Criteria for Selecting Trisyllabic Words as Headwords in the Chinese-French Dictionary

Shuyan WANG, Peng ZOU


In the 2015 concluding report An Approach to Revising Chinese-French Dictionary—Resequencing Entry Words, sponsored by Lexicographical Studies Center at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, we put forward three criteria for adjusting trisyllabic words based on their disyllabic. The three criteria suggest to maintain, deprive or restore the use of trisyllabic words as headwords for separate entries. Considering the vastness of this word category, as well as it’s complicated intrinsic semantic relations and diversified grammatical features, this paper takes thirty trisyllabic words that fall in Yang Shujun’s “Nine Structure Categories” as an example to check whether the above three criteria can be applied in reality and promoted widely through a method of word prosody trichotomy (trisyllabic words are classified into three general patterns, namely [1+1+1], [2+1], and [1+2]).


Trisyllabic words; Chinese-French dictionary; Selection criteria

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Jiang, H. H. (2011). A research on trisyllabic words in modern Chinese since the foundation of People’s Republic of China. Journal of Suzhou College of Education, 28(5), 331-334.

Su, X. C. (2014). Linguistic features and language functions of Chinese characters. Jinan, China: Shandong Education Press.

Wang, Y. K. (2005). A dictionary for modern Chinese trisyllabic words. Shanghai, China: Language & Culture Press.

Yang, S. J. (2008). An analysis on the statistics of trisyllabic words in the word list released by state language commission. Journal of Eastern Liaodong University (Social SciencesEdition),10(2), 65-72.

Zhou, J. (2003). Three-character patterns and the definition of word unit. Linguistic Sciences, 2(5), 46.



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