereditary surnames for poor productivity. At this stage, people?s activities areas is limited by productivity, using personal name is enough to distinguish different people (2011: 56-57). However, after the Norman Conquest, the feudal society began to develop rapidly and the population increased greatly in the 11th century, as many people adopt the same personal name, much inconvenience and trouble arose. They needed to add more features in names to identify them properly, especially in legal documents. So that people added an extra component in their names. English surname come into being in this way.
Surnames from patronymic. Most of these surnames derived with an affix ( -son in English or O?- in Irish ). Which quote from the name of your father or a paternal ancestor. Such as Addison ( son of Adam ), Anderson ( son of Andrew ), Donaldson, Gibson, are metronymic surnames. Surnames from colors. In English, there are some surnames coming from different colors. It is interesting to find that Mr. Black is a white man while Mr. White is a black man. Surnames such as Green, Brown, Grey, Red, Blue, Silver and Scarlet are very common. Others examples are Whitefield, Bright, Blackwood, Greenland and Blues and so on. Surnames from location or geographic. These surnames derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived, and are generally the most common origin of English surnames. This king of surnames also called local surnames. Such as Atwater, Brook, Byroade, Dale ( means valley ). Dunlop ( means muddy hill ), Field, Goosey ( mean goose island ), Hill, Lake, London, Marsh, Moor, Sotheby ( mean south in the village ), Westby/Westerby ( means western farm ). Surnames from nickname. It is said the using of this kind of surname can be dated back to the 13th century. “Based on a unique quality or physical feature of the individual, these surnames often developed from nicknames or pet names. Most refer to an individual?s appearance, color, complexion, or physical shape. A descriptive surname may also refer to an individual?s personal or moral characteristics, such as Goodchild, Puttock ( greedy ) or Wise” (Kimberly Powell, 2000: pars 5). Surnames from animals. Many English surnames originated from totem of a certain clan or animal worship among a community in ancient times. Lyons and Woolf have been confirmed to derive from “lion” and “wolf”, which are admired for their attributes. Before understanding the origin of English surnames, our Chinese may think that Mr. Fox maybe a cunning man, Mr. Fish maybe someone good at swimming. After knowing these we realized that in fact things were not we had thought. Besides the totem animals, some other ordinary animals are also added to increase the number of English surnames, such as Fox, Crane, Peacock, Salmon, Seal, Swan, Lamb and so on.
Surnames from plants. Apart from animals, some plants and flowers are also used as surnames. Bush, Ivy, Pine, Tree, Rose, Violet, Tulip suggest luxuriance, vitality and beauty, so they became some people?s favorite. Surnames from occupation. Many English surnames developed from a person?s job or trade. These surnames can provide a clue to the family?s origin and reflect social environment and economic. “Three common English surnames ( Smith, Wright and Taylor ) are excellent examples of this. A name ending in “-man” or “-er” , usually implies such a trade name, as in Chapman ( shopkeeper ), Baker ( tanner ) and Fiddler. For example, Dymond (dairymen) are commonly from Devon and Arkwright ( maker of arks or chests ) are generally from Lancashire” (Fu Yushan, 2009: 13-14). 3.2 The classification of origin of Chinese surnames Compared with English surname, Chinese surname has a far longer history of more than 4,000 years. According to Chang Yan, Nowadays “Xing Shi” (姓氏) simply refers to surnames, but in ancient China, “Xing” and “Shi” were not of the same concept. “Xing” focuses on the blood relationship, while “Shi” focus on areas. “Shi” is the branch of “Xing” (2007: 13-14). The origin of “Xing Shi” can be traced back to totem culture period in the primitive society. “Xing” evolved from tribes. As a special sign, its function is “distinguish different marriages and tribes”. With the development of production and the growth of population, the tribe began to split into smaller clans, people scattered in different areas. In this way, “Shi” come into being gradually. With the coming of patriarchal society, men status constantly increasing, and women status become humble. After Spring and autumn and the Warring States, the distinction of “Xing” and “Shi” is blurred out, people often use them all together, and men and women are available to use. In the Qin Dynasty, “Xing” and “Shi” become the same concept, that is today the meaning of Chinese surnames. Surnames from matriarchal tribe. The earliest Chinese surname originated from matrilineal society, which is mainly determined by the level of productivity. In the early stage of primitive society, people live for picking. Women play an important position in production, so female dominant male in the society at that time, which
