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Re: OFF: More Pinyin reform...

From:Daniel A. Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Saturday, February 26, 2000, 17:11
>Okay on "au", I guess. I think Yale does something similar. >ü > iu raises some problems I think. A) There will now be ambiguous >syllables as you combine "niu2", "cow", with "nü3", "woman",
Oh no, I'd be calling a woman a cow! Better scrap that one... :P
>how? B) There are syllables like "nüe4", "malaria", out there which by your >system will become a slightly unwieldy "niueh". C) Are you only going to >use >"iu" where "ü" occurs in pinyin or everywhere the /y/ sound occurs? This >will generate forms like xiueh, qiueh, and jiueh as well as niueh and >liueh. >How will you disambiguate pinyin "xu1", "need", and "xiu1", "rest", if you >do that?
I'll get back to you on that. One new idea I have is to use "y" as a vowel in place of u-umlaut. But I still have to do a lot more analysis of all the possible syllables.
>You'd have to check, but I think Yale does something similar.
Hey, what is the Yale translit system? All I know is Pinyin and Wade-Giles. Yale is commonly used for Cantonese, right?
>If you're using "eh" for the "real e" sound then why would "ih" represent >the retroflex as opposed to the "real i" sound?
That's what W-G has, I don't know...
>Too true. But isn't that true of romanizing anything other than, well, >Roman? If there's a pathological aversion to diacritics, then one ends up >with di- and trigraphs from hell or schemes like English's silent "e". >Strip >Polish of its diacritics, and wouldn't you have to do back flips to mash it >into the Roman alphabet?
Polish kinda does in a few instances -- look at "szcz" for instance. And Gaelic came up with some weird conventions, like words beginning with "bp", "dt", "gc" and "bhf".
>Back to Chinese. Trust me, the Central Committee isn't paying me commission >to tout the virtues of pinyin, really it isn't. But since that's the system >in place, anything that intends to replace it is going to have to be really >whiz-bang in my book. As an example:
You're right. My purpose here was really just to invent a personal translit system, not to supplant Pinyin. I've found Pinyin to be the most efficient, if not most accurate. I'm thinking of marrying the old Wade-Giles with Pinyin. In a lot of cases I translated Bopomofo symbol by symbol, so I got "ien" instead of "in", and "ueng" instead of "ong". But like I said, I still need to learn Yale. Danny ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at