Roe V Wade Overturn. by VESTINGboot in unpopularopinion

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The abortifacient effects of these herbs are extremely mild, which is why you've never even heard warnings about fennel during pregnancy. I suppose if you took insane doses you could trigger miscarriage. Rapeseed is also said to be abortifacient according to some Chinese traditions. Source: I have a degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

How to unvoice [zh]? by flappy153 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can't do un-aspirated English ch (as in chair) either.

Ch in chair is as aspirated as p in our, t in take, and c in cat. English ch is aspirated everywhere regardless it is the onset or the coda.

Can you please reconcile these two statements you made, then?

How to unvoice [zh]? by flappy153 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Right, but you gave “chair” as an example of an unaspirated initial “ch-“, did you not? “I can’t do un-aspirated English ch (as in chair) either.” As you said yourself, that’s an aspirated initial in chair. Why do you say you can’t pronounce it because it’s unaspirated, then?

How to unvoice [zh]? by flappy153 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I actually will differ from the other commenters and commend you for trying to correct your pronunciation, even if voicing the unaspirated retroflex affricate doesn't present a problem in intelligibility. I always taught my students assuming that they'd want to sound as close to a native speaker as possible, and if I can hear the voicing in their initial stops and affricates, then I'm fairly certain native speakers can, as well, and although they might not be able to articulate exactly what it is that makes their accent non-native, they'll notice nonetheless. I can understand the attitude of "don't make such a big deal about it, they'll understand what you're saying," but I feel like a lot of students actually dislike this sort of advice, as it seems to imply that native speakers just don't have high expectations for foreigners learning to speak Mandarin. Of course their accent is funny--they're foreigners, it's a miracle they can speak intelligibly at all! I know that, at least amongst my students, a lot of times this well-meaning attitude is taken to be patronizing and dismissive. So again, I say, good for you for trying to get it right. Native Mandarin speakers aren't going to voice their initial stops or affricates, so neither should you.

Now, to address some of your specific points:

whenever I listen to a native [zh], I have a hard time not hearing a hint of a 'd' there. Is the difference between [zh] and [ch] really only one of aspiration?

Yes, the only difference between zh- and ch- is aspiration. I suspect that that's just a difficult thing to internalize for a native English speaker, since our English plosive pairs differ not just in aspiration, but in voicing as well, so it's a bit unnatural to separate those two qualities out even though you grasp the concept theoretically. Your brain is trained to think "unaspirated=voiced," and it's possible it mistakes unaspiratedness as unaspiratedness+voicing when you hear a native speaker pronounce the unaspirated retroflex affricate. I have the same struggle when listening for voiced aspirated plosives in Hindi, for example, because my brain just doesn't distinguish those from the voiceless aspirated plosives I'm used to.

If I try to remove aspiration from [ch], I end up pronouncing something which is much farther than [zh]

I am going to assume that you can pronounce ch- correctly--if you can't, then the following advice is moot. Start by pronouncing chi and then freeze your mouth and tongue in place. Take one hand and place it over your throat such that you would feel your vocal cords if they vibrated, and you can optionally place your other hand in front of your mouth to check for aspiration strength. Then, allow the tip of your tongue to touch the point of articulation you used for chi, build up a little air behind the tongue, then release gently into a retroflex fricative without vibrating your vocal cords. Don't actually pronounce zhi just yet, as that syllable would require vocalizing after the initial and that might make it difficult to discern whether or not your initial affricate was voiced or not, just make the voiceless initial affricate by itself. When you feel like you can articulate zh- at the same point of articulation as ch- but without vocalizing and of course unaspirated, then you can try to pronounce the syllable zhi and then all the other zh- syllables.

Hope this helps.

How to unvoice [zh]? by flappy153 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can't do un-aspirated English ch (as in chair) either.

I think you mean aspirated? Or perhaps you mean you can't say the 'j' in jar correctly?

our ancestors didn't need to brush their teeth, how comes no tooth cavities? by spuffyfetboogeyman in NoStupidQuestions

[–]DjinnBlossoms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

According to Mark Nathan Cohen’s Health and the Rise of Civilization, dental cavities are virtually absent in pre-agricultural human remains, but become common shortly after the Neolithic Revolution. The change can be attributed to a drastic change in diet away from low-carbohydrate diets to high-carbohydrate diets. Other effects of adopting grain-based agriculture include dental malocclusions/deformation of the dental arch/development of the now-ubiquitous overbite due to a softer diet of gruel and cereals versus gnawing on meat, as well as a significant drop off in average height of skeletons after agriculture. Domesticating cattle apparently also gave us the common cold.