resulting in matriarchal clan. Therefore, some surnames used “nv” (女) as radical. Such as Jiang (姜), Fang (妨), Ji (姬), Yao (姚), ect . Surname from totems. During the China ancient period, due to poor productivity, people lack basic knowledge of understanding strange things, when they can not explain some strange things, they tend to help from gods or animals. They regard these animals for Gods, praying for these Gods protection. The sun, moon and stars; sheep, horse, snake, bears and so on were regarded as the tribal totem. Thus, totem becomes the mark of tribe, some animals develop into surname gradually. For example, Mao (毛), Shi (石), Ma (马), Long (龙), Dong (董) these surnames are commonly used name nowadays. Surname from nation names. During Xia, Shang and Zhou periods, mainly surnames come from nation names. In this period, the emperor gives state to the feudal princes. Thus, throughout the country there are many vassal states. The generations of vassal state use vassal state name for their surnames. In the present time, Chen (陈), Liao (廖) , Luo (罗), Zhou (周), Wu (吴), Sun (孙), Hu (胡), Han (韩), Cheng (程), Zheng (郑), Shen (沈), Xu (许), Peng (彭), Lv (吕), Su (苏), Jiang (蒋), Cai (蔡), Wei (魏), Xue (薛), Xia (夏), Du (杜), Kang (康), Ren (任), Lai (赖), Qin (秦), Zou (邹), Huang (黄), Xu (徐), Xiao (萧), Tan (谭), Tang (唐), Jiang (江), Li (黎), Cao (曹). Surnames from official position and title. In the superior power of the slave society and feudal society, those who made great distinctions to the country or those who won in the battle or those who were favored by rulers, were advanced in rank and made a higher official by the ruler as a reward. So they will be given a granted as a surname. At that time, Gong (公), Hou (侯), and the compound surnames Sima (司马), Situ (司徒), Taishi (太史) etc. In the present, Hou (侯), Wang (王) , Deng (邓), Shi (史), Dai (戴),Wu (武), Qian (钱), Gong (龚) are commonly used in the present Chinese surnames. Surname from emperor given or change. After the successful unification of China by Qin Shihuang, in order to maintain the ruling status, he gives “ country name ” to those ministers who render meritorious service, showing favor and trust. Such as,
Zhao (赵), Li (李), Zhang (张), Zhu (朱), Lin (林), Fu (傅), Jin (金). In addition, in order to show emperor himself is the one and only, he does not allow people has the same surname with him. That is, at different times, people should taboo on using the personal names of emperors. Therefore some changed surnames produced. For example Tian (田), and He (何) are changed surnames. Surnames from location or place. Many Chinese surnames relate with geog raphical names, place names, environment or terrain features. Among them, some are very exact situation, such as East Gate (东门), west gate (西门) some have obvious characteristics of the terrain environment, such as, Beiqiu (北丘). Nowadays, near Nanyang County, Henan province, in the south of Shahe (沙河), there is a county called “ Yexian (叶县) ” , which is the origin place of surnames Ye (叶). Surnames from order. Surnames from order can be generally divided into three kinds: one is in accordance with the pecking order; another is in accordance with the thing?s order; the last one is in accordance with the time sequence. The most common surnames are Jia (甲), Yi (乙), Bing (丙), Ding (丁). Meng (孟) is commonly used nowadays. Surnames from occupation. In ancient China, there also used to be various trades and the handicrafts were passed on from generation to generation through males in the family to avoid competition between different practitioners. Besides, the authority adopted strict policies, not allowing them to change their social status, so later the occupational names became surnames of descendants of the practitioners. Among them Tao (陶), Yue (乐), Ye (冶), Tu (屠), Bo (帛) , Zeng (甑) and so on were most common ones. They were indispensable trades in people?s lives. IV. Cultural differences of surnames: semantic “It has been observed by linguists and semanticists that the transformations of word meaning follow a number of patterns, the major ones of which are: extension, narrowing, degradation, elevation, transference, and euphemism. Of these major tendencies, extension and narrowing are by far the most common” (Zhang Weiyou, 2004: 152). As time passing, Some English and Chinese surnames meaning has changes a lot, they bear a certain kind of implied meaning which could be understood
