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modern Mandarin Chinese(s) (was Re: Futurese, Chinese,

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Sunday, May 12, 2002, 16:16
J Y S Czhang scripsit:

> Mandarin has mutated almost as much as all the mutant > varieties of English! I guess just like some say there are different, > differing "Englishes," there are Mandarins, too ;)
Just about the same degree of variation, IIRC. My favorite oddity is Sichuan Mandarin, where the 3rd tone is pronounced like the normative 4th tone and vice versa. ObConlang: Sichuan was settled by sinophones about the same time as the rest of South China, but then went through a population bottleneck of some kind, possibly a plague, around the 16th century. It was then resettled principally by Northerners, and consequently speaks Mandarin even though it is in the heart of the South. What would the lost Sichuan Sinitic language have been like today, had this plague not occurred?
> As to erisation in Mandarin, I guess that the more localized, everyday > Beijing regionalect has erisation while the more national version does not > --- maybe it is easier for other, non-Beijingers to hear and understand if > erisation is not emphasized or used at all.
Just so. Putonghua is a compromise between -r-ful Beijing varieties and -r-less ones from the rest of Mandarin-speaking China. -- John Cowan <jcowan@...> I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_