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Questions about Suzhounese

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Nightcap
  1. Is the Suzhounese equivalent to 了, 哉? How is it used - just as a perfective aspect marker, or also as a change of state marker?
  2. How do 俚 and 唔倷 work? Does 俚 act like 他, or does it act like 伊 from Shanghainese - that is, does it translate to ‘he’ or ‘he’ AND ‘she’?
  3. This video says that the negation marker says that the negation marker is 弗, but Wiktionary says it’s 勿 as it is in Shanghainese. Which one is correct?
  4. In the same video at 1:23, the second character in the Suzhounese doesn’t display correctly. What should it be?
  5. Is the interrogative marker 勒?
  6. What’s 朆?
  • Good question! 1

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Nightcap

对勿起, I have another question. What’s 咯? Thanks

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anonymoose
5 hours ago, Nightcap said:

This video says that the negation marker says that the negation marker is 弗, but Wiktionary says it’s 勿 as it is in Shanghainese. Which one is correct?

 

I can't say much about Suzhou dialect, but by analogy with Shanghainese, I suspect 弗 is just being used for its phonetic value. I suspect the original character (本字) is 勿, but since neither language has been standardised, there is no authoritative notion of "correct". For what it's worth, in Shanghainese, some books use 伐 with a 口字旁, but most people tend to use 伐 simply because 口伐 is not typeable as a single character (or more likely, most people don't even know about the character 口伐).

 

From an academic point of view, I understand your interest in the written form of Suzhou dialect. I also used to be interested in Shanghainese in the same way. However, personally I think getting too hung up on it is pointless because you'll find almost no one who has the knowledge, patience or will to communicate with you in written Suzhou dialect in any serious way. Now (or when I was still in Shanghai, rather), I ended up concentrating mostly on the spoken language.

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Nightcap

@anonymoose Thanks for your reply. I agree, standardisation of the written form is a big problem in Shanghainese, Suzhounese and other such dialects. As for your point about 伐, as a matter of fact, a friend of mine who’s a native speaker says that the character 𠳝 was originally used as a question marker. In Lesson 5 of the Lessons in the Shanghai Dialect, Potts says it is 否.

 

What about Suzhounese in texts and DMs etc.? How do speakers decide on which form to use?

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anonymoose
25 minutes ago, Nightcap said:

What about Suzhounese in texts and DMs etc.? How do speakers decide on which form to use?

 

Speaking from experience of Shanghainese, they will either arbitrarily use any character with a Mandarin pronunciation that sounds somewhat like the Shanghainese word, or they will just use the proper character, if it exists in Mandarin.

 

For example, 吃饭 in Shanghainese should be written in the same way as Mandarin. However, 吃 in Shanghainese sounds a bit like 切 in Mandarin, so they will sometimes write 切饭. As for 饭, the Shanghainese pronunciation doesn't have anything similar in Mandarin, so they don't have much alternative but to use 饭. However, ultimately which characters they use will depend to some extent on what they are trying to achieve. Most normal people do not write in Shanghainese, even if texting. If they do write in Shanghainese, it will usually be for a purpose, and substituting 吃 with 切 I think is just to accentuate the fact that it is supposed to be Shanghainese, even though 吃 would be a more sensible option from a linguistic point of view.

 

For words which (as far as I know) do not have a written form in standard Chinese, sometimes other characters which are homophones with a Shanghainese reading are used. So for example, to play (Mandarin 玩儿) is usually written 白相 in Shanghainese. The pronunciation is as how 白 and 相 would be read separately in Shanghainese (except for the tones, which work on a word by word level in Shanghainese, rather than the character by character level in Mandarin).

 

Besides, there are some words which do have characters in standard Chinese but are used rarely in Mandarin, though frequently in Shanghainese. 龌龊 is one that comes to mind, which means "dirty".

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Nightcap

@anonymoose I suppose the same thing happens with Suzhounese. What about Wenzhou? Does its lack of mutual intelligibility with Mandarin affect things?

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anonymoose
6 minutes ago, Nightcap said:

What about Wenzhou?

 

Sorry, can't help there. Too far outside my sphere of experience.

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Nightcap

勿要紧个,谢谢帮我个。

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Demonic_Duck
49 minutes ago, anonymoose said:

there are some words which do have characters in standard Chinese but are used rarely in Mandarin, though frequently in Shanghainese. 龌龊 is one that comes to mind, which means "dirty".

