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John Cowan mangles Pinyin again

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Monday, February 7, 2000, 23:08
Okay, here's my next attempt to get a Pinyin-type tone spelling working.
Unfortunately, it requires breaking certain Pinyin letter-sound
mappings, but that's the price of the omelet.

The main principle is that strategic "h" and vowel doubling, as
before, indicate tone.  However, we now have h *or* doubling, not

        Tone 1: no additions
        Tone 2: add "h" after the initial consonant
        Tone 3: double the principal vowel; if the principal
                vowel is not written (as in "dui"), supply
                it:  "duei"
        Tone 4: add "h" at the end (even after the "-r" if any)

(This system is Boudewijn's.)

In order to do that, we have to free up "h", which has two
functions, the stand-alone velar fricative, and the second part
of the digraphs "sh", "zh", "ch".  We solve the first problem by
using "x" instead.  We solve the second problem by using
"sr", "zr", "cr".  This is safe because these sequences
never occur in Pinyin, and is somewhat intuitive because
"r" is now the one and only mark of retroflexion.

We now have to free up "x" .  (We will also free "q" and "j"
in the process.)  We achieve this by mapping Pinyin
"x", "j", "q" onto "sy", "zy", "cy".

And here's our sample text again:

Woo zaih Zrongghuo dahluh zruh le sih nhian, zaih
Thaiwan zruh le syi nhian.

Gonghcraanzruuyih wanhsuih!


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  ||
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           ||
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)