Friday, June 10, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 15 Vocabulary

This lesson builds on lesson 14 with a more involved discussion about location. You’ll be introduced to new verbs and structures. As in the previous lesson, pronunciations in brackets indicate Kaiping Dictionary pronunciations.

  1. 問 · mùn · to ask, inquire
  2. 來 · lọi · to come, in order to
  3. 吓 · hạ · a moment, short while, verb suffix
  4. 喲 · yìak · final particle, only
  5. 正話 · jing-wà [jen-wà] · just, just now
  6. 梳化 · sō-fạ* · sofa
  7. 企 · ki [kei] · to stand
  8. 地 · ì [èi] · floor, ground
  9. 瞓 · fun · to sleep, lie down
  10. 凭 · bàng · to lean on
  11. 塳 · bùng · classifier for wall (牆)
  12. 跌 · ik [et] · to put, place
  13. 床 · chöng · bed, couch
  14. 放 · fong · to put, place, release
  15. 房 · fọng* · room
  16. 褸 · lau* · overcoat
  17. 漏 · làu · to lose, leave behind, neglect, omit, leak
  18. 樓 · läu* · building, house
  19. 啊 · ò! · interjection

The new word that perplexed me is ik “to put, place.” The Basic Course transcribes this word with a novel Chinese character, combining the radical 口 with the character 跌. I failed to find this word in the Kaiping Character Dictionary by looking up variants of ik in the pronunciation table. There’s the distinct likelihood that I am overlooking something which is glaringly obvious to native speakers.

Do you know this word?


  1. is it somehow related to ī (with the same meaning)?

  2. Hm. I only know of ī meaning “to give” (as used in lesson nine)—can it also mean “to put/place”?

  3. I've not been speaking Taishanese on a regular basis for quite a while so I may be wrong. I think the Taicheng equivalent is [it33]. I believe this is a regional difference. I noticed there are regional ending stop consonant differences for certain syllables:
    n <-> ng
    t <-> k
    However, I think the Kaiping accent ought to be [ek33] instead of [ik33]. I'm somewhat puzzled that the i/e vowel shift did not affect this one.
    Well, I'm off the topic: We still do not have a good character for transcription.

  4. @Stephen—Your input is still tremendously appreciated! I think in Kaiping it might then be et, but not sure. I will ask around when my workload lightens up. I’ve noticed that words ending in -en, -et, -in, -it in Kaiping all tend to end in -ik in the Basic Course. In this case, since 跌 is pronounced as it in Kaiping, maybe this word would be too?

    Your question before about the transcription of words without characters is a good one—I just don’t have a good answer. My sense is to either write in a romanization or use a “best match” character. In this case the best match seems to be 跌; we just can’t add the 口 radical to differentiate it.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t be entirely against writing in phonetics as Gene Chin does. It’s just not my style.

  5. I listened to the recording just now, and it sounded as though speaker B (an e-accent speaker) pronounced this word as et. The Kaiping dictionary gives 的—I looked this up before but skipped it because I thought it was implausible! The example given is 的個的 et goi ẹt (ik gwoi ịk), with the translation 塞個塞子.

  6. @Aaron - Sorry I may have confused you. Let me try again. For Taicheng accent:

    'to put/place' is [it33]
    'to fall/drop (跌)' is [et33]
    塞個塞子 is [it33 goi33 it215]

  7. Thank you, Stephen. It looks like the I-E switch; the Kaiping dictionary gives the same pronunciations, but flipping the vowels, so that where you pronounce [i], they pronounce [e] and vice versa!

  8. @Aaron - Does the I-E switch also take place for the noun 塞, i.e. the 2nd 塞 of 塞個塞子?

  9. Yes, it’s the same syllable, but with a low-falling tone.

  10. Thank you Aaron. It is good to know that there's i-e switch. I noticed i-e shifting before but did not know that i-e switch is also out there.