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中美学生思维方式的差异的原因分析

作者:鸿运手机版登陆 更新时间:2015年10月26日 21:04:51

Contents

1. Introduction 1
2. A review on the study of popular Chinese campus language and popular American campus language 2
2.1 Former literature reviews 2
2.2 Definition and characteristics of popular campus language 4
2.2.1 Definition of popular campus language 4
2.2.2 Characteristics of popular Chinese campus language 4
2.2.3 Characteristics of popular American campus language 5
3. Classification of popular Chinese campus language and popular American campus language 5
3.1 Figurative vs. Abstract 6
3.2 Relevant vs. Conceptual 8
3.3 Subjective vs. Objective 9
3.4 Parataxis vs. Hypotaxis 11
3.5 General vs. Individual 12
4. Analysis of different thinking modes of Chinese and American students 13
4.1 A summary of thinking modes of Chinese and American students 13
4.2 Analysis of different thinking modes of Chinese and American students 14
5. Conclusion 16
Acknowledgements 17
References 18

1. Introduction

Every place has its own language of local features, called a dialect. Every trade also has its own language of industrial characteristics, called terms. Hence, in campus there are plenty of new words and phrases that only belong to a unique and energetic group, the students. For Chinese students, 金三角(golden triangle) refers to several students who sit nearly are cheating on tests running though answers together. Another case, when we say “你个286(You are such a 286)”, we mean that you are retarded. In an American campus, if a boy says “Math is a cake course to me”, that shows there are no difficulties at all for him to pass this course. In the sentence “Nicole is a drama queen, and no one likes her”, the “drama queen” is interpreted as “someone who is making a fuss over a trifling matter”.
What the students speak and talk about reveals what they think and what they value. Studying popular campus language enables researchers to have a good awareness of students’ thoughts and minds. China and America are two different nations and both of them have typical thinking patterns distinguished from each other. As a result, we can figure out the characteristics of thinking patterns between these two countries’ students from popular campus language. In order to analyze the link between language and thought, this paper will first classify the chosen Chinese and American popular campus language into categories in terms of different thinking patterns, and then analyze the divergences of thinking patterns between Chinese and American students by combining categorized popular campus language with thinking patterns.

