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Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490Education, Language and Inter-cultural Communication (ELIC 2020)Changes of Chinese Names From the Perspective of theEvolution of Symbolic Rhetoric Four Master TropesJie Zeng1,*1*College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610065, ChinaCorresponding author. Email: baggio6203@126.comABSTRACTSemiotic rhetoric four master tropes follow the law of transformation of metaphor, metonymy,synecdoche, and irony. There is a negative progressive relationship between the four master tropes.Each one of semiotic rhetoric is the negation of each other. This principle corresponds to thedevelopment of four different stages of things. As an indicator, name refers to the way of thinking whenthe parents named their children under the historical and cultural context at that time. To reflect thecharacteristics of the Chinese name with this principle, people's psychological changes and socialcultural changes in the process of historical development will be fully revealed. This paper will studythe laws and trends of Chinese newborn names (Han nationality) from the founding of new China topresent times with large data. The changes of parents’ implied vision behind these names and theparticular historical tide, the influence of cultural traditions, and the intergenerational changes ofChinese autonomy will be explored.Keywords: semiotic rhetoric, four master tropes, Chinese names, changes, autonomyI.INTRODUCTIONA name is one of the primary symbols thatdistinguish one person from another and is one of thelegal proofs of identity. In China, a country with a longhistory of civilization, the name is more than bearingthe expectations and prospects of the name givers, butalso shows the historical evolution of a particularperiod and cultural traditions. Chinese name includestwo parts: the form and the content. The form is thesurname single name/double name combination; thecontent is the pronunciation of the given name and itsdenotative meaning and connotative meaning. Because"surname" (family name) is inherited by the ancestorsof the veins handed down, it cannot choose by chance.According to the Chinese clan lineage concept, surnamewill not be easily changed. So, a research on the contentof a name is almost the "given name" after "surname".The name contains more than just the owner's code, butalso significant textual meaning. "The name not onlyexists as an individual symbol, but also as a signal andsymbol of the unique Chinese aesthetic ability andaesthetic characteristics."[1]According to Marx's point of view, the first attributeof man is sociality. The name is the first pass to entersociety. People constitute a variety of social relations,names therefore have attribute of sociality, reflectingspecific social awareness in the form of a socialpresence. During the feudal rule in China, the name wasnot used freely by people, and many words should beused with caution in order to show the order of thesupremacy. However, contemporary Chinese do nothave such a worry for giving name. Chinese characterscontain a rich historical and cultural heritage, and thereare many superficial implications of the meaning. Ofcourse, there are many implications for the name madeup of Chinese characters. Therefore, when parents givetheir children a name, they often employ this chance toexpress their specific wishes. Zhao Yiheng believes that"the name is a synecdoche of the historical trend,customs, parents’ cultural background and many otherthings." [1]However, parents’ expectation of their children is,in fact, greatly influenced by the prevailing socialtrends and cultural habits of the time. The wishes ofparents, in reality, is given by the times. It is also amatter of course that children's names in the same erahad "times features" of that period. As a result, thename is not only a linguistic sign, a statutory sign, andan indicator signifying each other, but also a link thatstudies social psychology and cultural identity. Thisarticle will use big data statistics to study the laws andtrends of the name of the newborn (Han nationality) inChina since the founding of New China. In this study,the names will be divided into four generationsaccording to the characteristics of commonly usednames. These four generations are precisely the fourphases of economic and political development after thefounding of new China. Finally, the article will usesemiotic rhetoric evolution of the four master tropes toCopyright 2020 The Authors. Published by Atlantis Press SARL.This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license 5

