(L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 00:51

clawgrip wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 00:02
Of course, in Romance reflexives, the possessum is a part of the body of the subject/possessor, but I imagine a language could adapt this strategy into a more general possessive construction.
I've just had a thought about this. So dative external possessors are a thing in Standard Average European, and they basically do the same kind of thing as you mention (the example on Wikipedia is German Die Mutter wuscht dem Kind die Haare or "The mother washed the child's hair", where dem is the dative; the genitive equivalent would be des.)

Now in the English of the north of England the 1st person possessive pronoun is me [mi] rather than my [maɪ̯] as in the rest of English. Now what I'm thinking is is that originally there was a dative external possessor construction. I'm pretty sure Old English did have one: Mitchell and Robinson (1986) : "It [the Dative case] may express possession, e.g. him on heafod "on his head". So there would have been something analogous to I washed hair (to) me, where me as the oblique form would be taking the "dative" possessor role. This would then undergo the dative shift to I washed me hair. When the overall construction was lost a reanalysis took place whereby the formerly oblique pronoun me in the sentence was reanalysed as the general possessive form, which is not unlikely given that this would have been a frequently used construction, and this became the new possessive pronoun, supplanting the original my.

The reanalysis would work something like this (it doesn't matter if you're not keen on the particular abbreviations used the point is the same).

Before:

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After:

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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 01:25

Is it not simpler to assume that me and my simply merged either in function or just pronunciation?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lao Kou » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 04:00

Frislander wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 00:51
clawgrip wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 00:02
Of course, in Romance reflexives, the possessum is a part of the body of the subject/possessor, but I imagine a language could adapt this strategy into a more general possessive construction.
I've just had a thought about this. So dative external possessors are a thing in Standard Average European, and they basically do the same kind of thing as you mention (the example on Wikipedia is German Die Mutter wuscht dem Kind die Haare or "The mother washed the child's hair", where dem is the dative; the genitive equivalent would be des.)
I'm not averse to the dative/genitive conflation. At this level, you could still interpret it as "She washed the hair for the child.", wonder whose hair she was washing for, and extrapolate a genitive construction. All well and good. (And aren't there things out there in German dialectland (and Norwegian?) like "(dem) Hans sein Auto/(dem) Hans das Auto"?
Now in the English of the north of England the 1st person possessive pronoun is me [mi] rather than my [maɪ̯] as in the rest of English. Now what I'm thinking is is that originally there was a dative external possessor construction. I'm pretty sure Old English did have one: Mitchell and Robinson (1986) : "It [the Dative case] may express possession, e.g. him on heafod "on his head". So there would have been something analogous to I washed hair (to) me, where me as the oblique form would be taking the "dative" possessor role. This would then undergo the dative shift to I washed me hair. When the overall construction was lost a reanalysis took place whereby the formerly oblique pronoun me in the sentence was reanalysed as the general possessive form, which is not unlikely given that this would have been a frequently used construction, and this became the new possessive pronoun, supplanting the original my.
I do not hail from the north of England, and my idiolect certainly doesn't publicly speak like this, but:

I bought me a dress.
I knitted me a sweater.
I killed me a deer.

sound like very viable dialect forms, where "me" is still a dative "for myself".

And still differ in meaning from my Hollywood Eliza Doolittle:

I bought me (a) dress. ≠ I bought my dress.
I knitted me (a) sweater. ≠ I knitted my sweater.
I killed me (a) deer. ≠ I killed my deer.
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 01:25
Is it not simpler to assume that me and my simply merged either in function or just pronunciation?
This does seem simpler.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 13:56

Lao Kou wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 04:00
I do not hail from the north of England, and my idiolect certainly doesn't publicly speak like this, but:

I bought me a dress.
I knitted me a sweater.
I killed me a deer.

sound like very viable dialect forms, where "me" is still a dative "for myself".
Indeed, but the thing is that this has been generalised to all possessive contexts, e.g. "Me dad is dead", "I saw her with me brother yesterday" and "Let me get me stuff".
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 01:25
Is it not simpler to assume that me and my simply merged either in function or just pronunciation?
This does seem simpler.
But that doesn't fit because this merger of function isn't found anywhere else in the paradigm except in some varieties where "you" and "your" are both reduced to [jə]. And phonological reduction doesn't fit either because the northern varieties which do reduce the /ai/ diphthong reduce it to [aː], never [iː].

Apparently according to Wikipedia this isn't just a northern thing and is fairly widespread in colloquial BrE, and one theory is that it comes from a shortening of Middle English "min" [miːn] before consonants, at least according to Wikipedia, though I'm still not convinced as then you'd have to explain why most varieties use "my", the corresponding form without the shortening.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 16:51

Xonen wrote:
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 15:20
The way I see it, an umlaut marks vowel fronting, a tilde marks unrounding. Granted, the latter is used on only one letter - but then, a rule that only applies to one thing pretty much by definition can't have any exceptions. So where's the inconsistency?
Huh... I didn't think of it that way.
Xonen wrote:
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 15:20
Uh... Based on that account, I'd say the lack of support for <ı> was a contributing factor to the misunderstanding, but what actually got people killed was whatever the hell needs to be wrong with a family for them to start stabbing each other over something this stupid. What the actual fuck?
That's a good point...
Xonen wrote:
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 15:20
Apparently Nazarbayev personally decided that no matter what, it's pushed through. Maybe he has a fetish for apostrophes or something, but I used to think he was the kind of leader more countries could do with, but then he pulls this shit...
Well yeah, that's the problem with dictators. They can do as they damn well please, no matter how many apostrophes it happens to result in for everyone else.
I guess he is a kind of dictator, even if a mostly benevolent one (at least compared to other post-Soviet leaders) judging by what I've read about him, so yeah, that's a good point as well. Especially if he pushes this apostrophe shit through personally just because he's getting old and doesn't like Cyrillic because Russia. I've honestly never understood why so many people dislike Cyrillic for political reasons; I mean, it's not like it's a conscript invented by the Soviets for the sole purpose of spreading Communism. I like to write Finnish in Cyrillic sometimes just for fun... [>_<]
esoanem wrote:
Wed 13 Dec 2017, 01:09
So of Western European languages, it's basically just French which is inconsistent so, well, "pretty much every language that uses diacritics" is pretty definitely bogus.
Hmm, yeah, I guess I was wrong. Still, inconsistent use of diacritics is alright in my opinion as long as it looks okay and doesn't get way too confusing.
esoanem wrote:
Wed 13 Dec 2017, 01:09
From all the hate I saw when this news first came out I was surprised to see it's based on the Uzbek alphabet so I think the blame probably ought to be aimed there instead.
The Uzbek alphabet uses the ʻokina, though, or whatever its Uzbek name is. I suppose that's what the intended fancy diacritic for the new Kazakh alphabet is, but calling it an apostrophe and people in practice using an apostrophe makes it much worse; practically there's no real aesthetic difference, but the practical difference on a computer is that it doesn't cut up the word into two words the same way an apostrophe does: Oʻzbekiston vs O'zbekiston, etc.

...but yeah. The Uzbek alphabet is pretty ugly.
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Wed 13 Dec 2017, 17:33
Hawaiian has only got 13 phonemes. Also, Māori, Samoan and most other polynesian languages are written in the Latin Alphabet and yet beat Finnish in terms of a small phonemic inventory. (I'm not sure if Piraha also is officially written in Latin Alphabet, or if it has an official writing system at all.)
Huh, I didn't realise Hawaiian had that few consonants. I thought it had /s/, at least, but nope. Anyway, I forgot Austronesian languages even existed... [:$]
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 18:02

Vlürch wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 16:51
Xonen wrote:
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 15:20
Apparently Nazarbayev personally decided that no matter what, it's pushed through. Maybe he has a fetish for apostrophes or something, but I used to think he was the kind of leader more countries could do with, but then he pulls this shit...
Well yeah, that's the problem with dictators. They can do as they damn well please, no matter how many apostrophes it happens to result in for everyone else.
I guess he is a kind of dictator, even if a mostly benevolent one (at least compared to other post-Soviet leaders) judging by what I've read about him, so yeah, that's a good point as well. Especially if he pushes this apostrophe shit through personally just because he's getting old and doesn't like Cyrillic because Russia. I've honestly never understood why so many people dislike Cyrillic for political reasons; I mean, it's not like it's a conscript invented by the Soviets for the sole purpose of spreading Communism. I like to write Finnish in Cyrillic sometimes just for fun... [>_<]
Well that does rather illustrate quite well the effect associations can have; Cyrillic is still very much strongly associated with Russia, and in many people's eyes that's a bad thing. Think of the same way some people are reflexively terrified of everything they see written in Arabic simply because they have a negative view of Islam.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Vlürch » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 19:08