 2. A review on the study of popular Chinese campus language and popular American campus language

Campus is a social space that allows extraordinary freedom from all forms of authority and is a temporary heaven from the responsibility to earn or confirm[1]. In this particular period, the students become ideologically diversified, and the increasing popular campus language reflects new features of modern campus life. With openness of society and development of information, students grow in stronger acceptance and more independence. The popular campus language is catchy, humorous and concise, which caters for students’ curious and individual psychology. Certainly, there are also several negative words that mirror an unhealthy mind and self ridiculous attitude of a few students.
2.1 Former literature reviews
Popular campus language is an unnegligible phenomenon, and a powerful force. Public’s increasing fascination for popular campus language has drawn upon scholars’ more attention. Among the numerous studies, three sections of review can be identified: linguistic studies, psychological studies and social cultural studies.
Although popular campus language is a non-standard oral language, there is no evidence that it is created in special or unfamiliar ways[2]. Therefore, popular campus language is worthy of the attention of linguisticians in its own right[3], because the construction of popular campus language corresponds with the word-building processes. Morphology is a branch of linguistics, which is defined as the identification, analysis and description of the structure of words, and in most language words can be related to other words by rules[4]. Ordinary word-building processes are compounding, affixation, blending, shortening, borrowing, and semantic change.
Compounding in popular campus language often rely on metaphor, metonymy, allusion, cultural knowledge and other kinds of indirect reference[2]. For instance, it-girl. If one is called an it-girl, that means she is attractive, impressive, and everyone talks about her.
Affixation by prefixes and suffixes allows both Chinese and American English language limitless opportunities for the develop of open-ended sets[2]. For example, 帅呆了(呆 means ‘to the extreme’).
Blending is a relatively complex form of compounding, in which two are blended by joining the initial part of the first word and the final part of the second word, or by joining the initial parts of the two words[5]. For instance, brunch(breakfast+lunch).
Shortening is used for the efficiency of communication on campus life. For example, 3Q(thank you).
Borrowing is a method for a language to add new words from other language into its system. For instance, ciao(good-bye).
Semantic change plays a very important role in widening the vocabulary of a language. There are three kinds of semantic changes, namely, narrowing, broadening and meaning shift. For example, 囧死我了(Broadening), which means I can not bear.
Semantics is the study of meaning, and is often used to denote a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation[6]. The meaning of language is inseparable from the language context. For instance, 特困生[7](one is very sleepy in class), which usually mean one who is poor and can not afford tuition fees.
The forms of shapes of words and expressions in popular campus language usually disclose recurring patterns of organization. Such patterns give speakers the resources to create new forms based on forms already in the language[8]. Adolescent and youth speaks out mind freely and communicates with a laugh by playing with existing language to describe afresh its surroundings, experiences and obsessions[9].
The first and more traditional view from the aspect of psychology is that adolescent and youth is searching for what it lost: an idealized parental figure of one’s own lost innocence. The second psychological view is the intense, strong need to have the self mirrored as one’s sense of self emerges[10]. This group is typically in love with self-expression. The segregation of the young from working adults leads the members to the conclusion that only their peers can understand them. Students are released from the constraints of their family, and live a much more free life on campus. This enables them to speak and communicate at their pleasure. From the psychological view on popular campus language, we can figure out that scholars pay too much attention to the negative emotion and passive outlook caused by mental stress and enigmatic situation. However, there are some positive aspects relatively, and we should promote the good thing in popular campus language, such as students’ innovative spirit and humorous sense.
Popular campus language is an exciting and controversial form of language, which belongs to young people and to youth culture and it is also a valuable entry-point into discussion of sociocultural issues, whether in a monolingual of multilingual setting. Now is the era of information explosion, and new words bombard people everyday. Internet accelerates the dissemination of popular campus language[11]. So-called virtual or electronic literacy developing for the Internet, e-mail or text messaging have generated new popular language[3]. In addition, there are some other pervasive effects of dominant inner-circle varieties such as the high school argot propagated by Hollywood movies and TV soaps. The content of a language is directly related to the content of a culture. Youth subculture, like all subcultures, has developed a partial language of its own[12]. Time is changing greatly. So is social environment and group culture. All of these have a huge influence on adolescent and youth, who is apt to absorb new information and used to new things rapidly. In such complicated and colourful world, young students need to learn how to distinguish between pros and cons surrounding them, and choose to do what they should do.
Nevertheless, there is a lack of pondering and researching from the level of thinking patterns.
2.2 Definition and characteristics of popular campus language
2.2.1 Definition of popular campus language
Almost all new words recycle words or parts of words that are already in the language. Popular campus language exploits existing forms and current meanings in various ways, often by mixing resources from the sound system, the word-building processes, paradigms and the speaker’s knowledge of the culture[2]. The following is how popular language operates: somewhat an anonymous individual tries out a new witticism, insult or notion and, providing that their conversation partner grasps and accepts the novelty, it has a chance of catching on, first within the group and later perhaps in the wider world[13].
2.2.2 Characteristics of popular Chinese campus language
In China, students especially suffer from multiple pressures, such as pressure of academy, pressure of employment and family-raising, and pressure of survival. In such circumstances, students are likely to use negative, oppressive and decadent words, for instance, 郁闷(depressed), 纠结(entangled)[14], which is an obvious characteristic of sub-health. Being worried and impatient, instead of easing pressure and relaxing, students choose to conceal inner true feelings by ridiculing themselves. Under a combination of pressure, they defend from others with a passive motive through a younger age in mental world[15].
2.2.3 Characteristics of popular American campus language
In America, the most outstanding feature in language among students is its group identifying function. It is well documented that social groups are fertile breeding grounds for an idiosyncratic vocabulary to enhance their solidarity[2], and become a similar style of communal life. For example, brutal means great in students’ talk, and If we say, “The teacher flunks you.” that means the teacher does not let you pass the exam. Adolescent and youth tends to support and advocate individualism and diversity, against authority and unjust.

3. Classification of popular Chinese campus language and popular American campus language

 Language and thought interacts. Chinese and Americans differ in geography, history, culture, humanity, and also in thinking patterns. Since popular campus language belongs to the scope of language and different thinking patters decide the different structures of language[5], we can find out the connection of popular campus language and thinking patterns of Chinese and American students. Above this foundation, it is not difficult for us to make clear the differences of thinking patterns of these two groups.
 First of all, we collect the chosen Chinese and American popular campus language according to different features; then, we analyse and come to a conclusion comparing popular campus language with thinking patterns.
On one hand, we list high-frequency Chinese popular campus language at this current time. On the other hand, we pick up representative words and phrases from one hot TV series named Gossip Girl, which tells an interesting and realistic story that happened in a elite school. The chosen popular campus language will be categorized into classes in terms of different thinking patterns, such as figurative class, relevant class, subjective class, parataxis class, individual class, and so on.
3.1 Figurative vs. Abstract
Popular Chinese Campus Language
1顶means supporting somebody. If a person wants to show that he is on the other’s side and always backs up the other one, he may say “顶你”. “顶” is usually to describe something sustains objects. Now this word is used with a vivid image, from propping substances up to supporting people.                        
(Figurative)
2崩盘(smash)is a financial terminology used in the stock markets. If a man is dumped by his girlfriend, he will be very upset, desperate, and heartbroken just like how this man feels when he meets a smash. So 崩盘can be used to replace 失恋(disappointed in a love affair) showing how sad and helpless the poor man is.
                                                       (Figurative)                       
3晕is a word brought from Japanese comics that Chinese students use to express they do not understand and accept as if they feel dizzy and uncomfortable. 晕is a very frequent word in campus life nowadays.                            
(Figurative)
4雷 seems to become popular over night which is also brought from Japanese comics. If a person says, “雷到了” that means he feels uneasy and surprised like being struck by thunder for something abnormal and weird.                
(Figurative)

Popular American Campus Language
1 Get somebody----The “get” means “drive someone crazy”. In this phrase, “get” has a specific meaning. Usually, “get” is used in the similar way as “reach” or “gain”.                                              
(Abstract)
2 I am not over you----This sentence means I can not forget you yet, and still has a feeling for you.                                                 
(Abstract)
3 She is just not that into you----“Into” means “interested in”.
                                                         
(Abstract)
4 -ment---- It is a suffix of nouns, often concrete, denoting an action or resulting state. By this way, words are from abstraction to concretization, such as embezzlement.
                                                         (Abstract)
5 Lost your edge----If somebody says it to you, and that shows he thinks you do not have your power and status anymore.                            
(Abstract)

Difference:
Chinese students mostly explain abstraction with vivid and simple language; while American students mostly turn abstract words to concrete expression.
Chinese-----------Through concrete plot, scene, or natural characteristic's concrete description, the image clearly displays Chinese students’ thoughts and expresses our emotions.
顶is an action of somebody or something holding up the objects, but Chinese students use it to express they support others from spiritual aspect.
崩盘is a situation that the stock market is in big trouble. We use this word to describe people’s mind feelings for losing heart.
晕is used to describe people’s reaction when they are sick. Chinese students show their disapproval by using it.
雷(thunder) is a noun and we turn it to be a verb. When we say it, we want to express how surprised and unacceptable we feel just like being struck by the thunder. This is an exaggerating saying.
American----------Words are melted from abstraction to concretization, causing something abstract, invisible, general to transform concretely to feelings, or image things, by using generalized verbs(such as get), prepositions(such as over, into), and suffix(-ment).
Get somebody---- “Get” is a generalized verb not limited in one meaning, and is a vigorous and changeable word. So “get” is an abstract word, which can be allocated specific meanings according to different situations. American students say, “You really get me”, that means they are driven crazy and feel bad. Although “get” is an abstract one, it also can convey concrete feelings and ideas.
I am not over you----“Over” is a marvelous word here, because “over someone” often means “surpass someone”, while now it means “forget someone” from an abstract word turning to be a word with a sentimental feel.
She is just not that into you----Likewise, “into” is also a preposition and generally does not have such meaning related to the human’s feelings. However, in this case, “into” means “like”, and this sentence means she does not like you. The word “into” is used flexibly added emotional elements.
–ment----This a common means of nominalization. Americans usually put the suffix behind a verb to turn it to be a noun, from abstraction to concretization.
Lost your edge----The key word in this short phrase is “edge”, which generally means the outside limit of something, has a new meaning of describing one’s territory. “Edge” originally is a word of abstract denotation, but now it becomes a word of more specific connotation.
3.2 Relevant vs. Conceptual
Popular Chinese Campus Language
1囧is a very typical example for figurative thinking. When you look for its meaning in a dictionary, you will find that its denotation is bright. However, students create its new meaning of awkward or depressed, because of the word looks like an anguish face of one person.                                      (Relevant)
2奥特曼is used to describe one who is out of fashion. Maybe you do not understand why it has such a unrelated meaning from literal meaning. That is because 奥特曼 sounds like “outman” which is connected with the above-mentioned meaning.
(Relevant)

Popular American Campus Language
After researching the lines of Gossip Girl, we do not find any words, or phrases which derive new meanings based on similar sounds or glyphs.

Difference:
Chinese students mostly develop new meanings for existing words by connecting similar or same pronunciations, glyphs or reference; while American students mostly adhere to strict conceptual thinking unlike what Chinese usually do.
Chinese----------Through above examples, it is not difficult for us to find out that Chinese give new different meanings for resemble pronunciation or appearance of the words.
囧----When you look at this character, you may find that it is just like an annoyed face of human with frowning eyebrows. Chinese students take advantages of mind and imagination to create a derived meaning that connect the look of 囧 to meaning.
奥特曼----For this case, Chinese students relate the pronunciation of English words to that of Chinese characters. This is a kind of hidden way of creating popular campus language.
American----------American students adhere to strict conceptual thinking unlike what Chinese usually do. For example, one Chinese student and one American student both need to choose two things among grass, sheep and cattle. The Chinese student will pick up grass and sheep because sheep eats grass. That is an evidence of relevant thinking. The American student will pick up sheep and cattle because these two are animals. This is an evidence of conceptual thinking.
3.3 Subjective vs. Objective
Popular Chinese Campus Language
1哥吃的不是面,是寂寞(What I eat up is not the noodles but my loneliness)
There are many different views about the origin of this special sentence. The most real version is that at the beginning of July in 2009 an anonymous person posted a new thread in which attached a picture with such a sentence. Soon after this, thousands of net friends imitated this type of sentence one after another and created many more new ones which are like a flood on the internet. There appears one group of people called 寂寞党(lonely party). In last year, X吃的不是XX, 是寂寞is among the most popular campus language.                                                    
(Subjective)
2走,找校长聊天去(Come on, let’s find the headmaster and talk to him)
Hangzhou University of Electronic Science and Technology is holding a theme activity called TALKING TO HEADMASTER. Therefore the students in this university created such a popular sentence according to truth and show their appreciation and respect for what their school does. 走,校长聊天去spreads broader and broader via internet.                                               
(Subjective)
3我只是出来打酱油的(I just go out for soy sauce)
In 2008, a hoster from canton television tried to interview a citizen in the street asking what he thought about an erotic picture scandal. Unexpectedly, the man said, “None of my business, I just go out for soy sauce.” The audiences watched the conversation and make it hot very quickly. If somebody says我只是出来打酱油的, that means he or she is indifferent and cares little about others and news, only paying attention to himself or herself.                                   
(Subjective)

   Popular American Campus Language
   1 Make it happen(Try your best)                             
(Objective)
   2 Make it up to you(Repay a favor)                           
(Objective)
   3 Take it or leave it(It is up to you to listen to my advice or not)     
(Objective)
   4 Make it in time(Do not be late)                             
(Objective)
   5 Is it too much?(Is my behavior too excessive?)                 
(Objective)

