NO LONGER MID US: LEXICAL CHANGE IN ENGLISH, JAPANESE, JURCHEN,
Much reconstruction of Old Korean is based on the implicit premise that Old Korean was basically Middle Korean written in Chinese characters instead of hangul. See my previous post for examples of several reconstructions of this type. But it is highly unlikely that Korean changed so little in the centuries before Middle Korean was first written alphabetically.
Today I found this
list of extinct Old English words: e.g., mid which was
replaced by with. How can we be sure that the Old Korean words
for 'go' and 'spring' are not as extinct as mid 'with' - or,
closer to Korea, Old Japanese in- 'go away'? (Old Japanese yuk-
'go' did survive in modern Japanese, but the general modern root for
'go' is its cognate ik-.)
Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters (c. 1500) has Jurchen
words without cognates in standard Manchu from the 17th century onward:
'frost': J semanggi, M beiguwen, gecen, gecuhun
'rainbow': J juwelemo, M nioron
'bridge': J hufurun, M doohan, kiyoo (< Chn 橋 *kʰjaw)
Moreover, those words which do have cognates are not necessarily
identical to them: e.g.,
'heaven': J agūwa* [ɑʁwɑ], M abka
'rain': J agu, M aga
'dew': J šilei, M silenggi
These differences are not dew, er, due to sound changes between
Jurchen and Manchu; they reflect the fact that the Jurchen dialect of
the Vocabulary was not the Jurchen dialect ancestral to Manchu.
Similarly, the dialects of Old Korean poetry may not have been
ancestral to standard Middle Korean.
*This is a Manchu-style transcription.
220.127.116.11:51: LONGING FOR THE LOST SOUNDS OF SPRING
The speculative readings for the Khitan small script character
based on known Turkic, Mongolic, and Jurchen/Manchu words reminded me of the speculative Old Korean readings of hyangchhal semantograms. Here are several scholars' reconstructions of the first line of the Old Korean poem "Ode to Knight Chukchi" from c. 700 AD (translated by Peter H. Lee) with speculations in bold. Sinograph meanings and guesses based on them are in pink; sinograph readings and reconstructions based on them are in blue. All Old Korean reconstructions other than mine are in a McCune-Reischauer-like transliteration of the various scholars' hangul spellings. Middle Korean forms are in the same transliteration system for ease of comparison.
|Chinese gloss||to leave||hidden||spring||all||reason, to manage||rice|
|Old Korean||?||*-(ɯ)n||?||?||*-Rɯ-?||*-me or *-may|
|Middle Korean||ka-||sum- 'to be hidden'
-nă-n (processive modifier)
|pom||ta, moto||tasări- 'to manage'||psăr 'rice'
|Ogura Shinpei 1929*||*ka||*-năn||*pom-i||*ta||*tasări-||*myŏy|
|Yang Chu-dong 1942||*ka||*-n||*pom||*kŭ||*ri||*may|
|Chi Hyŏn-yŏng 1948||*mŏy|
|Kim Sŏn-gi 1967-75||*kka||*pam||*ka||*may|
|Sŏ Chae-gŭk 1974||*ka||*pom||*kă|
|Kim Chun-yŏng 1979||*kŭ|
|Kim Wan-jin 1980||*mot o- 'not come'|
|Yu Chhang-don 1994||*kŭ||*myŏ|
|Peter H. Lee 1981||'All men sorrow and lament / Over the
spring that is
cf. Middle Korean kŭri- 'long for'
Many Koreanologists seem to take these speculative readings for granted, even though they are based on the assumption that Old Korean is very much like Middle Korean. But there is no guarantee that Middle Korean preserved Old Korean words for 'go', 'spring', 'all', etc. without any changes for centuries. I consider *ka- for Old Korean 去 'go' to be as certain as au for Khitan 'heaven'; both are merely plausible guesses. We may never know the readings of and 去 unless phonetic spellings are found.
18.104.22.168:05: So what I do think?
去: Semantogram. There is no way to know that its reading was the ancestor of Middle Korean ka-, but even if it was, there is no guarantee that it was ka- centuries earlier. Vovin (2010: 28) reconstructed 'go' in Proto-Korean as *kan- or *kal-. If 隱 represented a vowel-initial suffix, then 'go' may have been a consonant-final stem (*kan-, *kal-, or something else entirely).
隱: Phonogram for modifier suffix *-(ɯ)n for 'go'. 隱 was later abbreviated to 阝 and even ㄱ (no relation to the hangul letter ㄱ k) as a kugyŏl symbol for n.
春: Semantogram. Reading unknown. Even if its reading was ancestral to Middle Korean pom, it could have been something like *palum* if it was related to Old Japanese paru 'spring'**.
An analogy: Suppose English fall were written semantographically as 秋 . If future English retains autumn and loses fall, one might misread 秋 as *autumn. *pom (or even *palum) could be to some lost Koreanic word for 'spring' what autumn is to fall in this scenario.
皆: Phonogram for the first syllable of a polysyllabic word. The following phonogram 理 is for a second syllable since Proto-Koreanic probably did not have initial liquids. Oddly nothing in later Korean indicates an *ɛ in earlier Korean, so I am puzzled by the choice of an *-ɛj sinograph. (Modern Korean [ɛ] is from *ay and is not inherited from Old Korean.)
Kim Wan-jin's reconstructed reading *mot o- 'not come' (based on an assumed reading *moto for 皆 'all') is ingenious, but I can't remember any other instance of a phonogram representing an entire word followed by the beginning of another word.
理: Phonogram for a liquid-initial syllable *-Rɯ'-. I cannot tell if the final vowel is part of a stem *kVRɯ- or a following suffix for a stem *kVR-.
米: Phonogram for *me or *may. I don't know which Chinese reading the writer had in mind: *mejˀ (cf. idealized Middle Sino-Korean myŏ̌y < *mey) or *majˀ (cf. early Sino-Japanese mai, probably borrowed from Sino-Paekche).
*me could not be the source of Middle Korean -m-y-ŏ [mjə] 'and', though it's possible that Proto-Koreanic *-y-ə fused into *-e in this Old Korean dialect which then could not be ancestral to Middle Korean.
*may may have survived intact in Middle Korean, though it might not have meant 'because' in Old Korean.
*I use *l to symbolize an early Koreanic liquid that was lost in medial position unlike *r. This liquid survives in early transcriptions: e.g., Jpn nirimu for Paekche *nilim 'master' cognate to Middle Korean nim. I wrote about the possibility of two Proto-Koreanic liquids in a four-part series: 1 2 3 4. This *l is not to be confused with the [l] allophone of the modern Korean liquid phoneme.
Sino-Korean has -o (idealized as -ow) for Middle Chinese *-aw. I have long assumed that an un-Korean *-aw was Koreanized as -o, but perhaps o is the result of monophthongization that followed medial *-l-loss: e.g.,
Early Koreanic *palum > *paum > Middle Korean pom 'spring'
寶 Late Middle Chinese *paw > Old Sino-Korean *pau > Middle Sino-Korean po(w) 'treasure'
Such a monophthongization occurred in Japanese: e.g.,
寶 Late Middle Chinese *paw > Old Sino-Japanese *pau > Modern Sino-Japanese hō 'treasure'
**Vovin (2010: 105) rejected a connection between Middle Korean pom and Old Japanese paru.
Aisin Gioro (2012: 13) listed three readings for the Khitan large script character
1. ɔʊ (from 1996-2002 works by unspecified researcher[s]; she regarded this reading as erroneous)
2. ɑʊ (also from 1996-2002 works by unspecified researcher[s])
3. au (from Aisin Gioro 2004a)
These appear to be guesses influenced by Manchu abka [ɑpqʰɑ] 'heaven' and Jurchen
transcribed in Chinese as 阿卜哈 *apuxa (for [ɑpqʰɑ]?) and 阿瓜 *akwa (for a dialect variant**
[ɑʁwɑ] < *ɑʁβɑ < *ɑɢbɑ < *ɑqpɑ < *ɑpqɑ
with metathesis, voicing, and lenition: *ɑpqɑ?). These words and Nanai apqa (a loan from Manchu; Cincius 1975 I: 8) are isolated in Tungusic and could be loans from some Khitan-type language. So it is appealing to claim that a pre-Khitan *abuqa was borrowed into Jurchen before it was reduced to Khitan au. But that reading is purely speculative, though I am certain that the Khitan diphthong au is partly from *abu, since Khitan
<tau>/029 <tau> 'five'
corresponds to Mongolian tabun 'id.' (The Khitan diphthong au is also from earlier *au, as Khitan
<tau.lia> ~ <tau.lia> ~ <tau.lia> ~ <tau.lia>/029 206 189 <tau.lí.a> 'hare'
corresponds to Mongolian taulai 'id.' (The difference in final vowels eludes explanation.)
