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Founding Engineer at FutureAdvisor.


Oct
9
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@StumpyJoePete I was considering writing up what we have here as an answer, wanted to research a few more pieces before doing so. One missing link is how modern Mandarin ended up with xué as the pronunciation for 學. From what I've been able to find so far, the expected pronunciation should be xiao, which would also match the expected evolution of "hio", and indeed I have found some sources indicating that xiáo is an alternative pronunciation for 學. This may be related to the fact that the etymologically-related word 覺 has two readings: jué and jiào.
Oct
7
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@user58955 Legge appears to have transliterated it as Ta Hëŏ, which is close.
Oct
7
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
Based on the transcription alone, my guess is that it's from a northern dialect (due to the absence of the final -k in 學). The initial h- in 學 indicates that it's either from a time before the palatalization of Mandarin initial consonants (roughly 200-400 years ago, hi- and hü- became modern Mandarin xi- and xu-), or from a dialect that wasn't affected by palatalization (with which I'm not familiar). However, a Google search for "Ta Hio" seems to result in many citations of Ezra Pound, who is a relatively modern author. I don't know whether the term predates Pound though.
Oct
7
comment What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?
@user58955 corrected... thanks!
Oct
7
revised What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?
edited per user58955's comment
Oct
7
answered What does “ backtick escapes ” mean in chinese?
Oct
6
reviewed Close Could somebody help fill in these blanks
Oct
6
reviewed Leave Open How to come from 二百五 to 二百九?
Oct
3
reviewed No Action Needed Could somebody help fill in these blanks
Oct
3
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
@user58955 I'm still partial to the homophone-avoidance explanation; it has a certain truthiness to it that's hard to abandon, and my personal belief is that it probably played some role in the shift to greater disyllabicity in modern Chinese. However, the source I cited does give good explanations for why it's not the primary factor in this shift.
Oct
3
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
In your example passage, would analyze 公 as an anaphor for 曹操 rather than a direct replacement. For that reason it would probably be more appropriate to translate it into the modern 他. In general though, the style of written Classical Chinese uses a lot of anaphora, resulting in very concise text, which is why some question whether the spoken language upon which it originally was based was really monosyllabic to begin with.
Oct
2
answered Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
Sep
5
revised 份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?
Add note about measure word/classifier distinction
Sep
5
revised 份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?
Add link to classifier also
Sep
4
answered 份, 个, 本, 两: How do they function in these sentences?
Aug
13
comment 的-地-得, when do you use which?
As another point of disagreement with @Laurent, it should be noted that the three are only homonyms in Mandarin. In other Chinese varieties, they are pronounced differently and replacing one with the other would sound obviously wrong when read out loud. For instance, in Cantonese, 的-地-得 are dik1-dei2-dak1.
Aug
13
comment Why does 首饰的饰 have the 饣radical?
While you suggest the latter might be more plausible, a phonetic analysis suggests that the phonetic is more likely to be 食 rather than 飤. It's hard to tell because Mandarin no longer has 入聲 tones, but both 食 and 飾 were originally 入聲 words that ended in -k (cf. sik6 and sik1, respectively in Modern Cantonese), and 飤 was a 去聲 word that did not (cf. zi6 in Cantonese). This does not necessarily mean that 布 is the signific though; as the answer by user2584 seems to indicate, both 人 and 巾 contribute to the signific in a pictographic manner.
Aug
6
revised Where should I place the comma in large numbers?
add tag
Aug
3
comment What is the origin of the proverbial phrase, “Drink the Northwestern winds”?
@aelephant: Regarding 吸, the ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese suggests that it may be an allofam of 喝 due to vowel alternation. Late Han (ca. 200 AD) pronunciation of 吸 was hɨp and 喝 was həp.
Aug
3
reviewed Leave Open So when should I use 旅舍,旅社,宾馆,酒店, or 旅馆?