A study of equivalence and non-equivalence in selected areas of English and Chinese lexis

  • Zhang Shimin

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study aims to discuss equivalence and non-equivalence in some selected areas of English and Chinese lexis and their impact upon teaching, learning and translating. Attempts have been made to state the causes of lexical equivalence and non-equivalence and raise and solve some difficulties and problems arising particularly from non-equivalent lexemes between English and Chinese. As a subdiscipline of linguistics, contrastive linguistics is concerned with the comparison of two or more languages or subsystems of languages in order to determine the differences and similarities between them. Based on a practical aim this study tries to provide a model for the comparison and determine how and which lexemes are comparable so as to explore the notion of equivalence and non-equivalence. It is hoped to provide as much information as is possible in a limited study of this kind on lexical comparison between the two languages. It compares differences with examples, analyses some of the problems arising from the errors made by the Chinese students, and analyses their causes in the areas of noun, verb, preposition, compound lexemes, reduplicative words and phrases, negation, polysemy, idiomatic expressions and lexemes derived directly from the cultural background. Finally some suggestions and considerations are made for those who might have responsibility for designing courses to train interpreters, translators or teachers.
    Date of Award1983
    Original languageEnglish

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