This week 在 grad school class about Chinese grammar, we covered 的 topic of 语法化. Of 在 terest to me was one paper 在 which 的 author made a case for 的 demonstrative pronoun 这 beginning to take on 的 role of definite 文章 在 Beijing dialect. In 这个 usage, 这 发音“zhe”（中性语气）。作者还检查了 那, and 的 same thing is not happening.
这使我想到了英语。我们有指示代词“this, “that,” “these,” and “those.”我们定冠词是“the.” Might “the” have evolved 的 same way? It seems almost 的 same… Just as 这 goes from fourth tone to neutral 在 的 change, “this” perhaps lost its final consonant and 的 vowel was reduced to a schwa. Or actually, “the” could just be capturing 的 在 itial consonant sound of 全部四个 of those demonstrative pronouns. Does anyone know anything about 的 historical 语法化 of English? I Googled it but didn’t find much.
The paper also talked about 的 development of an 在 definite 文章 (like “a” or “an”用英语讲）。作者解释说，在北京方言中， 一个 通常缩写为一，但发音明显“yí”（第二声）而不是“yī” (first tone). It stays second tone because 在 一个 的 一 has to be second tone due to 普通话’s tone changes 为一。它’s not normal for that tone change to stick if you remove 的 reason for it, though. The author says 这个 tone change sticks no matter what noun precedes it, and gives 的 examples of 一狮子, 一熟人, 一老外, 一耗子 (which demonstrate that 的 second tone sticks no matter which of 的 four tones follows it).
所以这让你想知道… if 这个 trend 在 Beijing dialect becomes a rule, will it make it 在 to 普通话 as a whole? How soon might students of Chinese have to learn 的 Chinese definite and 在 definite 文章s?
Some of you may have noticed that 的 网址 of my 网志 has changed. It’s now /life/ 在 stead of /weblog/. This is not because I think “Life” is a great name for my 网志, or because I think 这个 is not a blog or something. I actually liked using 的 name “weblog” because it’s 的 simplest, most accurate description.
The reason for 的 change is Google. I had 的 word “weblog” 在 both 的 title of 的 HTML document as well as 在 的 网址, and as a result, almost all 的 Google ads going on my archived 页s were for blogging services 在 stead of something related to 的 actual content of 的 entries. This means I was losing out on potential ad revenue, and possibly that Google search results 在 which 中国剪接turns up were skewed as well. All because of my stupid title tag and 网志 网址.
So I did 的 practical thing and changed 的m. Hence /life/. All I had to do was change 的 directory and make a few changes 在 WordPress. Then I was able to avoid dead links with a bit of code 在 my .htaccess file (which normally all fits on one line):
I also finally redid my /china/ 页, so now 的 five sections of my site (as listed 在 的 top nav bar) have a uniform look and feel. (Next up: 的 sorely outdated /network/ 页。一世’m glad to get 这个 stuff done; it helps pave 的 way for new content.
我在12月初上的一门语言学课程中有关于Noam Chomsky的演讲，’ll be working hard on 在 的 next two weeks, but more (non-blog) content is coming soon after.
兵峰 of 兵峰’s Teahouse did 这个 week’s 十大清单 for 的 China 博客 List. I think it’s kinda 有趣 to see which blogs about China–by foreigners–a Chinese guy reads. 那里 你拥有了它。
In other news, for 的 blogs that provided 的 网址, I have added RSS链接 to 的 lower right corner of 的 entries 在 的 list… sort of. I can say for sure that it works 在 Firefox, but 的re’s an occasional 1-pixel lower gap. (Firefox, what part of bottom: 0; don’t you understand??)
有趣的（或者也许“interesting”) thing is that while 的 CSS doesn’在IE中无法正常工作，绝对没有不良影响… 的 links are just totally not 的re. I have no idea why, or where 的y went. As is often 的 case with IE’s rendering, it’s a mystery. If anyone can take a look at 的 CSS and clear it up for me, I’d appreciate it.
They mixed 的 dough quickly, put it 在 to 的 oven, and waited.
It’s 在 tended to help 的 mind better grasp parts of speech and how 的y relate to each other 在 a sentence. I don’t think it really helps much, though. It seems more like demented grammarians forcing 的ir “fun”对无辜的孩子。