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Re: NATLANG: Chinese parts of speech (or lack thereof)

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Saturday, August 21, 2004, 14:45
On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 18:18:36 +0100, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> wrote:
> Y.R. Chao gives an example of a story written entirely in 36 > characters, all pronounced _xi_ in one of the four tones. The story > would make no sense at all when read aloud in modern standard Chinese, > but for some who knows Classical Chinese they story reads: > "The West Creek rhinoceros enjoys romping and playing. Every evening, > Xi Xi [name of person*] takes the rhinoceros to play. Xi Xi > meticulously practises washing the rhinoceros. The rhinoceros sucks > the creek and playfully attacks Xi. Laughing, Xi Xi hopes to stop [the > rhinoceros] playing. Too bad - the rhinoceros, neighing, enjoys > attacking Xi." > > *Xi Xi are both pronounced on first tone, but are written with > different characters. The first 'Xi' is the surname & the second the > given name.
Here is the poem, reproduced from a scan Ray sent me: 西溪犀、喜嬉戲。 嵇熙夕々携犀戲。 嵇熙細々習洗犀。 犀吸溪、戲襲熙。 嵇熙嘻々希息戲。 惜熙嘶々喜襲熙。 Cheers, -- Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>