linguoboy wrote:Most references I found for 沙山 are to 鳴沙山, a particular location in Dunhuang.
That's what I found when I googled it as well, but some of the results seem to use it as a common noun? The reason I assumed it might refer to bigger dunes (in addition to it being logical) is that when googling "沙山" and "dune", two of the results that don't refer to that particular place in Dunhuang have English translations referring to "mega-dune" and "dune mountains" and "dune-mountain system", although the former also uses 大沙山
(and there are other results for that as well), which would seem a little redundant if 沙山
already referred to a bigger dune than just 沙丘
Maybe I should PM OldBoring and ask him? I'm always a little hesitant to PM anyone, though, and it might be rude to randomly send a PM asking such a basic vocabulary question...
linguoboy wrote:沙丘 seems to be the usual term.
Yeah, I'd only known 沙丘
until the day before yesterday (well, technically 砂丘 since I knew it from Japanese, but it's practically the same thing)
but had to look up if 沙山
exists when I learned Tangut ŋər
corresponding to 山; I don't know if that makes any sense, but well. It doesn't seem like Tangut had a calque of 沙丘 as the word for dune either, though, or at least googling it has no results, so eh. Then again, there's still a lot of uncertainty around Tangut in general, so who knows.
Apparently there's a Japanese song called 砂山
, and the Japanese Wikipedia seems to imply the word exists as a synonym for 砂丘
in Japanese, but the reading given is 'sunayama' so it's presumably unrelated to the Chinese one, and some of the image results on Google are of little mounds made of sand on a beach.
Sorry for rambling again. EDIT: accidentally used the Chinese sand character instead of the Japanese one in the last paragraph