Kane (2009: 63) listed several more proposed readings of :
These are clearly guesses inspired by the Turko-Mongolic word for 'heaven': Old Turkic täŋri and Written Mongolian tngri. Neither Kane nor I accept them because of the lack of corroborating phonetic evidence: i.e., alternations between and other characters pronounced təŋ, etc.
Kane (2009: 63) mentioned and rejected a case of apparent alternation between and
If were <ɔʊ>, <ɑʊ>, or <au>, such an alternation would be plausible, but I know of no other evidence for the monophthongization of au or the diphthongization of o in Khitan.
If alternated with
I would be more inclined to reconstruct it as <au>. However, without such alternations or any other phonetic evidence (e.g., Chinese transcriptions) in support of any reading, I can only agree with Kane and transliterate semantically as <HEAVEN>.
161 <au> and/or 210 <áu>
*Three-digit numbers for Khitan small script characters are from Qidan xiaozi yanjiu (Research on the Khitan Small Script, 1985). There is no standard numbering for Khitan large script characters.
**The transcription 阿瓜 *akwa is from the Sino-Jurchen Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters which contained no Jurchen script, so 阿瓜 *akwa may never have transcribed a Jurchen reading of
Perhaps literate Jurchen always pronounced that character as abka even though they may have used words like [ɑʁwɑ] in their native dialects. The Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters may be a valuable source for one nonliterary Jurchen dialect. Yet another nonliterary Jurchen dialect underlies standard Manchu.
22.214.171.124:59: ASTERISKS AT AMARAVATIMy last post got me thinking about how I use (or don't use) asterisks to indicate reconstructions.
Here is the somewhat inconsistent logic behind my (non)use of asterisks on this blog so far. You may find exceptions in the thousands of entries I've written since 2002.1. Unattested and impossible forms from languages at any point in time
Marked with an asterisk: e.g., *ra is not a possible Tangut syllable since oral vowels must be retroflex after r-. (I specified "oral" because Tangut has the syllable riẽ with a nasal, nonretroflex vowel after r-.
All of the tangraphs above are pronounced 2riẽ; there is no Tangut syllable 1riẽ.
Although Tangut has a huge vowel system, it lacks nasal retroflex vowels.)2. Unattested but hypothetically possible forms from languages at any point in time
Marked with an asterisk: e.g., Vovin (2010: 53) proposed that the Western Old Japanese genitive suffix -tu is from an Old Korean genitive suffix *-ci which is not attested in the very limited Old Korean corpus.3. Attested forms from modern languages
4. (Romanizations of) attested forms in (relatively) unambiguous scripts at any point in time
Examples: Russian, Manchu, Mongolian (even in the ambiguous traditional script - the vowels can usually be confirmed), Arabic (again, the vowels can be confirmed), Written Tibetan, Written Burmese.
Old Japanese and Middle Korean also fall into this category for me. There is no absolute consensus on how to pronounce man'yōgana and early hangul, but the reconstruction involved is not as heavy-duty as that of, say, Tangut or Middle Chinese. (See below. That didn't stop me from writing a full-length book on the reasoning behind my reconstruction of Old Japanese phonology, though!)
5. Romanizations of attested forms in extinct languages in ambiguous scripts
The Tangut, Jurchen, and Khitan scripts are "ambiguous" in the sense that there is no absolute consensus about how to read them. (There is a near-consensus about the Ming Dynasty readings of Jurchen large script characters, but there is still some disagreement on details, as one can see by comparing reconstructions in Jin Qizong's 1984 dictionary.)
I've long felt that an asterisk was redundant for Tangut, Jurchen, and Khitan, since all Roman letter readings in modern scholarship are always modern reconstructions. But by that logic, an asterisk would also be redundant for, say, Proto-Indo-European forms since PIE forms are also always reconstructions by definition. (A language with 'proto-' in its name is always a reconstruction. But not all ancestral languages are reconstructions: e.g., Latin is attested.)
I guess my inconsistency is based on the usage of previous scholars: e.g., I can't remember seeing Tangut written with asterisks, but PIE is normally written with asterisks. Kane (2009) generally wrote Khitan with asterisks* but wrote Jurchen both with and without asterisks (e.g.,
Kiyose's *degun and Kane's *deu 'younger brother'** on p. 129 and
on p. 54).