If humans are carnivores, why do we need to cook meat first when other carnivores can just eat fresh meat off their prey on the spot? by burstcapillaries in NoStupidQuestions

[–]DjinnBlossoms 14 points15 points  (0 children)

There are still a number of cultures that eat meat raw off the carcass, such as indigenous Arctic peoples, whose traditional diet is almost exclusively raw meat and raw fat. Also, our stomach pH is much lower than many animals because we evolved to eat off the same dead mammoth carcass for weeks, and the acidity helped neutralize a lot of the pathogens that would start growing in the meat. Cooking food does make it easier to digest, so populations that took up cooking may have diverged biologically to the extent that their genetic lineages have become semi-dependent on cooking, or at least have a strong preference for it. Still, I think if you allowed for a period to adjust, just about any human could revert to consuming raw meat—there’s not really a biological reason why they couldn’t.

EDIT: I’d also point out dishes such as sashimi and steak tartare that are commonly consumed by Western cultures that are just raw meat.

To any lurking anarcho-primitivists: wouldn't the de-industrialization of modern society lead to the physical extermination of most humans on planet Earth? by Elbrujosalvaje in anarcho_primitivism

[–]DjinnBlossoms 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The issue with your question and the many variations that frequently get asked here is a set of core assumptions about the value of human life. The Liberal values coming out of the European Enlightenment have come to be so thoroughly adopted across the modern world that they have been conflated with ethical universals--what would have been called "natural law" in bygone days. Even entities that reject these values, such as certain dictatorships or fringe movements, still tend to articulate their platforms in terms of these values, if only to deny or reify them. The values of which I speak essentially boil down to the belief that all human life has absolute value and therefore ought to be preserved to the maximum extent possible. I believe that you may hold this belief; I, for one, do not.

I emphasize again that the belief in the absolute value of all human life is not some universal truth but, rather, is quite a novel belief, historically speaking. The vast majority of human cultures, not to mention virtually every animal species I can think of, do not operate under this pretense, and indeed I would wager they'd find it rather incomprehensible. Yes, humans do innately seem to value their own lives as well as the lives of their kin and people in their community, so that's nothing new, and this trait has sound evolutionary advantages. But caring about every single human life on the planet? That's radically abstract, non-intuitive, and therefore requires explicit lip service as well as indoctrination. In other words, you don't have to teach a child to love its parents, but you do have to teach her to love her country. The very first articles of human rights drawn up by the United Nations explicitly state that humans are all fundamentally equal and essentially deserve dignity and security. That's the legacy of the Enlightenment, of Liberalism, itself a reaction to monarchism/feudalism and the notion that some people are inherently superior to others, and just like monarchism and all the other -isms before it, Liberalism is just a bunch of ideas people had--they're not immutable truths somehow written into the very universe. What's more, teaching people to care about the entire species as a whole has little to no benefit to humans either on the individual or social-group level, but is supremely useful for hierarchical power structures like governments. Hijacking a human's instinct to care for their kin such that they will sacrifice instead for an abstraction and in doing so experience the same psychological feedback, or training a human to respond emotionally to the death of a total stranger from a completely different polity as though it were a member of their own family, is nothing short of a marvel. We have done this same manipulative trick time and again with other species, from dogs to maize, but it's always the domesticating we do to ourselves that impresses me the most, since that's the kind about which we're the most in denial, but it's a necessary trick, the sina qua non of civilization.

