A Semantic Analysis of the Top Ten Network Buzzwords of China in 2020 from the Perspective of the Prototype Theory

Shuo Yao


With the further development of the Internet and the rapid growth of the number of netizens, there are always new network buzzwords appearing during online communication. Most of these buzzwords don’t come out of nowhere but are variants of the extant words or expressions. They inherit, extend or sometimes overturn the original meanings. To some extent, these semantic variations not only influence the language system, expanding the semantic category of words, but also reflect people’s cognition and emotions. Therefore, based on the prototype theory, this paper aims to analyze the semantic variations of the top ten network buzzwords of China in 2020 from three aspects: horizontally, the extension of meanings of the basic-level words; vertically, the emergence of new subordinate-level words; and the combination of the two ways of variation. The analysis of these words shows complex emotions of people, including positive life attitudes, nostalgia to the past and helplessness under huge pressures in real life.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/sll.v5n4p61


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Shuo Yao

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © SCHOLINK INC.   ISSN 2573-6434 (Print)    ISSN 2573-6426 (Online)