An Ecolinguistic Approach to Language Contact and Lexical Borrowing in Chinese

Yongbo LIU


Loanwords have long been recognized as an important part of Chinese vocabulary. With the ever increasing exchanges between China and the West, an immense number of loanwords have flooded into Chinese with unprecedented scale and penetrated every social aspect, which is the natural phenomenon and result of language contact and linguistic diversity. Loanwords have, to a certain extent, altered the linguistic landscape of modern Chinese. The emergence, changes and disappearance of loanwords are similar to the evolution of the natural world with the features and ecological rules of its own. Moreover, the existence and development of language share some intrinsic similarities to some degree with the ecology of natural beings. Ecolinguistics which is a newly emerging linguistic science which integrates ecology and linguistics can be demonstrated and justified in the study of loanwords, since language is inseparable from its environment, and it can never be considered in isolation. Languages can be regarded as entities, which form an ecolinguistic system with their environment, where languages multiply, interbreed, vary, influence each other mutually, compete or converge. This system is in interrelation with the environment.



Language contact; Lexical borrowing; Loanwords; Ecolinguistics

Full Text:



Appel, R., & Muysken, P. (1987). Language contact and bilingualism. London: Edward Arnold.

Bloomfield, L. (2002). Language. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Cook, A. (2014). Lexical coinages in mandarin Chinese and the problem of classification. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 9(2), 147-175.

Denning. K., & Leben, W. R. (1995). English vocabulary elements. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fromkin, V., & Rodman, R. (1983). An introduction to language, Holt, Rinard and Winston, 292.

Gu, J. Z., & Lu, S. (2002). Language and culture. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.

Guo, H. J. (2005). The influence of English on modern Chinese (p.34). Shanghai:

Haugen, E. (1972). The ecology of language (p.323). Stanford: University Press.

Liu, H. Y. (2002). Cyber language. Beijing: China Radio and TV Press.

Norman, J. (1988). Chinese. Cambridge University.

Otto, J. (1972). Language: Its nature, development and origin (pp.201-211). London: G. Allen et Unwin.

Sapir, E. (1921). Language: An introduction to the study of speech (p.192). New York: Harcourt, Brace et World.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.

Wang, R. P. (2008). English lexicology. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


Online Submission


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture