A few minor comments:

I think there's a small error in your original transcription:

"Waihbian jinhlaile yi ge ren liaangh ge hong yaanhjing, yi fuh dah yuan liaanh, daih zhe yi ge xiaaoh maohzi, taa xingh Xiah."

I believe "waihbian" should be "waibiaan",  "biaan" is first tone.

There's no reason Taiwan should be Daiwan.  The /t/ is aspirated.

I actually like GR (although I can't spell it ;).  I find it eligant and systematic, if complicated.  I'm not surprised it never caught on, though.  I think it'd be near impossible for non-Chinese speakers to make head or tail of, and I'm one of the oddball few Chinese speakers who'd take the time to bother figuring it out.

No one in Taiwan uses the retroflex in regular speech, but you'll never convince them that they don't.  They like to think of their Mandarin as "correct." Taiwanese learn "proper" pronunciation in school, so they can tell you where the retroflexes are if you ask, but they never pronounce them when they're not concious of it, although they're convinced that they don't.  I for one never know where to write the retroflex in Pinyin.  If, as its proponents claim, Tongyong better reflects Taiwanese pronunciation than does Pinyin, they should drop the retroflex, but they won't.


On Wed, 19 September 2001, John Cowan wrote:

> Adam Walker scripsit:
> > Tong Yong is the nasty little politico-linguistic beasty that the gov in
> > Taipei has chosen as the "official" romanization in Taiwan.  It *is* HYPY
> > sans "q" and "x".  Which makes for nothing but confusion if you ask me.
> Um.  Right.  It would have made more sense imho to map zh sh ch to z s c,
> given that the retroflexion probably isn't even pronounced in Taiwan
> (given this reform, should we start writing Daiwan?)
> > >The few words of GR that I actually remember, I have no trouble with,
> > >whereas I am constantly stuffing the wrong tone mark on HYPY syllables!
> > >Of course, *deciphering* the GR in real time is no joke either.
> > >
> >
> > I find the tone marks for HYPY very intuitive since they are the "shapes"
> > the tones have for me when I visualize them.
> I agree that the shapes are very sensible.  Jim Carter (author of -gua!spi,
> which can also be written -gua\spi) uses a sensible method also:
> put the tone character first, and use - / _ \ for 1 2 3 4 respectively.
> This is ASCII-iconic, given that tone 3 is basically low.
> (The reason for the ! is problems typing \ in TeX contexts.)
> --
> John Cowan               [log in to unmask]
> Please leave your values        |       Check your assumptions.  In fact,
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