Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Learn something new every day: order of components in some Chinese two-character phrases

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Standard Mandarin and came across this bit:

It is known that if the two morphemesof a compound word cannot be ordered by grammar, the order of the twois usually determined by tones — Yin Ping (1), Yang Ping (2), Shang(3), Qu (4), and Ru, which is the plosive-ending tone that has alreadydisappeared. Below are some compound words that show this rule. Tonesare shown in parentheses, and R indicates Ru.

左右 (34)
南北 (2R)
輕重 (14)
貧富 (24)
凹凸 (1R)
喜怒 (34)
哀樂 (1R)
生死 (13)
死活 (3R)
陰陽 (12)
明暗 (24)
毀譽 (34)
褒貶 (13)
離合 (2R)


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