6. Romanizations of attested forms in early relatives of living languages in ambiguous scripts
For some reason I feel compelled to treat premodern Chinese and early Vietnamese differently from Tangut, Jurchen, and Khitan by writing it with asterisks: e.g.,
天 Middle Chinese *tʰen
𡗶 Pre-16th century Vietnamese *blời***
Tangut 1mə 'heaven'
Jurchen abka 'heaven'
Khitan au 'heaven' (Aisin Gioro 2004 as quoted in her 2012 paper; added reading 3.8.3:25)
I think it's because unlike TJK, Chinese and Vietnamese are still alive, and I want to graphically distinguish premodern and modern forms.
3.8.1:51: I would also star reconstructed premodern readings of extended sinographies other than Vietnamese nôm: e.g., Zhuang sawndip.
7. Transliterations (as opposed to phonetic reconstructions)
No asterisk, even if the transliterations are based on modern guesses. Strict transliterations are in angled brackets.**** Periods indicate divisions between characters of a block or word: e.g., Khitan 'dog' below.
3.8.2:08: ADDENDUM: Italics at Amaravati
I use italics to indicate
- emphasis of whole words (but I prefer boldface to draw attention to parts of a linguistic form)
- book and movie (but not article and episode) titles
- that something is a linguistic form: e.g., the word word and its PIE ancestor *werdho-
This usage is not universal: e.g., Vovin (2010) did not italicize reconstructions.
Phonetic transcriptions are never in italics; brackets are sufficient to indicate they are linguistic forms.
- that a word is not English: e.g., man'yōgana (but not hangul which has an entry in Merriam-Webster and is therefore not italicized when not discussed as a word: e.g., in section 4 above.)
*3.8.0:36: Kane (2009: 2) wrote the Khitan words from the History of Liao in a mix of reconstructions (e.g., ordo) and modern Mandarin readings of Chinese transcription characters (e.g., 捏褐 niehe instead of *ńiqo for 'dog'); none are preceded by asterisks. He listed various interpretations of the Khitan small script spelling
for 'dog' without asterisks: e.g., nəxi.
**3.8.2:16: The Jurchen large script characters are <deu.un> and correspond to Kiyose's *degun. (Oddly Kiyose reconstructed the individual characters as *deu and *un without *-g-.) Kane's *deu might have been written with the single character
by Jurchen literate in their own script.
The Jurchen small script character for 'younger brother' is clearly related to Chinese 弟 'id.' and the Khitan large script character
The Khitan large script character 弟 that is an exact lookalike of Chinese 弟 may also mean 'younger brother'.
***2.28.2:08: The Roman letter spelling blời [ɓləːj] is first attested in the 17th century. The earliest non-Vietnamese phonetic evidence for the reading of 𡗶 is the c. 16th century Chinese transcription 雷 *luj. A *b- did not 'grow' on the word by the 17th century; the absence of *b- in the Chinese transcription reflects the absence of *bl- in Chinese. Comparative evidence points to Proto-Vietic *bl- with a true *b- (i.e., not an implosive *[ɓ]; in Vietnamese, Proto-Vietic *b- devoiced to *p- which became *[ɓ]).
****2.28.2:54: I could regard my transcriptions of Written Tibetan and Written Burmese or even Middle Korean as transliterations, but I reserve angled brackets without italics for transliterations that greatly differ from a phonetic transcription: e.g., <ekāḥ> for Thai เกาะ [kɔ̀ʔ] 'island'. (See "An Aw-ternative Spelling in Lao" on the use of the graphemic combination <e> ... <ā> for o. That combination is not evidence for *e ... ā as a source of o-type vowels in languages written in Indic scripts. Thai [kɔ̀ʔ] was borrowed from an earlier Khmer កោះ <ekāḥ> *kɔh, partway between an even earlier *koh and modern [kɑh].)
126.96.36.199:59: AS IF I'M SINKING IN MO-DERN TRANSCRIPTIONS
I made a 'monstrous' mistake in "Dorga" because I mistook a modern reconstruction in Chinese characters for an ancient transcription of Khitan.
