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Hello I'm Wpi /dʌb piː aɪ/. As a Hong Konger, my main focuses are English-Cantonese loans, Hong Kong Cantonese, and Cantonese in general. I also work on (or is interested in) other contact/mixed languages in East Asia, such as Chinese Coastal Pidgin, Yilan Creole and Singlish, especially on words that have shifted in semantics and/or morphology from the donor language.
Current focuses edit
- New entries
- (in decreasing order of priority)
- Modern English loans into Hong Kong Cantonese via Hong Kong English, which are often written in the English alphabet
- English loans into Cantonese
- Hong Kong English entries
- Hong Kong Internet slang (and slang in general)
- Cantonese idioms
- Cantonese loans into English
- Japanese loans into Cantonese
- Hong Kong place names
- Sino-Tibetan reconstruction formatting
- Long term stuff
- Redoing various zh modules
- Appendix:Cantonese sentence final particles
- Splitting transcription characters
- Unified Chinese revisited
See also: /plans
In case anyone wants a more detailed explanation other than Babel:
My English accent is basically Hong Kong English, but I am also able to speak with a somewhat Southeastern England/Transatlantic accent. Unlike most speakers of HKE, my KIT-FLEECE and DRESS-TRAP vowels are not merged, though sometimes I hypercorrect them, such as pronouncing guess as gas. Cetain words do not follow the typical HKE tone pattern, including see (interjection) si2, then den2, and then en6 den2, plus plas6.
Most accents would be easily understood by me, except heavy Indian English and Southern American English. (and I hate the way some accents pronounce the lot, cloth, thought vowels as ɑ)
English is not my native language, so even though the level of understanding is near-native, I would still make mistakes from time to time, especially mixing up words that are spelt similarly and using a few words that are commonly used as direct translations of common Cantonese phrases. Please do bear with them.
I speak Cantonese that is based on Hong Kong Cantonese, but with a weird accent, notably the following:
- further pronouncing t͡s, t͡sʰ, s as their postaveolar equivalents when followed by certain vowels that do not have this change in mainstream HKC
- partial nasalisation of tone 4
- the n-l, null-ng, tone 2/5, tone 3/6 mergers in quick speech, but they are still distinguished phonemically (except for a few completed mergers)
- heavy consonant assimilation in quick speech:
- in V唔V forms, e.g. 知唔知 zi1 mi1, 識唔識 sik1 mik1, 愛唔愛 oi3 moi3, 經唔經 ging1 ming1, 明唔明 ming4 ming4 (which contrasts with 明明 /mɪ̃ mɪng/ replace g with ɡ, invalid IPA characters (g))
- before h and j initials (今日 gam1 mat6)
- consonant reduction in quick speech for g>ng (應該 jing1 ngoi1, 已經 ji5 (ng)ing1), z>null (去咗 heoi6 o2, 攞咗 lo2 o2), s>z (食 zik6). Some of these are not seen in mainstream HKC.
Also note my Cantonese is heavily filled with code-switching and loans from English, so it would be difficult to understand without understanding both languages. Certain idiolectal words include spag spek6 "spaghetti", fact fek1 "(mathematics) to factorize", fact fek6 "(mathematics) factorial", pert pat6 "percent", 頭𩓥頂 tau4 ok6 deng2 "top of the head" (=頭殼頂), 衫架 "clotheshanger" (=衣架). Idiolectal pronunciations that often persist even in proper speech include 舊陣時 gau6 wan6 si4, 按摩 oi3 mo1, 寵物 cou2 mat6.
For formal Cantonese I generally prefer literary words over Mandarin equivalents, since the latter feels weird when spoken in Cantonese.
My pronunciation is extremely bad, and phonemically there are only two tones: the high tone (=T1 and T4) and the rising tone(=T2 and T3), plus the neutral tone which really shouldn't be counted. Other than that it is what you would expect for a Cantonese speaker to learn Mandarin.
I can read Japanese fine (provided that it does uses kanji for words that are commonly written in kanji), but my writing skills are horrible; speaking and listening is still at beginner level. Also note that my Japanese sounds are often mapped onto their Cantonese equivalents.
If it's a mixed language I usually can guess around 50% of the meaning by knowing one of the parent languages, 80-90% if both. If the language in question has cognates with either English or Cantonese, I will probably be able to understand it, but the cognates must be very obvious.
Useful resources edit
- English Loanwords in Hong Kong Cantonese
- 現代標準漢語與粵語對照資料庫 (2001)
- 香港中文大學 資訊處 遣詞用字統一表
- rime cantonese
- Hong Kong Government Reports Online (1842-1941)
- Google books:
- 英譯廣州話常用口語詞匯 (bilingual dictionary of idioms)
- construction tutorial videos, useful for slang/argot stuff
- Ming Pao: mingpao.com/pns/ = printed in newspaper
- HKET: paper.hket.com = printed in newspaper
- Sing Tao: std.stheadline.com/daily = printed in newspaper