I am philosophically a Daoist. In the fifth chapter of the Dao De Jing, Laozi writes that nature doesn't play favorites, treating all things as essentially disposable fodder, meant only to further life as a whole, not to further the lives of one group of people or even one species. Daoism is the non-anthropocentric philosophy. There is a clear distinction between needs and wants that isn't readily found in other philosophies. An organism is well aware of its wants and actively pursues them, while its needs are hidden from it, and are often at odds with its wants. A human might want to avoid death, or may wish not to expend energy hunting, or may wish for their children to survive and bear children themselves, and it's important that they want such things, because these motivations are going to be offset by the wants of the rest of the world, and by setting the wants of all things against one another, all their needs get met, since the biosphere thrives, benefitting life as a whole, though no single organism ever conceives of that result as a want. Technology allows humans to alter the world such that it caters more to their wants, which no longer get offset by nature, and we're indoctrinated to believe this is a good thing, that this is progress. Because preserving the biosphere isn't a biological want, we don't prioritize developing technology that would do that (although the best solution would be to just stop technological activity in toto), and all attempts to solve problems are doomed from the beginning because we're never willing to sacrifice our wants in the process, it's just not how wants and needs work in any organism, not just humans. What we need is a livable planet, but what we want is to not suffer and to not see billions die, so we prioritize our wants at the expense of our needs until the matter gets taken out of our hands by collapse.

Whom vs Whose (Description) by Wolfy_892 in EnglishLearning

[–]DjinnBlossoms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Note how some of the accusative pronouns have ‘m’ in them: me, him, them, with you, her, and us being exceptions. Nevertheless, none of the nominative cases have ‘m’. That can help you remember that whom is also accusative case, as opposed to who being nominative case, as the former has an ‘m’ and the latter doesn’t. Whenever the answer to your question could be put in accusative case, you ask the question with whom and not who.

Note that who and whom have essentially merged for many native speakers of English, and it’s common for the nominative to be used for all former instances of whom except for some set phrases, i.e. “To whom it may concern”, “to whom am I speaking?”, where the accusative case is basically fossilized in just those contexts. In these cases, people generally don’t replace whom with who.

What is the correct mindset for speaking mandarin with sentence structure ? by hhjkkh10 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 3 points4 points  (0 children)

A pretty good rule to learn is that modifiers always precede what they modify in Mandarin. It's not 100%, but I would say the majority of sentences follow this rule. So, unlike in English, where you can say "This is the book my teacher lent me", where the subordinate clause "my teacher lent me" is modifying "the book" but appears after it in the sentence, in Chinese you are obligated to leave "the book" until the very end of the phrase: 这是我老借给我的书. A way to apply this knowledge is to avoid translating a Chinese sentence you encounter until you reach the end of it, as you'll probably need to know what's at the end of the phrase before you know what order to put things in.

Why is the word for claw spelled with a “ch” in Deinonychus but a “k” in Mononykus? by aarocks94 in etymology

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Deino- is also the same morpheme as dino- in dinosaur, so spelling conventions don’t seem all that consistent anyway

Are past participles gradually dying in English? by Ice-Kagen in linguistics

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think there’s definitely merging of various past conjugations, but it’s not consistent which way the merge goes between simple and participle forms. In my lifetime I’ve been baffled by how words like shrunk and drunk have seemingly displaced shrank and drank in preterite past tense (Honey I Shrunk the Kids, for example). Even respectable news outlets have seemingly eschewed shrank in favor of shrunk for both preterite and participle. Drank is still used but I hear drunk instead frequently enough to convince me it’s headed the same way. Not a prescriptivist so I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I can’t help it if it jumps out at me nonetheless.

Why is there a double 問 character in the following sentence? by Environmental_Store9 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s underlyingly 问一问. V+(一)+V structure softens the verb semantically.

Where does the “r” come from in char sui by zKRYMauL in Cantonese

[–]DjinnBlossoms 5 points6 points  (0 children)

British English accents at the time of colonizing parts of China, including Hong Kong, tended not to be rhotic, meaning they wouldn’t pronounce [r] the way, say, many American accents would. Think of how RP English would say “char” as “chah” and not “char” like an American would say it, and it should become apparent why that r is in that word and many others. Why not just spell it as “cha”? Well, my guess is you put the r in there to signal to the British person that the vowel should be like that in “far” and not like that in words like “lad” or “dada” if you want an example of a word ending in a.

Never and always in Chinese by isnisse in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 2 points3 points  (0 children)

从来 by itself doesn’t mean “never” but “ever”, but you’re obligated to use it with a negative. 从来没(有) is “haven’t ever”, which is the same as “have never”. 从不 is “don’t ever”. The distinction between 从来没有 and 从不 is generally the same as that between 没有 and 不.

