Re: Why Not More Nasals!!!!?
|From:||Kenji Schwarz <schwarz@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 9, 1999, 21:55|
On Tue, 9 Mar 1999, Brian Betty wrote:
> At 12:25 PM 3/9/99 -0500, you wrote: "Yes, Manchu is like this, at least
> word-finally (the only allowable word-final consonant in native(/-ized)
> words being /n/). Korean is not, however, nor is Mongolian, other Tungusic
> languages, or any variety of the Turkic languages that have been spoken
> around there that I know of. I think this may be 'coincidence'."
> Maybe; although I am no great fan of conspiracy theories outside of
> fiction, where they rock, it seems to me that the coincidental loss of
> non-nasal stops and the arrival of the Manchu under the Qing is
> interesting. I am a student of both Chinese and Korean (and I've done my
> share of Japanese, mostly in Japan), and it *still* feels odd to me when
> the Korean word preserves the original MC stop and the Mandarin has lost it
> - and that's a pretty common occurrence, too!
IIRC, Mandarin had lost the stops of the rusheng rhyme category by the
11th century or earlier -- considerably before Jurchens, let alone
Manchus, had any known extensive contact with Chinese-speakers. Other
known Altaic languages of the time had plenty of final stops. Finally,
syllable-final consonants within words are plentiful in all Tungusic
languages -- sabka, jakdan, akjan, alban, taktu, tatkit, etc.
> Or, as sometimes happens, a nut writes about something and there is a grain
> of truth to what he says - always an awkward situation. The whole
> Korean-Japanese link mess, for example, needs a firm, even hand to
> investigate it, and since few Western linguists seem to give a rat's arse
> about Asian languages if they're not spoken by some dying tribe, most work
> has been done by nuts or by Japanese or Korean scholars, and subsequently
Well, we always have the ever-temperate, gracious Roy Andrew Miller. I
just read his '95 book, which has all-new levels of bitter froth. I
especially enjoyed his matter-of-fact statement that language is the only
significant expression of human behavior (whatever that means), and that
as language can _only_ be understood through historical linguistics (i.e.,
Neogrammarianoid vergleichende Grammatik), all other disciplines of the
humanities and social sciences are at best props, and more often
thick-witted fantasies. (Paraphrasing, here.)
On the bright side, he doesn't hesitate to spend some of his bile on the
True Nuts, which can make for some fun reading.
ObConlang: Uh... well, my #1 conlang project is an archaic branch of
proto-North Tungusic, lexically sandwiched between a rarified adstratum of
alleged Khitan and a blue-collar substratum of Chukotkan.