New entries and no entries: Political impact on the choice of entries in the Chinese dictionary Xiandai hanyu cidian

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Friday, February 17, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Live via Zoom

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This talk aims at illustrating the development of modern Chinese lexicography and the features of one of the most authoritative monolingual works in this field, the XiàndàiHànyǔ Cídiǎn [XHC].
To this end, I will describe the main steps of Chinese research on lexicography, underlining the close link between the rise of modern lexicography and specific historical events. Then I will provide a brief historical account about the compilation of XHC illustrating some issues pertaining the XHC compilation and focusing on the wordlist selection, with particular attention to the last edition. Published in 2016, only 4 years after the previous edition, the last one includes over 400 neologisms, nearly 100 new meanings and also some new entries which go beyond the traditional definition of word and therefore deserve to be analyzed.

Chiara Romagnoli is Professor of Chinese language and linguistics at Roma Tre University. Her areas of expertise include Chinese as a foreign language acquisition, Chinese vocabulary, discourse markers and lexicography. She has published widely in this field and discussed her recent results in a number of international conferences. Her publications include the edited volumes Lessons on Chinese Linguistics (EHESS-CRLAO, 2022) and Chinese Language in Italy (Roma Tre Press, 2021), a monograph on the functional words in modern Chinese (Hoepli, 2012) and a pedagogical grammar of Chinese (Hoepli, 2016). She is the coordinator of the research group CFL network ( and deputy director of the Interdepartmental Center for Studies and Documentation on China and East Asia (

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies