Chinese (Mandarin) Mode: On "iu, ui" and "yo"
- A few more points on the Chinese Mode (and this should hopefully be
all...at least for now :)).
1) About the question I posted on Feb 17. I think I've realised the
answer (going over past discussions): In the diphthongs "iu" and "ui"
I'd say the first element is the "dominant" one, and therefore it makes
sense that both the "i" in "iu" and the "u" in "ui" should be
represented by a tehta, and the second elements accordingly by uure and
Again, this is sort of a concession to "phonetic" concepts, and from a
strictly orthographic point of view, one might still consider spellings
with double dot below and U-tehta on top/modified left-curl and I-tehta
on top to be valid alternatives.
I will stick with the I-tehta on uure/U-tehta on yanta spellings,
though (just as I'd prefer the short carrier spellings for yi, yin,
ying, as described in my last mail).
2) One very small "clarification" on J. 'Mach' Wust's excellent
proposal (something I think I failed to mention earlier): "io" does not
occur after consonants, but only "on its own" (i.e. constituting a
syllable), and then it's spelled "yo" in Pinyin. It's exceedingly rare
(standard dictionaries usually list only one character for this sound,
and even most larger ones a maximum of two or three, all of them being
Since it begins with "y", "yo" is spelled vilya with O-tehta on top
(spelling with two under-dots and O-tehta doesn't occur at all in
This is in contrast to sounds like "ai, ao, ou" which all occur both on
their own (constituting a syllable) and after consonants (e.g. "tai,
mao, gou" etc.)--in _both_ cases, they are spelled with A-tehta on top
of yanta, A-tehta on top of uure, O-tehta on top of uure, respectively.
As for "ua, uo": These are the spellings these sounds have in Pinyin
after consonants (e.g. "hua, suo"), and then they are spelled with
modified left-curl and A-tehta on top/modified left-curl and O-tehta on
top. When these two sounds constitute a syllable, however, they are
spelled "wa, wo" in Pinyin, and the corresponding tengwar-spellings are
A-tehta on top of vala/U-tehta on top of vala.
3) Last, a truly minor point: I'd suggest that where two under-dots are
required in combination with lambe (as in "lia, lian, liang, liao,
lie"), placing the double dot inside instead of under lambe should be a
valid alternative, since a) Tolkien also did this, e.g. in his Namaarie
calligraphy, and b) I find it aesthetically more pleasing. :)