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Re: Blackened Teeth & Ancient Names

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  • Stephen Higa
    Thanks, all! Blackening teeth: another cool thing to do, to make up for my other, ascetic persona who wouldn t even DREAM of enhancing his appearance. ...
    Message 1 of 15 , Jun 22, 2001
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      Thanks, all!

      Blackening teeth: another cool thing to do, to make up for my other,
      ascetic persona who wouldn't even DREAM of enhancing his appearance.
      :) Vanity, vanity!

      > Earlier than that! When I say "ancient", I mean prehistoric.
      Morris says
      > that the practice of toothblackening belies the tropical island
      origins of
      > the Japanese since many tribes in South East Asia and the South
      Pacific had
      > such traditions.

      Ah, now THAT'S very interesting! :) I'm finding that I do have to
      look to polynesian and SE Asian traditions to fill in a lot of the
      scanty info, especially the iconographical and archaeological info. I
      even find myself looking to American Indian things... A tribe on the
      West Coast makes sandals out of reeds...and yes, they closely resemble
      waraji! I might also add that many American Indian headwear styles
      resemble those seen on the haniwa...

      BTW: 5th c. geta! In a tomb find there was a stone replica of what
      looked a lot like geta, except shorter "clog parts" (I forget what
      they're called...). Maybe only the upper-class wore them, and later
      were passed down to the common folk (in Heian?), but worth looking
      into...

      On names: I was looking at this one thing that looked at the Ainu
      language in an attempt to discover possible links to the Jomon
      language. It said that "rabbit" was "isopo" in Ainu...I can see a
      similarity to the Japanese "usagi." I think if I take the Heian
      animal-name thing, and maybe tweak "isopo" and "usagi" to create some
      sort of hypothetical Kofun-period ancestor, I might have myself a
      plausible name. Do you think the p/h thing in ancient Japanese might
      have translated into a "g" sound later for some words? I could try
      something like "Isapi" or "Usapi" or "Usohi" or something of the sort.
      It said that before the Nara period Japanese had 4 vowels. Does
      anybody know what they were? Is this even correct?

      Not that I have anything particularly for rabbits, it's just something
      arbitrary I can choose. Maybe my parents saw an unusual rabbit hop by
      on the day I was born. ;)

      Ah, Effingham, you know what note in The Pillow Book I'm talking
      about? I haven't been able to find it again. ;( I remember that it
      made it seem as if the commoners were giving themselves these names,
      for Shonagon remarks that she feels sorrow for anybody named after a
      certain kind of fly, I think. What are these Ikki registries?? :)

      I thought I'd put it past the experts here first. :) Solveig-dono, I
      realize the Kofun period is protohistoric, and that we can't document
      anything linguistic for them. However, although I can't document
      anything, I'm willing to try conjecturing..."experimental
      archaeology," if you will. :) I'm not versed in this stuff (yet!), so
      I thought I'd consult those who've actually spent a considerable
      amount of time studying the hypotheses and the evidence concerning
      these matters to help me make informed conjectures, at least...

      Sorry, you all must be sick of my barely-even-acceptably-SCA-period
      persona musings! But thank you SO MUCH for the help!! !

      Stephen
      --------------------------------------------------------
      "How can I deign to caress your rose-dressed cheeks
      When I will soon be dressed in myrrh, a shroud, and the cold earth?"
    • Anthony J. Bryant
      ... Don t. Seriously. Some people look to them looking for connections, but the point is, no connection has been proven or even found to be relatively
      Message 2 of 15 , Jun 23, 2001
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        Stephen Higa wrote:

        >
        > Ah, now THAT'S very interesting! :) I'm finding that I do have to
        > look to polynesian and SE Asian traditions to fill in a lot of the
        > scanty info, especially the iconographical and archaeological info. I
        > even find myself looking to American Indian things... A tribe on the
        > West Coast makes sandals out of reeds...and yes, they closely resemble
        > waraji! I might also add that many American Indian headwear styles
        > resemble those seen on the haniwa...

        Don't.

        Seriously.

        Some people look to them looking for connections, but the point is, no
        connection has been proven or even found to be relatively "likely." Looking
        to such sources is like looking to Mayan communities to explain Ancient
        Egypt. If you want to understand Egypt, you look at EGYPT and places that
        Egypt is *known* to have contacted. Anything else introduces elements of
        uncertainty at best and ludicrous inappropriateness on average.

