>From: "H. S. Teoh" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 17:57:06 -0400
> > Also, your L1 is Taiwanese, right?
>Well, close... my L1 is derived from Hokkien (Fukienese), from which
>Taiwanese is also derived. The Hokkien spoken in mainland China is rather
>different from Taiwanese and my L1, although I suspect my L1 is more
>divergent than Taiwanese is.

And I believe there are some important differences between northern and
southern Taiwanese from what my co-workers tell me.

> >  I think that Taiwanese maintains a
> > distinction between aspirated and unaspirated sounds, something which is
> > totally lacking in English.
>Absolutely. For example ka1 (/k<h>a/) = "foot"; ga1 (/ka/) = to cut.
>Totally different things! One thing I don't quite get about the current
>orthographies of Hokkien is why they chose to represent the aspirate velar
>as _k_ and the non-aspirate velar as _g_, because there is also a *voiced*
>velar sound (I forget how the orthographies handle it). This system is
>IMNSHO confusing because _g_ is usually associated with the voiced velar.

Well, the romanization used by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (the only
folks who actually write things in Taiwanese at present) uses kh/k/g for the
aspirate/non-aspirate/voiced trichotomy (and simillarly for the other stops
and affricates).  You even have the dreaded Chh.  Expect Something New(tm)
very soon.  The government here is establishing an official romanization
(which they want to be usable for all of Taiwan's languages [Mandarin,
Taiwanese, Hakka, Amei, Bunung, Paiwan, etc]).  It is suposed to be in place
by January when they start teaching the native languages in primary schools!



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