Re: Old Chinese retroflexes--a few questions.
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, November 21, 2004, 17:28|
Steven Williams scripsit:
> Then how does Cantonese have like nine tones? Were
> some other tonogenic forces at work here?
Middle Chinese had four tones, three associated with open syllables
(ending in a vowel, -m, -n, or -ng) and one associated with checked
syllables (ending in -p, -t, or -k). Each of these had the potential
to split, giving 8 tones; different patterns of splits (and mergers)
appear in different Sinitic languages. Uniquely in Cantonese, the
fourth tone split a second time, giving 9 tones at the -emic level;
however, identifying some of the checked tones with unchecked analogues
and a tone merger have left the language with only 6 -etic tones.
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! John Cowan <cowan@...>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)