A Study of Loan Color Terms Collocation in Modern Japanese


The Japanese lexicon consists of Japanese-origin words (WAGO), Chinese-origin words (KANGO) and words borrowed from English and other European languages (GAIRAIGO). The acquisition of words from three sources results in abundance of near synonyms without any clear rules when a particular synonym should be used. Loveday has hypothesized that WAGO/KANGO and GAIRAIGO concrete nouns are used to address similar phenomena of Japanese and Western origins, respectively. This is referred as Hypothesis of Foreign vs. Native Dichotomy (HFND). However, the matter of abstract nouns, adjectivals and their collocations remains unstudied. In contrast to the previous studies, based on questionnaires, our approach stems from statistical analysis of corpus data. Our results illuminate a distinguishable bias in the structure of collocations – nouns and adjectivals of the same origin tend to appear together more often than the ones of the different origins. Our finding implies extension of HFND to the level of collocations.

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