Re: OFF: More Pinyin reform...
|From:||Daniel A. Wier <dawier@...>|
|Date:||Friday, February 25, 2000, 22:45|
I went back to the drawing board for variations of Pinyin... right now the
only reforms I'm sure on are:
ao > au
u" (u-umlaut) > iu
ie > ieh (see below)
These two are only tentative:
in > ien (this and the next are only tentative)
ing > ieng
>Why the need to disambiguate here since these sounds occur in mutually
It's optional, and I like it for the sake of clarity. I'm more inclined to
pronounce "ieh" correctly than "ie", which I'm tempted to proounce as
>That's probably good, since there are words like "e2", "goose", and "e4",
>"hungry" which you'll have to deal with separately if you use zero for
I've officially dropped the idea of unwritten schwa. It was lame.
> > _chi_ becomes _qi_, _zhi_ becomes _ji_, and _shi_ becomes _xi_ -- but
> > there's already a _qi_, _ji_ and _shi_! What do we do? Remember that
> > lonely <er> syllable which never begins with anything? Turns out that
> > <i> after retroflexes sounds like English "er", and Mandarin has the
> > value for <er>. So let that be our new vowel! Now we have _qer_, _jer_
> > _xer_; no more ambiguity!
>But it creates new ones. The "er" in "er2qie3", "and", and "er2zi", "son"
>does not sound the same as the "i" in "zhi1", which you would render as
>"jer". Too, how to disambiguate "zher4", "here", and "zhi4", "until", both
>of which look like they'll be rendered as "jer" in your system.
Yeah, I did more research and found that out. An alternative would be to
use "ir" after "sh", "zh", "ch" and "r". So zhi > jir, and zher > jer. Or
the Wade-Giles equivalent, which is "ih".
>Pity the poor general reader who might encounter one of these in "Time
>Magazine". Hu Shi, the celebrated scholar, becomes Hu Xr. Go ahead, Mom,
>and pronounce that. I dare ya, I *double* dare ya.
Another bad idea I scrapped. According to what I have above, the name would
be Hu Xir.
>I'd be interested in seeing your scheme in toto, but it seems that by
>solving a problem or disambiguating in one area, you trade in for a new set
>of problems or ambiguities elsewhere.
And it is true that forming the perfect romanization is like that "Chinese
finger puzzle thing" -- the harder you try to pull your fingers out of it,
the tighter the grip gets.
Now I have the sudden craving for Kung Pao Chicken.
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