2,950 reputation
819
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 1 month
seen 1 min ago

I lived in China for a couple years. My Chinese isn't too bad, but I'm always trying to get better. Special interests in:

  • Etymology
  • Historical phonology
  • Winning arguments in other languages

Jun
28
comment Should Chinese text be grid aligned in game dialogs?
are you talking about using half-width punctuation or full-width punctuation? perhaps a picture would be clearer...
Jun
28
comment Should Chinese text be grid aligned in game dialogs?
If they're all the same width, they're "aligned to a grid". Notice that many fonts for writing English are not monospaced, and the differing widths cause characters on subsequent lines to be not directly under the characters above them.
Jun
27
comment Tones and syllable structure
@Claw Thanks for fixing my example. Checked tones really work as a pretty broad class of these. Since middle chinese had 8 tone categories (阴平,阳平,阴上,阳上,阴去,阳去,阴入,阳入) and only 2 of them were "checked" (the two 入 categories), the checked tones will be in complementary distribution with something. Of course it depends on how the particular language's tone categories (and syllable structure--e.g., Mandarin has no -p,-t,-k syllables) have changed over time.
Jun
27
comment What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?
(continued from below) @CongXu I brought it up because if you're calling someone unrefined, it's probably because you think they're some yokel local country bumpkin, not because you think that foreign things are better than indigenous ones.
Jun
27
comment What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?
@CongXu I'd like to point out that opposition is not always 土 (indigenous) vs 洋 (foreign). Often it's 土 (local) vs 标准 (standard), as is the case when people talk about accents.
Jun
27
comment Tones and syllable structure
@Claw So they are! Thanks for the info. Anyhow, it's easy to find other examples: In Shanghainese, all of the tones in words with a voiced initial are lower than (although the same "shape" as) the corresponding tones in words with unvoiced initials.
Jun
27
comment What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?
People often refer to country-ass hicks as being very "土"
Jun
27
comment What does 土 mean in this sentence 这个名字有点土?
土 means "local, colloquial, or unrefined" in this context.
Jun
25
comment Tones and syllable structure
Most chinese dialects have a different set of tones for "checked" or "closed" syllables. E.g., in Cantonese, tones 7, 8, and 9 only exist in syllables ending in -p, -t, and -k.
Jun
24
comment Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages
@Cocowalla I didn't mean to imply that no one uses it, just that I personally am unfamiliar with the usage. Cheers :)
Jun
24
comment Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages
@Cocowalla Yes, that's listed in the wiki as well. I didn't include it in my answer because it's a usage I've never heard/used.
Jun
24
answered Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages
Jun
24
comment Similar pronunciations of tea/茶 across languages
Yes, they do. Wikipedia knows all
Jun
23
answered Tones and syllable structure
Jun
22
comment Tones and syllable structure
Yes, but it entirely depends on the dialect!
Jun
22
comment Difference between the Advantages and disadvantages of learning Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien for visiting Taiwan
If you're "weeks" into it, you're probably just going to learn high-frequency casual spoken stuff. And that tends to differ between the Chinese languages much more than formal stuff (which usually has the same characters, and at that point you'll probably understand the phonetic correspondences better).
Jun
22
comment Difference between the Advantages and disadvantages of learning Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien for visiting Taiwan
I would say that just because it's called a "dialect", it's unlikely to help you much, especially at the "several weeks" level. Cross-dialect transfer is much more prominent in highly formal vocabulary once you have a strong understanding of phonetic correspondences.
Jun
21
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@MikeManilone You seem to be of the opinion that if the second component has any semantic similarity, the character must be a 会意字. For me, if the second component has sufficient phonetic similarity, I'd classify it as 形声字. Regardless of how one chooses to classify characters, the vast majority of characters have a component with a significant phonetic similarity (or there was significant similarity at time of creation). Furthermore, there is ample evidence that historically, phonetic borrowing comes first. Here's an example
Jun
19
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@MikeManilone Please provide references. I'm gonna stick with the Wiki and Baike: "据统计,东汉许慎编纂的《说文解字》收录汉字9353个,其中的形声字就占了82%;南宋郑樵对 23000多个汉字进行了统计分析,形声字占90%;现代7000个通用汉字中,形声字也占80%以上。" 80+% is a vast majority.
Jun
19
comment Can whether a character is simplified or traditional depend on the context it is used in?
The Unihan character data from Unicode. Please keep in mind all of the gotchas I brought up in my answer--it's NOT 1-to-1!