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Publius

It's probably because when you hire someone you enter into a 雇佣 gùyōng 关系, it's natural to assume that the fee incurred is called yōngjīn.

In Taiwan, 傭 is yōng and 佣 is yòng. But it only solves the problem on the surface. The commission/brokerage fee is always written as 佣金, but the dictionary lists both 僱傭 and 僱佣, 傭人 and 佣人, and makes you wonder how you should call a Filipino maid, 菲傭 or 菲佣.

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Tomsima

Interesting, although now I feel like i've sunk back into my original state of confusion...I guess if native speakers arent sure either it doesnt matter too much in the end

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Publius

Yeah, the standards not only contradict each other, they are often self-contradictory.

For example, a professor can on one page say "「檐」為「簷」之異體" and on another "「簷」為「檐」之異體", making them both standard and variant at the same time.

It may surprise you that in Taiwan standard, 晒 is the standard and 曬 is the variant. But in the case of 灑/洒, it's the opposite: 灑 is the standard, 洒 is the variant. Go figure.

Another example is Unicode. For some reason, 青 and 靑 are treated as two different characters. Then when it comes to the characters containing the 青/靑 component, 清 and , 晴 and 晴, 精 and 精, 靖 and 靖 are separate, while 蜻, 情, 請, 睛, 靜 are unified. Very annoying if you are digitizing old books.

Standards suck. They are for suckers.

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Tomsima

Where is 秦始皇 when you need him amirite?

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Dawei3
On 4/4/2019 at 4:49 PM, Tomsima said:

Sorry, pretty rough and unstructured answer, but hopefully a bit interesting

Yes, your question & posts and the responses

were very interesting.  I really like exploring words & characters like this.  

 

On 4/5/2019 at 9:15 PM, Publius said:

Languages change. They change gradually. People don't collectively decide "starting from tomorrow, we will pronounce this word this way."

 

For an interesting look at language change, I highly recommend "The unfolding of language;  an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention."  The author shows how much languages change and explains some of the reasons why this happens.   Sometimes changes make sense, sometimes they don't.  The past tense of "help" was originally "healp" but changed to the regular form of "helped".  In contrast, the past tense of dive was "dived", but it changed to the irregular "dove."  

 

John McWhorter noted that when he was in elementary school in the 1960s, he was taught to say he was born "at" Philadelphia.  Now, it's "in" Philadelphia.  ~100 years ago in the US, the past tense of sneak was sneaked.  However, now it is snuck.  The change makes no sense:  "-ed" endings are easier to learn.  And this change makes sneak inconsistent with other words like peek.  We don't say "peek" and "puck", we say "peek" and "peeked".  

 

All languages changes, sometimes in logical and sometimes in illogical ways.    (You need to read the book to get a full sense of the author's perspective).  

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Michaelyus

For what it's worth:

 

The 1959 ROC 國音字典 [zhuyin ability required] has 劣 as exclusively liè.

 

The 1874 Williams "A Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language" also only gives liè for the "Pekingese" pronunciation, with the Middle Chinese "regularly"-derived lüè equivalent at the top but only as a section header in the dictionary.

 

The 1890 Dictionnaire classique de la langue Chinoise has only one pronunciation, corresponding to lüè (despite what the "modernised" pdf says).

 

The CCR 漢字古今音資料庫 gives both liè and lüè for "北京(官話/北京官話/北京) ", but says "未註明異讀原因" ("notes not yet present for the variant pronunciation"). Interestingly enough, Xi'an comes up with the variant with /y/, whilst Jinan (in Shandong) and Hefei (in Anhui) come up with /i/. Is this Beijing dialect mixing again?

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Publius

Very interesting.

It's good to know that "Many persons pronounce these characters LIÜEH" since 1874, lol

And I wish I could read French... :(

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