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Jul
21
comment Resources For Learning Southwestern Mandarin (西南官话)
chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/2602/…
Jul
13
comment 解 Read as Jiai?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_National_Pronunciation
Jun
15
comment What is the nuance of 很好?
You may want to see this slightly more linguistic discussion on Language Log.
Apr
21
comment Characters for Taiwanese
I'm confused by the question. 遮雨 does represent the Taiwanese characters for j(l)ia-hōo.
Apr
17
comment How To *Write* The Northeastern ‘ber lou’?
These characters are almost certainly not in the Kangxi Dictionary! I've checked every component as a radical, and it doesn't seem to exist.
Mar
6
comment What is the relationship between vernacular and literary Chinese?
Before the New Culture Movement of the early twentieth century, no form of Mandarin was used in official written bureaucracy. The Ming and Qing dynasties would have used literary Chinese for that purpose, although the stylistic influence of the local Mandarin may have been present. Bureaucratic style would have thus been very different from the vernacular written Chinese of the novels at the time.
Jan
23
comment Chinese Words that Accurately Reflect English Phonemes
(2) will be the problem. You're going to be wanting combinations of phonemes which do not exist in standard Mandarin: /w/ + /u/ is one of them.
Jan
19
comment Chinese words for “accent”
Estuary English is not Received Pronunciation, neither traditional RP nor modern RP. Neither is it Cockney, nor MLE.
Jan
5
comment In which Chinese topolect might 門 be transcribed as <mum>?
Toisanese preserves -n usually, and like most Chinese varieties would modify the nasal to -ng in colloquial layers. Also, *m--m looks like it violates the labial dissimilation rule that Yue varieties of Chinese follow. I'd guess it's just a marketer's pun!
Dec
19
comment Specially formatted Xiehouyu: What are they? What others are there?
Seems similar to Cockney Rhyming Slang as used in actual practice, for example "I'm goin' up 'e ap'les" [ɒɪm 'gaʊɪn ɐp ʔi æpʔoz] for "I'm going up the stairs". It has been called hemiteleia, most famously picked up in Bryson's work "Mother Tongue".
Dec
15
comment Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?
Other examples of Old Chinese Baxter-Sagart *qh > modern Cantonese f- include 熏 and 葷. There's also *qwh for 化, 揮; *qhʕ for 呼, *ɢʕ for 乎, *qwhʕ for 賄 etc. The vast majority of these are x + some sort of glide in Middle Chinese. Lots of velar and "guttural/laryngeal" Middle Chinese initial consonants developed to f- in Cantonese before the 合口 glide w.
Dec
15
comment Character 瞓: where did the pronunciations come from?
The notation qh according to the Baxter-Sagart system for Old Chinese is a voiceless aspirated uvular stop. But note that it is mainly an abstraction from Middle Chinese.
Dec
3
comment Why is Zhenya Wang's surname in English “Wang” but sometimes pronounced “Wong”?
What may complicate this case is the fact that there is also the Australian senator Penny Wong, with the surname 黄 (i.e. different Chinese surname, different pronunciation in Mandarin but same in Cantonese, and romanised into English via Cantonese rather than standard Mandarin Pinyin). It may be a simple mistake.
Nov
25
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).
Nov
10
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.
Sep
22
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.
Sep
15
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.
Sep
8
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.
Aug
13
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.
Aug
13
comment What is the meaning of ㄝ?
ㄝ actually seems to derive from 也 rather than 世. See this Wikipedia article.