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Re: "iu" and "ui" alternative spellings [was: Chin. Mode: No "-io", but "-io-"]

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  • hisilome
    ... [I would agree with Melroch here, although phonetic theory is not my forte. But as a (albeit non-native) speaker of Mandarin, analysing for example
    Message 1 of 33 , Mar 3, 2006
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      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Melroch 'Aestan <melroch@...> wrote:
      > j_mach_wust skrev:
      > > Benct Philip Jonsson Melroch wrote:
      > > ...
      > >
      > >>In fact the E and O tehtar could be omitted in most cases, at
      > >>least where there are Y or W tehtar. That wouldn't look
      > >>good in Roman spelling, but is IMHO quite OK in Tengwar spelling.
      > >>Only it goes against the Quenya precedent of omitting the
      > >>A tehta, but arguably just as _a_ is the "default vowel"
      > >>in Quenya, _e_ is the "default vowel" un Mandarin, and
      > >>according to most phonologists _e_ and _o_ are actually
      > >>allophones of a single mid vowel phoneme. Syllables like
      > >>_bo, fo, mo_ are actually /bwe fwe mwe/: first the /e/
      > >>becomes [o] because it stands after a /w/, then the [w]
      > >>is deleted because it stands after a labial consonant.
      > >
      > >
      > > That sounds very interesting. Of course, it would require the
      > > dot below final n or ng. I immediately tried to transcribe the
      > > wikipedia table using no other ómatehta than for /a/:
      > >
      > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin#Finals
      > >
      > > However, I got stuck. How to distinguish 'yi wu yu' from 'ye wo
      > > if already the latter are transcribed with nothing but the tehtar
      > > following /j/ or /w/? We can't transcribe 'yi wu yu' with the
      > > for diphthongs ending in /j/ or /w/ either, since that would
      > > them with 'ei ou'.
      > Some would indeed analyse _yi wu yu_ as /jej/ /wew/ /jew/, but I'm
      > not an adherent of the most radical "vowellless" anlysis of
      > Mandarin. I think one needs to acknowledge /i u a/ as underlying
      > vowels; it is only [e] and [o] which are predictable. I would say
      > that there is a potential 'vowel slot' that gets filled with
      > [e] or [o] when none of /i u a/ is present, so you still need
      > I and U tehtar!
      > --

      [I would agree with Melroch here, although phonetic theory is not my
      forte. But as a (albeit non-native) speaker of Mandarin, analysing
      for example (Pinyin) _yi_ as /jej/ doesn't feel quite right. Of
      course there is the additional factor of tonal variation, but
      basically (and certainly when pronounced in the first tone), to my
      ears this would correspond to the long _i_ sound (í) in Quenya (and
      maybe short _i_ in the fourth tone...)--can we analyse that as /jej/?

      Same for _yu_ (German _ü_): is this really /jew/ (as Mach's suggested
      spelling would seem to indicate)? Isn't it more accurate to describe
      it as a palatalized _u_, which incidentally the orthographic proposal
      with U-tehta on top of vilya (_yu_), or under-dots and U-tehta on top
      of tengwa (_-ü_), reflects nicely?

      In other words, I'd also say that the I- and U-ómatehta are still
      necessary, even in a phonetic mode, if we want to adequately
      represent the simple and complex vowels of Mandarin.

      Mach, I'm also not sure how exactly you would spell for example _you_
      and _yu_: "vilya with under-dot and modified left-curl on
      top"; "vilya with under-dot and two overdots plus modified left-curl
      on top", respectively?
      And what spellings did you have in mind when earlier in your mail you
      wrote: "But how to transcribe yu then? Like 'you' but with an
      additional dot below?" (_you_ = vilya plus uure with under-dot; _yu_
      = vilya with under-dot plus uure with under-dot??)

      Forgive my obtuseness! :)]

    • Melroch 'Aestan
      ... Mandarin was a typo for Cantonese here. Sorry. -- /BP 8^) -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
      Message 33 of 33 , Mar 19, 2006
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        hisilome skrev:

        >>Duh, with six or seven tonemes Mandarin even stretches Roman to
        >>its limits!
        > [ Well, I'm no experts on linguistics (obviously!), so I may
        > misunderstand you here--but if "tonemes" are identical to tones,
        > standard Mandarin has four or five, and as far as I know some
        > subdialects of Mandarin have as little as three. Why six or seven? ]

        "Mandarin" was a typo for "Cantonese" here. Sorry.

        /BP 8^)>
        Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
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