by native speakers easily. (1) Helen, means the source of trouble; beauty. In Greek myths, Helen was considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War. (A great war fought between Greece and Troy; the Greeks sailed to Troy to recover Helen of Troy, the beautiful wife of Menelaus who had been abducted by Paris; after ten years the Greeks ,via the Trojan Horse, achieved final victory). (2) Solomon, symbol of wit. Solomon was king of Israel, making great attribution to his country during the period of his reign. It is said that he prayed to God, not for the property, longevity, but asked for wisdom. God met his requirements, then he became a very sapiential man. Thus, if someone very clever, we call him Solomon. (3) Daphne, she is a minor figure in Greek mythology known as a Naiad (A type of female nymph associated with fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of freshwater). She was Achelous?daughter. Though she was very beautiful, she was very shy. Thus Daphne means shyness. For example, If a public officer is as shy as Daphne, how can she carry out her duty? In other way, Daphne is a brand of shoes. (4) Every Jack has his Jill, is a late derivation of an old children?s nursery rhyme (a poem for children) that means “every person has the perfect mate out there somewhere (for him or her)” (William, L. 2010). (5) Jekyll and Hyde first appeared as two characters in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886. The two guys are actually the same one. Dr Jekyll invented a kind of medicine which was able to separate the goodness and evilness in people?s personality. After taking the medicine while experimenting he became another guy named Hyde who is a villain. From then on, he suffered from a double personality, sometimes appeared as kind Dr Jekyll and sometimes showed up in the identity of the evil Mr. Hyde. As the writer so successfully depicted the image of a split personality that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” coming
to mean a person who has a double personality. (6) Dear John letter, means lovers or spouse break up with others. It is a letter written to a husband or boyfriend by his wife or girlfriend to inform him of their relationship is over, usually because the author has found another lover (Meng Fanmao, 2006: 2). It is commonly believed to have been coined by Americans during World War II. Large numbers of American troops were stationed overseas for many months or years, and as time passed many of their wives or girlfriends decided to begin a relationship with a new man rather than wait for the original one to return There are some examples in Chinese surnames： (1) Du Kang (杜康) in Xia Dynasty is said to be the first one that discovered the principle of natural fermentation and then developed a set of wine-making craft after continuous improvement. As he was regarded as the legendary inventor of wine-making, his name was given an extra meaning “wine”. Cao Cao (曹操), a famous politician and poet in Han Dynasty, in his poem he wrote “What can be used to dispel my melancholy? Just Du Kang ” . Here Du Kang obviously means wine. (2) Lin Daiyu ( 林黛玉 ). She is not only exceptionally beautiful but also well-versed in poem, Chinese chess, calligraphy and other arts. However, fate does not treat her fairly. As she has to depend on others for living, Lin developed a complicated temperament that is characterized by sensitivity and melancholy and which gradually caused her health to deteriorate. So nowadays, Lin Daiyu is used to describe a girl who is beautiful, intelligent, however physically weak. (3) The name Wu Dalang (武大郎) comes from Water Margins, one of the four Chinese Classical Novels. According to the author, though kind as he is, Wu has a disadvantage of being unfortunately short which makes him inferior and henpecked. Later Wu Dalang became a nickname for those who are short and often with derogative connotation. His wife Pan Jinlian (潘金莲) is another example. In the story, unsatisfied with her husband, she has the affair with Ximen Qing (西门庆) and they finally ruthlessly murdered Wu. So Pan Jinlian now refers to those wives, who are beautiful but unfaithful to their husbands.
(4) Hong Niang (红娘) is originally a main character of West Chamber (西厢记) written by the dramatist Wang Shifu (王实甫) in Yuan Dynasty. Maiden as she is, she is lovely and clever. What is more important is that she plays a critical part in helping her master Cui Yingying (崔莺莺) and scholar Zhang Sheng (张生) get married. There after those who are engaged in matchmaking service or occasionally act as go-betweens for young singles are often called Hong Niang. (5) Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮) in the time of the Three Kingdoms nearly 2000 years ago was famous for his extraordinary wits. However, believing in the strength of masses, our ancestors also left us a wise saying “San Ge Chou Pi Jiang, Ding Ge Zhuge Liang” (三个臭皮匠，顶个诸葛亮). It literally means “ three cobblers with their wits combined equal Zhuge Liang the master mind ” implying that the wisdom of the masses exceeds that of the wisest individual. In English the same meaning is expressed in “Two heads are better than one”. It seems that cooperation in contributing wisdom is emphasized at home and abroad. V. Cultural impact and development of surnames 5.1 Surnames impact people?s thought The difference of the full name?s sequence reflects that English people pursue individualism and have a strong sense of equality and competition, which emphases people first. While Chinese pursue collectivism, like to be in common with others, which stress groups rather than individuals. For example, the word “I” must be capital. And today in most American families when children grow up, ( generally beyond 18 years old ), they will leave their parents and make living independently. However, in China, people like live together with family members, they regard this as a sign to show their kinship. The attitude of changing surnames also reflect this. In China, it is hard to image a person changing his surname except political reason, but in English, it is your free choice. That is the reason why there are far more surnames in English. 5.2 Surnames impact people?s religious belief Every civilization has its beliefs. In the western world, Christianity is the spiritual pillar of society, so it is with English. It has affected English culture greatly. People believe in God and pray for goodness and salvation. Thus the bible becomes the
disciplines of people?s activities,they take those moral model names as their surnames to express their good wish to virtue and piety. Such as, Astride ( the strength of God ), Joseph ( God gives me a son ), Adam ( the father of human beings ), Dorothy ( the gift from God ), Daniel, John ( God is merciful ), Flora ( flower deity ), Timothy ( the dignity of God ), Diana ( moon deity ), Elizabeth ( the sacrifice for God ), etc. “Unlike Christian, Confucian thought has ruled Chinese people for more than thousands of years. Confucian thought has been rooted deeply in people?s heads and has been the basic moral principle for people to observe. Some Characters meaning the doctrines of Confucian thought” (Tan Zhuxiu, 2005: 114-116). Such as 忠 ( zhong, loyal ), 礼 ( li, polite ), 仁 ( ren, kind ), 孝 ( xiao, filial ), 德 ( de, virtuous ) are often adopted in naming. Zhang Xianzong (张献忠), Wang Side (王思德) are good examples. 5.3 Surnames impact people activity The different meanings of English and Chinese names also reflect the divergence of the competitive awareness. English people tend to strive for their own success through competition, while Chinese advocate friendship first. “The names with meanings of struggle, competition and victory are very popular and common in those English countries” (Wu Haishuan, 2009: 41-42). For example, Lawrence means victory; William refers to almighty safeguard; Maxwell means high-rank class with great social influence and Hilda refers to struggle. Due to the influence of Taoism, Chinese pursue peaceful and quiet life. So that many Chinese names reflect this thought. For example, they often use 平( ping, peaceful ), 松( song, the same as pine that represents long and quiet life in Chinese culture ), and 和( he, harmony ) for male name. Use 娴( xian, suave ), 文( wen, gentle and quiet ), and 静( jing, quiet ), and 惠 ( hui, genial and devoted ) for female names. 