I don’t know why people bother with TV dramas!
tongueturner, commenting on their reading for “genres of memory in medieval Chinese literature” (before launching into a recap)
I mean that wasn’t in like a shame-other-people’s-relaxation-hobbies way, but like a “what the fuuuuck real life is ridiculous enough.” omg tho, there was a TV drama made about the story! The Legend of Lady Yang oh wow no there were several!
short version: Emperor Xuanzong gets the hots for his son’s wife, Princess Yang, so he arranges for her to become a Taoist nun to “purify” her so he can then pull her back out and make her his consort. She is so beautiful he ignores all his other consorts and “from this time onward the sovereign king no longer held early court” (because they are up late boning). He also increasingly neglects his emperor-duties.
Jump to 755, the An Lu Shang rebellion takes off, the Emperor is fleeing, and one of Lady Yang’s relatives is accused of being involved and is killed (among others). The soldiers refuse to continue retreating with the emperor unless Lady Yang is killed too, as she could be involved. Lady Yang is taken to a Buddhist shrine and strangled. The Emperor’s son (not the first one) takes off with a chunk of the army and declares himself Emperor. The old emperor woefully wastes away his final years, having started the fall of the Tang Dynasty.
(The snippet is from Bai Juyi’s extremely famous “Song on Everlasting Sorrow” but I can’t find a nice online translation. In Chen Hong’s accompanying piece he just says the Emperor is tired of getting up early, but that is definitely not what the other implies.)
Anonymous asked: Could you give an example of the conditional tense in English?
In a few languages, the way men talk is different from the way women talk. In Japanese, for instance, there are certain words and sentences that only males use, and certain words and sentences that only females use. If you were in a school in Japan, and saw a message on a notice board which read “boku …”, you’d know it would probably have been written by a boy, because that’s the words boys use for “I”. If a girl had written the message it would probably have been “watashi”. I have to say “probably”, of course, because it’s always possible for a girl who’s a bit of a tomboy to say “boku”. But normally, the two forms are used differently by the two sexes.
A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 139. (via linguaphilioist)
While I’d like to imagine people are reading this and thinking, “hm, interesting,” this is probably more inline with the recent trend of “look what weird backwards shit Japan is doing,” (see the recent ooing over “b-style”), and that’s messed up, because guess what probably most languages do this! (I mean this isn’t even grammatical gender, if you wanna dig in on Russian/Spanish/Hebrew…) Wow language and gender are socialized!
In English there has been much fussing over “women’s speech” starting with Lakoff in 1975, so let me just pull out a few things. In English some words are very gendered; we take note when a man says something like “divine” or “lovely,” and precise color words like fuscia are left to women and “gay fashion designers”(ugh, don’t start me on queer ling). Women are also typically held to politeness standards that increase their use of hedges, polite forms, and apologies; “If you have a moment…,” “I think it’s sort of…” (generalizing, this and most studies are on white, middle class, cis, straight women; and well hey super polite female Japanese is also a generalization) Men are allowed more coarseness/cursing, and we find their version of being “straightforward” is equated with a woman being a “bitch.” So there’s that just incase you were up on your Standard American English high horse.
And so surprise, the development of some of Japanese female speech also relates to these same social things; some “female endings” really are just particles that soften a statement, and then whup weird indexing of women = speaking softly. So dudes can use them, just like a dude can use hedges, but it is not interpreted the same. The actually different lexicon and other more markedly female things used to be super looked-down on as “school girl speech” when it started in the Meiji period (because of integrated schooling, more social stuff, etc etc.) but then it solidified with time (and in literature) and became the now assumed women’s speech/onna kotoba / 女言葉. (decent tofugu article with more)
So this stuff is super cool (‘cus I’m a nerd!!!) but also complicated and I kind of get grouchy over all the little “cute language facts” books that pop up. Because look wow I just gave you a pretty short and decent summary without the weird exoticizing. Wah wah getting a ling degree so I can complain on tumblr.
modal verbs (and their overlaps) expressing can/able to/permitted in Chinese explored via Euler Diagram on Sinosplice.com.
A = ability in the sense of “know how to” (“会” is more common than “能“)
B = permission/request (use “能” or “可以“)
C = possibility (use “能” or “可以“)
D = permission not granted (use “不可以“)
E = impossibility (use “不能“)
Black ASL - Extremely interesting video talking about how black ASL is similar to AAVE (African American Vernacular English). And I’m just like…ummmm, hell yes! Finally I can learn how to sign the same way I speak.
oooh, fun fact: did you know, before the civil rights movement, even the deaf schools were segregated? so black and white deaf children were not allowed to interact with each other, and that basically started black ASL. (interessssttiiiinggggg!!!!)
anyways, i’ve had a really bad day, and this just made me a bit too excited.
this is so awesome too bc i don’t even know ASL but i can see the movements of our shit, our facial expressions, etc.
no one in my medieval chinese lit class appreciated my proust joke. maybe that’s not surprising.
we were talking about nostalgia and one kid was trying to insist it occurs when you retreat into your memory, usually from a trigger, and was having a lot of trouble explaining so there was this awkward pause so I said, “maybe you’d like a madeleine?”
and it did not fix the awkward pause.
That stupid post about “pussy” being short for “pusillanimous” pisses me off so fucking much and I’m going to tell you why. (PS: Masters degree in English linguistics talking here ya’ll.)
In short, no. “Don’t be a pussy” is not short for “don’t be a pusillanimous.” No. It…
aw yeah linguist on the hunt right hear, gonna chew up and spit out some misogynists/misogynist apologists (is there a difference?)