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Some natlang questions?

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Thursday, July 12, 2001, 5:22
I'm gonna be laying low for a while, since I got a lot of stuff to do.  This
does include that conlang that I'm obsessed with a bit much.

A couple questions in the meantime concerning a couple languages I would like to
try and teach myself: Hebrew and Japanese.

First, how did Proto-Semitic vowels, traditionally reconstructed as the same six
vowels as Arabic (a a: i i: u u:) become the twelve vowels of Tiberian Hebrew
(and the seven Ashkenazic and five Sephardic vowels of Mod. Israeli)?  And the
ten vowels of Aramaic?

Second, how do you pronounce /ti/, /di/, /si/ and /zi/ in Japanese?  I see them
so often written as chi, ji and shi, but I hear something more like [ci], [Ji],
[Ci].  Or something more like Mandarin (Pinyin) qi, ji, xi.  Also my
Essentialist comments about Japanese should be amended with the phrase "...
because I'm trying to learn it and it's kicking my ass!"

Thanx in advance, and I'll try and put up a webpage and also send you all some
more data on Tech soon.


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