Cultural conceptualizations of Chinese zodiac animals in Chinese English

Zhichang Xu, Farzad Sharifian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


World Englishes as a discipline has developed more than half a century of research and practice. It is closely connected with such other disciplines as applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and applied cultural linguistics. In this paper, we adopt a holistic analytical framework drawing upon world Englishes and applied cultural linguistics with reference to lexical borrowing, semantic variation, and cultural conceptualizations to unpack the culturally-embedded meanings underlying the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. In particular, we explore the cultural meanings of creative expressions that use dragon and horse in Chinese English, for example, the dragon horse spirit, by analysing qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-606
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • World Englishes
  • Cultural linguistics

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