Frislander wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 18:02
Vlürch wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 16:51
Xonen wrote:
Tue 12 Dec 2017, 15:20
Apparently Nazarbayev personally decided that no matter what, it's pushed through. Maybe he has a fetish for apostrophes or something, but I used to think he was the kind of leader more countries could do with, but then he pulls this shit...
Well yeah, that's the problem with dictators. They can do as they damn well please, no matter how many apostrophes it happens to result in for everyone else.
I guess he is a kind of dictator, even if a mostly benevolent one (at least compared to other post-Soviet leaders) judging by what I've read about him, so yeah, that's a good point as well. Especially if he pushes this apostrophe shit through personally just because he's getting old and doesn't like Cyrillic because Russia. I've honestly never understood why so many people dislike Cyrillic for political reasons; I mean, it's not like it's a conscript invented by the Soviets for the sole purpose of spreading Communism. I like to write Finnish in Cyrillic sometimes just for fun... [>_<]
Well that does rather illustrate quite well the effect associations can have; Cyrillic is still very much strongly associated with Russia, and in many people's eyes that's a bad thing. Think of the same way some people are reflexively terrified of everything they see written in Arabic simply because they have a negative view of Islam.
It's kinda funny you mentioned Arabic script and its association with Islam, since I'm absolutely terrified of Islam but like the Arabic script, and it sometimes worries me that I like it because it could be used as an aesthetically pleasing orthography to brainwash people into converting to Islam... it's probably not, but it could be. And when I say I'm terrified of Islam, I mean the kind of Islam that's practiced by Muslims who actually follow the Koran; just like I'm terrified of Christianity practiced by Christians who actually follow the Bible. Both books tell people to kill people, that it's okay to have slaves, etc. and in my opinion those are just bad things and definitely not okay, and it drives me crazy that the majority of leftists want any criticism of Islam to be banned as islamophobia; like, sure, by definition it is fear of Islam; I for one don't want to be killed as an infidel, homosexual, etc. (because being bi = being gay, if being gay is seen as a bad thing (and I definitely am an infidel, I mean I believe reincarnation is possible for fuck's sake...)) Also, I think it's pretty much impossible for any association with Russia to be positive (as in associated with the government of Russia and/or ethnocultural Russians, not the peoples of the "autonomous" regions or any indigenous peoples), either, but that doesn't stop me from liking the Cyrillic script. I just don't understand why people still think they're connected and let history determine what they can and can't do in the present or future... oh well.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 20:06

Vlürch wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 19:08
It's kinda funny you mentioned Arabic script and its association with Islam, since I'm absolutely terrified of Islam but like the Arabic script, and it sometimes worries me that I like it because it could be used as an aesthetically pleasing orthography to brainwash people into converting to Islam... it's probably not, but it could be. And when I say I'm terrified of Islam, I mean the kind of Islam that's practiced by Muslims who actually follow the Koran; just like I'm terrified of Christianity practiced by Christians who actually follow the Bible. Both books tell people to kill people, that it's okay to have slaves, etc. and in my opinion those are just bad things and definitely not okay, and it drives me crazy that the majority of leftists want any criticism of Islam to be banned as islamophobia; like, sure, by definition it is fear of Islam; I for one don't want to be killed as an infidel, homosexual, etc. (because being bi = being gay, if being gay is seen as a bad thing (and I definitely am an infidel, I mean I believe reincarnation is possible for fuck's sake...)) Also, I think it's pretty much impossible for any association with Russia to be positive (as in associated with the government of Russia and/or ethnocultural Russians, not the peoples of the "autonomous" regions or any indigenous peoples), either, but that doesn't stop me from liking the Cyrillic script. I just don't understand why people still think they're connected and let history determine what they can and can't do in the present or future... oh well.
Well I'd say it's highly debateable whether either book actually tells people to kill people like you say. Also if you think fundamentalists really follow their books all the way you're kidding yourself, they only focus on the bits which align with their prejudices, and I would seriously question whether such people are really "following the Bible/Koran/whatever" in any kind of meaningful way.

