3,156 reputation
1820
bio website peterthenelson.com
location United States
age 26
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen 1 hour 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

Oct
9
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@Claw (Using Baxter's Middle Chinese notation) It seems lots of [jqx]ue and [jqx]iao words started with -æwk endings in MC. Baxter doesn't make any notes that one is regular or irregular though, so I expect it's a 白/文 distinction. This info + chart implies that -iao is regular Mandarin and -ue is literary (Beijingified Nanjing chinese?). Perhaps xiao~hio was the normal pronunciation in Beijing a long time ago?
Oct
9
comment Is there a Chinese equivelant of the word stress
+1 for multiple alternatives, w/real examples of appropriate use
Oct
8
comment Refreshing and bubbly
@NS.X. e.g., "The sparkling water made fizzing and popping noises as the dissolved CO2 came out of solution"
Oct
8
comment Use of polyphonic characters in transliteration
My guess is that there isn't any logic, and it's totally by convention. I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone has some useful information to share though :)
Oct
8
comment About Confucius' Ta-Hio
@user58955 and Claw What (and when) was the Legge transcription based on? Beijing court mandarin? Nanjing court mandarin? That's totally answer material you guys have got!
Oct
4
comment Why are intermediate cardinal directions read differently in Chinese?
@congusbongus How could the tones be caused by the character order?
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
Perhaps I should rephrase: Some sound changes are much more likely than others. The sound changes from Middle Chinese to Mandarin all are quite plausible and resulted in greater homophony.
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
+1 for a scholarly answer
Oct
2
comment Reasons for Chinese changing from monosyllabic to disyllabic?
I think #1 is the main reason. The reason isn't really unknown though; the historical phonology of Chinese is well studied.
Oct
2
comment Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?
NewLong, he's asking you to summarize the algorithm, not cut&paste the whole article. As congusbongus linked, it's part of Stackoverflow/Stackexchange's philosophy to prefer summaries+link over just-a-link.
Oct
1
comment How Archaic is James Legge's Written Chinese in this Side by Side English/Chinese Book?
@congusbongus Written Mandarin is worlds apart from 文言文 in many respects.
Oct
1
comment Are there any readability measurement tools for Chinese?
Whatever you method you invent, it will certainly be better than the Flesch-Kinkaid method for analyzing English (which literally just counts words/sentence and syllables/word).
Sep
30
comment Usage of the phrase '不错用' in Taiwan Mandarin
Great answer. It's not "transliteration" though; it's calquing--i.e., morpheme-by-morpheme translation--from Min to Mandarin. Transliteration would be trying to use characters to imitate the sound of the original Min.
Sep
26
comment Difference between 部门 and 系
If a university/college is large enough to distinguish the two, 学院=college/school and 系=department. E.g., "English department" (which might belong to the "College of Letters & Sciences" or something). Many institutions don't have the distinction, i.e., there are only departments, and there are no administrative groupings of them.
Sep
26
comment Difference between 部门 and 系
I have seen 英语系 = English department before. Also, could you clarify what you mean "work for the English major"?
Sep
23
comment What traditions do people follow when naming a second child in Chinese?
@AgreeOrNot I had a professor named 赵启光, with two older brothers 赵启正 and 赵启大 (presumably, if there had been a 4th, he would have been 赵启明)
Sep
21
comment Regional variations of “柴米油盐酱醋茶”
The OP is asking about variations on the 7 necessities, not the usual form.
Sep
21
comment What is the Chinese word for “home office”?
FYI Soho is not a commonly used term for home offices in my experience (in the US). When I hear "soho", I think SoHo. It seems there are some English acronyms that are used more widely in Chinese than in English?
Sep
19
comment Are there any good reverse transliteration strategies?
If you figure this out, tell me how! So far as I can tell, transliteration is wildly inconsistent, and there aren't any exact rules (although there are a few competing authorities on the transliterations in the news perhaps?)
Sep
19
comment Use of 而 preceding verb
+1 Good examples and explanation. I disagree with your interpretation in the first 2 examples being 而 = "to"/infinitive. I'm pretty sure they're just turned around versions of the "而⋯⋯,是为了" pattern. That is, "为(了)⋯⋯,而⋯⋯".