   Difference:
   Chinese students mostly admire mankind over everything else; while American students mostly treat everything equally.
   Chinese----------From above-listed sentences, we can figure out that Chinese students often focus on themselves and do not pay so much attention to their surroundings. Popular Chinese campus language exposes students’ negative attitudes and desperate feelings.
  哥吃的不是面,是寂寞----This sentence lays stress on the speaker who is filled up with lonely feelings and immerses himself or herself in internal effects of self-pity.
  走,找校长聊天去----We feel Chinese students’ eagerness to express our own opinions and ideas and want more and more people to understand us, especially kind of people with power.
  我只是出来打酱油的----This sentence fully demonstrates that people value own thoughts and feeling more than the outside world.
   American----------Compared with Chinese subjective popular campus language, there is more “it” in American students’ daily communication. They seem not to take themselves as much more important and greater than any other things except for mankind, and also feel thankful for everything.
3.4 Parataxis vs. Hypotaxis
Popular Chinese Campus Language
1月抛型(monthly contact lenses)----There are single-minded students in their love affairs. But there are also some playboys and playgirls who do not treat their another half sincerely and only want to have fun with different ones. They choose to dump their girlfriends or boyfriends short after they get together and look for the next one without any sadness. This group of people is also called月抛型, because they change lovers too often.                                                        
(Parataxis)
2蛋白质(笨蛋+白痴+神经质)----蛋白质is protein. However, when 蛋白质is divided into three single characters, and each is short for three meaningful words, 蛋白质has a new meaning. If someone is called 蛋白质, that means he or she is stupid, idiot and neurotic.                                                  
(Parataxis)
3你个286----When we say “你个286(You are such a 286)”, we mean that you are retarded. Because 286 is a very old chip for computers many years ago, so students use this phrase to show that they think one reacts very slowly and is not able to catch what they are talking about. 286 becomes the pronoun of an idiot.            
(Parataxis)

Popular American Campus Language
  1 Player----Player is a man who loves a colorful life chasing different girls.
                                                         (Hypotaxis)

Difference:
Chinese students value inner cognition and understanding, while American students value external logical forms.
Chinese----------The different parts of a sentence are gathered through semantic connection. Chinese value inner relation more than outer formation.
月抛型is a kind of contact lenses that are thrown for new ones not longer than one month. Chinese students connect these contact lenses with people who change their lover for another one within a short time. 月抛型is an object, but students give it a new meaning describing people’s one characteristic according something in common.
蛋白质is one of the organic compounds. This word is a neuter, neither a commendatory term nor a derogatory term. However, Chinese students use this monotony word to represent three other words(笨蛋/白痴/神经质) which can be shortened to 蛋白质, so it has a derogatory meaning.
你个286----When you only look at 286, what do you think of? May be you remind your friend’s birthday, or your lucky number, or just nothing in your mind. Once you relate this number to the chips of computer and how do you feel for this number now? You know that 286 is a very old version of chip, and it is out of use for years. Because 286 is not enough to operate a computer to work well. If one is like a 286, that means he or she is not smart and reacts slowly.
American----------The different parts of a sentence are gathered through either syntactic device or lexical device. Americans take the forms as the most important thing.
  Player---- Play is a verb meaning doing things for pleasure or enjoying oneself. And Americans put suffix “-er” behind “play” describing someone who likes to have fun, especially with opposite sex.
3.5 General vs. Individual
Popular Chinese Campus Language
1山寨手机,山寨礼服----Counterfeit products such as mobile phone, formal clothes that producers make them escaping the management from government for benefits. They always imitate the appearance and functions of famous brand products with lower quality and lower price. As to American, they use different words like counterfeit, fake, artificial, false, phony, fallacious and so on, at the same time, Chinese almost use one word 假.                                          
(General)

Popular American Campus Language
  1 Freaky/weird/queer                                       
(Individual)
  All three words refer to somebody who acts really strange and other people can not understand him or her and laugh at him or her.
  2 Guy/dude/pal                                            
(Individual)
  Youths call their peers in different names to show their individualism apart from others.

  Difference:
  Chinese students think all matters are orderly organized like a system; while American students lay stress on individualism.
Chinese-----------Chinese students comply with a unified concept for wording, and most words which have similar or the same meaning, share one same character.
American----------American youths are proud of themselves for speaking in an outstanding and distinguishing way.

