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
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
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...
B.Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant!