Gaige and Reform: A Chinese-English Comparative Keywords Study

Longxing Li, Sicong Dong, Vincent Xian Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study takes 改革 gaige and reform as two significant sociocultural keywords and adopts a historical semantics approach in examining the two words. The two words’ diachronic changes and their current lexical behaviors are described from a comparative perspective. Rich historical and cultural information of two societies has been uncovered through studying the two keywords. The first section of the paper is devoted to an introduction to keywords study and a review of studies on reform and gaige. The second part proposes two research questions about the diachronic changes and contemporary use of gaige and reform, and demonstrates our research methods. The third section presents major research findings from the aspects of etymology and lexical properties. Section four discusses the results relating to broader social cultural contexts in China and the English-speaking communities. The conclusion section summarizes our main findings and proposes a new approach for keywords study named “corpus-assisted critical keywords study”.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Chinese Linguistics
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Chinese Linguistics
ISSN (Print)2522-5308
ISSN (Electronic)2522-5316


  • Corpus-assisted
  • Gaige
  • Historical semantics approach
  • Keywords study
  • Reform


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