It is easy to confuse the two because they can be mixed interchangeably. For instance, Li Fanwen's 2008 Tangut dictionary has a Chinese character transcription for every single Tangut character regardless of whether those characters have known Tangut period Chinese character transcriptions.* The transcription 没 mo 'to sink' for
3513 1mə 'heaven'
is taken from the Timely Pearl (1190), but the transcription 如 ru '(as) if, be like' for the following tangraph
3514 2rioʳ (second half of 2257 3514 1tiọ 2rioʳ 'to infect')
is a modern creation. (Tangut r- was transcribed with *l-sinographs in the Timely Palm, since 12th century northwestern Chinese lacked an *r- that is now present in standard Mandarin. I do not know of any premodern transcription of 3514.)
Although there may be clues to determine which is which (e.g., the un-12th century use of Mandarin r-sinographs for Tangut r-syllables), it may be difficult to distinguish them at a glance.
My policy has been to ignore the sinographic transcriptions in modern sources like Li (2008) and Shi et al. (2000); although some of those transcriptions may match those in the Timely Pearl, I didn't want to take the risk of erring the way I did last night by building historical hypotheses atop modern inventions.
*3.7.1:03: I don't know what the purpose of all these transcriptions is. Is it to give the Chinese reader a ready-made phonetic equivalent for each tangraph that can be used in lay writing? That would make it the sinographic equivalent of my lay transcription of Tangut: e.g., 没 for 3513 is like my my and 如 for 3514 is like my ror. 没 and my, etc. are meant to give nonspecialists a vague idea of how the tangraphs were pronounced.
Jin Qizong's 1984 dictionary of Jurchen generally only lists Ming Dynasty Sino-Barbarian Glossary transcriptions. (There is at least one interesting exception that I want to discuss later.) I think a Tangut dictionary could likewise either only list Timely Pearl transcriptions. If it is absolutely necessary to have a sinographic transcription for all entries with known Tangut readings**, Timely Pearl-style transcriptions could be added with some sort of marking to distinguish them from genuine 12th century transcriptions.
The problem of artificial readings plagues even dictionaries of modern languages. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sinographic dictionaries all have fanqie-based readings of obscure characters that were never pronounced in modern times. Those readings are not distinguished from readings that have been orally transmitted over centuries; the latter may not quite match the modern readings of fanqie spellers chosen long ago: e.g., 奪 has the Guangyun fanqie 徒活切 (Sino-Korean to + hwal), but its Sino-Korean reading is thal with unexpected aspiration, not *tal. (*tw- is not possible in modern Sino-Korean.)
**3.7.1:56: There is a small number of tangraphs whose readings are wholly or partly unknown: i.e., characters without entries in native Tangut phonological dictionaries (e.g., 1555, 6020, 6033) or only have a known initial category (e.g., 1860 which had a liquid class initial or 1911 which had an alveopalatal class initial. Obviously it is not possible to transcribe these readings in sinographs. Unlike Roman letters, sinographs cannot represent initials without finals outside a fanqie context, much less a generic initial class: e.g., there is no sinographic equivalent of capital L- for 1860 or CH- or 1911.
188.8.131.52:41: DORGA (CORRECTED)
(184.108.40.206:21: I thank Andrew West for pointing out a huge error in this entry. Instead of deleting it or revising it without comment, I will keep the original text up and add corrections in bold.)
I thank Andrew West for reminding me that the Khitan large script spelling
corresponds to the name transcribed in Chinese as 多羅里本 *tɔlɔlipun. (See the name in context here.)
No, 多羅里本 is a modern reconstruction, not a Liao Dynasty transcription. It would have been read as *tɔlɔlipun in Liao times if such a transcription had existed then, but its real purpose is to represent Cong, Liu, and Chi's (2003: 50) reconstruction *dorlipun in Chinese characters that are pronounced Duoluoliben [twɔlwɔlipən] in modern Mandarin. Although 多羅里本 is not marked with an asterisk, it is no more real than its Roman letter equivalent *dorlipun with an asterisk.
For years I had only seen pages 54 and 55 of Cong, Liu, and Chi (2003) on Andrew's site. I did not see the rest of the article until tonight; it clearly states,
'We might as well use the Chinese characters 多罗里本 to transcribe it [the Khitan large script name ].'
罗 is the simplified form of 羅 which appears in the glosses at the end of the article.
I am surprised the name was not written in Mandarin as 多兒里本 Duoerliben [twɑɻlipən] with a use of 兒 for *r that is clearly modern. (The Liao Chinese reading of 兒 was something like *ʐɨ without an *r.)多 羅 was preferred because it was more archaic-looking. Perhaps
Aisin Gioro (n.d.) preferred to reconstruct the name as 奪里不, pronounced Duolibu [twɔlipu] in modern Mandarin. I do not know how she would have written that reconstruction in Roman letters. My guess is something like *dorlibu. She reconstructed the reading *dor for the Khitan small script character 'seal' in this 2012 article.