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490analyze the four stages of the child's name changes. Byborrowing the universal laws of the development ofthings revealed in the evolutionary theory of the fourmaster tropes, we can explore the implicit cognition ofparents and the influence of certain historical andcultural traditions behind the children’s names. Andseeks to find out the changes in the vision of parentswho make name changes happen, as well as theintergenerational changes in the autonomy of Chinesepeople thereby referring to.II. EVOLUTION OF SYMBOLIC RHETORICFOUR MASTER TROPESThere is a negative progression between the fourmain figures of speech in any symbolic genre, namelymetaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, irony. Each figureof speech is the negation of each other. Metaphors areaimed at "combining" with each other, while irony uses"separation" as the basic approach; metonymy isadjacency and cooperation; irony is cooperation anddisagreement; while synecdoche is partly contained inthe whole, irony is partly excluded from another; ironycompletely disintegrates metaphor-based traditionalrhetoric. Therefore, irony negates all figures of speechand it is a reverse rhetoric.characterized by metaphor, the protagonist intemperament beyond the mortals who is a legendarytypical figure like God. Such as Jean Valjean in LesMiserables; the tragic era of metonymy, emphasizingthe externalities of things, and the protagonists havingauthority and passion, but what he does must obeysocial judgment. For example, Nekhludoff inResurrection; in the synecdochical comedy era, theprotagonist has universal humanity, and readers willresonate with it. Such as Duoluo in Bel-Ami; in thestage of irony denied by modernism, the protagonist isinferior in ability and intelligence to the reader, and thereaders feel contemptuous of their situation.Frye's literature stage promotion theory had a greatimpact. In fact, before him, Carl Mannheim proposedthe evolution of the four worldviews in his 1929Ideology and Utopia. Mannheim, unlike Frye, did notregard these four patterns as a historic evolution. By the1970s, with the rise of neo-historicism, Hayden Whiteappreciated Mannheim's assertion and he recognized"every aspect of history has an irreconcilableideological factor."[2]In this way, a process of gradual decomposition ofthe meaning of the two genres of text from thebeginning of metaphor is formed. This four-stepnegative association of meaning has developed into ahuge historical evolution model among Chinese andforeign thinkers who use it to analyze social changesand cultural evolution. The evolution of the four mastertropes has gradually become a measure of socialdevelopment and historical evolution.Actually, in ancient China, the Great Power of theWorld by Shao Yong (1011-1077), a scholar of theSong Dynasty, pushed forward his theory and linkedthe staging of Chinese history (imperialism,imperialism, kings, tyrants) with the broader concept ofthe universe. Regard this staging as the naturalcharacteristics of the four seasons. Shao Yong's"Emperor, Emperor, King, and tyrant" four-stage theoryof historical degeneration, was earlier than Vivendi for700 years; and the four seasons with the four mastertropes evolution was earlier than Frye for nearly 900years.In the early eighteenth century, Vico, the Italianthinker in the Enlightenment era, first proposed theevolution of the four master tropes. In New Science(1725), he divided world history into four stages ofdegeneration. "God period": metaphor is the main trendand God endows each aspect of nature with intent orspirit. This is the stage of theocracy; "Heroic period":metonymy dominated, some special characters bear thisheroic spirit, as the aristocratic stage; "Human period":the metaphor, the upper and lower shared some samekind of humanity, special sublimate to the general,partial to the whole, as a rational stage; "Decadentperiod": irony, consciousness goes to lie, people haverealized the difference between truth and disguise, it isthe irrational stage.Whether Vico, Frey, or White and Shao Yong, infact, they all noticed the general explanatory power ofthe semiotic rhetoric four master tropes evolution onhuman ideational activities. What is the reason for theevolution of the four master tropes? Zhao Yihengargues that the evolution of the four master tropes is thematuration of any kind of ideographic approach: we canthink of it as a theory of historical degeneration becausethe sense of loft has vanished to give way to skepticism;and we can also think of it as progress because culturebecome diverse, people’s understanding turncomplicated. "Any dogma, any concept, or even anybusiness, is essentially a symbolic model of meaning,so long as it is a form of expression, it is hard to escapethis law of evolution." [2]Vico's point of view has always been incompatiblewith the thinking of the times and was not accepted.Until the middle of the twentieth century, Canadiancritic Frye revived this model. In the 1957 Critique ofAnatomy, Frye divides the development of protagonistsin European literature into four stages: the romanceIII. CHANGES OF NAMES ACCORDING TO THEEVOLUTION OF FOUR MASTER TROPESAs the above analysis, any kind of symbolicideation is difficult to escape the evolution of the fourlaws. By using this law to reflect on the characteristics406