4. Analysis of different thinking modes of Chinese and American students

Chinese is from Sino-Tibetan languages, while English is from Indo-European languages. Therefore there are several differences between these two languages. What the two countries’ students say and talk about is a part of the languages. Now let us take a deeper look at popular Chinese and American campus language after studying and researching above popular campus language.
4.1 A summary of thinking modes of Chinese and American students
Chinese students’ thinking modes:
1 Figurative thinking
2 Relevant thinking
3 Subject thinking
4 Parataxis thinking
5 General thinking

American students’ thinking modes:
1 Abstract thinking
2 Conceptual thinking
3 Objective thinking
4 Hypotaxis thinking
5 Individual thinking
4.2 Analysis of different thinking modes of Chinese and American students
Analysis of Chinese student’s thinking mode:
1 Figurative thinking: Chinese students are accustomed to think in figurative way. We often turn abstraction to concretization by using specific reactions to describe abstract mental feelings vividly, sometimes a littler exaggeratedly in order to make ourselves understood well.
2 Relevant thinking: Chinese students are accustomed to think in relevant way. We generally recognize things through similar connections to create new meanings without clear concepts.
3 Subjective thinking: From ancient times, Chinese observe myriad things from our point of view and think humans are the core of the space, and are powerful than any other living things.
4 Parataxis thinking: Chinese students are accustomed to think in parataxis way. We usually narrate at first and then tell how we feel. The shape of one sentence is controlled by semantic connections repeating order of words. We lay stress on contextual coherence and inner implication.
5 General thinking: Chinese students are accustomed to think in general way and take entirety as priority.
Nowadays in China, students live a hard life under the pressure of studying, looking for a job and holding up for a whole family. Because of the existing educational system, everyone and every school value higher marks, Chinese students make many more positive words and expressions exposing their feelings.
Analysis of American student’s thinking mode:
1 Abstract thinking: American students are accustomed to think in abstract way. They often turn concretization to abstraction by using abstract nouns.
2 Conceptual thinking: American students are accustomed to think in conceptual way. They usually possess precise concepts without obscure thinking.
3 Objective thinking: American students are accustomed to think in objective way. They generally are rational to understand other things and think humans are just a part of the whole world, and everything is equal.
4 Hypotaxis thinking: American students are accustomed to think in hypotaxis way. They tell how they feel at first and then narrate turning motivation to still. The sentence is formed logically with strict structure.
5 Individual thinking: American students are accustomed to think in individual way. They prefer analytical thinking to general thinking.
In America, students like to show their individual characteristics and want to speak within special vocabulary that people out of their group may not understand what they talk about. This gives students a kind of feeling for satisfaction.

5. Conclusion

In the latest ten years, both in China and America, students give the rein to their imagination to create many genius and interesting popular campus words and phrases。 The youth is a group of people filled with powerful creativity and tends to speak and act in their own ways。 Students still have not entered the adult’s world and always want to keep ourselves away from the mature ones。 We are eager to express how we feel and what we think about freely。 Therefore, students play with the existing words in a humorous view or develop new ways of expression。 Having read related researches and achievements, we know that the former researches can be divided into three classes: linguistic studies, psychological studies and social cultural studies。 At the same time, we find that there is a lack of pondering and researching from the level of thinking patterns。 So this paper classifies the chosen Chinese and American popular campus language according to different forms of thinking patterns, and analyses the divergences of thinking patterns between Chinese and American students by means of corresponding classified popular campus language with thinking patterns, and comes to a conclusion that Chinese students think in figurative, relevant, subjective, parataxis, and general ways。 While American students think in abstract, conceptual, objective, hypotaxis, and individual ways。


 
Acknowledgements

My initial thanks go to my supervisor Mrs. Meng, who patiently supervised my dissertation and was at times very willing to offer me illuminating advice or suggestions. Without her help, I could not have finished this dissertation.
I am also indebted to other teachers and my classmates who have not only offered me their warm encouragements but also shared with me their ideas and books. They are Wang Jinsheng, Xu Minmin, and many others.
My greatest personal debt is to my grandparents and parents, who have cultivated a soul of sensitivity, hospitality, and honesty out of me, and offered a harbor of happiness and sweetness for me.
The remaining weakness and possible errors of the dissertation are entirely my own.
 
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我谨在此承诺:本人所写的毕业论文《从校园流行语看中美学生思维方式的差异》均系本人独立完成,没有抄袭行为,凡涉及其他作者的观点和材料,均作了注释,若有不实,后果由本人承担。
 
                承诺人(签名):  寿婉婧
                          2010年6月11日