thanks for the detailed and informative answers.
amhoanna wrote:This word is commonly used in Mandarin, but not in Hoklo, at least not outside the PRC. It acts like a verb -- not sure if it really is one. It's hard to translate into English. 任人踏 = ABLE TO OR AVAILABLE TO BE STEPPED ON BY ANYBODY.
Actually I have never come across that expression in Mandarin either (at least I didn't notice it, maybe it hid somewhere of the didn't-understand-each-word-but-got-the-overall-meaning-and-the-topic-is-more-important-than-asking-for-the-word-so-what-the-hell part of conversations once or twice
). According to what you say, I feel it's probably grammatically (and, in the way that it indicates a kind of passive voice to a certain extent even semantically) similar to 讓 in sentences like 他讓車裝傷了, which would make it part of the word group that are often called prepositions but are originally verbs and in a way still behave like them.
amhoanna wrote:任誰都解釋不清 ＝ ANYONE, NO MATTER WHO, WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN IT CLEARLY.
And with this sentence I finally understood how the connection between the verb 任 and "anybody, no matter who" in 任何 came about
4. 按怎閃辟，按怎驚惶 is another part I'm not sure about.
This is a structural borrowing from Mandarin 怎麼 X，怎麼 Y, e.g. 怎麼躲，怎麼怕 -- NO MATTER HOW I DODGE/EVADE, I AM STILL AFRAID.
Don't know if it's a good sign I didn't think about this construction (because it means I'm not making the Mandarin connection as quickly anymore) or a bad one (because my Mandarin is getting worse).
Anyway, even now I have the feeling that it's a rather "emotional" construction, in Mandarin at least, expressing a certain degree of frustration, right? Maybe that's why my first feeling usually leads me to using 不管...還 if I want to say "no matter how...", and hardly ever 怎麼...怎麼
amhoanna wrote:The interchanging should mostly be btw goá and gún, yes. Lán is distinct, although I have heard "lílán" in a song lyric, meaning YOU AND ME, effectively replacing vernacular "lán nňg ê" or "lí hâm góa".
"lí-lán" indeed is an interesting word... is that maybe a Hokkien pendant of Mandarin 你我 (which I have also only ever heard in songtexts, four-character slogans or otherwise “poetic” environments, hardly ever in conversation)? My speculation about the usage of lán there would be that "you and me" includes "you", and that notion took prominence over the fact that it should grammatically be a coordination "you and we" (and thereby exclusive “we”), but that’s only speculation…
As for the difference between gún/guán (meaning singular) and guá, do you feel confident enough to take a chance and try to roughly define the difference? My above-mentioned feeling that gún/guán is used for mentioning your in-group to your out-group seems at least not entirely true after all (I have to admit, part of that feeling probably originates from Korean, where it does exactly that, cf. 우리집(uri jip, "our" home), 우리 회사(uri hoesa, "our" company), 우리 아빠(uri appa, "our" dad (no matter if you have siblings or not)) ect.)
And does it make a semantic difference whether you say gún or guán? The MoE dict says that the plural meaning is pronounced guán and the singular meaning gún (and that it also tends to indicate a female speaker). However what I heard so far indicates that this is not true (anymore?). At least I did hear gún used for plural and by males, too. Does that mean that these two are in fact mere pronunciation differences then?
amhoanna wrote:Songs are one of my favorite media for learning a language. Unfortunately, for learning some languages, like Cantonese, they are pretty much useless; and for other languages, such as Southern Vietnamese or Hoklo, their usefulness is limited.
Yes, I'm well aware of that. Even in languages that don't face the "dialect" vs. "standard language" problem, the language used in poetry (including music) is often very different from what people use on the street. The first example that comes to my mind is Korean again, imagine if I had tried to learn that from songs, I'd probably go around calling people 그대(kŭdae), the second person singular pronoun which is most prominently used in poetry, but unfortunately only there
In the case of Hokkien, there also may be the problem that quite a few of the singers only have a limited knowledge of the language themselves.
But I guess as long as I keep reminding yourself of this, the damage should be limited, I guess