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My native language is English, of the British variety, with a moderate, generalised inner London accent (as opposed to that of a specific locale, although its influences may or may not be heard). Always seeking to extend my grasp of language, I tend towards the formal, the elaborate, the precise; pedantic at times, but baroque always.


Ma connaissance de la langue français, au mieux c'est superficielle, au pire c'est à peine opérationnelle.

NB: I am only an amateur when it comes to linguistics. 对于语言学,我只是业余浅尝的。

comment How does inserting 起来 into 请客 as in 请起客来 changes the meaning?
"To start inviting guests", or even "to have managed to invite guests" (as it is an accomplishment event).
comment What is the difference in pronunciation between saying “jin” and “jing”?
From this 2004 paper: Recent phonetic studies have shown that in Mandarin syllables with final nasal n or ng, there is an absence of closure; instead, the vowel is nasalized, and the degree of retraction of the vowel serves to distinguish the two nasal endings.
comment Etymology of 至关(重要)
There are indications that the phrase is much older than the late 1980s: "Report of the National Peip'ing (Beiping) Library" which is meant to date from 1930 contains the phrase 至關重要.
comment Tones in Cantonese: 6 or 9?
Yep, that's pretty much right. Interestingly, checked tones with long vowels (e.g. 百 baak3) may be longer or as long as non-checked syllables, but that final consonant is usually clear enough.
comment 快: why does “fast” also mean “happy”?
According to the 2004 paper 现代汉语同形同音词与多义词的区分原则和方法, this is what is supposed to have happened. A so-called 假借 occurred between 快 and 赽, 駃, 趹, which had related root meanings of galloping, of fast horses, and other high-speed actions.
comment pronunciation: j/q/x/y + ün
Native speakers of the Shanxi [山西] dialect (specifically Jin 晋语) are known for pronouncing the diphthongal final -un /u̯ən/ into a monophthongal [ʊn] or even [un]. Native speakers of Minnan, whether it's Hokkien or Teochew, are known for lacking the vowel /y/ in their native speech and so merge -ü into -i. This as far as I see is not replicated across the rest of Fujian or Guangdong.
comment What is the meaning of ㄝ?
ㄝ actually seems to derive from 也 rather than 世. See this Wikipedia article.
comment How is adding oil going to beneficial to the situation? 加油
For those who are able to access it, there's an article from 2009 with the subject 谈谈“加油”的词源 ("Discussion of the Etymology of 加油") from the journal Language Planning.
comment Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?
Thanks: duly corrected!
comment Dissimilation of bilabial finals following Middle Chinese (法, 品, 凡)
Sino-Korean vocabulary is generally based on Tang dynasty production (as a rule of thumb anyway). Actually, a later "earlier bound" for dissimilation comes with the production of the Guangyun rime table, which still distinguishes e.g. 法 from 發 in the early Song dynasty, although that source is of course subject to a certain conservatism. Interestingly, with respect to the loss of glides after labial fricatives, Pulleyblank's Middle Chinese: A Study in Historical Phonology, says on p88: "This must have occurred at least by Northern Song and was probably well underway during Tang".