Linguistics thread

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby dEhiN » 2018-12-18, 5:08

vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:That makes me wonder: do people still say stuff like "that's cool... not!", or is that no longer a thing?

Well, Borat did that. :lol:

Not sure how good a measuring stick Borat is to use. :P
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-12-18, 6:29

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:That makes me wonder: do people still say stuff like "that's cool... not!", or is that no longer a thing?

Well, Borat did that. :lol:

Not sure how good a measuring stick Borat is to use. :P

Well, he's a person! Albeit a fictional one represented by an actor. :whistle:

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2018-12-18, 18:30

dEhiN wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:That makes me wonder: do people still say stuff like "that's cool... not!", or is that no longer a thing?

Well, Borat did that. :lol:

Not sure how good a measuring stick Borat is to use. :P

Seems to me if you're trying to measure what's currently uncool, he's perfectly suited.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Ser » 2018-12-18, 18:42

The last time I heard or saw the ", ...NOT" joke was around 2012, from a girl in her early 20s who genuinely found it amusing. It's not used much these days really.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Car » 2019-01-10, 13:24

I came across this article in NZZ today.

It's about the question whether languages that use the present tense to express the future are more future-oriented.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-10, 15:12

Car wrote:It's about the question whether languages that use the present tense to express the future are more future-oriented.

:roll:
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby mōdgethanc » 2019-01-10, 15:49

LANGUAGE = THOUGHT
I TOO HAVE READ NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR
ASIANS THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE SO THEY SAVE MONEY

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Saim » 2019-01-10, 16:53

Wouldn't it go the other way if anything? Like, 'we distinguish the future grammatically therefore thinking about the future is more important to us'? Obviously it's all nonsense but that Sapir-Whorfian explanation seems more intuitive to me.

I don't have access to the full study but the abstract seems to suggest that their results came about because the language difference creates two different ethnolinguistic groups with different cultural characteristics. Which is also mentioned at the bottom of the article ("Die Forschung lässt also vermuten, dass [...] die Sprache als Chiffre für Kultur einen starken Einfluss hat.").

Wenn man sprachlich die Zukunft in die Gegenwart hole, erleichtere dies zukunftsorientiertes Verhalten, sagt der Ökonom Keith Chen von der Universität Kalifornien in Los Angeles.


Another economist...
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-10, 17:35

Yeah, his original study came out about five years ago and was roundly debunked by professional linguists. Here's a Language Log takedown from before it was even published: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3756.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-21, 6:58

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compariso ... and_Korean

Just discovered this article.

Tbh, I've always noticed a slight similarity between both Korean and Japanese but not to this extent. I've always had this idea that Japanese was pretty much an isolated language, but turns out it shares some features or concepts with Korean to some degree.

One thing I wonder though, what about Kanji? Do Kanjis hold the same meaning(s) in both Chinese and Japanese or not really? If a Chinese person picks up a Japanese text or vice-versa will they understand some of the kanji? For example, I know the word bbanzai comes from the chinese word wansui. I'm guessing both use kanji, perhaps the same one?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-21, 7:57

Prowler wrote:Tbh, I've always noticed a slight similarity between both Korean and Japanese but not to this extent.

Japan and Korea are very geographically close and have a long history of contact with each other, so it shouldn't be all that surprising.
I've always had this idea that Japanese was pretty much an isolated language

Well, it's not an isolated language. It's Japonic (related to the languages of the Ryukyuan Islands, which AFAICT the Japanese government considers dialects of Japanese). Its relatives don't sound all that much like it.
One thing I wonder though, what about Kanji?

I'm not sure I understand what this has to do with the rest of your post, but kanji are the product of continued and repeated Japanese contact with China and often have multiple Chinese-based pronunciations (on'yomi) due to deliberate attempts by the Japanese to update the pronunciation over time. Japanese culture in general was very heavily influenced by Chinese culture at the time, and my understanding is that every detail of Nara was copied straight from Chang'an. Japanese grammar is also very similar to Classical Chinese grammar (but much less similar to the grammar of any variety of Chinese that's spoken today).
Do Kanjis hold the same meaning(s) in both Chinese and Japanese or not really?