        >
        > BTW: 5th c. geta! In a tomb find there was a stone replica of what
        > looked a lot like geta, except shorter "clog parts" (I forget what
        > they're called...).

        Could you cite this somewhere?

        > Maybe only the upper-class wore them, and later
        > were passed down to the common folk (in Heian?), but worth looking
        > into...
        >

        Well, if it's like many cultures, the upper classes would be the first to
        have many things, including shoes. But I'm not sure if these were geta.

        >
        > On names: I was looking at this one thing that looked at the Ainu
        > language in an attempt to discover possible links to the Jomon
        > language. It said that "rabbit" was "isopo" in Ainu...I can see a
        > similarity to the Japanese "usagi." I think if I take the Heian
        > animal-name thing, and maybe tweak "isopo" and "usagi" to create some
        > sort of hypothetical Kofun-period ancestor, I might have myself a
        > plausible name. Do you think the p/h thing in ancient Japanese might
        > have translated into a "g" sound later for some words?

        No.

        The putative "P" sound (no one is really even sure if it *was* P but
        theorists think it possible) exists in modern Japanese as "H". P is not
        linguistically related to G that I have ever seen, anyway. They're made with
        different tongue positions and one is unlikely to mutate into the other,
        while PB and H (not to be confused with PB and J <g>) are essentially
        silent/voiced versions of the same letter.

        > I could try
        > something like "Isapi" or "Usapi" or "Usohi" or something of the sort.

        Isapi in modern Japanese would be rendered Isahi; Usohi would be Usoi.

        It's best NOT to play with this sort of thing.

        >
        > It said that before the Nara period Japanese had 4 vowels. Does
        > anybody know what they were? Is this even correct?
        >

        John, Paul, George, and Ringo. And sometimes Y.

        This is one of the things I mean about theorizing. This belief has come
        under fire, and people like Leon Serafim have presented studies in the past
        few years like "Why proto-Japonic had at least six, not four, vowels."


        >
        > Not that I have anything particularly for rabbits, it's just something
        > arbitrary I can choose.

        That's what they always say, Elmer. <G>

        Kill the wabbit! <G>

        > Maybe my parents saw an unusual rabbit hop by
        > on the day I was born. ;)
        >

        <jimmy stewart> Harvey? Is that you? </jimmy stewart>

        (Sorry.... feeling silly this morning <G>)

        >
        > Ah, Effingham, you know what note in The Pillow Book I'm talking
        > about? I haven't been able to find it again. ;( I remember that it
        > made it seem as if the commoners were giving themselves these names,
        > for Shonagon remarks that she feels sorrow for anybody named after a
        > certain kind of fly, I think.

        Doesn't strike me off the top of my head.

        > What are these Ikki registries?? :)

        They're compacts signed by all the members of an Ikki (a confederation or
        league joining together typically against taxes or something like that).
        They all have what they're agreeing to, then a list of signatures. Names.
        Lots of names.

        >
        >
        > I thought I'd put it past the experts here first. :) Solveig-dono, I
        > realize the Kofun period is protohistoric, and that we can't document
        > anything linguistic for them. However, although I can't document
        > anything, I'm willing to try conjecturing..."experimental
        > archaeology," if you will. :)

        I couldn't suggest that. Any of these theories are made by people who've
        studied it for a long time. I wouldn't suggest coming in and looking
        cursorially at it and attempting to create a few new things based on what
        you think they were doing.

        > I'm not versed in this stuff (yet!), so
        > I thought I'd consult those who've actually spent a considerable
        > amount of time studying the hypotheses and the evidence concerning
        > these matters to help me make informed conjectures, at least...
        >

        I've done quite a bit of Classical Japanese, but we only briefly cover
        protohistoric theory because that's all it is -- theory. In the classroom,
        even in Japan, all the ancient terms are rendered and pronounced in modern
        Japanese. It's been suggested that some of the proposed pronunciations are
        actually difficult for modern Japanese to wrap their tongues around,
        indicating, some suggest, that some combinations aren't likely to have been
        the ones actually used.


