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andreabt

Contractions in Chinese

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andreabt

After reading the thread about the use of "m'ni", I realized I have heard another "contraction" in Chinese. I didn't used to think any contractions existed in Chinese at all! Anyway, the contraction is "duo'er qian" (replacing duo shao qian, or how much does it cost?). One might think this was just a Beijing accent, except 1) I first heard it in Wuhan, before I was in Beijing**; and 2) there's still that missing "shao".

So I'm wondering...are there any other examples of contractions in Chinese?

Andrea

**OK, not technically before I was ever in Beijing, but before I visited Beijing while KNOWING any Chinese worth mentioning.

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roddy

I think the duoshao qian contraction is more duo'ao, with the sh missed out. Another one you get a lot is

我告诉你 becoming something like wo gaoru ni, where the s seems to disappear and the r aids the transition from ao to u.

Actually, now I think about it there's a bit of an r in the the first example too. English also puts r's in this - listen carefully to yourself saying 'Anna and' very quickly 200 times.

Roddy

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smithsgj

In Taiwan, 3-syllable constructions are often contracted in the middle: Duo 'ao qian, definitely, and xie 'e ni, zen 'e yang.

Papers have been written on this phenomenon.

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roddy

That's interesting that its mostly 3 syllable constructions - I wonder if its part of the tendency towards 2 syllable constructions, like adding 子 to single syllable nouns.

Roddy

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smithsgj

I thnk that's very likely. Two-sylls as the basic unit in Mandarin.

Another thing about Taiwan is that nearly all place names have two syllables: never one, rarely three. That's not true of China; but maybe same trend.

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andreabt
I think the duoshao qian contraction is more duo'ao, with the sh missed out. . .Actually, now I think about it there's a bit of an r in the the first example too.

Now that I think about it, you're right about that, Roddy, though I agree there's still a bit of an "r" in there, making it something like "duo'aor qian". But I've also noticed a bit of adding an "r" sound to the end of other words or phrases even outside of Beijing ("zai nar?"). Also, I learned to say "yi dian", but I've heard other (non-Beijingren) Chinese say "yi diar".

English also puts r's in this - listen carefully to yourself saying 'Anna and' very quickly 200 times.

Maybe in *British* English that's true, or at least some local accents ;) (and perhaps certain regions of the U.S., like New England?). Seems to me Hugh Grant does some of this, and I had a college prof originally from out East that did it too.

But I suppose to qualify "British English" as such is redundant, no? ;)

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Tsunku

The "r" thing doesn't happen in the south (west) as much. Our contraction for duoshao qian sounds more like "duo'a qian." It seems that the "ah" sound gets added quite a bit more than the "r" sound around here. The "r" is almost completely absent in common speech.

For where, it's "nali" rather than "na'r", "zhe'r" is "zheli." The local people will often turn these into "nali'a" and "zheli'a."

Another contraction that was common in SW speech was contracting the word 太, so that "taiduole" would become "t'duole."

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wix
In Taiwan, 3-syllable constructions are often contracted in the middle: Duo 'ao qian, definitely, and xie 'e ni, zen 'e yang[/b'].

Actually some people just say zeyang rather than saying zenmeyang or some contraction of it.

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smithsgj
Actually some people just say zeyang rather than saying zenmeyang or some contraction of it.

Since it's the middle syllable that's being contracted, doesn't that amount to the same thing?

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Guest Virgilio

I've been told that nei and zhei (this and that) are contractions of na yi ge and zhe yi ge. Don't know how common of knowledge this is but there you go. It always annoys me when text books teach people nage and zhege because I've never meet anybody except obscure peasants that actually say it that way.

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Guest Anonymous
I've been told that nei and zhei (this and that) are contractions of na yi ge and zhe yi ge. Don't know how common of knowledge this is but there you go. It always annoys me when text books teach people nage and zhege because I've never meet anybody except obscure peasants that actually say it that way.

Actually, nei and zhei are contractions of na yi and zhe yi without the ge, that's why people say nei ge dongxi or zhei ge dongxi and not nei dongxi or zhei dongxi. nei and zhei are slangs and you will NEVER (or at least not supposed to) see them used in writing. It's like how Americans generally say gonna instead of going to but you don't see people write gonna in proper documents.

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889

My 北京土语辞典 Beijing Tuhua Zidian (1990) shows 多儿 duor as the common shortened form of 多少 duoshao.

And 我告儿你! Wo gaor ni! is a classic Beijing interjection. It was a pet phrase of my Chinese teacher and she constantly used it when correcting me. I naturally picked it up only to be told later by friends that however appropriate the phrase was for a teacher to use with a student, it was a little too harsh and direct for me to constantly use in polite conversation.

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roddy

我告儿你 is one of my favourites, but I think it could be a little rude - I think there's an air of 'shut up and listen' about it. I would only use it with friends or people I'm annoyed with (or friends I'm annoyed with . . .)

Roddy

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889

As I now realise, "Wo gaor ni!" is sort of the verbal equivalent of pointing your index finger at the person you're talking with. (That dictionary's the Beijing Tuyu Cidian, by the way.)

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roddy

You can make yourself sound ever ruder (or more drunk) by stretching the 'r' . . .

Wo gaorrrrrrrrrrrrr ni

I still reckon you get a bit of the original syllable's vowel in there though, on both gaosu and duoshao. Something like wo gaoru ni and duorao qian.

Roddy

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Guest casual

Really no magic there, haha,

in the north China, people like to add "r" to the basic pronunciation of a word, and then if you speak the word quickly enough, the middle part is not hearable, that's nothing to do with contraction. :lol:

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smithsgj

> if you speak the word quickly enough, the middle part is not hearable, that's nothing to do with contraction

Don't understand. If you speak it quickly enough for it not to be heard, that's what contraction is, isn't it?

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roddy
"Wo gaor ni!" is sort of the verbal equivalent of pointing your index finger at the person you're talking with.

Yep, and I reckon finishing off with 听见了没有 is the equivalent of poking the finger into his sternum. Try it . . .

Roddy

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tetsuo500

This is interesting stuff! ^

I'm watching a series from Beijing right now, 空镜子 it's full of wo gaor ni le.

I think some of the characters are dropping the xi from 小 when calling people by their names.But I'm not certain,can someone   tell me if Beijingren do this?

EDIT: actually, I'm not so certain now, there's only one character, who I  think is saying it.

::watching as he types::

hahahahaha... so funny! The newlyweds were on the side of thestreet talking seriously about their relationship, when the girl     suddenly told the guy "你放屁了“ he tried to make her be quiet  while looking to see if anyone heard, but she just said it  again, and he finally admitted it so he could leave. hahahahaha.  :lol:

::goes back to watching tv::

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Guest casual

Allow me to use Chinese here, actually we call the mode of adding "r" to end the pronunciation as "儿化音“, literally means use the sound of "r" to modify the pronunciation, note that only to modify not to replace, so I don't agree to call it contraction, actually it's not, when people say "wo gaor ni le" they don't intent to use "告” for “告诉”, they still mean to use the word "告诉“ only the pronunciation's changed.

If it is contraction, how to explain the case of adding "r" to only one-charater word, if a girl named "燕”,in pinyin it is "yan", but daily we will call her "yanr".

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