Not always but yes, very often
If a Chinese person picks up a Japanese text or vice-versa will they understand some of the kanji?

Yes. I have seen Chinese people do this at least a few times. I had a (Mainland) Chinese classmate in high school who used to read yaoi in both (Traditional) Chinese and Japanese (the ones she read in Chinese were different from the ones she read in Japanese; it's just that she happened to find some in Chinese and others in Japanese, from what I understand or remember) and was frustrated because she could understand what she was reading in Japanese just fine but had no idea how to pronounce probably most of the kanji.
For example, I know the word bbanzai comes from the chinese word wansui.

Well, banzai comes from Chinese, yes, but not from Mandarin. I doubt Mandarin Chinese even existed at the time that Japanese borrowed this word.
I'm guessing both use kanji

Yes.
perhaps the same one?

Sort of but not quite.

In traditional Chinese and kyūjitai kanji, it's 萬歲.
In simplified Chinese, it's 万岁.
In shinjitai kanji, which is used nowadays, it's 万歳.

Shinjitai includes a lot of characters that were simplified, kind of like a less extreme version of simplified Chinese. Some of these were simplified the same way as in simplified Chinese; some (probably most of the ones that were simplified in Japanese) were simplified in completely different ways from simplified Chinese.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-22, 17:58

vijayjohn wrote:Japanese grammar is also very similar to Classical Chinese grammar (but much less similar to the grammar of any variety of Chinese that's spoken today).

I've never heard this asserted before and--as someone who's informally studied both varieties--I don't find the grammar similar at all. So I'm wondering what prompts you to say this.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby dEhiN » 2019-01-22, 18:59

vijayjohn wrote:Yes. I have seen Chinese people do this at least a few times. I had a (Mainland) Chinese classmate in high school who used to read yaoi in both (Traditional) Chinese and Japanese (the ones she read in Chinese were different from the ones she read in Japanese; it's just that she happened to find some in Chinese and others in Japanese, from what I understand or remember) and was frustrated because she could understand what she was reading in Japanese just fine but had no idea how to pronounce probably most of the kanji.

What did your classmate do when she encountered kana in the Japanese yaoi? Since she was reading it by herself (presumably), I would think for the kanji she could've read them with a Chinese pronunciation?
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-23, 0:42

Interesting, vijay.

Tbh I'm not even sure how diverse/varied Chinese is. It seems like a lot of people either describe Mandarin and Cantonese as two different dialects or as two different languages.

I, too, never heard of Japanese grammar being similar to Classical Chinese grammar. Always thought Japanese had more grammatically similarity with Korean. Also, I'm sure a lot of people might think Japanese and "Chinese" sounds similar or the same, but I've never thought that. Korean sounds more similar to Japanese than Chinese does but still distinguishable enough.

Both China and Korea influenced Japan culturally. In fact, China seems to historically be the most culturally influential country in the far east. Funny enough, I think Japanese culture is more well-known and exported worldwide. As far as pop culture goes, even South Korea is ahead of China, it seems. Most people can name you Japanese animes and videogames. And K-pop has become rather popular worldwide this decade, but I haven't heard of any particular Chinese singer, movie, cartoon series, etc. becoming a hit worldwide. A lot of people outside of Japan and Korea listen to pop music from those countries but I never really hear or read anything about Chinese pop music. And usually when I hear of well-known Chinese movies, 99% of them seem to be from Hong Kong, NOT from Mainland China.

I'm not sure if China just hasn't gotten around to export its pop culture en masse yet due to the sheer size of their domestic market or if it's because Chinese culture and pop culture is hard to sell to Westerners. It probably has a lot of censorship and perhaps even nationalistic themes surrounding it? Unlike Japan and SK which are democratic countries. Maybe that's why?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby dEhiN » 2019-01-23, 1:14

Prowler wrote:Tbh I'm not even sure how diverse/varied Chinese is. It seems like a lot of people either describe Mandarin and Cantonese as two different dialects or as two different languages.

