Re: "iu" and "ui" alternative spellings [was: Chin. Mode: No "-io", but "-io-"]
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
> Hisilome wrote:one
> > 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
> > example, the syllable _liao_, could be problematic.*<<<<<You are, of course, right. This would increase the potential for
> I'm glad to hear that. Some people abhor the slightest theoretical
> possibility of ambiguity. I don't either. However, I think there are
> some more syllables where such an ambiguity might arise: lai - le
>ai; luai - luo ai; lao - le ao; lou - le ou; lui - luo ei; lou - le
>ou; liu - lie ou. It concerns every combination with initial
>consonant that ends in yanta or Ãºre.
misreadings somewhat, but I believe speakers of Mandarin would still
rarely get confused for the reasons I laid out before: context and
the fact that the fifth tone is not too frequent, and usually
restricted to certain syllables, often grammatical particles/markers,
such as the _-men_ (plural marker in "tÄmen") or _de_ (a very
versatile particle, expressing among many other things "genitival"
relations between nouns) in your sample text.
And the risk of ambiguity is further reduced if one leaves space
between the individual words, as I see you did in your transcription.
Originally I had suggested not to do this (largely because in certain
types of text, especially those involving classical Chinese or
poetry, it can be a bit difficult to determine where one word ends
and the next one begins), but in modern texts at least it is actually
quite easily done and helpful for the reader. Since most particles,
such as _de, le (completed action), ma (question marker)_ etc, tend
to stand alone (i.e. as an independent word), no confusion could
arise. The plural marker _-men_ would be an exception, since it's
directly attached in Pinyin writing--I guess that's because strictly
speaking, this is really a suffix, quite a rare species in
the "Mandarin fauna". :)>>>>>
>Another workaround instead of using an isolated short carrier for<<<<<This alternative method makes the mode even more "compact". I'd
>_ai ao ei ou_ might be to place a single dot below yanta/Ãºre when it
>combines with an initial consonant (which I have inconsistently done
>in my first table, the one with the a-tehta).
still suggest to only use it when ambiguity could arise in actual
usage (see above), i.e. for example in certain disyllabic words where
the second syllable is pronounced "light". This further reduces the
amount of diacritics needed, but of course it's also ok to consider
this specific type of under-dot obligatory.>>>>>
><...>So if there's a tone sign, the short carrier can be left awayeven in _en eng_.
<<<<<Right. Especially since there are very few words for _en_ (only
four even in larger dictionaries, only one of which is quite common)
and only one single word for _eng_ (which is very rare, meaning "the
reins of a horse", but a different word is usually used in modern
Chinese), and none of these would conceivably occur in the fifth
tone. So we can scrap the short carrier completely!>>>>>
>>Thus, uure alone = _o_, short carrier + uure =<<<<<I like that! And we probably cannot use my original proposal for
>> _ou_, tengwa + uure = _-ou_.
>That _o_ was not even mentioned in the table I kept referring to.
>It's not unusual for (lexicalized) interjections to exceed the usual
>sound system of a language. The wikipedia table also mentions the
>final _Ãª_ to occur in certain interjections. How to transcribe them?
>Since they transgress the normal sound system, they might be
>transcribed with crazy combinations that transgress the normal
>tengwar-tehtar combinations: Perhaps with the otherwise impossible
>and meaningless combinations yanta + two dots and Ãºre + modified
_o_ if we scrap the short carriers, since _o_ and _ou_ (though not _-
ou_) would then be spelled identically...>>>>>
> ...<<<<<Hm. If it's to be used as the _only_ tehta, then how can you
> > <<<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?>>>
> The most recent generation of tengwar fonts does, since they provide
> two different kinds of modified left curls: One to be placed as the
> only tehta above a tengwa<...>
still fit another diacritic under it?
Actually, I now remember I've seen _edwen_ spelled as in KL,
with "modified left-curl on top of E-tehta on top of ando", I think
in McKay's "Index of Significant Samples". So he must have used a
newer font then. (Or maybe he used some "tricks"?)>>>>>
>symbols (it's taken from http://www.omniglot.com/writing/chinese.htm
> Here I've spelled out a little sample text with complete tone
and I hope I haven't made too much errors). I have put the two dots
below the tengwar in all cases where there is another tehta above
(which is all cases in that short text). For a combination of the two
dots below and the single dot below (a combination that has been
quite frequent), I have used the three dots below tehtar, even though
it is really a combination. For the combination of the two dots below
and the vertical stroke below, I have placed both tehtar besides each
other which worked quite well (though that may be more difficult if
there is a descending telco). Certain combinations of the modified
left curl with another tehta have become quite messy (in spite of the
eight different versions of the modified curl). Since neither the two
dots below nor the vertical stroke below have a specialized lambe
version, I have sometimes used the numeral that looks like a small
lambe. And finally, I have used a single dot for the transcription of
the high tone, not a macron (horizontal bar). The fonts I've used are
Johan Winge's tengwar annatar and tengar annatar alt. In the end, I
think it has worked quite well. Here it is (and there are again a pdf
and an rtf version in the same directory):
the first tone because a macron would have conflicted with other
tehtar (for example in _xiong1_ [I'm using "1, 2, 3, 4, 5" after the
Pinyin transcription of the syllable to indicate the tones as is
often done--more convenient then doing the diacritics...]).
There are a few spellings I'd like to remark on:
1) _yi1_ (in _yi1lÃ¼4_): Do we really need the double under-dot (i.e.
a total of three dots below) here? Isn't "vilya with single under-
dot" enough? The latter is also how you spelled it in your second
table, I think.
(BTW, because of tone sandhi, the _yi1_ is actually pronounced as
_yi2_ here, but I believe we agreed to always stick with
the "original" tone of the syllables, as Pinyin does.)
Similar question for _yi3_: wouldn't a single under-dot suffice?
2) _lÃ¼4_ (in _yi1lÃ¼4_): I think here the website where you got the
sample text is to blame, since it erroneously transcribed _yi1lu4_.
So, here we should see "lambe with double (under-)dot and single
(under-)dot and modified left-curl on top". This is actually an
interesting word, since I would wonder how exactly we'd do this: the
double-dots inside the lambe bow, and the single dot under it (this
probably looks the nicest)? Or vice versa? Or three dots within the
3) The spellings of _xing4, xin1, bing4, ying1_. Shouldn't these all
be written with only a double under-dot under the initial tengwa
(i.e. without the additional single dot below the double-dot),
analogous to your spelling of _ping2_ in _ping2deng3_?
4) _you3_ (in _fu4you3_): After your latest "revision" of this mode,
I guess one could spell _you_ as "vilya plus uure with single under-
dot" to avoid potential confusion with _ye ou_.
But wait, how could I've missed this before: all the things we've
said about possible ambiguities (as in _liao - lie ao; lai - le ai;
luai - luo ai; lao - le ao; lou - le ou; lui - luo ei; lou - le ou;
liu - lie ou_) are really invalid, since in the actual language,
there are only two possibilities (keeping also in mind that if we
separate individual words by spaces, ambiguities could only occur
within words, not across "word boundaries"):
a) something like "lambe + yanta with A-tehta" is to be understood as
two separate words (= _le ai_). Then we'll either have a tonal sign
on both words, in which case no ambiguity can arise, or we'll have
one on the first but not the second word (_ai_), because it's in the
fifth tone. In the latter case, it's still clear that we're dealing
with _two_ words, since if we weren't then
b) the tonal sign would be on the _ai_ as the element in what would
now be _lai_ that expressed the main vowel sound.
Other interpretations wouldn't be possible, since if there is a
syllable in the fifth tone in disyllabic words, it's _always_ the
second syllable (i.e. something like "lambe + A-tehta on yanta/yanta
with under-gasdil [even if we use neither short carriers in _ai, ao,
ei, ou_, nor a dot under yanta/uure in combinations with initials]
and acute accent under/on top of yanta" could, even theoretically,
never be misread as _le5ai2_, but only be understood as _lai2_.
The situation wouldn't be much different in trisyllabic words where
the medial or the final syllable is in the fifth tone (if one can
actually find [m]any combinations like that involving the syllables
Therefore, I think there would be no harm (not even the slightest
theoretical possibility of it :)) in doing completely without the
short carriers/under-dots in "initial consonant + yanta/uure"
combinations. Seen in this new light, they certainly shouldn't be
One last comment on a different issue: I saw you employed "English"
punctuation marks (in this case, only commas and full stops). I'd
suggest that we might also consider using the same signs as Tolkien
did in his Quenya/Sindarin/English Tengwar samples (e.g. DTS 5,
19/20, 21, 49 etc), including those for "end of paragraph",
exclamation marks and question marks.
Hope I don't sound too critical or finicky! You don't know how
grateful I am for all the ideas you've come up with for writing
Mandarin with Tengwar...hope you enjoy "inventing" all these
proposals as much as I enjoy reading (and using) them. :)>>>>>
- hisilome skrev:
>"Mandarin" was a typo for "Cantonese" here. Sorry.
>>Duh, with six or seven tonemes Mandarin even stretches Roman to
> [ 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? ]
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
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