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"Peter T. Daniels" (Email Removed) wrote on 31 Dec 2003:
When half a dozen people, not including me, have already explained what's going on, and you continue to repeat your original mistake, you have earned some exasperation.

I will just have to say, then, that I haven't understood the explanations and that I am happy to bow out of the discussion.

I've already said twice that, after lurking for one or two days, I don't read sci.lang because I feel it is over my head and that I have nothing to contribute to the group. I don't mind repeating it, and I don't mind being ignored. I have no desire to exasperate anyone, nor do I wish to get involved in any kind of unpleasant exchanges.

I am also happy to say in advance to anyone else who chooses to respond to anything I have cross-posted that I will no longer reply to any future responses. I don't want to argue anything or about anything.
I am, however, interested in reading Sebastian Hew's explanation of the passage he originally cross-posted. I will reply to that with a "Thank you" and that is all.
Please explain how stress is not phonemic in English in ... the acid. You're an expert, not an amateur like me.

IPA was not developed by English-speakers.

Okay. I don't know who developed IPA and I don't think it matters who did develop it. It is an international phonetic alphabet and not an English phonetic alphabet.
Now, excuse me while I relieve myself and give my son a bath.

Thanks for sharing.

I apologize, but you got a bit too personal for my tastes and I thought I would respond in kind. I won't do it again.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
"ferry" and "very" are also different in only one thing: the initial syllable. And this difference is significat enough in ... sound". That's the point. The difference is significant for the language in question (i.e. phonemically), they aren't "pronounced the same".

And yet there are UK dialects of English (in parts of Scotland and Wales) in which "very" sounds like "ferry" - yet no confusion arises because one is a noun or verb and the other a modifier. So is the distinction significant in those dialects? Would native speakers of these dialects judge them to be so?

Alan Jones
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I am, however, interested in reading Sebastian Hew's explanation of the passage he originally cross-posted. I will reply to that with a "Thank you" and that is all.

Oh... you're still interested. I thought people had lost interest in the original topic, so I put off posting the explanation, and then got tied up setting a supplementary exam. I shall post the explanation as soon as I can, probably tomorrow.
Sebastian.
"Sebastian Hew" (Email Removed) wrote on 01 Jan 2004:
I am, however, interested in reading Sebastian Hew's explanation of ... to that with a "Thank you" and that is all.

Oh... you're still interested. I thought people had lost interest in the original topic, so I put off posting the explanation, and then got tied up setting a supplementary exam. I shall post the explanation as soon as I can, probably tomorrow.

Yes, I am still interested and still looking forward to reading your explanation.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
'If one were to label as zhuanzhu only those phonograms which were derived from existing characters to which phonetic elements ... existing characters to which semantic symbols were added, then the distinction between phonograms and the zhuanzhu would be more rational.'

Well... here's a brief summary of what I've deduced, from the contributions of various contributors of this thread, esp. matin, who provided the original Chinese text of the passage in question. Note that I also have more context available to me, than most of the posters in this thread, who had only the quoted sentence.
The confusion in the English text arises from both an oversight on the part of the translator, and confusing use of terminology on the part of the author.
First, those who suggested that the words 'as phonograms' were omitted in 'continue to label as phonograms those phonograms which were derived...' were correct. The Chinese source text makes that much clear. Thus, there was a small omission in the translation, which created some ambiguity in the resulting English syntax.
Even with this correction, however, the translation still seems to make little sense, for it states that zhuanzhu are phonograms, yet somehow, this labelling makes rational the distinction between zhuanzhu and phonograms. This confusion is present in the original text, and is not a artefact of the translation. Zhuanzhu is a 'translation' of 轉註 and 'phonogram' 形聲, so it is not the case that the terminology got confused in the translation.I believe the resolution of this confusion lies in two different uses of the word 'phonogram' that the author employs. The context of the quoted sentence seems to imply that (note that I don't say 'makes it clear that') some theories define a prototypical 'phonogram'(1) as one which was formed ab initio from the combination of a semantic and a phonetic element, whereas in fact most 'phonograms'(2) were formed from the addition of a semantic element to an existing character with the same meaning.

The sentence I quoted uses the word 'phonogram' in both these senses, without making it clear which sense is meant in which case (although, one can deduce from the context that the following is intended, where (1) and (2) refer to the two senses of the word as discussed above, i.e., 'phonogram' as defined by the said theory and the usual use of the word 'phonogram' respectively:
'If one were to label as zhuanzhu only those phonograms(2) which were derived from existing characters to which phonetic elements were added, and were to continue to label as phonograms(1) those phonograms(2) which were derived from existing characters to which semantic symbols were added, then the distinction between phonograms(1) and the zhuanzhu would be more rational.'
This is the interpretation of the passage intended by the author, as far as I can surmise, although even with the advantage of additional context, it is none too clear and I could well be wrong.