He also pointed out an alternate, shorter transcription 奪里本 *tɔlipun of what may be the same name in the History of Liao.
The History of Liao was written two centuries after the fall of the Liao and its spelling 奪里本 may not have been accurately copied from earlier sources. Nonetheless it is not a reconstruction; it is the only (near-)contemporary transcription that I have on hand.
The interpretation of all three Khitan large script characters is problematic, but let's focus on the first in this post. Given the following -
- Chinese voiceless unaspirated obstruents (e.g., *t, *p) correspond to Khitan consonants that I transcribe as voiced obstruents (e.g., d, b; their exact phonetic values are uncertain)
This is why I am puzzled by Cong, Liu, and Chi's decision to reconstruct the name as *dorlipun with *p rather than as *dorlibun with *b.
- Chinese *ɔ corresponds to the Khitan vowel that I transcribe as o (whose exact phonetic value is uncertain)- Chinese *l corresponds to the Khitan consonants that I transcribe as r and l (since Liao Chinese had no *r)
- the Khitan large script character means 'seal' in other contexts
- the Jurchen large script character <doron> for 'seal' was similar: ~
- the Manchu word for 'seal' was ᡩᠣᡵᠣᠨ doron
- I reconstruct the following scenario:
- Khitan may have zero corresponding to -n in Jurchen and Manchu: e.g.,
<m.ri> mori : Jurchen and Manchu morin 'horse'
- The Khitan word for 'seal' was dor(o)
- The Khitan large script character for 'seal' was used as a phonogram <dor> in unrelated words: e.g., Dorlibun, glossed in the History of Liao as 討平 'pacify'. -bun is a past tense marker, so maybe the named means 'Pacified'. Khitan dorli- may be cognate to Mongolian daruɣu 'peaceful'.
- This dor was transcribed in Chinese as 多羅 *tɔlɔ or simply 奪 *tɔ because there was no Chinese syllable *tɔr or even *tɔl.
It was never transcribed in Chinese as 多羅 *tɔlɔ in Liao times. 奪 *tɔ is the only known premodern transcription.
It is tempting to think that 奪 was chosen to transcribe Khitan dor because it had a final *-r in Chinese. It certainly did have a final *-r when it was borrowed into Sino-Korean around the eighth century (its prescriptive Middle Sino-Korean reading is ttwarʔ and its modern Sino-Korean reading is thal*), but Khitan loanwords from Liao Chinese indicate that *-r was gone by the 11th century. It is possible but unlikely that the transcriber knew of an archaic *-r reading for 奪, even though he himself normally pronounced the graph as *tɔ.
- The Khitan word was borrowed into Jurchen with an -(o)n suffix added
- Manchu inherited the word from its source dialect of Jurchen (which was not the dialect underlying written Jurchen or the varieties recorded during the Ming)
Revising Doronga to fit that scenario still results in a name appropriate for a Japanese giant monster: Dorga.
*The width of the gap between prescriptive and actual 15th century Sino-Korean is unclear. The actual reading of 奪 may have been something like *th(w)arʔ.
tt- might have been [d] rather than the tense tt- of modern Korean.
The initial th- of the modern reading thal is irregular; prescriptive tt- normally corresponds to actual t-. There is no Korean-internal reason for the aspiration, so I wonder if it reflects a northeastern Late Middle Chinese dialect with *tʰ- (< Old Chinese *s-l- with a prefix) instead of standard *d- (< Old Chinese *l- sans prefix). Unfortunately, I don't know of any modern Mandarin dialect with an aspirated initial in 奪. Tangut period northwestern Chinese had *tʰ-, and Gan and Hakka to the south still have tʰ- today, but none of those languages are likely sources for Sino-Korean thal.
sounds like the name of a Japanese giant monster. Ha, in fact, thanks to Google, I learned there was a Doronga in episode 10 of Golden Bat (1967).
Doronga is a play on Japanese 漫画 manga.
was the Jurchen word for 'seal' (cf. Manchu ᡩᠣᡵᠣᠨ doron 'id.'). The word may have been borrowed from Khitan
whose large script character (left; the small script character is on the right) is surely somehow related to the Jurchen large script character, though whether the relationship was direct or indirect** is unknown.
