Founded in 1858, Keio is the oldest university in Japan and one of the best, also ranking high in world ratings. Its name is written 慶應 in kanji. That's a lot of strokes to scribble down every time you want to write the name of your university, so Keio people often write it this way: 广+K 广+O (imagine that the "K" and the "O" are written inside of the 广). That makes 6 strokes and 4 strokes instead of 15 strokes and 17 strokes respectively, 10 strokes total instead of 32.
Archive for Phonetics and phonology
PolitiFact recently took up the case of a Donald Trump campaign video that shows Hillary Clinton apparently announcing her intention to raise middle class taxes (Linda Qiu, "Donald Trump wrongly says Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes on the middle class", PolitiFact 8/5/2016). The crux of the matter is this passage.
I’m telling you right now,
we’re going to write fairer rules for the middle class,
and we aren't going to raise taxes on the middle class.
The Trump video subtitled it this way:
Translators of Chinese poetry are tormented by how to render the term jiǔ 酒. The nearly universal English rendering of jiǔ 酒 in Chinese belles lettres is "wine". The problem is that "wine" is fruit based (usually grapes), whereas jiǔ 酒 is grain based.
This is a topic that has come up tangentially on Language Log many times in the past (see below for some references). I am revisiting it now because, in the fall, I will be participating in an event in New York having to do with tea and wine. In the minds of those who know Chinese, that will be framed in terms of chá 茶 and jiǔ 酒.
[This is a guest post by Lukhnos Liu]
Oden (おでん) is a popular Japanese dish. Common ingredients include fishcakes, konjac cakes (or konjac noodles), daikon, and boiled eggs, all stewed in a lightly soy- or mirin-flavored dashi broth. It is also popular in Taiwan, usually called o-lián and written as 黑輪 ("black wheel"), but I don't think I've heard anyone say the word in Mandarin (hei-lún). It is an example of how Taiwanese words are often written: the 黑 in 黑輪 does not represent the sound o͘ – the character 烏 (black, dark) does, and the character 黑 (black) is pronounced hek. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
From David Russinoff:
I wonder if you've done, or are aware of, any research relevant to the following observation. In the articulation of a "d" or "t" followed by a schwa, the tongue may or may not leave the alveolar ridge. (I just did some cursory research on parts of the mouth and hope I got that right.) My (highly unscientific) observation over recent years is that, at least in the pronunciation of certain words, such as "student", removal of the tongue is increasingly common. In fact, this trend is so apparent to me that I find it remarkable that most people don't seem to have noticed it. I also have an impression that the trend is especially pronounced (unfortunate choice of words) among younger speakers, but my attempt to support this observation by listening to various pronunciations of "Clinton" over the past four nights failed miserably.
Flying back from Vienna on Austrian Airlines yesterday, I saw the following notices printed on the back of the seat in front of me:
Gurte während des sitzens geschlossen halten*
Fasten seat belt while seated
*some airlines begin this sentence with a "bitte", which would make the German even longer
Die schwimmweste befindet sich unter ihrem sitz
Life vest under your seat
For Times Insider, David W. Dunlap has an article about some of the more entertaining errors and corrections that have graced the pages of The New York Times: "The Times Regrets the Error. Readers Don't."
Among the goofs is this one from a Q&A with Ivana Trump that appeared in the Oct. 15, 2000 New York Times Magazine:
Yesterday morning on the commute to Penn, I was intrigued by a series of six articles in the latest New Yorker (5/16/16) that appeared under the rubric "Uninvent this": Mary Karr on high heels, Charlie Brooker on dancing, Carrie Brownstein on conference calls, Lee Child on fiction, Alexandra Kleeman on mirrors…. When I reached the sixth and last one, I was so stunned that I almost dropped the magazine and nearly fell out of my seat.
Ted Cruz has gotten a lot of very creative grief for apparently messing up the re-enactment of a scene from the movie Hoosiers by referring to the height of a "basketball ring":
[The following is a guest post by Tsu-Lin Mei.]
The Old Chinese reconstruction of Gong Hwang-cherng and James Matisoff is not only internally consistent, but can be shown to have a Tibeto-Burman counterpart through Sino-Tibetan comparative studies. Gong Hwang-cherng's Collected Papers on Sino-Tibetan Linguistics 龚煌城, Hàn-Zàngyǔ yánjiū lùnwén jí《汉藏语研究论文集》(2002) has about 300 cognate sets — involving Old Chinese, Written Tibetan, Written Burmese, and reconstructed Tangut. I am writing a paper whose purpose is to unite Gong's work with Zàng-Miǎn yǔzú yǔyán cíhuì《藏缅语族语言词汇》(Lexicon of Tibeto-Burman languages), edited by Huang Bufan 黄布凡 (1992). So far I have 142 cognate sets and can testify that Gong's cognate sets on the whole hold water.
My posts have been thin recently, mostly because over the past ten days or so I've been involved in the preparation and submission of five conference papers, on top of my usual commitments to teaching and meetings and visitors. Nobody's fault but mine, of course. Anyhow, this gives me some raw material that I'll try to present in a way that's comprehensible and interesting to non-specialists.
One of the papers, with Neville Ryant as first author, was an attempt to take advantage of a large collection of audiobook recordings to explore some dimensions of speaking style. The paper is still under review, so I'll wait to post a copy until its fate is decided — but there are some interesting ideas and suggestive results that I can share. And to motivate you to read the somewhat wonkish explanation that follows, I'll start off with a picture:
Previous posts in the series:
- "Of precious swords and Old Sinitic reconstructions" (3/8/16)
- "Of precious swords and Old Sinitic reconstructions, part 2" (3/12/16)
- "Of precious swords and Old Sinitic reconstructions, part 3" (3/16/16)
- "Of precious swords and Old Sinitic reconstructions, part 4" (3/24/16)
As mentioned before, the following post is not about a sword or other type of weapon per se, but in terms of its ancient Eurasian outlook, it arguably belongs in the series:
- "Of felt hats, feathers, macaroni, and weasels" (3/13/16)
Today's post is also not about a sword, but it is about a weapon, namely an arrow.
I have just learned of what is either a remarkable development with implications in many fields or, more likely, a new form of pseudoscience. It is a device called the Cymascope. Information about it may be had at the Cymascope web site. The Cymascope is a device for visualizing sound by causing a membrane to vibrate and shining lights on the membrane. It is claimed that this new method of visualizing sound has already led to marvelous new insights in fields ranging from Astrophysics and Biology to Egyptology and Musicology. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »