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

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  • hisilome
    ... words *lüan and lü .
    Message 1 of 33 , Mar 5, 2006
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      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
      > > Hisilome wrote:
      > > [Well, I'm impressed with what you two came up with! Certainly
      > > _very_ economical in its use of diacritics.
      > I'm not so sure about that considering the three tehtar
      words '*lüan' and 'lü'.

      <<<Well yes, agreed, but both proposals (the one that let's the A-
      tehtar stand and the one[s] that replace[s] them with long
      carrier/halla/gasdil, the latter in combination with a short carrier
      as "syllable onset sign" where required) obviously employ much fewer
      diacritic signs ("fewer" referring here not so much to the total
      number of diacritics used, but rather to the amount of _distinct_
      diacritics): only four/max. five in the phonemic modes, as opposed to
      seven in the orthographic mode.>>>

      >And then, there's another problem: The omission of the
      > e-tehta leads to some ambigue spellings. For example, 'liao' might
      >be read as 'lie ao'.

      <<<You write "for example", but isn't that really the _only_
      ambiguous spelling that would arise? At least I couldn't find
      another, but maybe I missed one... :)>>>

      >Hm, that ambiguity might be solved by always using a carrier in the
      >transcriptions of 'ai ao ei ou' -- and of course, it would disappear
      >if every word had a tone diacritic (which isn't the case, is it?, or
      >at least not in the proposed mode).

      <<<Hm. Which mode exactly are you referring to here?
      I seem to recall that in the original (orthographic) mode, we'd
      agreed to use the same tonal signs as in Pinyin (placed under the
      tengwa carrying the vowel tehta), which also implied leaving the
      fifth tone unmarked (BTW, in "Bopomofo", or Zhuyin, it is marked by a
      single dot to the left/on top of the syllable, depending on whether
      you are writing from left to right or top to bottom--this certainly
      wouldn't do, since it could be confused with the dots used for other

      Thus, if we stick to not marking the fifth tone, theoretically there
      might be some problems, but in actual usage, ambiguity would very
      rarely arise. In fact, as I pointed out, I believe only your one
      example, the syllable _liao_, could be problematic.*
      In your last proposal (using gasdil for /a/) one could then use
      a "syllable onset sign" for _ao_ (as a syllable) to avoid possible
      confusion, while doing without it elsewhere. And that would include
      _ei, ou, en, eng_--only for _e_ you'd need the carrier, since
      otherwise you'd be left with a blank, wouldn't you? Hm, not quite:
      one _might_ also want to use the carrier to distinguish _ou_ from _o_
      (which is very rare, though, comprising only a few characters, all
      interjections). Thus, uure alone = _o_, short carrier + uure = _ou_,
      tengwa + uure = _-ou_.

      Of course, the problem with _liao_ would disappear completely (even
      if no carriers are used) when transcribing _ai, ao_ (as opposed to _-
      ai, -[i]ao_) as halla/long carrier + yanta or uure respectively, as
      you suggest in message #5197.

      *Although, I can't readily think of a case in which _lie_ would be
      followed by an _ao_ in the fifth tone in the actual language.
      Since the fifth "light" tone (characterized by the lack of a marked
      tonal quality) is less frequent than the other four, and mostly tends
      to occur in certain syllables such as _zi, tou, qu, lai, shang, xia_
      etc, leaving it unmarked would be fine for all practical purposes,
      even if there were more potentially ambiguous syllables. Also, the
      context would usually make clear what is meant.>>>

      >Maybe the obligatory carrier is the best solution.

      <<<Well, not necessarily "obligatory", except maybe for _ao_ if spelt
      with gasdil, and probably _ou_, see above.>>>

      > That version without any vowel tehtar really leaves the space above
      > the tengwar to be used for tone signs. I imagine that normal
      >ómatehtar signs might be used as tone signs, for instance the acute,
      >grave, circumflex and caron tehtar. Like this, that Chinese mode can
      >even be typed with existing tengwar fonts.

      <<<Right! Maybe I should start looking into the whole fonts

      > However, there's the problem of the combination of the two dots
      >above with another tehta (combination of modified left curl with
      >another teha above is attested).

      <<<DTS 46 and 49, right. I somehow prefer to put the modified left-
      curl on top and the other diacritic under it, as in the King's
      Letter. Would the fonts allow that as well?>>>

      >Perhaps it might be more practical to place the two dots below the
      >letters in all cases, even in combination with the vertical stroke
      (the dots may be placed on either side of it) and with the single dot
      >(resulting in three dots below), in order to avoid a combination of
      >the two dots above with another tehta above, -- especially in the
      >case of words of the kind consonant + üan and consonant + ü, because
      >these already have two tehtar above even without any tone tehta.

      <<<Well, this is really a question of what one finds aesthetically
      more pleasing, isn't it. As I've said before, I don't mind
      somewhat "crowded" spellings, so putting a "tone tehta" on top of the
      modified left-curl and the double-dot in, say, _quan_ wouldn't bother
      me. :) What you suggest here is just as good, of course.

      And I suspect the spellings with double-dots _below_ may be
      advantageous when it comes to using computer fonts (I wouldn't know,
      though--maybe combining single with double dots/double dots with
      gasdil below a tengwa gives just as much trouble as the potential
      three diacritics on top?)>>>

    • 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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