The Khitan large script character for <doro> in turn coincidentally resembles 立 over 儿, a variant of 漫 màn 'unrestrained' (the first half of Japanese 漫画 manga) that I found in Thesaurus Linguae Sericae (TLS). The nineteen variants in TLS fall into six categories:
1. Slight graphic variation of the phonetic component: e.g., 澷 with 方 instead of 又 on the bottom of 曼 màn
2. Different phonetic component: e.g., 澫 with 萬 wàn < *m- instead of 曼 màn
3. Different semantic component: e.g., 墁 with 土 'earth' instead of 氵 'water'
4. Different phonetic and semantic components: e.g., 㙢 with 土 'earth' and 㒼 mán instead of 氵 'water' and 曼 màn
5. Completely different semantic compounds:
𣸞 < 平 'level + 水 'water' x 2𧽾 < 走 'run' + 散 'scatter'
6. Completely different and opaque: what appears to be (but isn't necessarily) 立 'stand' over a pair of 儿 legs
The sole example of this last category is the most intriguing. What is the reasoning behind that shape? Where is it attested?
*3.5.0:21: <doro> is Kane's (2009: 114)
reconstruction of the Khitan word for 'seal'. I do not know of any
alternate phonetic spellings or transcriptions that confirm his
on that word here.
**The Jurchen large script may be a direct offshoot of the Khitan large script, or both scripts may be offshoots of an earlier Parhae script (Janhunen 1994).
The Russian word for 'three' is три tri. So why isn't тройка trojka 'troika' *трика trika? I assume it is derived from the collective numeral трое troe.
In Proto-Indo-European, the vowel of 'three' varied between *e, *i, and zero: e.g.,
*trí-ns (masc. acc.) ~ *tréy-es (masc. nom.) ~ *tr̥y-óHom (neut. gen.)
The basic stem was *trey-; when it lost its vowel, *y became *i (i.e., syllabic y) before a consonant-inital suffix and *r became syllabic *r̥ before *y and a vowel-initial suffix. There was no *o-grade stem *troy-. Is the o of Russian troe, Polish and Czech troje, etc. inherited from Proto-Indo-European or a Slavic innovation?
I still don't understand why the feminine stem of 'three' was *tisr-. Was it *tri-sr- at an even earlier stage? Today I discovered that Bachmann (2005: 71) also derived *tisr̥- from *trisr̥-. The suffix *-sr- may also be in the feminine noun *swésōr 'sister'. But see Emmerick (1991: 293) for another explanation.
220.127.116.11:52: ON *PAːROL (OR *PAːROL ET LANGUES)
Having closely examined Whitman's Proto-Koreo-Japonic (PKJ) *zitör a couple of entries ago, I'd like to look at his PKJ *paːrol 'needle' in detail:
|Early Modern Korean||p||a||r||ʌ||r|
|Eastern Old Japanese||p||a||r||u|
|Western Old Japanese||p||a||r||i|
*p lenited to ɸ in Middle Japanese and is now h in modern Japanese and Shuri. *p lenited in languages to the east and west of Korean (i.e., Mongolian, Manchu, and Japanese) but not in Korean itself.2. *aː
Does Shuri preserve the long vowel that Whitman reconstructed in PKJ? Here are two different scenarios:
The 'yes' scenario: According to Whitman (1990: 528), PKJ *-r- was lost after a short vowel in pre-Old Japanese (Proto-Japonic?). If the long vowel of Shuri is projected back into Proto-Japonic, then *-r- could not have been lost after aː at the Proto-Japonic stage, and Japanese -r- is retained from PKJ *-r-. (See section 3 for the Shuri reflext of PKJ *-r-.)
The 'no' scenario: Whitman (1990: 531) proposed that the Shuri long vowel is the result of contraction (in Proto-Japonic?): i.e., Shuri aː is from PKJ *-aro- whose *-r- was lost after a short vowel. So where did Proto-Japonic *-r- come from? See section 6.
The low tone of Middle Korean à matches the *low tone reconstructed for *a in orthodox Japonic tone theory.