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490of Chinese names, we can outline the psychological andcognitive changes of the people and the social andcultural changes in the course of historicaldevelopment. This article will focus on thecharacteristics of the names of Chinese newborns (Hannationality) since the 1950s, that is, the founding ofNew China. Text data using China's first name big datareport 2016 Big Data" to see "What Chinese parentslove to name their baby and common names for eachage provided by Qi Ming Tong"[3] (a handbook forpeople to choose names according to their preference)website statistics[4].From the characteristics of the name showed in thedata, the name of contemporary China appeared thephenomenon of sharing the same name within the sameera. These phenomena are actually different stages ofpeople's independent development. Combined with thehistory and culture of a particular period as well we thestate of economic development, we divide thecharacteristics of names parents pick for their childreninto four stages. The first phase: from the early days ofNew China to the 1960s, metaphorical period, whichwas an era full of major historical expectations. Thename of the period reflected a strong concept of familyand country. In the second stage, the 1970s, themetonymic period. It is a special historical era, in whichlife related to the situation and fate of the country moreclosely. The name of the transitional phase reflects theparental choice of position; In the third stage, during the1980s and 1990s, the synecdochical period. The reformand opening up was carried out in an all-round way,and the socio-cultural economy was graduallyrecovering. People's standard of living was greatlyimproved. At the same time, their self-conceptgradually awakened and their children's names pin ontheir hopes; the fourth stage, since the 00s up till now(2016) is the irony period, the culture has developed inmultiple ways. The name shows that the parents havegreater autonomy. The expectation of becomingoutstanding hold by parents has turned into beingordinary and peaceful.A. The early days since the founding of New China tothe 1960s — metaphorical period — the nameshows the era characteristicsStatistics show that at this stage, the first tenChinese newborn babies are: boys: Jun(military),Yong(brave), Wei(great), Jianguo(founding a state),Jianhua(founding new china), Jianjun(founding thearmy), Ping(peace), Jianping(building peace), Bin(beboth good at arts and arms), Qiang(strong). Girls:Xiuying(beautiful and heroic) , Guiying(laurel andheroic), Ying(hero), Yulan(magnolia), Xiulan(beautifuland excellent), Ping(duckweed), Yumei(geraldton waxflower), Li(beauty), Min(agile).Judging from the names of the top 10 boys, the"Jun", "Jianguo," "Jianhua," and "Jianping" all coincidewith the historical period when New China wasfounded. All of China are immersed in the celebrationof founding ceremony, looking forward to the brightfuture of the motherland. In the era of extraordinarysignificance for everyone, the most direct way forordinary people to express their own patriotism is togive their children those "grand" names, so in thisstage, it's not surprising for most new born boys to bearthe name of "Jianguo". At the same time, Chinesepeople advocate the gratitude of "source of drinkingwater." We did not forget those "lovely people" in ourstable life. Therefore, "Jianjun" has also become thebest choice. "Yong", "Qiang" and "Bin" reflect theexpectation that parents hope their son can be aspowerful as the country and capable of both civil andmilitary education.The name of a girl carries more of the traditionalmerits that parents hold girls should have. In the top ofthe "Ying" still bears a distinctive mark of the times,despite being female, parents also hope they can own"heroic" qualities, and this is consistent with the cultureof the community as a whole. "Lan", "Mei", "Ping" and"Li" reflect the image of women's pure and beautiful intraditional Chinese culture.Looking at the parents in the 1960s to name theirchildren, the characteristics is: only carry the features ofthe times, lack of self-characteristics. The reason isbecause at that time, people have limited access toinformation, only turn to the dictionary if they want, inaddition, most Chinese people have the mentality tofollow the majority, it also exacerbated the limitationsof their horizons. A large number of names carry thetimes flavor have confirmed the historical trend andcultural tradition imposed on people's cognition. InLong Revolution, Raymond Williams extended anddeveloped the core concept of "emotional structure" toillustrate the formation of a generation's thoughts andfeelings. "It is as strict and explicit as the structuresuggests, however, it operates in the most delicate andimprecise part of our activity, in a way that is a cultureof time: it is a general organization the special extantresult of all the factors in the book." [5] In the 1960s,Chinese, living in the context of building an all-roundNew China, advocated dedication and hard work fromhome and abroad. Collective is more important thanindividuals. Many parents, when giving names to theirchildren, will also be unwittingly influenced by theatmosphere of this society. At the same time, they didnot advocate uniqueness at that time. Instead, theyadvocated more for the general public. So, giving nameis only more than giving a title. It is no surprising that alarge number of children share the same name.Metaphor is the "self-carrying meta language" ofsymbolic texts. because the characteristics of the era are407