Sebastian.
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"Sebastian Hew" (Email Removed) wrote on 01 Jan 2004:
'If one were to label as zhuanzhu only those phonograms ... distinction between phonograms and the zhuanzhu would be more rational.'

Well... here's a brief summary of what I've deduced, from the contributions of various contributors of this thread, esp. matin, ... surmise, although even with the advantage of additional context, it is none too clear and I could well be wrong.

Thank you very much, Sebastian. Your analysis makes good sense to me (for what that is worth to anyone), and the original author's use of one word, "phonogram", for two types of character accounts for the nonsensical interpretation that Peter objected to. It also answers my question asking for an explanation of what the original author meant by "phonogram".

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
Thank you very much, Sebastian. Your analysis makes good sense to me (for what that is worth to anyone), and ... Peter objected to. It also answers my question asking for an explanation of what the original author meant by "phonogram".

So now will you start reading sci.lang, which is where you belong, rather than crossposting threads from a.u.e., which has happily not spilled threads typical of it into here recently?

Peter T. Daniels (Email Removed)
Or hana (flower) vs. hana (nose). (?) I don't think ... average English people doesn't know any basic Japanese at all.

CyberCypher> True, but I do and I'm a native English-speaker.

I didn't know that! And I want other readers of post to understand my examples, too. It's too "risky" to post something that could be understood only once in a blue moon.
These examples would thus be as incomprehensible as your ma1/ma2/ma3/ma4 ... different* words. So are ha-SHI vs. HA-shi to a Japanese.)

CyberCypher> And to me. And they are, of course, different words CyberCypher> with different meanings, but the physical formation CyberCypher> of the sounds by the mouth are quite the same

Mouth? You don't just use your mouth to speak, do you?

The formation of the sounds different by constrictions in the vocal cord one important speech organ. The force you use to exhale air also varies when you make sounds of different pitches. The combination of these variations produces the differences between HA-shi and ha-SHI. So, how would you call these two words "the same sound"?
"ferry" and "very" are also different in only one thing: ... language in question (i.e. phonemically), they aren't "pronounced the same".

CyberCypher> But the physical formation of the sounds by the mouth CyberCypher> the production of the sounds, with the exception CyberCypher> of stress, pitch, and tone is quite the same for CyberCypher> "ma" and "hashi" and "contract".
Again, the mouth is just one speech organ. That alone is insufficient to make the distinctions in speech sounds needed in most languages. Even in English, you need the nasal cavity for certain sounds.
There are no significs that I can point to in ... trees together means "forest". Would you count that as rote-memorization?

CyberCypher> Not at all: 1 tree for a single tree, 2 trees for a CyberCypher> (small group) wood (s), and 3 trees for a (large CyberCypher> group) forest. The idea is quite clear once one knows CyberCypher> the character for a single tree. But the CyberCypher> pronunciations are all phonetically fundamentally CyberCypher> different: mo4 (tree), lin2 (woods), sen CyberCypher> (forest). The pronunciations have to be memorized CyberCypher> because there is no phonetic in the latter two CyberCypher> characters.
We, native speakers, don't have to rote-memorize the pronunciations. Once we know what the characters mean, we know which sound it refers to.
CyberCypher> The pronunciation comes from the letter combinations: CyberCypher> "ais" = (ai) and "le" = syllabic (l).
In which other ENGLISH (ne pas franç ais ) word is "ais" pronounced (ai) without a trailing (s)?

CyberCypher> Only in borrowings from French words. It's singular, CyberCypher> like "tree" in Chinese.
So, I have to rote-memorize that I should not pronouce the "s" in these cases. That's rote-memorization .
I remember that my dictionaries (one of which being Oxford ... ago. There was no alternative pronounciation with an /sw-/ sound.

CyberCypher> The same is true for the M-W 3rd International, but CyberCypher> that doesn't mean that native English speakers don't CyberCypher> actually say it; some do.
And why is that? Spelling affecting pronuncation of learnt words?

Lee Sau Dan 李守敦(Big5) ~{@nJX6X~}(HZ)

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"ferry" and "very" are also different in only one thing: ... language in question (i.e. phonemically), they aren't "pronounced the same".

Alan> And yet there are UK dialects of English (in parts of Alan> Scotland and Wales) in which "very" sounds like "ferry"

Without specifying any specific dialects, I think we should interpret our statements w.r.t. more standard dialects of English.
Alan> yet no confusion arises because one is a noun or verb and Alan> the other a modifier.
How about "Is that very/ferry slow?"
Alan> So is the distinction significant in those dialects?

One more example of possible (but rare) confusions:

Do you find that very/ferry expensive?

Lee Sau Dan +Z05biGVm-(Big5) ~{@nJX6X~}(HZ)

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Home page: http://www.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/~danlee
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