 

龌龊 is pretty common in Mandarin, too, at least in the sense of dirty as in "dirty mind" or "dirty old man". Maybe it's used more broadly in Shanghainese?

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anonymoose
3 minutes ago, Nightcap said:

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/ShanghaiMP3/SVocab.html this doc says 泥心 is used to say ‘dirty’ in Shanghainese

 

That means more like "disgusting" (恶心).

 

9 minutes ago, Demonic_Duck said:

龌龊 is pretty common in Mandarin, too, at least in the sense of dirty as in "dirty mind" or "dirty old man". Maybe it's used more broadly in Shanghainese?

 

龌龊 is the Shanghainese equivalent of 脏.

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Nightcap

@anonymoose thanks for clearing that up

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Nightcap

Oh, and that reminds me - 弗 is used as a negation particle in some Wu dialects like Shadi and Jinhua

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Nightcap
Quote
  1. Is the Suzhounese equivalent to 了, 哉? How is it used - just as a perfective aspect marker, or also as a change of state marker?
  2. How do 俚 and 唔倷 work? Does 俚 act like 他, or does it act like 伊 from Shanghainese - that is, does it translate to ‘he’ or ‘he’ AND ‘she’?
  3. In This video at 1:23, the second character in the Suzhounese doesn’t display correctly. What should it be?
  4. Is the interrogative marker 勒?
  5. What’s 朆?
  6. What’s 咯?
I still need answers to these

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Jim

I have a friend from Suzhou so I sent him your questions:

Quote

 

1. “哉”的确可以等同“了”的意思,但语气更强烈,形容已经发生的事情,可以理解为完成时态,但不是严格的语法,因为中文并没有时态的概念。

 

2.“俚”和“唔倷”都是他或她的意思,不分男女。通常,这两个字可混用。的确可以等同于上海话的“伊”。

 

3.视频还没看。

                                              

4.“勒”是“在”的意思。          

                          

5."朆"是“不”、“不曾”的意思。          

            

6. "咯"是“这”的意思。

 

大概是这么解释,这些词都是口语,具体使用得结合语境

 

Can translate if you need. We can't watch YouTube though.

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Michaelyus

DisclaimerI am not a native Wu speaker.

More about 1. The general Wu perfective particle, /tsɨ/, written variously as 仔 or 子, is used in similar contexts to perfective 了 le and progressive 著 zhe (with which it is possibly cognate) in Standard Mandarin. Although some Wu varieties do use their perfective as a sentence-final particle, that is not true of "proper" Suzhounese, which has a separate /tsɛ/ 哉 as its sentence final particle. It appears to be entirely acceptable to use both in the same sentence (along the lines of 吾吃仔飯哉).

 

As for 4, the character for "an" /ã˥/ in "ve an chiq leq" is written in the 蘇州方言詞典 with the composed character 𬁭, (encoded in Unicode as U+2C06D), the structure of which is ⿰曾阿. It is a straightforward phonetic merger (合音詞). The use of 阿 + 曾 bears some resemblance to colloquial Mandarin use of 有沒有 in questions, but this is just a personal observation. 

 

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Nightcap

@Michaelyus so 哉 acts as both the perfective aspect marker and the change of state marker, like 了 in Mandarin?

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Nightcap

@Jim Please tell your friend I said thanks. Just a couple of things I want to clarify:

 

  1. Is 朆 used as a negation particle then, since it's equivalent to Mandarin's 不?
  2. What did they mean by 哉 being 'strong' or 'intense'? How do Suzhounese speakers indicate the perfective aspect and change of state without conveying this?

 

Also, that's an interesting point about 咯, cause Minidict says it acts like 了 and 哉.

I suppose it's referring to another dialect, but I'm not sure.

D77CA5E4-9ED1-4DAD-97DD-EAD2F348ED75.jpeg

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Michaelyus
1 hour ago, Nightcap said:

哉 acts as both the perfective aspect marker and the change of state marker, like 了 in Mandarin?

 

No. There is /tsɨ/  仔 or 子 which is the perfective aspect marker (and progressive aspect marker), and there is /tsɛ/ 哉 which is a "change of state" sentence-final particle.

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Nightcap

@Michaelyus Ah I see. Thanks.

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