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Founding Engineer at FutureAdvisor.


Aug
14
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
There's another point of data that indicates that the alternation is due to a much older distinction and it is that it exists in other modern varieties of Chinese. For instance, in Cantonese, the alternation is wui6 vs. kui2. There's a slight irregularity here too in that the expected tone for kui should be 3 rather than 2, but that could be explained by the tone change phenomenon that Cantonese exhibits.
Aug
13
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
@user54609 The alternation did exist, but with expected sound changes it should have been hui vs. gui rather than hui vs. kuai.
Aug
13
comment Why is the 会 in 会计 pronounced kuài?
@user54609 It's actually kuai that's the irregular reading. The expected pronunciation following regular sound changes should be gui (mentioned as an alternate pronunciation here), but the older kwai pronunciation ended up getting preserved rather than following the expected sound changes (probably because it was only used in limited contexts).
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
@OmniBus I think you misunderstand what jogloran means by 'strict formula'. Sound changes are generally regular. The diversity of languages comes about because different sound changes occur among different groups, but the changes themselves are generally fairly regular and consistent. This notwithstanding, exceptions can be found. In this case, the Cantonese pronunciation of 蠟 and 臘 came about via regular sound change from OC *lop, but this did not occur for 拉, so jogloran is asking why this is the case; often the answer uncovers something interesting about the history of the language.
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
This is an interesting hypothesis, though if it were the case, we'd find some documentation for it. For example, both 內 and 對 are documented in 《康熙字典》 as 去 tones (內:奴對切,餒去聲;對:都內切,𠀤音碓), with the alternative 入 pronunciation being listed for 內 (奴荅切。同納。). The entry for 拉, however, only recognizes the 入 form (落合切,𠀤音菈。讀與臘近。). If the modern pronunciation came from the OC *-s final, you'd think the 去 form would have made an appearance by the time 《康熙字典》 was compiled.
Aug
11
comment What happened to the Old Chinese coda -p of 拉 in Cantonese?
Great question... I was actually going to ask this myself too but you beat me to it. :)
Jul
25
comment How to say “being” as in “Being jewish”
@200_success I suppose it depends what you are trying to convey. 当 can denote a hypothetical condition, so it could be used if you weren't Jewish but were talking about what it would be like being Jewish.
Jul
22
comment Third tone sandhi: when (if ever) does 3 3 become 3 0 instead of 2 3?
possible duplicate of Is there a tone sandhi rule that "4 3" changes to "4 0"?
Jul
22
comment Third tone sandhi: when (if ever) does 3 3 become 3 0 instead of 2 3?
@chapka You can refer to the answer in this very similar question: chinese.stackexchange.com/a/5753/166
Jun
30
comment What does 非也 mean?
也 is not a modal particle; rather, it is a copula (similar to the word 'to be' in English or 是 in Modern Chinese) that appears at the end of a sentence in Classical Chinese. 非 means "not so", so 非也 as a whole means "it is not so".
Jun
21
comment “醡” and “炸” in “醡醬麵” and “炸醬麵”
This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
Jun
17
comment 角/毛 (10 cents) for money: why?
I thought it might be relevant to note that in Cantonese, 毫 is still used as the colloquial term for 10 cents.
Jun
3
comment Using variants of 那
Refer to the answers in this question for more information regarding the nèi pronunciation. The zdict.net link also provides the explanation of its derivation as a contraction of nà yī (那一).
May
12
comment Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?
@zsf222 不好意思我的中文没我的英语那么好。我写的就是表达"之/的"的情况与"父母/爸妈"的有点差别。"的"的现代发音很有可能保留了"之"的古代发音,但我 链接的文章 论证了:虽然"父母"古代发音类似"爸妈"现代发音,但是"爸妈"发音不是保留古代"父母"发音的,而是由于每一代的婴儿最初的语音通常是[m]和[a],紧接着[b]、‌​[p]、[n]、[d]、[t]等等,每一代的父母会将[ma]、[ba]那些声音当作妈妈和爸爸的意思。
May
10
comment Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?
@zsf222 the explanation for 爸/妈 is a bit more complex and doesn't completely correspond to this. This paper has more details; from the conclusion: "Children universally produce the sounds [m] and [a] earlier than other sounds, followed by [b], [p], [n], [d] and [t], and parents almost universally assign the meanings ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to the child’s first identifiable noises." 爸/妈 is not so much an archaic pronunciation of 父/母, but rather a pronunciation that keeps being recreated at every generation.
May
2
comment What is the morphology or etymology of the word 列车?
Another book I would recommend regarding Chinese word formation is The Chinese Lexicon: A Comprehensive Survey by Yip Po-Ching. It doesn't go into linguistic theory as much so it's easier to follow for people who are not versed in linguistics.
May
2
comment What's the general word for cheese?
起司 is used in Taiwan, not Hong Kong.
Apr
30
comment Why is (是) shi4 dropped in this sentence:“我很好”?
@Ming That's fair. :) I suppose I meant "simply" as "most concisely".
Apr
28
comment How to say, “Did you hold your cellphone close to your face?” in Cantonese?
Oops, I meant zyu6 instead of zyu3. It's too late to edit my original comment unfortunately.
Apr
28
comment Why is (是) shi4 dropped in this sentence:“我很好”?
@NS.X. I wouldn't necessarily say that this question is a duplicate of that one. While the answer to that question helps to answer this one, these two questions are fundamentally different. This question asks why 是 is not needed; the other question asks what word in the sentence is playing the role of the verb and how does it behave.