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490too obvious, the interpretant of the commonly usednames of the 1960s naturally point to the social context;name reflects the people's one-dimensional values.B. 1970's — metonymic period — there is astratification of names and sprouting of parents'autonomyDuring this period, the social and culturaldevelopment was in a transitional phase, and thenewborn's name reflected new characteristics. Whilecontinued to maintain the concept of homeland alsoadded more cultural and traditional expectations. In thisstage, the top ten newborn names are: boys: Yong, Jun,Wei, Qiang, Tao(billow), Gang(rigid), gorgeous), Min, Fang(fragrance), Jing(silence),Hongmei(red plum), Xia(rosy clouds), Yan(swallow),Ying(hero).In the names of the top 10 boys, some features ofthe 1960s are still inherited. Such as "Jianjun," "Jun,""Yong," and "Qiang." At the same time, the newlyemerged "Wei", "Bo", "Hui" and "Gang" demonstratethe temperament that parents give their sons. In thetraditional Chinese culture, the standard image of menis: strong, brave, tall, tenacious, upright, both good atcivil and military and ambitious and so on. These finetraditions are expressed by parents in honor of names.Among the girls' names, the phenomenon of theweakening of the times is even more obvious. The"Ying" which ranked first in the 1960s is only the last.The names on the list, are more like the display ofwomen with the characteristics of Chinese culture, suchas "Fang", "Jing", "Xia", "Yan". This shows that thetraditional concept of "gentle and virtuous, beautifuland generous" is still accepted by the majority of thepeople, and parents hope that this beautiful wish will beconveyed by name.Compared with the 1960s, more than 50% of thehigh-frequency names used in the 1970s overlapped. (6boys and 5 girls). According to the analysis of themorphological factors of the existing products ofWilliams' culture, the cultural patterns of an era includethe dominant culture, the remnant culture and theemerging culture. This is a dynamic development."Culture is a reflection of the overall lifestyle of asociety,"[6] and the three-part culture represents theconfrontation between different forces. "Residualculture is an effective factor that has been formed in thepast but has been active in the current process ofculture. It is still valid. It exists not only because astradition but also for meeting certain specific needs ofthe present and provide space for values that dominantculture cannot effectively implement. "The strongnationalist conception of the 1960s is the remnantculture of this category. As can be seen from the data,they still occupy half of the list. dominant culture willtry to incorporate the residual culture, especially whenthere is a flaw in itself, the remnants are againrecognized. The dominant culture of the 1970s did notget obvious displayed because of the special historicalreasons at that time. Therefore, according to thecharacteristics of the names, most of the parents chosethe remnant cultural concept of the 1960s.New name in the list is what Williams called"emerging culture." This is the most threatening factorfor the dominant culture. When it was just created, itcannot be explained by the existing category. It is anempirical and exists as a kind of ideas andconsciousness. It continues to accumulate until theemergence of a new emotional structure, with more andmore people to be absorbed in, and finally becomestable, it also means the new cultural transformation.From the data, new names are mostly for parents togive children the due quality based on the tradition ofChinese culture. This indicates that the factors thatparents are influenced by a specific historicalbackground are slowly diminishing. Parentsconsciously return to their own recognized culture; theirautonomy began to sprout.Metonymy is widely used in non-linguistic symbols.It is essentially "non-verbal." Its symbolic nature iscontiguous. The commonly used names in the 1970sreflected partly the characteristics of the times and thepartial searches for other representations, indicating thatpeople's names were not entirely determined byexternal factors. This corresponds to metonymyfunction of "sameness with difference" in evolution offour master