        Effingham
      • wcbooth@hotmail.com
        ok, here s another question about blackened teeth.. in the book what life was like among samurai and shoguns they make brief mention in an article about Noh
        Message 3 of 15 , Jun 24, 2001
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          ok, here's another question about blackened teeth.. in the book "what
          life was like among samurai and shoguns" they make brief mention in
          an article about Noh plays, that both men and women darkened their
          teeth. did they acutaly do that in the 15th Century?


          Nobu
        • Barbara Nostrand
          Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! If you wish to argue linguistincs, I strongly urge you to acquire a copy of a recent Japanese linguistics book. I don t
          Message 4 of 15 , Jun 24, 2001
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            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig!

            If you wish to argue linguistincs, I strongly urge you to acquire
            a copy of a recent Japanese linguistics book. I don't care whether
            it is the one by Roy Adrew Miller or not, but you really need to
            take a look at one and think long and hard about how Japanese
            linguistics works.

            As for paleo-Japanese. As I recall, current theory holds that
            there were no isolated vowels. Basically, all vowels were
            preceeded by consonants. Further, stop consonants and dipthongs
            are also probably a bit later than your target date. As for
            great consanant shifts. I do not recall reading about any of
            those. There are some regular sound changes to Japanese consonants
            involving voicing, but I don't see an easy way from p- to g- as
            their production mechanisms are rather different. I don't see
            the connection between usagi and isopo they have only one sound
            in common. If you seriously wish to explore Utari, then I urge
            you to read Batchelor (sp) and other works on their culture.
            Their naming system is completely distinct from Japanese. At least
            towns with Utari names are generally pretty easy to spot as they
            just plain sound weird from a Japanese point of view.

            If you are interested in trying to find footwear comparisons, I
            suggest that you should compare woven boots between Japan and the
            Pacific Northwest Costal tribal groups. However, there is little
            reason to believe that there is a close relationship. One problem
            has to do with blood types. Supposably, pre-Coloumbian Amerincs
            all had type O blood. (As I recall, I got this from a Japanese
            book on blood types, so you should take this claim with a grain
            of salt.) However, Japanese have diverse blood types. So you
            do have to have other genetic groups coming in. As Baron Edward
            already pointed out, Japanese is generally classified as a
            Ural-Altaic language. The Amerind languages belong to several
            language groups. As I recall, none of them are Ural-Altaic
            languages.

            If you must do pre-historic Japan, then I urge you to rely on
            archeological finds in Japan, comparative anatomy and genetics,
            and Chinese travel accounts. As for Amerind culture, it was NOT
            any more static than cultures anywhere else. You are not going
            to be able to document fourth century Japan using late 19th
            century Amerind material even if you succeeded in establishing
            a relationship between the Coastal Indians and the Japanese.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar
          • Anthony J. Bryant
            ... Yup, the court nobles in Kyoto kept it up right through the start of the Meiji Restoration. Effingham
            Message 5 of 15 , Jun 24, 2001
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              wcbooth@... wrote:

              > ok, here's another question about blackened teeth.. in the book "what
              > life was like among samurai and shoguns" they make brief mention in
              > an article about Noh plays, that both men and women darkened their
              > teeth. did they acutaly do that in the 15th Century?
              >

              Yup, the court nobles in Kyoto kept it up right through the start of the
              Meiji Restoration.

              Effingham
            • Kass McGann
              Sorry, you all must be sick of my barely-even-acceptably-SCA-period persona musings! But thank you SO MUCH for the help!! ! ... Stephen, your musings are
              Message 6 of 15 , Jun 25, 2001
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                Sorry, you all must be sick of my barely-even-acceptably-SCA-period
                persona musings!  But thank you SO MUCH for the help!!  !
                >>>>
                Stephen, your "musings" are at least based on historical evidence, no matter how scanty that evidence may be.  Many people's personae are based on nothing historical at all.  Personally, I am always refreshed by the enthusiasm of your posts.
                 
                Kass
              • Stephen Higa
                ... no ... Hmm...I don t mean like a genetic or cultural connection, I just mean looking at cultures that have had similar materials to work with, or even in a
                Message 7 of 15 , Jun 28, 2001
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                  > Some people look to them looking for connections, but the point is,
                  no
                  > connection has been proven or even found to be relatively "likely."

