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--- John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Indeed, we might (as Mark Rosenfelder suggests at
> http://www.zompist.com/yingzi/yingzi.htm) use the
> same character for
> the -cuit in both circuit and biscuit (perhaps a
> derivative of "kit"),
> though there's of course no real connection between
> them.

I took a look. I like the direction that is going in,
but disagree that phonetics play any role whatsoever
in a yingzi-type experiment. We could conduct an
experiment here, if we like - substituting some
elementary English words with Chinese.  Learning their
meaning alone is valid - which is the reason for the
direction I'm pushing - namely rethinking the
charachter designs, that people like Mark can play
with them.

> But what a weird word, "icicle"!  "Ice" + OE _gicel_
> 'icicle'.
> "Ice icicle."

Not weird at all: Ici(Icy="of ice")-cle (Barnacle,
Monacle)

> Chinese has picked up quite a number of unanalyzable
> multisyllabic words,
> though, from _hudie_ 'butterfly' and _bu'ershuwike_
> 'Bolshevik', which
> are loans, to _mamahuhu_ 'so-so' and _dongxi_
> 'thing', which are
> written "horse-horse-tiger-tiger" and "east-west"
> respectively, but
> these are puns, not true etymologies.

Yes. They are local (colloquial) idioms, and in the
case of dongxi-loan charachters mess things up.
Its interesting to think about idioms, though, and
which ones are the most universal.

-S
Steven Cooney
www.symbolproject.org (moving to new software this
week)



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