Questions tagged [chinese]

A branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family which is mostly spoken in China and consists of many spoken varieties, including the standard and most prominent variety, Mandarin.

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112 views

About the “ᵊ” superscript in IPA

I apologize for a diletant question but does "ə" in "piᵊŋ" indicate a secondary articulation? I couldn't find it in the list of "Co-articulation diacritics" on Wikipedia'...
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How mutually intelligible are the different Mandarin dialects?

This is a question about dialects placed under the umbrella of "Mandarin", not languages which are considered separate from Mandarin like Cantonese or Wu. Wikipedia says that "Southwest ...
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Why do Chinese and Hindi have more terms for relatives than English does?

I was thinking about labels we assign family members (like cousin, grand mother etc.) and it struck me that in my native language of Hindi, we have different labels for maternal and paternal family ...
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Measuring lexical similarity between two arbitrary languages

Pardon me if this question is naive, but I am wondering if there is a way to quantify lexical similarity between two corpora of text, each written in different languages whose alphabets differ greatly....
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64 views

What exactly is Minimal Distance Principle and how is it applied here?

In my previous question, I referred to the analysis of indirect passives in Chinese from "The Syntax of Chinese". They mention "Minimal Distance Principle": In this structure, the verb dasi ‘kill’ ...
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47 views

Difference between PRO and OP

What's the difference between PRO and OP? For example, on p. 142, the book "The Syntax of Chinese" presents the following tree (which is an analysis of indirect passives in Chinese): In this ...
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61 views

What does 'MSP' stand for in the context of Chinese parts of speech?

The Part-Of-Speech Tagging Guidelines for the PennChineseTreebank(3.0) uses several acronyms without defining them. I am a hobbyist student of Chinese linguistics as part of my study of Chinese. I ...
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95 views

How does 小 get the Sino-Vietnamse as “tiểu”?

I'm trying to re-construct the Sino-Vietnamese word of 小 (tiểu) from fanqie method mentioned here. At first, I looked up fanqie of the word from this dictionary. 小 has fanqie 私兆 which is "tư triệu" ...
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Is there a relatively systematic way to converter from pinyin to Sino Vietnamese words (Hán Việt) or vice versa?

I'm wondering if there's a relatively systematic way to convert from pinyin to Sino Vietnamese words (Hán Việt) or vice versa or not. For example: 国(guó) --> quốc 大(dà) --> đại 小(xiǎo) --> tiểu ...
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Similarities between Proto-Austronesian and Chinese?

Proto-Austronesian was a language that was spoken about 5,000 years ago near Taiwan. I am just curious about, partly because of the geographic connection, if Chinese is related to the Austronesian ...
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545 views

What do these subscripts/superscripts mean in IPA?

Here is an example of a sentence from the Glossika course in Taiwanese Hokkien: The "Phonics" line is the IPA line. (The "Typing" line is the Tâi-lô romanization; I don't know where the "...
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141 views

Is there an aggregation of Oracle Bone Script glyphs?

I am looking for something that might take a raw resource like this and instead provide a list of the discovered oracle bone script glyphs, like you would find for the CJK Unicode block for example. ...
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111 views

Why hasn't English borrowed more words from China? [closed]

Why hasn't English (or Latin/Greek/others from which English arrived) borrowed more words from China? I am looking at Wikipedia and there's probably only 30 words there out of the millions of words ...
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181 views

Did the Portuguese influence how days of the week are named in Vietnamese and Chinese?

The Portuguese were some of the first colonizers / missionaries in the Far East. In the case of Vietnam, they created the first phonetic transcription of the language. Interestingly, nowadays the ...
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193 views

Chinese writing system as a universal writing system

As an extension to my question about the "phonetic languages" I'd like to open a topic about the writing systems. As far as I understand the Chinese writing system has literally no connection at all ...
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136 views

Why does anger has something to do with spleen in both Chinese and English?

The English word spleen has two meanings in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, an organ near the stomach which produces and cleans the body's blood. a feeling of anger and disagreement. ...
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Mandarin tone contours along diphthongs

I'd like to know how tone contours are orally distributed along Mandarin rhyme diphthongs. I've tried to find a graphic with variables such as time, volume of speech, pitch levels, etc. to no avail.
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What language/script did Japan during the Yamato period and earlier have?

The Yamato period (300 - 710) had an organized ruler, civilozation, etc. However, only in Nara period (710 - 794), which existed along with the Tang dynasty of China, a Japanese script and language ...
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167 views

Subordination. Chinese vs English

Linguists claim that subordination is universal across the world languages. Subordination in English looks can be understood by looking into these examples: I know a person who has a dog I know a ...
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Chinese linguistics: Could anyone give me pointers to the Traditional-Simplified Chinese translated corpora?

I am a computational linguist and I need some datasets to evaluate my Simplified to Traditional Chinese converter. Could anyone point to datasets which have pairs of Simplified-Traditional Chinese ...
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266 views

Did the removal of Chinese characters have an impact on Korean and Vietnamese?

Korean and Vietnamese used to have Chinese characters but no longer do; there has been talk (e.g. here) of doing the same in Japanese. Has there been an impact on the language? for instance changed ...
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Are any of the Old Chinese reconstructions for「能」plausible descendants of Proto-Sino-Tibetan /*dɣwjəm/?

(Apologies if this is off-topic.) The Chinese character「能」was originally a picture of a kind of bear. The character was once used to represent a word meaning bear, but this word doesn't appear to ...
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142 views

Rule-based or Statistics-based approach for generating plain language grammar rules from a text

Disclaimer: I am a software developer, not a computational linguist and I am not super familiar (though I am mildly familiar) with the field. Happy to learn and be corrected though! My use-case: I ...
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223 views

why does chinese have multi-symbol words and often seem to lack single-symbol word synonyms?

Character based language seems like such a wonderful concept; Instead of describing concepts in multiple symbols using an alphabet, and decode the symbol based on sounds(then throw in a bunch of ...
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236 views

Whispering in languages heavily dependent on pitch or phonation distinctions

When whispering in English all (segmental) phonological distinctions can – as far as I am aware – still be made, which may be due to redundancy (or simply because voicing is optional). I even ...
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424 views

I have some questions about deciphering an ancient language

I’m very fascinated in learning new languages. I want to know: It is possible to decipher and learn how to talk in a ancient language? How to decipher at home any ancient language? Such as Ancient ...
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202 views

How complex contour tones get in languages

So I have seen a few tonal languages, such as Thai, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese: I'm not too familiar with which other languages have tonal features. But I'm wondering if there are any ...
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320 views

Understanding 5-tone register systems

After reading through the Tone Wikipedia page, I get the gist of it. Basically there are register tone systems (like Bantu languages) and contour tone systems (like Mandarin Chinese). In contour tone ...
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2k views

If there is a pattern to Chinese characters

Many people say that written Chinese is a difficult language to learn because the characters don't have any relation to the sound of the word, like in English and other languages, even Japanese. But I'...
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If the Romanization of Logographic (and other) Languages is Fully Accurate

Wondering if the translation of languages such as Chinese and Japanese into Romanized versions is accurate. That is, it doesn't lose information. For example, in Romanization of Chinese, they say ...
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143 views

Why do some languages distinguish between “identical” and “indistinguishable”, and others don't?

In some languages, there's a very prevalent distinction between different meanings of the English word "same" as in "These two items are the same". For example German: dasselbe / das gleiche Greek: ...
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204 views

How do we identify “words” in Chinese?

Chinese, when written in Han characters, does not have "word boundaries". Because Han script is a morphosyllabic script where under most circumstances each character correspond to a morpheme, it is ...
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How different are Chinese dialects?

How different are Chinese dialects, on average, relative to the differences between European languages? Are the dialects spoken in Western and Eastern China as different as, say, Russian and Polish, ...
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Formal semantics explanation

Having linguistics and Chinese knowledge, I need some basic notions to understand an academic article. I add an example of the kind of language used a. liang zu xuesheng 'two teams/sections of ...
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Enumerating the possible Pinyin -> Hanzi transcriptions

Pinyin Chinese text contains less information than its Hanzi equivalent, so its transcription is ambiguous: to identify the correct characters for some given Pinyin requires context. For this reason ...
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167 views

Abbreviations for pinyin and hepburn transliterations?

Are there 2 letter ISO codes for the pinyin or hepburn transliterations? If not, are there non-ISO abbreviations in common use? Thanks.
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Phonemic similarities between “mother” and “father” in different language families

The words for "mother" and "father" in at least a few language families have a phonetic similarity which I find interesting. Compare the Latin and Greek words (μήτηρ/πατήρ mater/pater) with the (...
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116 views

Is Mandarin understandable by Taiwanese in written context if simplified characters are mapped to traditional ones?

According to Wikipedia entry on Taiwanese Mandarin: The official Guoyu is almost identical to the official language of the People's Republic of China, called Pǔtōnghuà, with the exception of their ...
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Is there free and open Chinese corpus?

The corpus in NLTK sinica can be used for research. There are two shortcomings for sinica to be used in research. too small it is a traditional Chinese corpus Can someone here introduce a big and ...
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903 views

Why is spoken Chinese so fast paced?

I'm fan of watching subbed Chinese movies and series and with them sometimes happens something that very rarely happens with movies or series from other languages that's the fact that I haven't been ...
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Are there any purely monosyllabic languages in use today?

All languages in the world that I know of use words with more than one syllable. Are there any where all words have strictly one syllable? That would mean that there is just one vocal cluster per word,...
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373 views

Why are Chinese punctuation marks 。and 、so similar to its western style equivalents?

I've been trying to understand what are the rules for using Chinese punctuation symbols and I stumbled upon this article, which states that: For instance, a Song Dynasty print of Chronicles of ...
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To what extent has Middle Chinese been reconstructed?

I'm currently studying Japanese and Korean for professional reasons and have become very interested in Middle Chinese as the hearth of substantial vocabulary in many East Asian languages. Recalling ...
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216 views

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; ...
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Is use of sorting expected and used in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean)?

For an English speaker with 26 characters, the concept of sorting is ubiquitous. If I see a list, I inherently expect it to be sorted by one of the columns, and of course clicking a column to sort is ...
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176 views

Why are some words to express country names different between Chinese and Japanese?

In some countries, their principal chinese characters are represented differently between Chinese and Japanese. For example, 意 vs 伊 (Italy) 法 vs 仏 (France) 德 vs 独 (Germany) That being said, there ...
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Old Chinese romanization using a letter that looks like a “3”

I know something about both Chinese and philology, but not much, so please explain like I'm 20. :) I'm looking at a text on Wikisource dealing with "the Shû King". It refers to "Mo-3ze" (Mo-zi) and "...
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Why does Vietnamese language seem to be so similar to Mandarin Chinese

I experienced many times how relatively easy it is to learn Chinese (its writing system excluded) for Vietnamese, comparing to Koreans or Japanese whose countries belong to the same zone of Chinese ...
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Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

I know both languages to a certain extent. By no means I am fluent; reading is still a challenge, especially in Chinese, thus I am not allowed to firmly stand by my opinion. I often ponder on the big ...
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Which of 可爱/可愛い was exported to the other between Chinese and Japanese?

In Chinese (Mandarin), there exists a word 可爱 that means "pretty" or "cute" in English. In Japanese, there is also a word 可愛い (adjective) that means the same thing in English. Given that both words ...