My understanding is it depends on if you're a Chinese linguist or Western linguist. Chinese linguists consider the modern Chinese languages as dialects. I think part of it is nationalism and part of it is the fact that they all use the same writing system. Whereas Western linguists consider them different languages due to differences in pronunciation of the characters (and maybe the grammar as well? I don't know enough about Chinese grammar...).
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-23, 1:18

dEhiN wrote:
Prowler wrote:Tbh I'm not even sure how diverse/varied Chinese is. It seems like a lot of people either describe Mandarin and Cantonese as two different dialects or as two different languages.

My understanding is it depends on if you're a Chinese linguist or Western linguist. Chinese linguists consider the modern Chinese languages as dialects. I think part of it is nationalism and part of it is the fact that they all use the same writing system. Whereas Western linguists consider them different languages due to differences in pronunciation of the characters (and maybe the grammar as well? I don't know enough about Chinese grammar...).

Estou a ver... que confusão.

Obrigado.

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-23, 1:23

dEhiN wrote:Chinese linguists consider the modern Chinese languages as dialects.

They consider them topolects (方言). That term sidesteps the whole language/dialect debate, which I find pretty tedious anyway.
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-23, 4:09

Leo Moser called them "sublanguages", which was his attempt to reconcile their mutual unintelligibility with the Chinese conception of them as all varieties of a single language. With the exception of Min, which shows evidence of having diverged earlier (or at least been strongly influenced by varieties which had), the major varieties exhibit approximately the same time-depth as Romance, so the degree of divergence can be considered roughly similar.

Prowler, you do realise that Modern Korean is written with an alphabet of only twenty characters, right?
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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby Prowler » 2019-01-23, 4:28

linguoboy wrote:Leo Moser called them "sublanguages", which was his attempt to reconcile their mutual unintelligibility with the Chinese conception of them as all varieties of a single language. With the exception of Min, which shows evidence of having diverged earlier (or at least been strongly influenced by varieties which had), the major varieties exhibit approximately the same time-depth as Romance, so the degree of divergence can be considered roughly similar.

Prowler, you do realise that Modern Korean is written with an alphabet of only twenty characters, right?

I don't know how many there are, but I know what their alphabet looks like.
I haven't ever counted them, but I know what the Korean alphabet looks like, yes. It's pretty simple for a non-Latin alphabet. Why do you ask?

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Re: Linguistics thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-01-23, 5:55

linguoboy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Japanese grammar is also very similar to Classical Chinese grammar (but much less similar to the grammar of any variety of Chinese that's spoken today).

I've never heard this asserted before and--as someone who's informally studied both varieties--I don't find the grammar similar at all. So I'm wondering what prompts you to say this.

Because a professor of mine did. :P Maybe it's just the word order that's more similar?
dEhiN wrote:What did your classmate do when she encountered kana in the Japanese yaoi?

She'd already learned kana.
Since she was reading it by herself (presumably), I would think for the kanji she could've read them with a Chinese pronunciation?

Of course, but she was trying to learn Japanese in the process. I think she was also part of a Japanese yaoi forum, and she was really trying not to let on that she was a foreigner if I remember correctly.
Prowler wrote:Interesting, vijay.

Thanks!
Korean sounds more similar to Japanese than Chinese does but still distinguishable enough.

Wu varieties of Chinese sound a lot like Japanese to me, though.
Funny enough, I think Japanese culture is more well-known and exported worldwide. As far as pop culture goes, even South Korea is ahead of China, it seems. Most people can name you Japanese animes and videogames. And K-pop has become rather popular worldwide this decade, but I haven't heard of any particular Chinese singer, movie, cartoon series, etc. becoming a hit worldwide. A lot of people outside of Japan and Korea listen to pop music from those countries but I never really hear or read anything about Chinese pop music.

Japanese and Korean pop culture are probably more well-known worldwide, but that's because Japan and Korea both gained a lot of wealth and foreign investment especially after World War II whereas the People's Republic of China was much more isolated for about forty years if I'm remembering correctly. It's not until relatively recently that the Chinese government started focusing a lot of attention on improving China's image abroad.
And usually when I hear of well-known Chinese movies, 99% of them seem to be from Hong Kong, NOT from Mainland China.

That's odd because I don't think I even know of any movies from Hong Kong. Are you by any chance thinking of Jackie Chan movies?


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