False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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Shemtov
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 02:03

Lao Kou wrote:
Sat 13 Jan 2018, 05:26
Iyionaku wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:52
Speaking of Chinese, I'm still not very far with learning, but what already confused me

买 mǎi [maɪ̯˨˩˦] - to buy vs. 卖 mài [maɪ̯˥˩] - to sell

Not only are the characters similar (which is not so unusual for phono-semantic compounds, but still very confusing for me here), is the meaning so similar that I can think of myself being exposed to it in real life and terrible confuse it all the time...
I feel your pain, bra, and this is one of the more glaring moments of WTF. But tones are a real thing, not only devised as legerdemain to beguile conlangers and flummox second-language learners. As such, they are perceived as different words, and I have every faith that, if you were here (or in a Chinese-speaking community near you), you would not find it confusing at all (unless your foreigner tones really suck). And so it goes, with Mandarin, Cantonese, and Taiwanese (dialects with which I can profess a passing familiarity) -- different tones, different words. In the worst case scenario, you have context.

Now, you want to get a mind blow-out, go to Shanghainese, where 买 and 卖 are actual homophones (má). But even here, Shanghainese adds a word to help disambiguate 卖脱 for "sell". And of course, context; who's doing the talking on which side of the exchange (check out "borrow" and "lend" in conversational Chinese).
IIRC Thai (or proto-Thai) borrowed the Middle Chinese words that became mǎi and mài in Mandarin, with their own tone changes. And the :hkg: is even closer- [mai˧] vs. [mai˧˩}
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Znex
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Znex » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 03:54

Iyionaku wrote:
Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:52
Speaking of Chinese, I'm still not very far with learning, but what already confusedme

买 mǎi [maɪ̯˨˩˦] - to buy vs. 卖 mài [maɪ̯˥˩] - to sell

Not only are the characters similar (which is not so unusual for phono-semantic compounds, but still very confusing for me here), is the meaning so similar that I can think of myself being exposed to it in real life and terrible confuse it all the time...
Historically, it seems to be because the word 卖 (賣) was originally derived from 买 (買):
買 /mreːʔ/ -> 賣 /mreːʔ-s/ > 賣 /mreːs/ > 賣 /mˠɛH/ > 卖 /mai4/
vs.
買 /mreːʔ/ > > 買 /mˠɛX/ > 买 /mai3/
:eng: : [tick] | :grc: :wls: : [:|] | :chn: :isr: : [:S] | :nor: :deu: :rom: :ind: :con: : [:x]
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Imralu
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Imralu » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 05:57

I keep getting "buy" and "sell" confused in Swahili and they are -nunua and -uza respectively, so, like, things don't even need to be phonologically similar to be confused.
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = complementiser, ACS / ICS = accessible / inaccessible, GDV = gerundive, SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific, AG = agent, E = entity (person, animal, thing)
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Lao Kou
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lao Kou » Sun 14 Jan 2018, 06:07

Shemtov wrote:
Sun 14 Jan 2018, 02:03
And the :hkg: is even closer- [mai˧] vs. [mai˧˩]
They are close, I'll grant you, but I believe in Cantonese 买 is fifth tone (阳上, low rising) (so, [mai˩˧]?) and 卖 is sixth tone (阳去, low level) ([mai˩]).
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Lambuzhao
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Lambuzhao » Mon 15 Jan 2018, 16:12

Imralu wrote:
Sun 14 Jan 2018, 05:57
I keep getting "buy" and "sell" confused in Swahili and they are -nunua and -uza respectively, so, like, things don't even need to be phonologically similar to be confused.
Boy, do I hear that.

I used to be confused about the :grc: words

ὠνέομαι [o:.ne.o.maj] 'to buy', 'to purchase'
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E1%BD%A ... E%B1%CE%B9

which is Deponent, and having that faux-passive ending, would leave me to believe that it might mean 'to be bought'.

And there's also πρίαμαι which also means 'to buy' 'to purchase'
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... pri%2Famai

It likewise is Deponent, and looks, waddles and quacks as if it were Passive & meant 'to be bought', somehow

[}:(] :mrred:


I kno, I kno: you just have to learn them as they come.


πιπράσκω [pi.pra.sko:] and πωλέω [po:.le.o:] {both mean 'to sell'} at least were not deponents.

And then there's the high-maintenance nest of vipers πέρνημι [per.nε:.mi] an Epic dialect, -MI verbal foodle-conjumblement. You know what? fuck U, πέρνημι. I'm not even getting into you right now. I have better things to do with my time. [>:(]
BTW: according to Wiktionary, πέρνημι is cognate with πόρνη [por.nε:] and :lat: pars and portio. Pimp that, Bembridge Scholars!


Clearly, Greek verbs of economic transaction where somehow influenced by the Hutts and Ferenghi.
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