5.4 The development of surnames With the development of civilization and economy, the concept of surnames has began fading. It mainly expresses in the following three aspects: (1) The custom of children followed father?s surname has changed. Children can follow his father?s surname, also can follow mother?s surname, or put their parents surname together as their new surname. Someone even get another new surname. For
example, In Jiangsu, Sichuan, there is a child called
“Dian**” ( 点某某 ). The
surname of this child neither follow his father, nor follow his father. This new surname is created by his grandfather. Four points under Dian (点) represent four different surnames ( grandparents ), Zhan (占) means the child is owned by whole family ( his grandparents and his parents ). Zhan (占) also means this child?s new surnames (点) owned by whole family. (2) The stability and stringency of surnames have decreased. People can change their surnames according to their own preference, others have no right to interfere. Nowadays, a surname has little significance for the family or society. The value of a person depends on his ability and contribution to society, rather than his surnames. Thus surnames paly less and less important in measuring ones achievement. (3) The phenomenon of Surnames and given names become one is enhancing. Such as, some writers, artists, actors, singers or directors, using their pen names, stage names, over a long period of time. Thus their real names has been forgotten. For example, the famous writer Bajin ( 巴金 ), from his pen name, it is difficult to distinguish whether Ba (巴) is his surname or Bajin (巴金) is his given name. Another example, Chenglong (成龙), Jinsha (金沙), Shuqi (舒淇), Ruxun (鲁迅), Bingxin (冰 心), Laoshe (老舍), Maodun (茅盾), Jinyong (金庸), Gulong (古龙), Qiongyao (琼 瑶). In nowadays, more and more writers, artists, actors, singers or directors tend to name their own pen names, or stage names. VI. Conclusion As a symbol of the human family language code, surname represents a certain social structure, and it is used to identify the members of different families or different clans. With time passing and the development of society, surname has become a part of human language. It reflects special culture, custom of different nations, at the same time, it records the history and culture of human beings. It closely links with history, religion, culture, and customs. This paper analyzes structural and cultural differences of surnames between English and Chinese from lexical perspective. Through etymological research, similarities in the origins of English and Chinese surnames reflect the general character in people?s cognition on the world. As far as morphology
of surnames is concerned, they have completely different features. English surnames are mainly formed by affixation and compound, while Chinese ones are characterized by derivative types of pictograms, ideograms, ideogrammic compounds. When it is to examine the semantic aspect of surnames, the principle of generalization in vocabulary meaning explained how surnames, a type of proper names are transferred to common names. Finally, the analysis of English and Chinese surnames is heightened to the level of cultural significance. Basing on the result of the analysis, the writer drew a conclusion that it is feasible to explore the topic from the perspective of lexicology.
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【摘 要】 姓氏是人类独一无二的宝贵财富，在人们的日常生活、社会交往和政治活动中发 挥了重要的作用。同时它隐含着一个民族的语言、历史、政治、经济、地理、宗教、习俗等 多方面的信息，是每个民族都拥有的语言现象。 本文采用对比分析、举例论证的方法，从 词汇学视角研究姓氏的来源、演进及其内涵。譬如，从词源方面探究英汉姓氏的来源，从形 态方面分析姓氏的构词规律， 从语义方面考察英汉姓氏的语义变化过程， 最终归纳出英汉姓 氏所蕴含的不同文化特征和内涵意义。 本文旨在通过英汉姓氏的对比研究， 帮助语言学习者 认识英汉姓氏的异同点， 从而加深对英汉语言特征和文化内涵的了解。 本研究展示了词汇学 理论的应用价值，同时也体现了词汇学的实践意义。 【关键词】 姓氏；文化差异；词源；形态；语义