Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 62484
A Linguistic Product of K-Pop: A Corpus-Based Study on the Korean-Originated Chinese Neologism Simida

Authors: Hui Shi

Abstract:

This article examines the online popularity of Chinese neologism simida, which is a loanword derived from Korean declarative sentence-final suffix seumnida. Facilitated by corpus data obtained from Weibo, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter, this study analyzes the morphological and syntactical processes behind simida’s coinage, as well as the causes of its prevalence on Chinese social media. The findings show that simida is used by Weibo bloggers in two manners: (1) as an alternative word of 'Korea' and 'Korean'; (2) as a redundant sentence-final particle which adds a Korean-like speech style to a statement. Additionally, Weibo user profile analysis further reveals demographical distribution patterns concerning this neologism and highlights young Weibo users in the third-tier cities as the leading adopters of simida. These results are accounted for under the theoretical framework of social indexicality, especially how variations generate style in the indexical field. This article argues that the creation of such an ethnically-targeted neologism is a linguistic demonstration of Chinese netizen’s two-sided attitudes toward the previously heated Korean-wave. The exotic suffix seumnida is borrowed to Chinese as simida due to its high-frequency in Korean cultural exports. Therefore, it gradually becomes a replacement of Korea-related lexical items due to markedness, regardless of semantic prosody. Its innovative implantation to Chinese syntax, on the other hand, reflects Chinese netizens’ active manipulation of language for their online identity building. This study has implications for research on the linguistic construction of identity and style and lays the groundwork for linguistic creativity in the Chinese new media.

Keywords: New Media, Humor, loanword, Chinese neologism

Procedia PDF Downloads 9