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A Study of Chinese Internet Homophones from the Systemic Functional Perspectives

  • Author / Creator
    Tang, Qian
  • This thesis explores the phonetic features, morphological classification, and discourse function of Chinese Internet homophones based on the Leiden Weibo Corpus (a corpus of Chinese micro-blogging). The analyses show that more than half of the Chinese Internet homophones in the data retain the same pronunciation as their base words, while the rest differ in initials, finals, or tones. Based on their morphological structure, Chinese Internet homophones are categorized into Chinese character homophones, alphabet homophones, numeric letter homophones, and blending homophones. An examination of the data shows that Chinese character homophones and alphabet homophones are used much more frequently than numeric letter homophones and blending homophones. This study also explores the discourse function of Chinese Internet homophones from the perspective of systemic functional grammar. Chinese Internet homophones are used to achieve grammatical cohesion (conjunction, reference, ellipsis, and substitution) and lexical cohesion (repetition, synonymy/antonymy, hyponymy/meronymy, and collocation) in micro-blogging. Finally, the motivations for the use of Chinese Internet homophones are discussed. This study contributes to our understanding of the dynamic development and functions of homophonic puns in Chinese Internet language.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R30T1H
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of East Asian Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Li, Xiaoting (East Asian Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Newman, John (Linguistics)
    • Ono, Yoshi (East Asian Studies)