3,192 reputation
1821
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 27
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen 11 hours 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
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 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 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!
Jun
19
revised Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
Addendum w/more detailed analysis of one character
Jun
19
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@fredsbend I wrote "yan3" and "lin2" because they are phonetic components. They have f*** all to do with the meaning of the whole character. I will add an analysis for garden.
Jun
18
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@MikeManilone I mean "most" both in the context of the article as well as in the sense "most of the characters listed in a dictionary". Also, although phonetics are occasionally semanticly relevant, it's a mistake to think that they must contribute to the character's meaning. Sometimes a phonetic is just a phonetic :)
Jun
18
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@Stan Exactly what editing is for.
Jun
18
awarded  Yearling
Jun
18
comment Can someone verify the meaning and age of these ancient Chinese characters?
@CongXu Good enough for me! Updated :)