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Re: USAGE: Help with Chinese phrase

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Monday, September 6, 2004, 18:34
Ray Brown wrote:

>> I think the consonant (onset) notation was heavily influenced by >> the German transcription. > > > Maybe somewhere along the line, but not directly, I think. > >> Germans trascribed aspirate -- inaspirate contrast as unvoiced -- >> voiced (a number of German dialects know inaspirate unvoiced mediae >> in constrast with aspirate unvoiced tenues) as in current Pinyin > > > True.
NB this is nowise uniquely German. A similar analysis is in fact possible for all Germanic languages except Dutch and Afrikaans, and a forteriori for Icelandic, Faroese and Danish. I wonder how a linguistically educated Chinese "hears" English in this respect! An interesting parallel is Sindhi, which unlike Urdu uses the Arabic /p t k/ letters for its /p_h t_h k_h/, while inventing new letters for its unaspirated /p t k/.
>> It was the "monographic" principle again to >> choose "x-" for the English-German "hs-" digraph.
This may have been based in Vietnamese, whose use of _x_ for /S/ is derived from Portuguese.
>> Letter "q" was choose for >> /ts\/ either for the Albanian-Chinese friendship or for its >> resemblance to a Cyrillic letter; > > > ...or both. But wasn't |q| used this way in Latinxua? I would've been > surprised if Albanian had contibuted to that.
I have actually seen an early version of PY which used the cyrillic letter!
> I imagine many western schemes had some ultimate input. The writing of the > diphthong /aw/ as |ao| is surely an Italian convention and, I guess, goes > right back to Matteo Ricci's transcriptions.
An interesting point is that Ricci IIRC used _b d g_ the same way PY does. Another is that the German Leibnitz expressed a preference for transcription based on Italian letter-values. I for my part would do things very, very differently... -- /BP 8^) -- B.Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant! (Tacitus)