Hot answers tagged

7

From San Duanmu, The Phonology of Standard Chinese: While Middle Chinese (about AD 600) had over 3,000 syllables (including tonal distinctions), modern Standard Chinese (SC) has just over 1,300. Thus, over a period of 1,500 years, Chinese lost more than half of its syllables. Moreover, the syllable inventory of modern Chinese continues to shrink. In ...


5

This question could be split into two types of terms: new expressions & old expressions. I would rather split it into the following: Textual usage in the classics & history, and later Pre-Qin paleographic occurrences While resources for the former are abundant (resources like 漢語大詞典 and later will give a good survey, even if not the earliest usage),...


5

I believe this is the original text: 今有葭二莖生池中,並根杪齊,出水三尺,即葭一莖斜去至岸九尺,與水適平,問水深若干? It also comes with the following, hard to read, illustration: This is the measure word you're asking about: 尺 MDBG: chǐ a Chinese foot / one-third of a meter / a ruler / a tape-measure / one of the three acupoints for measuring pulse in Chinese medicine / CL: 支, 把 Wiktionary ...


5

A few points to start off: Characters are not made up of radicals (which are strictly dictionary section headers); elements of characters which give meaning are called semantic components. The phonetic part of 「漢」 is currently written as 「⿱廿⿻口夫」.   For brevity, this character will be referred to as 「𦰩」, but note that 「𦰩」 is actually a Japanese shape, ...


3

Old Chinese did not have tones but had consonant clusters, and a larger number of consonants. It gradually lost consonants and simplified all consonant clusters to single consonants and had to disambiguate words by tone.


3

I think this is a result of the underlying assumptions made in a language. Case: if you assume case is necessary, you need to differentiate each noun and adjective for case, that is declension. If you have 6 cases, each noun or adjective needs 6 forms. Inflection: if you assume verbs must be inflected, you need to add syllables. A typical verb in Attic Greek ...


3

Ancient Chinese has no concept of the modern-called continents. Instead, they describe the world as a "China-Foreign" system, while China is the centre of the world, and other countries are scattered around China. The name of Asia firstly appeared in China in 1582, on the map Kunyu Wanguo Quantu. The name was translated by Matteo Ricci, assisted by ...


2

To me, https://www.zdic.net/ is fine for the usage of common words or ancient words. Unlike other methods, this linked dictionary directly tell you some of the earliest usages of the word and the etymology/evolution of the single character. For examples: On zdic you could click on those bronze characters and oracle characters at the end of the page; ...


2

I'm not an expert in Filipino, but I might provide a hint for you to look it up. The former Filipino president, Corazon Aquino, was born Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco, where Cojuangco is pronounced similar to Chinese "许寰哥" ("Brother Kho-Khoan"), which was derived from her grand-grandfather Kho Giok-khoan (许玉寰). (Trivia info: Corazon ...


2

「斥」 (Baxter-Sagart OC: /*tʰAk/) was originally a character formed by modifying 「宅」 (/*m-tˤak/, dwelling). The modern meaning either originated as a phonetic loan or semantic extension (expand one's dwelling > expand territory > to expel (enemies) > to reprimand > to blame). 時期字體 字形 參考資料 商甲 乙2256合集14206 西周金 𣄰尊集成6014 戰國・晉古幣 81古幣文編 戰國・楚簡 ...


2

As a modern Chinese word, the age of "语法" is about 100 years. Because modern Chinese originated from the May 4th Movement, which took place on May 4, 1919. But there was also the word "语法" in ancient Chinese, for example: Case1: 《左传·昭公二十年》:“尔其勉之!相从为愈” 。 唐-孔颖达疏:“服虔云:‘相从愈於共死。’则服意‘相从’使员从其言也。语法,两人交互乃得称‘相’,独使员从己,语不得为相从也。”。 Case2: 金-王若虚《论语辨惑二》:...


1

The phonetic component doesn't always contribute any meaning to the character meaning most of the time. Mother 妈 definitely has nothing to do with a horse! If you want a sort of mnemonic to remember the meaning you can think of 井 looking like a frame of a pillory (those wooden boards with holes to hold a prisoner's head and hands). Those objects usually ...


1

刑 根据说文解字,刑的左边在古代还真是个"井", 井,法也。 注意此处的"井"并不是水井(well),而是"整齐、有秩序" 井 整齐,有秩序:~然。~~有条。 再查井的说文解字,会发现有 (丼)八家爲一丼 可能是古代比较早期的一种管理制度,看着像九宫格,中间空地不住人,看起来整整齐齐的样子。


1

My personal opinion is the dearth of syllables in Chinese. Whereas English has 10000+ different sounds, Chinese only has about 400. To increment the expressive possibilities, tones developed. Still, assuming every syllable in Chinese has 5 tones (not always the case), Chinese still only has 2000 syllables. Using Pinyin input, enter yao, or zhi. There are an ...


1

斥 has both components that have been corrupted over time. It comprises 广 and 屰. 广 is a roof, meaning home or building related, while 屰 is an upside-down 大, meaning reverse. When you expel or dismiss a person, you send them on the reverse direction and away from the building. 屰 is possibly a sound component as well. Correct me if I am wrong, but blame is ...


1

Because there is no such thing as grammar in Chinese," please tell me where you guys keep hearing this from in Joseph Needham‘s book “science and civilisation in China”, volume VII, part I, page 24; in the remark, it mentioned: “[...] like Lionel Giles in 1945, would want to claim 'Chinese cannot really be said to have any grammar at all.' [...]” my “...


1

Radicals do not have anything to do with meaning. I'll start off with a rather lengthy correction to a common misconception. Radicals (部首, literally section 部 header 首) are just a dictionary organisation tool, specifically used for texts which collate and refer to a large collection of characters, serving as the head of each section of a dictionary. They are ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible