Warring States Resources
Loanwords in Chinese


The idea that China is indebted to anyplace else, for either linguistic or material culture, is hateful to many Chinese. That's their problem. Quite apart from the phenomenon of substrate culrure migrating upwards and appearing as both words and ideas in the high (Sinitic) culture, the evidence suggests that many details in the classical period have origins outside the Chinese culture area. The classic example is the war chariot, which together with horses and the art of riding them, along with bronze casting and the use of writing, came into Sinitic experience in the late Shang period and transformed Shang into the dominant culture of the day.

In this section we mention a couple of examples of words from exotic sources, both the Indo-European terms that seem to have come with the chariot/bronze/writing culture complex, and some words due to small-trader contact with India at a much later time.


25 October 2013 / Contact The Project / Exit to Home Page