On the Polysemy of the Basic Vocabulary in the Shang Dynasty



It is widely believed that the Shang Dynasty vocabulary system is relatively simple, and most words are monosemous. In other words, one word has only one meaning. In fact, in the category of basic vocabulary of the system, it is exactly the opposite. There are 291 basic vocabularies in our statistics, 51% of them are polysemous. And there are 47 polysemous words which have three or more meanings, accounting for 31.3% of all polysemous words. The connections among the extended meanings are very complex. It is not as simple as what it is thought. Both the extended and original meanings have their own special rules.


Shang dynasty; Basic vocabulary; Rule

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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