                  Hmm...I don't mean like a genetic or cultural connection, I just mean
                  looking at cultures that have had similar materials to work with, or
                  even in a similar state of cultural development. I mean, some of
                  these weird hats don't seem to exist anymore in Japan, and so I was
                  trying to see if other Pacific cultures have something similar. Oh
                  well. Like with European things: the "Jews' Hat" doesn't seem to
                  exist in Europe anymore; the closest I've seen have been hats from
                  Nigeria, of all places. Now, I'm not going to go out and wear one
                  with my European garb; however, one might be able to look at the
                  Nigerian hats to get clues about construction for the European ones.
                  Also, the medieval Arabo-Andalusian footwear one sees in some
                  illuminations--I've only seen similar ones in modern China. Now, the
                  Arab/China thing has an obvious connection because of the trade route,
                  but with the European Jew and Nigerian, there isn't so obvious a
                  connection. I suppose it was too far out there to look to American
                  Indian sources even though there's no proven connection?

                  > Could you cite this somewhere?

                  Blast. It was in a book from the Anthropology Library on archaeology
                  of prehistoric Japan, which I returned. But I can get it again in the
                  fall and look it up again. I just remember looking through it for
                  something else and coming across those in a diagram showing the finds
                  from a particular kofun dig. I wish I'd copied down the info.

                  > The putative "P" sound (no one is really even sure if it *was* P but
                  > theorists think it possible) exists in modern Japanese as "H".

                  What makes them think this, then? That now, hiragana "h" syllables
                  are converted to make "p" sounds?

                  > P is not
                  > linguistically related to G that I have ever seen, anyway. They're
                  made with
                  > different tongue positions and one is unlikely to mutate into the
                  other,
                  > while PB and H (not to be confused with PB and J <g>) are
                  essentially
                  > silent/voiced versions of the same letter.

                  It just seems that "g" can be linguistically related to "h"...

                  > It's best NOT to play with this sort of thing.

                  You're right. I think I'll give up on a name (and a persona) at all
                  and just wear the clothes. It's just too confusing, and I don't have
                  time to catch up on all the experts, especially if this isn't going to
                  be my main persona, or my non-SCA area of study.

                  Ah, who am I kidding? I'll just do more research. Oh well.

                  > This is one of the things I mean about theorizing. This belief has
                  come
                  > under fire, and people like Leon Serafim have presented studies in
                  the past
                  > few years like "Why proto-Japonic had at least six, not four,
                  vowels."

                  Six! What do they think they were?

                  > > Not that I have anything particularly for rabbits, it's just
                  something
                  > > arbitrary I can choose.
                  >
                  > That's what they always say, Elmer. <G>
                  >
                  > Kill the wabbit! <G>

                  Rats. You caught me. ;)

                  > <jimmy stewart> Harvey? Is that you? </jimmy stewart>

                  Stop! Too young to get that reference!

                  > They're compacts signed by all the members of an Ikki (a
                  confederation or
                  > league joining together typically against taxes or something like
                  that).
                  > They all have what they're agreeing to, then a list of signatures.
                  Names.
                  > Lots of names.

                  Ah...very cool. So they have lots of animal names in there?

                  > I couldn't suggest that. Any of these theories are made by people
                  who've
                  > studied it for a long time. I wouldn't suggest coming in and looking
                  > cursorially at it and attempting to create a few new things based on
                  what
                  > you think they were doing.

                  All too true. *sob*. Alright. I give up. :˜( I guess it's just
                  that that's what I have to do with medieval music; there's so much
                  guesswork involved that I have to take some (I won't say "a lot") of
                  what the modern theorists say about performance practice and technique
                  with a grain of salt because We Just Don't Know. There's just too
                  much debate, and it's impossible to recreate it with absolute
                  accuracy. I'd just assumed ("ass out of u and me" well, me) it was
                  the same case with this becuase I've been told so many times that
                  protohistory was so extraordinarily difficult to document.

                  > It's been suggested that some of the proposed pronunciations are
                  > actually difficult for modern Japanese to wrap their tongues around,
                  > indicating, some suggest, that some combinations aren't likely to
                  have been
                  > the ones actually used.

                  Wow. So there might have been vowels that were dipthongs, or
                  something?

                  Thanks a lot for keeping from getting to
                • Stephen Higa
                  ... All right, I ll see what I can find. ... Ah, what are stop consonants? ... Maybe the main thing is why are p and h considered to be related? Because I can
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jun 28, 2001
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                    > If you wish to argue linguistincs, I strongly urge you to acquire
                    > a copy of a recent Japanese linguistics book. I don't care whether
                    > it is the one by Roy Adrew Miller or not, but you really need to
                    > take a look at one and think long and hard about how Japanese
                    > linguistics works.

                    All right, I'll see what I can find.

                    > As for paleo-Japanese. As I recall, current theory holds that
                    > there were no isolated vowels. Basically, all vowels were
                    > preceeded by consonants. Further, stop consonants and dipthongs
                    > are also probably a bit later than your target date.

                    Ah, what are stop consonants?

                    > As for
                    > great consanant shifts. I do not recall reading about any of
                    > those. There are some regular sound changes to Japanese consonants
                    > involving voicing, but I don't see an easy way from p- to g- as
                    > their production mechanisms are rather different.

                    Maybe the main thing is why are p and h considered to be related?
                    Because I can see a relationship between h an g...

                    > I don't see
                    > the connection between usagi and isopo they have only one sound
                    > in common. If you seriously wish to explore Utari, then I urge
                    > you to read Batchelor (sp) and other works on their culture.

                    I'll see if i can find him...

                    > If you are interested in trying to find footwear comparisons, I
                    > suggest that you should compare woven boots between Japan and the
                    > Pacific Northwest Costal tribal groups.

                    Ah, yes--that's where I saw the woven shoes..

                    > However, there is little
                    > reason to believe that there is a close relationship.

                    Well, I don't mean necessarily a genetic or linguistic relationship; I
                    mean more of a cultural relationship. I mean, even looking for other
                    Pacific cultures that seem to be in a similar "stage" as the 5th c.
                    Japanese (not in all areas, but in some) might give clues...

                    > If you must do pre-historic Japan, then I urge you to rely on
                    > archeological finds in Japan, comparative anatomy and genetics,
                    > and Chinese travel accounts.

                    I am definitely relying heavily on archaeology. Do you know of any
                    good translations (into English) of the Chinese travel accounts...?

                    > As for Amerind culture, it was NOT
                    > any more static than cultures anywhere else. You are not going
                    > to be able to document fourth century Japan using late 19th
                    > century Amerind material even if you succeeded in establishing
                    > a relationship between the Coastal Indians and the Japanese.

                    Well, I might argue the point about it being more static (some
                    cultures just seem to change more rapidly than others, notably those
                    in places of varied and continued contact with other societies). But
                    I am well aware that all cultures change...That's the annoying fly
                    that buzzes in the ears of those who wish to re-create medieval music
                    and have the insight/audacity/chutzpah to look at traditional musics
                    to fill in the many blanks. ;) I'm not looking to establish a common
                    genetic/linguistic background for these two cultures, I'm just
                    interested in finding points of similarity in a possible "sphere of
                    culture types." You know? Maybe one of the reasons people first
                    started looking at the American Indians for relationship to the
                    Japanese was because they detected just such a sphere. That's just my
                    guess. But we've seen what happened LAST time I guessed. ;)

                    THanks for the recomme
                  • Barbara Nostrand
                    Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Why are you persisiting on this phonetics thing? The Japanese actually got it right over a thousand years ago. A G really
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jun 29, 2001
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                      Noble Cousin!

                      Greetings from Solveig! Why are you persisiting on this phonetics
                      thing? The Japanese actually got it right over a thousand years
                      ago. A G really is a voiced K, &c.

                      As for these H colums sounds. "PU" really is pretty much a
                      plosive variant on the bilabial Japanese "FU" which is
                      distinct from the labial-dental English "FU".

                      >It just seems that "g" can be linguistically related to "h"...

                      WHY? The production mechanisms are distinct and you have not
                      come up with a regular sound shift theory such as the "Great
                      Vowel Shift" encountered in Europe.

                      >You're right. I think I'll give up on a name (and a persona) at all
                      >and just wear the clothes. It's just too confusing, and I don't have
                      >time to catch up on all the experts, especially if this isn't going to
                      >be my main persona, or my non-SCA area of study.

                      The best thing is not to try to play catchup in any field as that is
                      generally a loosing strategy. Your basic idea of going after a
                      relatively unexplored area was fundamentally sound provided your
                      goal is to be an international expert in some field or other.
                      What you appear to need work on is methadology.

                      Your Humble Servant
                      Solveig Throndardottir
                      Amateur Scholar

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                    • Barbara Nostrand
                      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! They are consonants which involved closing the glotis (sp). All of this sound production stuff is covered in just about
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jun 29, 2001
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                        Noble Cousin!

                        Greetings from Solveig! They are consonants which involved
                        closing the glotis (sp). All of this sound production stuff
                        is covered in just about any introductory linguistics text.
                        I first became interested in this stuff in elementary
                        school because my speech therapist told me about it.

                        Your Humble Servant
                        Solveig Throndardottir
                        Amateur Scholar
                      • Kass McGann
                        ... who ve ... what ... All too true. *sob*. Alright. I give up. :~( I guess it s just that that s what I have to do with medieval music; there s so much
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jun 29, 2001
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                          > I couldn't suggest that. Any of these theories are made by people
                          who've
                          > studied it for a long time. I wouldn't suggest coming in and
                          looking
                          > cursorially at it and attempting to create a few new things
                          based on
                          what
                          > you think they were doing.

                          All too true. *sob*.  Alright.  I give up.  :˜(  I guess it's just
                          that that's what I have to do with medieval music;  there's so much
                          guesswork involved that I have to take some (I won't say "a lot") of
                          what the modern theorists say about performance practice and technique
                          with a grain of salt because We Just Don't Know.  There's just too
                          much debate, and it's impossible to recreate it with absolute
                          accuracy.  I'd just assumed ("ass out of u and me" well, me) it was
                          the same case with this becuase I've been told so many times that
                          protohistory was so extraordinarily difficult to document. 
                          >>>>
                          I have to disagree with Effingham here, Stephen.  Although certainly experts who have studied the subject for entire careers certainly have knowledge that you nor I ever will, there have been amazing discoveries made by amateurs in many disciplines.  Sometimes it is the "new set of eyes" that sees the thing that the experts have been missing.  Such enlightenments have happened in the disciplines of clothing history, astronomy, archeology...
                           
                          I wouldn't "give up" if I were you.  I would investigate it to whatever level you desire.  But do always make people aware which of your hypotheses are based on concrete evidence and which are "educated guesses".
                           
                          Kass
                        • Stephen Higa
                          ... I m sorry, I really should give up. I m not trying to be contentious or anything, I m just trying to understand... ... Hmm...I realize that part, but did
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jul 3, 2001
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                            > Greetings from Solveig! Why are you persisiting on this phonetics
                            > thing?

                            I'm sorry, I really should give up. I'm not trying to be contentious
                            or anything, I'm just trying to understand...

                            > As for these H colums sounds. "PU" really is pretty much a
                            > plosive variant on the bilabial Japanese "FU" which is
                            > distinct from the labial-dental English "FU".

                            Hmm...I realize that part, but did the other ha/hi/he/ho sounds just
                            follow the fu's suit?

                            >>It just seems that "g" can be linguistically related to "h"...
                            >
                            > WHY? The production mechanisms are distinct and you have not
                            > come up with a regular sound shift theory such as the "Great
                            > Vowel Shift" encountered in Europe.

                            Well, I'm just wondering...I mean, I'm somewhat familiar with the
                            linguistic periods in Europe that one has to know to do the medieval
                            and renaissance music I'm interested in (i.e. Occitan, Iberian
                            languages, English, French, Arabic, Hebrew), but I don't know about
                            Japanese linguistics aside from what one gets when one speaks a
                            little of it conversationally (i.e., not much). I thought perhaps
                            this would be a good place to ask, because linguistics texts can be
                            overwhelming when jumping in cold turkey.

                            I don't want to dig myself any deeper in this than I am already, but
                            as for the g and h thing, sometimes distinct production mechanisms can
                            make little difference in a consonant shift, like the one from j/g
                            (sounded like modern French "j" in medieval Spanish) to a harsh h in
                            modern Spanish. I was just trying to find out why they say modern
                            japanese h's used to be p's when it doesn't seem like there should be
                            a relationship between the two. Do you actually know why?

                            > The best thing is not to try to play catchup in any field as that is
                            > generally a loosing strategy.

                            yes, that has become apparent... :(

                            > Your basic idea of going after a
                            > relatively unexplored area was fundamentally sound provided your
                            > goal is to be an international expert in some field or other.
                            > What you appear to need work on is methadology.

                            I agree. I'm not well-versed in the proper methodology yet...Your
                            advice will help that, I hope. Than
                          • Stephen Higa
                            ... have ... discoveries ... of ... Thank you Kass, that gives me hope. :) Because Lady Solveig is right, it is a losing battle, and it sure feels like it.
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 3, 2001
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                              > I have to disagree with Effingham here, Stephen. Although certainly
                              > experts who have studied the subject for entire careers certainly
                              have
                              > knowledge that you nor I ever will, there have been amazing
                              discoveries
                              > made by amateurs in many disciplines. Sometimes it is the "new set
                              of
                              > eyes" that sees the thing that the experts have been missing. Such
                              > enlightenments have happened in the disciplines of clothing history,
                              > astronomy, archeology...

                              Thank you Kass, that gives me hope. :) Because Lady Solveig is right,
                              it is a losing battle, and it sure feels like it. What you said gives
                              me drive to try, at least.

                              > I wouldn't "give up" if I were you. I would investigate it to
                              whatever
                              > level you desire. But do always make people aware which of your
                              hypotheses
                              > are based on concrete evidence and which are "educated guesses".

                              Oh, certainly. Doing early Spanish clothing, music, and Judaism, I
                              have to tell people that some of this stuff I don't know (heck, a lot
                              of it nobody knows), and I'm just going on "educated guesses."
                            • Barbara Nostrand
                              Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... Generally speaking all of the columns follow suit. The H-column is a bit odd as there are two versions of voicing it.
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 4, 2001
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                                Noble Cousin!

                                Greetings from Solveig!

                                >Hmm...I realize that part, but did the other ha/hi/he/ho sounds just
                                >follow the fu's suit?

                                Generally speaking all of the columns follow suit. The H-column is
                                a bit odd as there are two versions of voicing it. Also, the
                                voiced versions tend to involve a kind of bilabial stop. So it
                                is not strictly simply a matter of voicing them. Regardless K-
                                and G- are still more strongly related as G- is pretty much a
                                voiced K- and involves a kind of glottal stop whereas the H-
                                variants involve bilabial stops. Producing a glottal stop
                                generally involves tong motion not involved in producing a
                                bilabial stop.

                                >I don't want to dig myself any deeper in this than I am already, but
                                >as for the g and h thing, sometimes distinct production mechanisms can
                                >make little difference in a consonant shift, like the one from j/g
                                >(sounded like modern French "j" in medieval Spanish) to a harsh h in
                                >modern Spanish. I was just trying to find out why they say modern
                                >japanese h's used to be p's when it doesn't seem like there should be
                                >a relationship between the two. Do you actually know why?

                                Ahh. What they are saying is that there was greater lip closure
                                than at present. Essentially, it is impossible to voice the H
                                column without turning it into a bilabial.

                                > > The best thing is not to try to play catchup in any field as that is
                                >> generally a loosing strategy.
                                >
                                >yes, that has become apparent... :(

                                Please don't feel discouraged. It's just that you have to run
                                twice as fast if you go chasing after a group of people making
                                forward progress. That doesn't mean that you can not learn more
                                about Japanese linguistics than the people here. It just means that
                                you should go out and read some linguistics books first. However,
                                if you want to be a leader in some area, it is best to find
                                some field where you can break new ground.

                                Why not go get a copy of Roy Andrew Miller's book on Japanese
                                linguistics. It's pretty good. There are others that I can
                                recommend as well. There is also a spiffy book called "The
                                Languages of Japan" which has sections on the Ainu language
                                and the Okinawan language as well. I you are fortunate enough
                                to be an undergraduate, then please take a course or two in
                                linguistics. I don't know of anyone anyone in the Society that
                                has done serious work with the Ainu language. I have a short
                                popular introduction to the language written in Japanese, but
                                that doesn't count. We can be quite confident that the Ainu
                                were in at least some parts of Japan before the Japanese
                                showed up.

                                Finally, please take to heart a famous aphorism. I think it was
                                Newton. I do not have a quotations book here. Regardless it goes
                                as follows:

                                I see farther because I stand on the shoulders of Giants.

                                What this means is that you should try to go out and learn what
                                has already been discovered and conjectured about your field of
                                study before becoming overly attached to your own theories.

                                Your Humble Servant
                                Solveig Throndardottir
                                Amateur Scholar

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                              • logan@modzer0.cs.uaf.edu
                                ... I would suggest you go ahead and get the suggested reading material or take a course on linquistics--Japanese in particular. However, since you have
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jul 4, 2001
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                                  On Wed, 4 Jul 2001, Stephen Higa wrote:

                                  > Well, I'm just wondering...I mean, I'm somewhat familiar with the
                                  > linguistic periods in Europe that one has to know to do the medieval
                                  > and renaissance music I'm interested in (i.e. Occitan, Iberian
                                  > languages, English, French, Arabic, Hebrew), but I don't know about
                                  > Japanese linguistics aside from what one gets when one speaks a
                                  > little of it conversationally (i.e., not much). I thought perhaps
                                  > this would be a good place to ask, because linguistics texts can be
                                  > overwhelming when jumping in cold turkey.
                                  >
                                  > I don't want to dig myself any deeper in this than I am already, but
                                  > as for the g and h thing, sometimes distinct production mechanisms can
                                  > make little difference in a consonant shift, like the one from j/g
                                  > (sounded like modern French "j" in medieval Spanish) to a harsh h in
                                  > modern Spanish. I was just trying to find out why they say modern
                                  > japanese h's used to be p's when it doesn't seem like there should be
                                  > a relationship between the two. Do you actually know why?
                                  >

                                  I would suggest you go ahead and get the suggested reading material or
                                  take a course on linquistics--Japanese in particular. However, since you
                                  have asked, I will try to remember everything that I had been taught in my
                                  linguistics class and see what I can do for you here.

                                  First of all, the issue of p -> h; in case you aren't interested in the
                                  rest just yet ;) I'm going to also try and define the various terms as I
                                  am not sure if you or others are familiar with them. As a disclaimer,
                                  when I say 'English' I am talking about English as it is taught in
                                  most American schools.

                                  As was mentioned, pu->fu is the same path that all of the 'h' series took.
                                  That is, p->f->h. The first is an unvoiced bilabial plosive. The second
                                  is an unvoiced bilablial fricative (note that it is actually different
                                  from the English 'f' which is labio-dental). The H is an unvoiced glottal
                                  fricative.

                                  Voiced refers to whether or not the larynx is vibrating when the sound is
                                  produced. Put your hand on your throat and you can feel it-- k is
                                  unvoiced, g is voiced; s is unvoiced, z is voiced; t is unvoiced, d is
                                  voiced. See a pattern? More on that later.

                                  The terms 'bilabial', 'labio-dental', and 'glottal' refer to where the
                                  sound is produced. Bilabial means that it is produced with both lips.
                                  'p', 'b', and 'm' are all Bilabial in English.

                                  Labio-dental means that it is produced with one lip and one set of teeth
                                  (lower lip, teeth of the upper jaw). The English 'f' and 'v' are
                                  examples.

                                  Glottal refers to the back of the throat. I believe that it is about as
                                  far back as we really go in English.

                                  The next part has to do with how the sound is created. A plosive (think
                                  'explode' or 'implode') is where we close off a part of our mouth and then
                                  build up air, releasing it to form the sound (p, t, d, g, k, for example).

                                  A fricative is when the sound is caused by friction between the parts of
                                  the mouth. 'f','v','s', and 'z' are some examples of fricatives.


                                  Now, another aspect of all of this is the voicing, which I touched on
                                  briefly before. Now look at all the Japanese characters that take two
                                  'ten-ten' marks. That mark turns ka to ga, sa to za, etc. In each case,
                                  it adds the quality of making those sounds 'voiced'. For the 'h' series
                                  we therefore get 'b' because it is the voiced version of 'p' (Now, why
                                  they still kept the 'p' sound for some things I'm not sure. I am curious
                                  as to why that survived).

                                  Also notice that ma, na, ra, ya, wa cannot have a voiced quality added to
                                  them.

                                  Okay, there's a lot more, but I'm starting to ramble. If you want, I can
                                  keep going in this vein; although I do ask that people correct me if I am
                                  wrong.


                                  -Ii
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