But really this is not the place for such discussions.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Dormouse559 » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 20:36

Yes, in fact, this seems like a good time for a reminder: Don't make provocative assertions just for the sake of it. Also, tread lightly around sensitive subjects, the most relevant point here being that if you have negative views about a person's religion, try to keep that to yourself. Keep things in the realm of factual debate.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Salmoneus » Thu 14 Dec 2017, 21:58

Frislander wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 18:02
Well that does rather illustrate quite well the effect associations can have; Cyrillic is still very much strongly associated with Russia, and in many people's eyes that's a bad thing. Think of the same way some people are reflexively terrified of everything they see written in Arabic simply because they have a negative view of Islam.
It's not just that Cyrillic is associated with Russia, although of course that's a huge issue - because in many of these countries Russian domination is not simply a thing of the past but a current and future threat. Abandoning Cyrillic is a simple way to signal to people - Russians, their own citizens, and Western populations they may hope for help from in the future - that they are not simply part of the "Russian Zone of Control".

But there's also a practical fraktur/antiqua issue here: using a weird script has a real economic cost.

It makes it harder for companies to establish brands abroad - I might not pronounce a French or Polish company name very well, but I can have a go, and I'll recognise it when I see it again. With a name in Cyrillic, I've got no chance - so logos need to be redesigned for export. It increases the cost of imported goods - keyboards need to be designed for the local version of Cyrillic, so are more expensive than a generic latin-script keyboard of some kind would be. It discourages natives from going to university abroad, and from getting powerful and well-paying jobs that might benefit the motherland; it discourages natives from learning foreign languages (as that means learning a new script as well). Most importantly, it hugely discourages tourists. Many tourists don't learn the local language, but rely on being to understand written signs by learning key words or using guidebooks, or just by spotting city names and the like. If signs are in a weird script where everything looks the same, that's intimidating! If any website you need are in a weird script and you can't even spot the key words you're looking for, that's intimidating. Now, these costs aren't crippling, but they are significant. The biggest counterbalance is local pride, and the tourist cachet that comes with quaint local customs like a weird script. But in the case of Cyrillic, there's little cachet outside Russia because tourists won't see it as quintessentially local in, say, Kazakhstan, and there's not much to be specifically proud of because it's obviously imported. So why bear any burden to maintain an imported tradition? Imported by the colonial power?

And of course this ties back to the cultural point - using Cyrillic makes you more attractive to Russian tourists, makes Russian schools and companies more attractive for your citizens, and makes business ties easier to maintain with Russia. Using Latin instantly makes you a little bit less attractive to Russia, and a little bit more attractive to the West, so if you want to geopolitically, economically and socially align yourself with the West then it's a good first step.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Sun 17 Dec 2017, 10:36

Is there such a character as this one?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Frislander » Sun 17 Dec 2017, 15:57

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Sun 17 Dec 2017, 10:36
Is there such a character as this one?
Image
Well there is now.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Xonen » Sun 17 Dec 2017, 17:21

Frislander wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 13:56
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 01:25
Is it not simpler to assume that me and my simply merged either in function or just pronunciation?
This does seem simpler.
But that doesn't fit because this merger of function isn't found anywhere else in the paradigm except in some varieties where "you" and "your" are both reduced to [jə]. And phonological reduction doesn't fit either because the northern varieties which do reduce the /ai/ diphthong reduce it to [aː], never [iː].

Apparently according to Wikipedia this isn't just a northern thing and is fairly widespread in colloquial BrE, and one theory is that it comes from a shortening of Middle English "min" [miːn] before consonants, at least according to Wikipedia, though I'm still not convinced as then yoiu'd have to explain why most varieties use "my", the corresponding form without the shortening.
No, my does have the shortening (that is, loss of the final /n/); the difference is that in most dialects it has also undergone the Great Vowel Shift, becoming /maı/. In some dialects it happened to keep the original pronunciation /mi:/, which caused it to merge with me (or it could've started to participate in the GVS, becoming /məi/ or something, and then become confused with the similar-sounding me). As for explaining why a high-frequency lexeme might escape a sound change... well, that's just a thing that happens. Compare father, where the pre-GVS pronunciation is still kept even in standard English.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Sumelic » Sun 17 Dec 2017, 18:57

Xonen wrote:
Sun 17 Dec 2017, 17:21
Frislander wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 13:56
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 01:25
Is it not simpler to assume that me and my simply merged either in function or just pronunciation?
This does seem simpler.
But that doesn't fit because this merger of function isn't found anywhere else in the paradigm except in some varieties where "you" and "your" are both reduced to [jə]. And phonological reduction doesn't fit either because the northern varieties which do reduce the /ai/ diphthong reduce it to [aː], never [iː].

Apparently according to Wikipedia this isn't just a northern thing and is fairly widespread in colloquial BrE, and one theory is that it comes from a shortening of Middle English "min" [miːn] before consonants, at least according to Wikipedia, though I'm still not convinced as then yoiu'd have to explain why most varieties use "my", the corresponding form without the shortening.
No, my does have the shortening (that is, loss of the final /n/); the difference is that in most dialects it has also undergone the Great Vowel Shift, becoming /maı/. In some dialects it happened to keep the original pronunciation /mi:/, which caused it to merge with me (or it could've started to participate in the GVS, becoming /məi/ or something, and then become confused with the similar-sounding me). As for explaining why a high-frequency lexeme might escape a sound change... well, that's just a thing that happens. Compare father, where the pre-GVS pronunciation is still kept even in standard English.
I don't think phonological reduction is that improbable an explanation for possessive /mi/; and it doesn't exactly seem as irregular as "father" to me either. Reduction/non-lengthening of vowels in unstressed function words, causing them to be re-analyzed as having a different vowel phoneme than would be expected as the reflex of the etymological vowel, is pretty common (compare one, have, were, her, and in American English of, was, what). You can find this pronunciation described for the word spelled "my" in non-emphatic contexts in old pronunciation guides, e.g. Walker 1791. (Walker also says that a pronunciation with /i/ in "thy" was used on stage in his time, but he criticizes it as prone to confusion with "the" and unfitting the formal tone of most contexts where "thy" is used.)

Of course the reduction must be understood as historical, not as a current process taking the diphthong /ai/ as an input.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 11:00

Frislander wrote:
Sun 17 Dec 2017, 15:57
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Sun 17 Dec 2017, 10:36
Is there such a character as this one?
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Well there is now.
Heh. I meant in use by an actual (most likely) Sinnitic language that (still) uses it. I wasn't able to find one in my cursory search.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lao Kou » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 12:00

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Mon 18 Dec 2017, 11:00
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Sun 17 Dec 2017, 10:36
Is there such a character as this one?
Image
Heh. I meant in use by an actual (most likely) Sinitic language that (still) uses it. I wasn't able to find one in my cursory search.
Nor was I. I didn't spend much time on it because it didn't look real in the first place or was one of those wackadoodle characters from the Shang. Why are you asking?
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by clawgrip » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 12:20

That character does not and cannot really exist because the element you have placed on 辶 never appears alone; in fact, it only appears in the character 爲, which is a rather weird character in general: an old-fashioned variant of 為 that I don't think anyone uses.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lao Kou » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 15:00

clawgrip wrote:
Mon 18 Dec 2017, 12:20
That character does not and cannot really exist because the element you have placed on 辶 never appears alone; in fact, it only appears in the character 爲, which is a rather weird character in general: an old-fashioned variant of 為 that I don't think anyone uses.
I think you'll see it in Taiwan printed texts. But your point still stands. Without the celery garnish, it just looks off. Which is why I let it go.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Mon 18 Dec 2017, 23:00

A passing fancy had me thinking if some of my fave elements of Chinese characters might exist together. So if the top element were actually 為 in full, still not real?

The only reason it looks like that is cuz i was too lazy to compose it more carefully.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Lao Kou » Tue 19 Dec 2017, 05:22

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Mon 18 Dec 2017, 23:00
A passing fancy had me thinking if some of my fave elements of Chinese characters might exist together. So if the top element were actually 為 in full, still not real?

The only reason it looks like that is cuz i was too lazy to compose it more carefully.
Found it! It apparently exist(-s/-ed)!

http://www.zdic.net/z/a6/js/285BF.htm

You'll note that there's absolutely bupkis in terms of information beyond the pronunciation , but if you go to the alternate form (异体字, to the right), , why, you just can't get the resources to shut up.

Most commonly seen in the expression 逶迤 (wēi yí), it means "winding, meandering" (as a river or mountain road).

We here at the House of Kou gladly accept small gratuities. [B)] (I suspect my boyfriend is going to be :roll: ing this weekend as I golden-retriever-puppy him with this information.)
Last edited by Lao Kou on Tue 19 Dec 2017, 05:49, edited 1 time in total.
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