tropes.C. The 80s and 90s — the synecdochical period — thename highlights the further enhancement ofparental autonomyAt this stage of the reform and opening up period,the economy took off and the situation was good. Theliving standards of the people have been greatlyimproved. At the same time, with the awakening ofself-concept, the child's name is entrusted with theexpectation of the parent "making a success".Data show that the most commonly used names ofnewborns at this stage are: boys: Wei, Le(candid)i,Yong, Chao(super), Tao, Peng(roc, a bird which can flyto thousands of miles), Qiang, prosper),Shuai(handsome). Girls: Jing, Li, Juan(graceful), Yan,Yan (The same pronunciation in Chinese but differentcharacters with different meaning.), Min, Na(elegant),Fang, Dan(red), Ling (sound of jade), Ting(graceful),Xue(snow), Qian(pretty). The statistics are based on 10years. Since the 1980s and 1990s are divided into fourstages of evolution, the common names in this stage aresorted in descending order according to the frequency408

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490of use and the repeated names are removed, 13 namesleft.Among the top names of boys, there are stillremnants of "Wei", "Yong", "Qiang", "Jun" and "Tao"."Peng" and "Liang" represent the qualities that men areexpect to have in Chinese culture: Brilliant, ambitious."Jie", "Hao", "Xin", "Shuai" reflect the desire of parentsto succeed in their sons. "Shuai" is directly a cry fromthe connotation rose to the outside; because of its ownstructural features, "Xin" shows that "FiveElements"(metal, wood, water, fire and earth, held bythe ancients to compose the physical universe. ‘Xin’ iscomposed of three metal in Chinese character) has beenused to measure the name. The common name for girlsis slightly higher than that for boys in the 1970s (6/13).This is because girls in Chinese history and culturehave always been given the dominant position of"mothering" and have not been given the hope ofbuilding their own career as boys do. The concept of"lack of talent in a woman is virtuous" makes manyparents believe that what matters for women are gentleand beautiful. Therefore, the tradition of the beginninghas been inherited. Among the new names, "Juan","Na", "Dan", "Ling", "Ting", "Xue" and "Qian" are stillthe embodiment of women's qualities. This shows that"women have been given a good and beautiful aestheticrequirement in the social value system. Although theyentered the 1980s, the degree of aesthetic taste forwomen has not changed so much."[1]The common names of newborns in the 1980s and1990s have shown new characteristics. Although the inthe stage of reform and opening up, no name associatedwith this historic trend, indicating that the influence ofthe external environment while giving names areweakened. People do not intend to impose the politicalslogans that are common in life on personal ideals andaesthetic requirements, and their social psychology isgradually maturing. In addition, almost all commonnames are single names, which means "people are benton pursuing a simple, quiet and unpretentious attitudetoward life."[2] In the commonly used names of boys,there appeared the "Shuai" "Jie" which fullydemonstrated the individuality and the "Xin" which isrelated to the "five elements". This shows that peoplepay more attention to themselves when choosing theirkids’ names, and the ways of naming are graduallyincreasing. Studies by Su Hong. Also show that "forchildren born in the 1980s and 1990s, parentsconsidered the feature of independence more importantto children and also wanted to pass on the qualitiesassociated with independence to their children." [7]In the 1980s and 1990s, the commonly usedcharacteristics of the era were basically completelyweakened, and the social factors became smaller andsmaller on the basis of their names. People's ideals andaesthetic requirements were increasingly prominent.The name fully demonstrates the parents' inner andouter expectations for their children. This correspondsto the synecdochical characteristics of symbolic figuresof speech. synecdoche is the relationship between partand overall, any representation is a synecdoche. Thesublimation of people's values from the part to thewhole is the manifestation of the function of the"division and combination" of the synecdoche.D. The beginning of the 00s to the present (2016) —the irony period — the name embodies the multiplechoice of parents and individualityIn the new era, the social culture has developed in amore diversified direction. The popularization of mediainformation provides more references than dictionaries.The names show greater autonomy of parents andemphasis on children's independence. Usually, less), Bo(abundant) and other words, girlsare more likely to be given names as: Yue(happy),Xin(joyful), Yi(cheerful), Rui(stamen), Zi(home town),Han(conserve), Yan(beautiful), Xuan(day lily). Duringthis period, newborn common names are: (abundant in