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Re: [elfscript] Japanese Mode?

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  • Arden R. Smith
    ... You didn t really mean to include _b_ here, did you? It s already voiced, and written as the voiced counterpart of _h_ (see below). ... And here you meant
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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      On Mar 18, 2006, at 9:00 PM, hisilome wrote:

      > Other features that would have to be dealt with are the voiced
      > counterparts of "k, s, t, b" (daku-on)

      You didn't really mean to include _b_ here, did you? It's already
      voiced, and written as the voiced counterpart of _h_ (see below).

      > and the handaku-on "p".
      > In Japanese writing, "g, z, d" are represented by the same signs used
      > in the "ta, sa, ta"-series with a diacritic called daku-ten (aka
      > nigori-ten) added at the top right of the kana,

      And here you meant "ka, sa, ta", right?

      > while "b, p" are
      > written with the same signs used in the "ha"-series (! what's the
      > relation between a glottal fricative and the bilabials?)

      Whatever it is, it's a very real relation in Japanese. Just look at
      _Nihon_ and _Nippon_ as variant pronunciations of the name of Japan.
      Additionally, initial _h_ often becomes _b_ in compound words, e.g.
      _hashi_ 'bridge' in the place-name Nihonbashi 'Japan bridge', and
      _hayashi_ 'forest, grove' in the family-name Kobayashi 'small forest'.
      The alternation one normally finds in this environment is voiceless >
      voiced, e.g. _sushi_ in _nigirizushi_.

      These seemingly dissimilar sounds can also be found in etymological
      relationships outside of Japanese. An example that springs to mind is
      Armenian _hayr_ 'father', in which the initial consonant derives from
      Indo-European _*p_.

      To answer the main question: I've occasionally thought about working
      out a Japanese mode, but I've never actually bothered to do it. It
      would be an interesting exercise, though.

      ***************************************************
      Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

      Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.
      --Elvish proverb

      ***************************************************
    • hisilome
      ... [ You re right, of course. Typing too quickly there... What I meant was the voiced counterparts of k, s, t = g, z, d, and in addition to that: b, as I
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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        > On Mar 18, 2006, at 9:00 PM, hisilome wrote:
        >
        > > Other features that would have to be dealt with are the voiced
        > > counterparts of "k, s, t, b" (daku-on)
        >
        > You didn't really mean to include _b_ here, did you? It's already
        > voiced, and written as the voiced counterpart of _h_ (see below).

        [ You're right, of course. Typing too quickly there... What I meant
        was "the voiced counterparts of "k, s, t" = g, z, d, and in addition
        to that: b, as I wrote further down: "The daku-ten used for the daku-
        on sounds ("g, z, d, b") looks a bit like English double quotation
        marks..."

        Even "p" seems not to be a completely "unvoiced" sound in Japanese
        (though I probably pronounce it so, used to the voiced-unvoiced
        dichotomies in most Germanic languages--my "trick" is to say it a
        bit "softer" than, say, the "p" in "pen"), since it's described
        as "semi-voiced" ("handaku-on" translating as something like "half-
        turbid[=voiced]-sound").

        The interesting thing is, since, as I wrote, "b, p" are
        written with the same signs used in the "ha"-series...with the
        daku-ten (for "b" sounds) or a maru (aka handaku-ten) (for "p"
        sounds) added at the top right, this, as you also point out,
        makes "b", at least in writing, the voiced counterpart of "h" in
        Japanese (not of "p"), so we have: k/g, s/z, t/d, h/b--where does
        that leave "p", the "semi-voiced" sound, and how would one fit it
        into the tengwar system?
        Or maybe one shouldn't worry about this, and simply use hyarmen,
        umbar and parma, anyway... ]


        > > and the handaku-on "p". In Japanese writing, "g, z, d" are
        > represented by the same signs used
        > > in the "ta, sa, ta"-series with a diacritic called daku-ten (aka
        > > nigori-ten) added at the top right of the kana,
        >
        > And here you meant "ka, sa, ta", right?

        [ Naturally! Too many typos in this one, sorry. ]


        > > while "b, p" are
        > > written with the same signs used in the "ha"-series (! what's the
        > > relation between a glottal fricative and the bilabials?)
        >
        > Whatever it is, it's a very real relation in Japanese. Just look at
        > _Nihon_ and _Nippon_ as variant pronunciations of the name of
        >Japan.
        > Additionally, initial _h_ often becomes _b_ in compound words, e.g.
        > _hashi_ 'bridge' in the place-name Nihonbashi 'Japan bridge', and
        > _hayashi_ 'forest, grove' in the family-name Kobayashi 'small
        forest'.

        [ Yeah, that sound change's ubiquitous in Japanese, see
        also "combinations" like "ten minutes" jippun, (minute = fun) etc.
        (don't think this is strictly speaking a compound). ]

        > The alternation one normally finds in this environment is voiceless
        > voiced, e.g. _sushi_ in _nigirizushi_.

        [ Now you get my mouth watering. :) ]


        >
        > These seemingly dissimilar sounds can also be found in etymological
        > relationships outside of Japanese. An example that springs to mind
        is Armenian _hayr_ 'father', in which the initial consonant derives
        from Indo-European _*p_.

        [ I guess this is one of the things you can only observe, but not
        necessarily explain then... ]


        > To answer the main question: I've occasionally thought about
        >working
        > out a Japanese mode, but I've never actually bothered to do it. It
        > would be an interesting exercise, though.

        [ Well, if you ever come up with a proposal, let us know! ]

        Hisilome
      • j_mach_wust
        Hisilome wrote: ... ... That s what I d say. There is already a relation between the signs for /t/ and /d/ if we represent them with tinco and ando. You could
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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          Hisilome wrote:
          ...
          > The interesting thing is, since, as I wrote, "b, p" are
          > written with the same signs used in the "ha"-series...with the
          > daku-ten (for "b" sounds) or a maru (aka handaku-ten) (for "p"
          > sounds) added at the top right, this, as you also point out,
          > makes "b", at least in writing, the voiced counterpart of "h" in
          > Japanese (not of "p"), so we have: k/g, s/z, t/d, h/b--where does
          > that leave "p", the "semi-voiced" sound, and how would one fit it
          > into the tengwar system?
          > Or maybe one shouldn't worry about this, and simply use hyarmen,
          > umbar and parma, anyway... ]
          ...

          That's what I'd say. There is already a relation between the signs for
          /t/ and /d/ if we represent them with tinco and ando. You could
          consider the doubling of the bow a kind of daku-ten (I hope I don't
          mix up things), though I don't see a straightforward representation of
          the relation between /p/, /b/ and /h/.

          Anyway, I think the following two problems are even more important:

          What to do with loanword syllables such as "ti" or "tsi"? If we use
          tinco for all of "ta chi tsu te to", then these are problematic. If we
          use tinco only for "ta ti tu te to", then the natural sound system of
          Japanese is broken.

          How to represent the Japanese pitch accent (if at all)?

          ---------------------------
          j. 'mach' wust
          http://machhezan.tripod.com
          ---------------------------
        • Melroch 'Aestan
          ... I agree. No need to mess up the principles of Tengwar where they are analogous, just because they are not identical. ... Historically _h_ is derived from
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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            j_mach_wust skrev:
            > Hisilome wrote:
            > ...
            >
            >>The interesting thing is, since, as I wrote, "b, p" are
            >>written with the same signs used in the "ha"-series...with the
            >>daku-ten (for "b" sounds) or a maru (aka handaku-ten) (for "p"
            >>sounds) added at the top right, this, as you also point out,
            >>makes "b", at least in writing, the voiced counterpart of "h" in
            >>Japanese (not of "p"), so we have: k/g, s/z, t/d, h/b--where does
            >>that leave "p", the "semi-voiced" sound, and how would one fit it
            >>into the tengwar system?
            >>Or maybe one shouldn't worry about this, and simply use hyarmen,
            >>umbar and parma, anyway... ]
            >
            > ...
            >
            > That's what I'd say. There is already a relation between the signs for
            > /t/ and /d/ if we represent them with tinco and ando. You could
            > consider the doubling of the bow a kind of daku-ten (I hope I don't

            I agree. No need to mess up the principles of Tengwar where
            they are analogous, just because they are not identical.

            > mix up things), though I don't see a straightforward representation of
            > the relation between /p/, /b/ and /h/.

            Historically _h_ is derived from *f (actually *[p\])
            which in turn is derived from *p rather than the other
            way around, so the most straightforward way would be to
            use Formen for _f_ -- with w-tehta as a diacritic when
            _f_ occurs before vowels other than _u_ and under-dot when _h_
            occurs before _u_. C.f. _huzi/fuji_ which is said to be
            cognate to Korean _phulson_!

            > Anyway, I think the following two problems are even more important:
            >
            > What to do with loanword syllables such as "ti" or "tsi"? If we use
            > tinco for all of "ta chi tsu te to", then these are problematic. If we
            > use tinco only for "ta ti tu te to", then the natural sound system of
            > Japanese is broken.

            I suggest using the underdot as a general diacritic for
            "foreign" pronunciation, thus having an underdot on _ti_
            to distinguish it from _chi_. The Calmatéma should of
            course not be used at all...

            > How to represent the Japanese pitch accent (if at all)?

            Well, since the Japanese, as well as common Romanization,
            usually don't indicate it it should probably be dispensed
            with. Imagine having to look up every word in a pronunciation
            dictionary in order to write something in Tengwar! I've actually
            done that in the course of writing English phonemically...

            --

            /BP 8^)>
            --
            Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
            A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
            __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
            \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
            / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
            / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Roccondil\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
            /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
            Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
            ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
            || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
            "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
          • hisilome
            ... [ Yes, for t/d and k/g, things would be quite neat . So maybe: k = quesse g = ungwe s = silme (?) z = aaze (?) t = tinco d = ando n = nuumen h = hyarmen p
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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              --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
              wrote:

              > Hisilome wrote:

              >...We have: k/g, s/z, t/d, h/b--where does
              > > that leave "p", the "semi-voiced" sound, and how would one fit
              >it into the tengwar system?
              > > Or maybe one shouldn't worry about this, and simply use hyarmen,
              > > umbar and parma, anyway... ]
              > ...
              >
              > That's what I'd say. There is already a relation between the signs
              >for /t/ and /d/ if we represent them with tinco and ando. You could
              > consider the doubling of the bow a kind of daku-ten (I hope I don't
              > mix up things), though I don't see a straightforward
              >representation of the relation between /p/, /b/ and /h/.

              [ Yes, for t/d and k/g, things would be quite "neat".
              So maybe:

              k = quesse
              g = ungwe
              s = silme (?)
              z = aaze (?)
              t = tinco
              d = ando
              n = nuumen
              h = hyarmen
              p = parma
              b = umbar
              m = nuumen
              y = anna (?)
              r = roomen (Japanese "r" is really a flap I think [akin to
              Spanish "r"], at the same time bearing some similarity to the
              English "l" [though the latter is of course a continuant]), so
              roomen should be better than oore I guess)
              w = vala (basically like English "w", yet a bit "softer" I'd say)

              For palatalization, one could probably use the double under-dots
              (like in Quenya or Mandarin). Japanese here, quite befittingly, uses
              the "Consonant + i" kana from the series in question, followed by a
              half-sized "ya", "yu", or "yo" kana, e.g. "mya" = "mi" + "small "ya".

              For doubled consonants (soku-on, represented in Romanization by
              doubling the letter), the under-bar. (Interestingly, Japanese kana
              script here inserts a half-sized "tsu" kana before the sound in
              question.) ]


              > Anyway, I think the following two problems are even more important:
              >
              > What to do with loanword syllables such as "ti" or "tsi"? If we use
              > tinco for all of "ta chi tsu te to", then these are problematic.
              >If we use tinco only for "ta ti tu te to", then the natural sound
              >system of Japanese is broken.

              [ Well, I was actually focussing on the "traditional" sound system
              first. ;) But you're already thinking ahead, and I agree
              that "imported" sounds are potentially quite troublesome.

              I'm not so sure about "shi/si", "chi/ti", "tsu/tu": as you say, if
              we write, say, "ta chi tsu te to", as "tinco plus A, I, U, E, O"
              respectively (regardless of the fact that "ti, tu" are really "chi,
              tsu"--did I understand correctly that that's what you were thinking
              about?), then some loanwords (and there many of them in Japanase)
              might be problematic.
              I'm not even certain whether this would be a good solution, though.
              In a phonemic mode, at least, shouldn't one represent the actual
              sounds of "chi, tsu", as is even reflected in Romanized versions of
              Japanese. Same for "shi".

