吳實錄

Annals of Wu

漢藏緬語々言研究ㄟ博客
a sinotibetoburman linguistics blog
2011-11-10

知乎 And Shanghainese

I recently registered on 知乎 (zhihu.com), the Chinese clone of Quora. I've been meaning to improve my reading speed for a while, but I don't really have too much time to sit down and do much pleasure reading. Instead, I've been going for flashcards style reading, following more Mandarin speakers on Twitter, registering for 微博, and as of last week, for 知乎 too. I've got to say, the biggest surprise is just how much is being said about dialects there. There are at least 3 separate tags for Shanghainese, and the quality of questions asked is high enough to warrant a read but not so high as to be too esoteric even for me.

Here's one of the top ranked questions for Shanghainese, and one which I've touched on before:

Q: 上海话里面,“一刚”是什么意思,我怎么觉得像是“思密达”的意思啊?
A: 有三個意思,一是「她說」。放在句末則是語氣助詞,表示訝異,類似「竟然」。另外還有「她傻」的意思。(正確寫法應該是「伊戇」?)
所以有那句著名的「一剛一剛一剛」:她竟然說他傻。(伊講伊戇一剛。)

Roughly translated:

Q: What's the meaning of "yi gang" in Shanghainese? Is it like "imnida"?
A: There are three meanings. One is "he/she said". The second is as a modal particle affixed to the end of a sentence to express unexpectedness. The third is "he/she is stupid" (which might accurately be written 伊戇 yīgàng?). Thus the famous sentence "yigang yigang yigang", 伊讲伊戆一刚.

思密达, from Korean 입니다 imnida which is a common form of the verb "to be", deserves a post all of its own, and probably over on Sinoglot at that.

Check out 知乎 if you've got the time. I anticipate spending a fair amount of time on there in the coming months.

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    A semi-academic linguistics blog about Sinotibetan, previously focused primarily on Wú, a Sinitic language spoken in the Yangtze Delta region. Topics now include historical linguistics, documentation, language rights, sociolinguistics and learning materials, as well as acting as the dev blog for Phonemica from time to time.

    I'm a linguist based in Asia, working on documentation and historical development of Sinotibetan. In addition to academic research, I'm heavily involved in Phonemica, an organisation that promotes crowd-sourced preservation of local languages.

    I'm currently in the field, so getting in touch isn't easy. However you can try to email me at the following address and I'll respond as soon as I'm able:

    yhilan.ko@gmail.com
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