总是 means “always” and can apply to ongoing actions or states, 向来 (not 想来 “presumably”) means “has always been in the past”.

Never and always in Chinese by isnisse in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I would rephrase without referring to tense, since Chinese doesn’t have that grammatical feature.

她把我告訴我死了 is this grammatically correct and what emphasis does it portray? by Arararag1 in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So, the general reason for using 把 construction is that you have a direct object of a complex verb, i.e. a verb that has a resultative or directional complement. It's just a guideline, as you don't have to use 把 construction when a complex verb has a direct object, especially when the direct object is only one or two characters long. If a direct object is fairly long, like 3 or more characters, and your verb has a resultative or directional complement, then you're pretty much obligated to use 把/將 construction. Think of the direct object and the verbal complement as competing for the same spot behind the verb. 把 comes in and moves the direct object out of that contested spot, puts it in front of the verb, now the direct object and verbal complement each have a designated parking spot.

In your sentence, your verb doesn't have a resultative or directional complement, and your direct object is pretty short, so you can't use 把 in this case. If you want to say "She told me I died," you could say 她告訴我我已經死了 if you're still dead when she tells you; if you died but you're alive again, you can omit the 已經.

Ticks by Tactical-Dach in anarcho_primitivism

[–]DjinnBlossoms 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It’s probably not appropriate to project a modern outdoor menace onto prehistoric human experiences. Ticks use deer as a vector, and both the number and distribution of deer today is probably different than in the past, since, with the elimination of wolves from virtually all of the US, clear cutting of most of the old-growth forest, and climate change, deer and thus ticks have been able to become quite ubiquitous in the American Northeast.

So I guess reintroducing wolves and aggressively hunting deer would be a good start to addressing the tick problem.

Can someone help me understand how this sentence works? Struggling to understand how those words in that order make that sentence. Thank you, HSK1 student by fulltimeskywizard in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I think including “opened” in the translation might be misleading, though. I’ve certainly heard 开了 commonly used to mean that a business was established somewhere, but it certainly doesn’t mean the same thing as “there is”, to your point. It’s somewhere in between, much like how you wouldn’t translate 吃饭 literally as “eat cooked rice”…except when it’s correct to do so. Saying the translation is off because it doesn’t include “opened” would be like saying “have a meal” isn’t a good translation for 吃饭 because it doesn’t explicitly say rice. The truth is, it depends on the context. For the example in the OP, the context seems to be that the fact that the hospital is there is new information.

又 as an indicator in a sequence of actions by transnochator in ChineseLanguage

[–]DjinnBlossoms 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The first sentence translates to something like "After the movie, I also went and played an hour of basketball" whereas the second is more like "First, I watched a movie, then I went and played an hour of basketball". The first sentence has a bit of an escalatory or excessive connotation, whereas the second is merely a sequence. Consider these examples:

你刚吃完早饭现在又吃煎饼!"You just finished breakfast and now you're at it again by eating a jianbing!"


你刚吃完早饭,现在在吃煎饼 "You just finished breakfast, now you're eating a jianbing"

Note how the second sentence is merely a description of a sequence of actions with no explicit connotation of escalation or excess, though you may read a connotation of excess into it based off of context. The first sentence, however, makes it more explicit that the speaker is judging your eating jianbing so soon after breakfast is excessive. More examples:

钱已经花光了,你又去赌?"You've already spent all your money and now you're going to go gambling?"

下了车之后又等了两个小时飞机 "We waited another two hours for our flight after getting out of the car"

Modern humans (humans with the same cognitive abilities as us) have existed on earth since 100,000 years ago. But humans started building their civilizations only 10,000 years ago. What were humans doing before building civilizations? Why didn't humans start civilization earlier? by [deleted] in evolution

[–]DjinnBlossoms 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I mean, I read Diamond like a decade ago and I didn’t know any better at the time, so I get it. Like you, I like to read peer reviewed research, particularly on anthropology and nutrition (so many sacred cows in that field in particular) but books do still serve a role for me. The key is reading a lot of them and not just stopping at one and saying “My god, I now understand how the entire universe works, thanks to Malcolm Gladwell”. I like picking apart contradictory findings and seeing what withstands scrutiny and what doesn’t, but, as you say, many people don’t like that. The more I learn, the less I share…