Questions tagged [cantonese]

The Chinese language of Southern China and Hongkong.

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7 votes
1 answer

Sociolinguistics of pre-handover Hong Kong cinema and dialogue in non-Cantonese Chinese “dialects”

I have always heard that mutual intelligibility between the Sinitic languages of China is low. However, I am confused by the sociolinguistics of Hong Kong cinema in 1980s and 1990s. Films from that ...
1 vote
0 answers

Connection between “wiseguy” and the Cantonese slang 古惑仔

"Wiseguy" can mean a made man in the mafia or a smart ass who acts like they are smarter than others. What I find interesting is that the Cantonese/Chinese slang term 古惑仔(Gu Wac Zai) has ...
1 vote
0 answers

Causative classes in Cantonese

Recently me and WavesWashSands had a conversation about Cantonese and it's causatives. zing2, gaau2, tam3, gik1, haak3 etc. A lot of these look like they are just based on classes of moods. But are ...
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0 votes
1 answer

Which Chinese Romanisation system is most intelligible to English speakers?

This may be a difficult question, because I've heard that pronunciation can vary greatly even within Chinese-speaking countries. I'm also not really aware of when Mandarin or Cantonese would be used; ...
5 votes
1 answer

Difference between pitch and intensity

I would like to understand what is the difference in lignuistic betwen pitch and intensity. On the picture (taken from native HK speaker), I have a Cantonese sentence. Nei5 Jiu3 Caa4 Maa3 ? ...
  • 151
4 votes
2 answers

Are the unreleased stops in cantonese discernable by listening?

Background-Info: In contrast to mandarin Chinese, which can only have a few consonants at the and of a syllable, e.g. man, mang, Cantonese syllables can contain p,t,k at their end. Nevertheless, ...
  • 745
3 votes
0 answers

How is tone assigned to loanwords borrowed from non-tonal languages? [duplicate]

In a tonal language like Cantonese, how is stress assigned to loanwords (from languages which don't have a tone distinction)? For example, Hong Kong Cantonese has various words borrowed from English, ...
17 votes
4 answers

How do tones work in music sung in tonal languages, such as Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese?

I have not yet studied tonal languages, so it might be understandable, but when I listen to Chinese music, for example, I'm unable to perceive tones. This makes me think they are partially or ...
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