現代漢語“脫困”義“出頭”的來源

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

文章在大範圍語料調查的基礎上討論了現代漢語口語中常見的用在“永無出頭之日” “終於熬出頭了”這一類語境中“出頭”一詞的歷史。這個漢語固有詞語的本義是“人或動物伸出或露出腦袋”。從本義的“出頭”到現代漢語一般“脫困”義的“出頭”,其間經歷了兩次與“來源”有關的變化。第一次,因為出現在中古譯經中的一則印度佛教寓言中,而這個寓言在唐代被本土僧人化用,“出頭”產生了“脫離苦海”“脫離地獄”的佛教特定意義,這是脫困義“出頭”的遠源。第二次,從宋代到明代,佛教語“出頭”分別經歷了文言世俗化和白話世俗化,產生出世俗化了的文言的脫困義“出頭”和白話的脫困義“出頭”;而後者就是現代漢語口語脫困義“出頭”的近源。從更宏觀的角度看,脫困義“出頭”的源流史,就是漢語中成百上千源於翻譯佛經和佛教漢語的詞語歷史發展過程的一個縮影,在某種程度上也是印度佛教和佛教文化本土化過程的一個縮影。
This corpus-based study traces the history of a frequently used term chūtóu 出頭 in modern spoken Chinese, usually presented in sentences such as yǒngwú chūtóu zhīirì 永無出頭之日 (literally,the day that [someone] can stick his/her head out will never come; Figuratively, someone will never have a chance to get out of a predicament) or zhōngyú áo chūtóu le 終於熬出頭了 (literally, [someone] can stick his/her head out ultimately [after years of torment]; Figuratively, [someone] finally escapes from misery after years of torment). The original meaning of this term is "people or animals sticking out or showing their heads"; however, in modern Chinese, its connotation has been altered to "being out of a predicament". From the original meaning to the contemporary definition, this word went through two phases of alteration. First, the local monks in Tang dynasty, combing the usage of chūtóu in the Chinese translation of an ancient Indian Buddhist tale, assigned it a new meaning, viz., "escaping from the sea of bitterness/ocean of suffering" or "getting out of hell". This connotation is also the remote source of chūtóu with the meaning of "being out of a predicament". Second, through the secularization of classical Chinese and vernacular Chinese from the Song dynasty to the Ming dynasty, the usage of chūtóu with the meaning of "being out of a predicament" is expanded from the Buddhist context to a general secularized classical and vernacular Chinese context. This is also known as the near source of the modern Chinese chūtóu. From a broader perspective, the history of the term chūtóu epitomizes the historical development of hundreds of thousands of Chinese terms derived from the translation of Indian Buddhist scriptures and related documents. To some extent, it also epitomizes the process of localization of Indian Buddhism and Buddhist culture. Copyright © 2020 上海世紀出版股份有限公司;上海辭書出版社.
Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)11-35
Journal辭書研究
Volume2020
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Citation

朱慶之(2020):現代漢語“脫困”義“出頭”的來源,《辭書研究》,2020(5),頁11-35。

Keywords

  • 脫困義“出頭”
  • 來源
  • 印度寓言
  • 翻譯佛經
  • 文言
  • 白話
  • 世俗化
  • Origin of the term chūtóu with the meaning of being out of a predicament
  • Indian tales
  • Chinese translation of Buddhist literature
  • Classical Chinese
  • Vernacular Chinese
  • Secularization
  • Popularization
  • Alt. title: The origin of the term chūtóu 出頭 with the meaning of “being out of a predicament” in modern Chinese