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3
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3answers
202 views

Some unknown marks: are they in Chinese? If not, what language is it? What do they mean?

I have been given a nice set of small white tea set with bamboo motifs and some foreign oriental marks. There is no single English character. I spent the whole morning trying to draw these marks and ...
0
votes
3answers
49 views

What is the oldest retracable meaning for the character/word 臾?

臾 (yu2) in classical Chinese means "for a while". I assume "for a while" was not the original meaning this character was associated with in the time when it came, by what mysterious brain activity ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Old Mandarin vs. Mandarin Chinese?

How intelligible is Old Mandarin to the speakers of Mandarin Chinese? If an Old Mandarin Chinese speaker heard a Mandarin Chinese speaker or vice versa, how fluent would the communication be?
6
votes
3answers
766 views

What is the ancient Chinese one-character name for woman like '子’ means man?

青青子衿,悠悠我心。但为君故,沉吟至今 Here: 子,对对方的尊称 子 implicitly implies the poem is addressing a man. The poem talks about how a lady misses a man. I just wonder if there is a corresponding word for Chinese. (i.e. ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?

Baxter's Middle Chinese reconstruction has 拉 as *lop, which surprised me given that the Cantonese reflex is laai1. Other characters with the rime -op such as 合, 答 and 雜 end up with the rime -ap or ...
6
votes
3answers
489 views

Does ancient Chinese have tones (声调)?

This question has puzzled me since I have no training in ancient Chinese and ancient phonetics. What is puzzling me is the following facts: The tones in different regions are quite different. If ...