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CONLANG  October 2004, Week 4

CONLANG October 2004, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Question about word-initial velar nasal

From:

"Douglas Koller, Latin & French" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 26 Oct 2004 10:24:50 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (40 lines)

Benct asks:

>John Cowan wrote:
>>
>>Middle Chinese had /N-/, and several Sinitic languages retain it, although
>>in Mandarin it's become /w-/.  It makes me wonder about a possible
>>Sino-Tibetan/Austronesian/Tai-Kadai Sprachbund effect, along with the
>>more well-known ones.
>
>Didn't /N-/ become zero or /R/ in Mandarin?

Well, these aren't mutually exclusive. Eg:

I, me: Cantonese - ngoh5, Shanghainese - ngu2, Mandarin -- wo3

five: Cantonese - ng5, Shanghainese - ng2, Mandarin - wu3

but

hungry - Cantonese - ngoh(3?6?), Shanghainese - ngu2, Mandarin - e4

evil - Cantonese - ngoh(3?6?), Shanghainese - (dunno), Mandarin - e4

"e" words in Mandarin start with /N/ in Cantonese (and presumably,
sans dictionnaire, Shanghainese).

So, /w-/ and zero are out there. /R/? If that's pinyin "r", then I
don't think so. Shanghainese has words beginning in /nj/ (SAMPA /J/?)
which are "r-" in Mandarin:

person: Shanghainese - nying2, Mandarin - ren2

sun: Shanghainese - nyi?5, Mandarin - ri4

hot: Shanghainese - nyi?5, Mandarin - re4

Maybe this is what you were thinking of?

Kou

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