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Re: Japanese phonemes (was Re: The Monovocalic PIE Myth (was Germans have no /w/, ...))

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Saturday, June 12, 2004, 15:38
En réponse à william drewery :

> > > > It doesn't really have /f/, tho. [P] is an > > allophone of /h/ > > >True. But I can't think of any voiced equivalent to >it. I'm guessing it's that restriction again.
[B] can be found only in borrowings that come with [v] in it, and then not for all speakers (many speakers borrow [v] as [b], Like Spanish :) ). Still, [B] appears often enough to have a way to write it down (a strange one at that. To write down a syllable beginning with [B], use the katakana for u /M/, add to it the voicing sign, and follow it with a small form of the katakana for the vowel of the syllable, except when this vowel is /M/ itself :) ). ___________________________________________________________________ En réponse à Danny Wier :
> > /w/ only occurs before /a/ (ban on /wi/ and /we/ is moderately > > unusual, ban on /wo/ and /wu/ is pretty typical) > >The Hiragana and Katakana syllabries actually do have characters for /we/, >/wi/, and /wo/ (but still no /je/).
|we| and |wi| are archaic and unused in modern writing (and kept only for backwards compatibility :)) ). |wo| is only used to mark the object postposition which is pronounced /o/ (|we| and |wi|, when read out of older writings, are also pronounced respectively /e/ and /i/).
> I think they're only used for foreign >words (that aren't Sino-Japanese).
No they're not. Foreign [we] and [wi] sequences are usually borrowed as [M.e] and [M.i], i.e. they become bisyllabic (I don't have any example right now, but I do remember seeing such borrowings). If you find it strange, it's actually not uncommon for Japanese to borrow single syllables as bisyllables. All syllables with a consonantic non-nasal coda are borrowed that way ("up" is borrowed as |appu| for instance). The ban on [we] and [wi] is very alive in Japanese (at least standardly :) ). Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.


Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>Japanese phonemes