              Then there are also sounds like "ji/zi, ja/zya, ju/zyu, jo/zyo", in
              kana spelt as "shi/si kana and daku-ten" (for ji/zi), and "shi/si
              kana and daku-ten + half-sized ya/yu/yo", respectively. All very
              neat in kana, but how would one represent this in tengwar? If, for
              arguments sake, we use the consonant chart I outlined above, would
              we spell these sounds with aaze? Hm, sounds feasible...?

              Analogically for "sha, shu, sho, cha, chu, cho" spelled as "sya,
              syu, syo, tya, tyu, tyo"...? ]


              > How to represent the Japanese pitch accent (if at all)?

              [ This I don't consider to be a problem. First of all, Japanese
              pitch, while essential to speaking "natural-sounding", fluent
              Japanese, is by no means as important as, say, the tones in Chinese.
              I mean, Japanese also has a fair amount of homophones, to be sure,
              and pitch can often help to discern them. Still I have found that
              even when one messes up the "word melody" quite a bit, one is
              usually understood (provided one gets the grammar and vocabulary
              right, that is!)--whereas Chinese mostly tends to become quite
              unintelligible, or at least very hard to understand, if you
              consistently get the tones wrong (and Cantonese or "Fukienese" are
              even "worse" in this respect than Mandarin). I also find that in
              Japanese the "melody" of the entire sentence is often more important
              than the pitch of individual words, though to some degree they are
              of course connected.

              Another thing is that existing transcription systems for Japanese,
              such as the the hebonshiki roomaji or the kunreishiki roomaji, don't
              bother to reflect pitch, either--which is probably also testimony to
              the fact that pitch is not quite as crucial as the tones are in
              Chinese (all transcription systems of Chinese, or its dialects, have
              some way of indicating the tones). ]

              Hisilome
            • Arden R. Smith
              ... I thought of an even better example after I had turned off the computer and gone to bed last night, at the beginning of the series of numbers for counting
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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                On Mar 19, 2006, at 2:15 AM, hisilome wrote:

                >> Whatever it is, it's a very real relation in Japanese. Just look at
                >> _Nihon_ and _Nippon_ as variant pronunciations of the name of
                >> Japan.
                >> Additionally, initial _h_ often becomes _b_ in compound words, e.g.
                >> _hashi_ 'bridge' in the place-name Nihonbashi 'Japan bridge', and
                >> _hayashi_ 'forest, grove' in the family-name Kobayashi 'small
                > forest'.
                >
                > [ Yeah, that sound change's ubiquitous in Japanese, see
                > also "combinations" like "ten minutes" jippun, (minute = fun) etc.
                > (don't think this is strictly speaking a compound). ]

                I thought of an even better example after I had turned off the computer
                and gone to bed last night, at the beginning of the series of numbers
                for counting long, thin objects: _ippon_, _nihon_, _sanbon_ (or
                _sambon_, depending on your preferred Romanization). There you get all
                three right in a row -- bam! bam! bam!

                I'm afraid that I won't have the time to participate as fully as I
                would like in the present discussion. Right now I'm trying to finish
                up a bunch of things in preparation for a trip (coincidentally enough)
                to Japan. But I do personally favor the option of using the same
                tengwa to represent the same kana series, in a fashion similar to
                kunreishiki rômaji (e.g., ta, ti, tu, te, to), even though it doesn't
                capture the phonetic realizations reflected in Hepburn rômaji (ta, chi,
                tsu, te, to). I just really like the systematicity of it.

                Benct's suggestions re f/h are interesting; I'll have to give them some
                thought.

                As for /s/ and /z/, I would go with thúle and anto; there's no need to
                resort to the additional letters if there are perfectly good primary
                letters lying fallow. I would use óre for /r/ for the same reason.

                While númen would be good for /nV/ combinations, I'm not too keen on
                the idea of also using it for the moraic /n/ (or whatever you want to
                call it). For that, the preceding-nasal tehta would work just fine
                preconsonantally, but I'm still undecided about how to deal with it in
                final position, maybe by means of a tehta. My thinking here is
                undoubtedly colored by the treatment of final /n/ in Qenya alphabets
                from the 1920s; see e.g. _Parma Eldalamberon_ 14, p. 110. Another
                possibility would be to use óre for final /n/, which would in turn
                necessitate the use of rómen for /r/. Or maybe númen for final /n/
                wouldn't be a bad thing after all, especially if it had a _putta_
                (_unutikse_). See what I mean by "undecided"?

                ***************************************************
                Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.
                --Elvish proverb

                ***************************************************
              • hisilome
                ... [ That certainly makes sense: hu , at least, is often represented as fu in Romanization (and sounds a lot like it, too--it s actually quite hard to
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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                  --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Melroch 'Aestan <melroch@...> wrote:


                  > Historically _h_ is derived from *f (actually *[p\])
                  > which in turn is derived from *p rather than the other
                  > way around, so the most straightforward way would be to
                  > use Formen for _f_ -- with w-tehta as a diacritic when
                  > _f_ occurs before vowels other than _u_ and under-dot when _h_
                  > occurs before _u_. C.f. _huzi/fuji_ which is said to be
                  > cognate to Korean _phulson_!

                  [ That certainly makes sense: "hu", at least, is often represented
                  as "fu" in Romanization (and sounds a lot like it, too--it's actually
                  quite hard to pronounce "hu" without turning it into "fu", since for
                  the "u" you have to purse the lips so much, and then "h" almost
                  automatically assumes an "f"-like quality).
                  And the "connection" between "h" and "f" also becomes obvious in
                  other environments, for example when native speakers of Minnanyu
                  don't discern them clearly when speaking Mandarin, pronouncing
                  e.g. "hen" as "fen", etc. ]


                  J. 'Mach' Wust wrote:
                  > > Anyway, I think the following two problems are even more
                  >important:
                  > > What to do with loanword syllables such as "ti" or "tsi"? If we
                  >use tinco for all of "ta chi tsu te to", then these are problematic.
                  >If we use tinco only for "ta ti tu te to", then the natural sound
                  >system of Japanese is broken.

                  Melroch replied:
                  > I suggest using the underdot as a general diacritic for
                  > "foreign" pronunciation, thus having an underdot on _ti_
                  > to distinguish it from _chi_. The Calmatéma should of
                  > course not be used at all...

                  [ That's an interesting suggestion, and quite feasible if we don't
                  assign the under-dot to any other function. The under-dot would then
                  be used in lieu of an entire separate kana alphabet (the
                  katakana) which the Japanese employ to make foreign words "stick out"
                  in writing... ]

                  Hisilome
                • hisilome
                  ... [ Fair enough! ] ... on the idea of also using it for the moraic /n/ (or whatever you want to call it). For that, the preceding-nasal tehta would work
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 19, 2006
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                    --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Arden R. Smith <erilaz@...> wrote:


                    > As for /s/ and /z/, I would go with thúle and anto; there's no need
                    >to resort to the additional letters if there are perfectly good
                    >primary letters lying fallow. I would use óre for /r/ for the same
                    >reason.

                    [ Fair enough! ]


                    > While númen would be good for /nV/ combinations, I'm not too keen
                    on the idea of also using it for the moraic /n/ (or whatever you
                    want to call it). For that, the preceding-nasal tehta would work
                    just fine preconsonantally, but I'm still undecided about how to deal
                    with it in final position, maybe by means of a tehta. My thinking
                    here is undoubtedly colored by the treatment of final /n/ in Qenya
                    alphabets from the 1920s; see e.g. _Parma Eldalamberon_ 14, p. 110.
                    Another possibility would be to use óre for final /n/, which would in
                    turn necessitate the use of rómen for /r/.
                    Or maybe númen for final /n/ wouldn't be a bad thing after all,
                    especially if it had a _putta_ (_unutikse_).

                    [ Maybe I'd go for that: using the over-bar/tilde for
                    preconsonantal /n/, and nuumen, even without a _putta_, for
                    final /n/. After all, it is basically the same sound as initial /n/,
                    just in a different position/function.

                    Then again, Japanese has an independent kana for moraic /n/--I seem
                    to recall that it was a relatively late addition to the syllable
                    alphabets (I think the syllable-final sound only developed after the
                    original kana charts were drawn up). This might speak for the
                    solution with oore, maybe both preconsonantally and word-final? ]

                    Hisilome
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