arts), Yuxuan, Yuze, Junjie(elite),Junxi(handsome and bright), Zihao(forthright), Rui.Girls: Zihan, Xinyi, Chengxi(dawn), Shihan,Mengqi(angel), Jiayi, Zixuan, Yuhan, Kexin,Sitong(red).The biggest feature of these names is: more unique,full of personality. The names of boys are not only thedisplay of traditional masculine expectations of "noble,liberal wisdom," such as "Zixuan, Hao Ran, Haoyu,Bowen, Yuxuan, Zihao, Rui"; also full of personalitywith dual Emphasize on the exterior and inner, such as"Yuze, Junjie, Junxi." Parents expect their children tobe "bright and sunny," which is totally different fromthe previous generation's emphasis on "greatness andstruggles." The girl's names reflect the parents stressedthat children should be "happy sunshine, gentle andelegant." Parents have realized the importance ofmental health, and the traditional requirements ofwomen being "gentle and beautiful" is no longer in thelist of commonly used names. Compared with the firstthree stages, names of this period, have almost shakeoff the imprint of the trend of history. In the 1970s and1980s, children grew up in the call of independence.With the development of all aspects of society, theireducational level and the channels for receivinginformation were significantly higher than those of theirelders. Therefore, the names they gave children werealso the maximized demonstration of their ownautonomy.Almost all names in the list are double, this is alsothe expression of parental personality. In the 1970s and1980s, parents grew up in a rapidly evolving409

Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 490community of the internet and media. Facing the huge"fragmentation" knowledge and more considerations,when choosing a name, many people relied on namegiving websites or the traditional Chinese FiveElements and some even also refer to the Westernconstellation analysis. However, some problemsexposed in the process of social development also allowpeople to give their children the missing part when theyname their children, such as the "Nuo(promise)" thatrepresents virtue and the "Zhi" of noble conduct.Compared with the first three stages of naming bysocial trends of thought, the independence of parentshas been significantly enhanced. In the new era, thenames of children show that people's social psychologybecome more mature, the expectations of children aremore comprehensive, and their blind faith is no longer asuccess. Health, conservation and honesty are the newexpectations.Names of those post 00's are full of personality,which all reflect the new era of multiculturalism. Theyalmost subvert the collectivism of the previous threestages. This is precisely the characteristic of irony:portion exclude each other, there are cooperation andthere are differences. Whether from the name-givingwebsite or the combination of Five Elements plusconstellation, the reference of choosing the name is nolonger a single mainstream value, and the independenceof parents is further enhanced.IV.CONCLUSIONFrom the above analysis we can see that the Chinesename changes with the times. From the 1960s, itreflected the distinctive characteristics of the times; thetraditional expectations of the Chinese culture in thecharacteristics of the 1970s were sprout of autonomy;the features of times in the 1980s and 1990s werebasically weakened; the independence of the Chineseculture implied further; and finally, since the beginningof the 00s, the names have their own distinctivefeatures, which show the parents' expectations of theuniqueness of their children and reflect the gradualmaturity of the Chinese people's social psychology.These four stages correspond exactly to the four stagesof social, economic and cultural development in China.Name as an indicator, the object is the person whoowns this name, the interpretant is the familybackground as well as the way of thinking of parents.From following the times to find the uniqueness ofoneself, people's independence is also slowlyincreasing. This process is also in line with the negativeprogress law of evolution of the symbolic rhetoricalfour master tropes.But, what for after irony? In the face of theevolution of the four master tropes, Zhao Yiheng holdsthere are two solutions. First, the new way of thinkingbegins again, reconstructing a long evolution frommetaphor to irony; Second, irony is a more idealcultural status, we should extend this stage as much aspossible[8]. In fact, from the above analysis of thecharacteristics of Chinese common names in differentyears, the possibility of these two solutions has beendemonstrated. The name after the 00s has shownanother "era characteristic". Although it is unlike asocial context in the 1960

Semiotic rhetoric four master tropes follow the law of transformation of metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony. There is a negative progressive relationship between the four master tropes. Each one of semiotic rhetoric is the

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