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Tengwar for Chinese: initial vs. final "r" (voiced retroflex fricative)

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  • Dave
    Hi, here s one more explanation to make the Tengwar for Mandarin Sound Chart complete. Mandarin Chinese has only one r -sound, the voiced retroflex
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2004
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      Hi,

      here's one more explanation to make the "Tengwar for Mandarin Sound
      Chart" complete.

      Mandarin Chinese has only one "r"-sound, the voiced retroflex fricative
      (Romanized as "r"). It mostly occurs initially, where I have proposed to
      spell it with "anca". This stands.

      This sound does also occur finally, but only in the syllable "er". This
      syllable has two functions:
      a) it can represent independent words, such as "son" (second tone),
      "ear" (third tone), or "two" (fourth tone). The number of words that
      have this sound is rather limited.
      b) "Er" can be added on to other words. It then really merges with the
      preceding sound, e.g. "wan + er" is really read more like "wa + r" =
      "war" [pronounced quite differently from English "war", though!], with
      the final consonant dropping; added to words ending in a vowel we see
      for example "ji + r" = "jir" etc.

      I would spell "r" as a distinct syllable even when it is attached to
      other words (i.e. "war" derived from "wan + er" would be spelled "wilya
      with A-tehta on top + nuumen" followed by "E-tehta on top of short
      carrier + anca"). Speakers of Chinese will know how to read this.

      As an alternative spelling for "er" (both as independent word or when
      attached to other words) one _might_ use "E-tehta on top of short
      carrier + oore" (since oore is in other modes often used for final "r").

      Roomen would not be used at all.

      In a phonetic mode for Mandarin (as opposed to my proposed orthographic
      one) one might of course consider to spell contractions like "war" from
      "wan + er" as "wilya with A-tehta on top + anca (or oore)". This would
      go against the prinicple of spelling syllable for syllable, though, as
      in Chinese writing, "er" is _always_ represented by the independent
      character "er" (as in "son"), i.e. the contraction of sounds that occurs
      in speech when "er" is attached to other syllables is _not_ reflected in
      writing.

      BTW, when "r" is attached to the end of syllables/words, which happens
      in particular in the standard Beijing pronunciation, it mostly doesn't
      have any particular meaning, it's really more a mannerism of speech.

      Hísilómë




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