CityU releases 2014 LIVAC Pan-Chinese New Word Rosters

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​Political concerns have again become the most popular new words used by the media in the Pan-Chinese region, while “The Umbrella Movement” was the hottest new word in Hong Kong, according to the 2014 LIVAC Pan-Chinese New Word Rosters released by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 12 February.
 
The 2014 LIVAC Pan-Chinese New Word Rosters are based on the LIVAC synchronous corpus of Chinese (http://www.livac.org) cultivated by Professor Benjamin T’sou Ka-yin, Emeritus Professor of CityU’s Department of Linguistics and Translation. The 2014 LIVAC Pan-Chinese New Word Rosters are based on the popularity of new words mainly in regional newspapers. The following table shows the five most prominent new words:
 
Regions
Most Representative Chinese New Words
Pan-Chinese
1.滬港通
(Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect)        
2.太陽花學運(Sunflower Movement) 
3.自拍神器(Selfie stick)     
4.APEC藍(APEC  blue)      
5.萌萌噠(Acting cue)
Hong Kong
1. 雨傘運動
(Umbrella Movement)
1. 袋住先(Take it first/ take it on board first)
3.三堆一爐 (3 landfills and 1 incinerator)     
4.三軌提名 (3 channels for nomination)
5.老年金 (Old age pension)
Taipei
1.9合1選戰  (9-in-1 local elections)
2.雨傘運動 (Umbrella Movement)
3.凍獨案(Freezing Taiwan independence proposal)         
4.存股證(Depository receipt)        
5.瓶中梨 (Pear in bottle)
Beijing
1.一帶一路(One belt and one road)    
2.三嚴三實 (3-strict-3-solid)    
3.打虎拍蠅(Hunting tigers and hitting flies)     
4.雨傘運動(Umbrella Movement)     
5.快軌車 (Rapid transit)
Shanghai
1.單獨兩孩(Selective two-child policy)  
2.四季跑(Season run)          
3.幫幫椅(“Help-Help” chair)         
4.視聯網(Articulated Naturality Web)
5.鄉愿官(Corrupt officials)
 
“Major events in politics have overshadowed all other domains,” said Professor T’sou. “They include all manners of actions and deliberations: such as comprehensive anti-corruption campaigns and deliberations on political succession and transition, ranging from ‘Hunting tigers and hitting flies’ in mainland China, Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ and Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Movement’.”
 
It was interesting that “Umbrella Movement” had not made it to Pan-Chinese roster because it had appeared in all communities’ top rosters, except for Shanghai, he added.
 
In Hong Kong political and social issues continued to dominate in 2014. The “Umbrella Movement” has evolved from last year’s “Occupy Central Movement” and the terms increasingly reflect the serious social disparity and polarisation in Hong Kong. This is underscored by the fact that only one of the top five new words in Hong Kong reflects non-political concerns: new measures in social welfare, “Old age pension”.
 
However, the Pan-Chinese roster had been topped by the new term in economics and finance, “Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect”, which had not yielded the expected results initially but its impact would be felt as the balance between the pros and cons worked itself out, said Professor T’sou.
 
The Taipei media has been gearing up for the up and coming 2016 presidential election, as can be seen in the prominence of “9-in-1 local elections”. Furthermore, the realisation that circumstances so far appear to favour the pro- independent Democratic Progressive Party and that independence sentiments may rock the current cosy cross-straits relations has led to the “Freezing Taiwan independence proposal”.
 
The anti-corruption drive in Beijing has further gathered momentum with visible impact as reflected in the reference to the Silk Road, i.e., the “One belt and one road”, just as Beijing has been interested in the “Sunflower Movement “ in Taiwan and “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong.
 
But the surging traffic congestion in Beijing has not been forgotten, and is reflected by the emergence of the new word “Rapid transit”.
 
As in the previous year, new words in Shanghai under the media’s spotlight are concentrated mostly on the daily lives of the general public, including “‘Help-Help’ chair” and “Selective two-child policy”. Its exceptional exclusion of the “Umbrella Movement”, according to Professor T’sou, reflects a greater sense of pragmatism in Shanghai, which has been consistent in the city. It is this pragmatic approach which has brought about the direct Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connection, and contributed to the leading new word in the Pan-Chinese context.
 
Unlike popular words on the internet, the LIVAC New Word Rosters are based on the LIVAC (Linguistic Variations in Chinese Speech Communities) database which systematically processes, screens and analyses words used by the press in the Pan-Chinese region including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei, as well as in various Chinese print media.
 
Since 1993, the database has analysed over 550 million words from the major press outlets in the Pan-Chinese region and has accumulated over 1.7 million words for the LIVAC dictionary.
 
The brief meaning and background information on the new words can be found at the website http://www.livac.org.

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