3. *r or *n
According to Vovin (2010: 96), nearly all Koreanic evidence points to *n, not *r. The exceptions are:
- Early Modern Korean parʌr, a hapax legomenon from the early 17th century (dating after Middle Korean pànʌ́r with -n-)
- Kyŏngsang dialect forms (paːl ~ pal) which might be from parʌr or panʌr
Whitman (1985: 149) regarded the first -r- of Early Modern Korean parʌr as "a later independent assimilatory development in Korean": i.e., n became r before another r. On the following page, he proposed the same assimilation in Japonic, presumably after PKJ final *-l became *-r:
*paːnor > *paːror (vowel length added*)
The title of this post is based on PKJ *paːrol from the appendix of his 1985 PhD dissertation. Is that *r supposed to be *n?
In the 'no' scenario (section 2), PKJ *-r- was lost in Japonic before short *a.
In Shuri, *-r- was lost before *i: *aːri > aːi. Shuri ari is from *are, not *ari:
ari 'that' < *are (cf. standard Japanese are)
but ai 'ant' < *ari (cf. standard Japanese ari)
Whitman (1985: 129) proposed the following correspondence:
PKJ *o : Middle Korean ʌ : Old Japanese u word-internally; a in long syllables
Mid *o is intermediate in height between high u at one end and lower mid ʌ and low a at the other. Its rounding is retained in Old Japanese u but lost elsewhere.
Eastern Old Japanese paru retains Proto-Japonic final *-u, but Western Old Japanese does not. See section 6.The high tone of Middle Korean ʌ́ matches the *high tone reconstructed for *u in orthodox Japonic tone theory.
I do not know why Whitman reconstructed PKJ *-l instead of *-r.
Only Korean retains a final liquid in the 'yes' scenario.
On the other hand, Proto-Japonic and mainland Japanese retained *-l as -r- in the 'no' scenario - but in that case, where did the following vowels come from? I deal with *-i in section 6, but there was no Japonic suffix *-u.
6. Japonic *-iEast Old Japanese preserved the bare Proto-Japonic stem *paːru (possibly sans vowel length), but other varieties of Japonic have a final -i that is a contraction of stem-final *u plus the noun suffix *-i.
What do I think?
Unlike Whitman ̣(1985, 1990) who believed that Korean and Japonic inherited 'needle' from a common ancestor or Vovin (2010: 96-97) who rejects Whitman's etymology and who may regard the words as lookalikes, I think Japonic *paːru may be a loan from Koreanic. Japonic speakers may have misheard Koreanic *n as *r or borrowed from a Koreanic variety that had assimilated *n to a final liquid or shifted medial *n to a liquid (cf. modern Korean [kollan] 'difficult' from 困難 *konnan). Japonic -ru may be an attempt to imitate a Koreanic final *-r (from a Proto-Koreanic *-rʌl) or *-rʌw (< *-rʌɰ < *rʌɫ < *-rʌl). This borrowing occurred before Japonic speakers left the peninsula for Japan since the word can be reconstructed in Proto-Japonic. (Later borrowings - most likely from Paekche - are confined to Western Old Japanese.) The Koreanic source language may not have been directly ancestral to Korean; its line could be extinct.
*Whitman mentioned vowel length in the text but did not indicate it in the protoforms on that page. The long vowel blocks *-r- loss in Japonic according to the 'yes' scenario (see section 2).
This morning I found the spelling
<hrāḥlak> [ʃá lɛʔ]
for 'Charlotte' in the Burmese Wikipedia. I don't know anything about how foreign names are spelled in Burmese, so I wonder
1. Is ရှ <hr> [ʃ] the conventional spelling of foreign [ʃ]? Is ယှ <hy> [ʃ] only for native words?
2. Why does the first syllable have a high tone indicated with း <ḥ>? What determines tones of loanwords from atonal foreign languages?
3. Why did *a front to [ɛ] before back *-k? In Lhasa Tibetan, a fronted before coronals but not velars:
*-ak > Burmese [ɛʔ] but Lhasa Tibetan [aʔ]
*-at > Burmese [aʔ] but Lhasa Tibetan [ɛʔ]
4. Is foreign final t always approximated as Burmese [ʔ]? What is the treatment of other foreign final stops?
Today i realized that Whitman's (1985: 235) reconstruction of a Proto-Koreo-Japonic word for 'thread' sounds like a drug name - if drug names had metal umlauts. What would Zitör be for?
I want to look at that word more closely than I did in my previous entry. Below I show how its segments line up with those of its descendants:
As Vovin (2010: 186) noted, the correspondence of Middle Korean s- to Old Japanese zero is sui generis and hence not a sound foundation for reconstructing a proto-phoneme *z-.
Whitman's choice of *z- reminds me of Martin's (1987: 36) reconstruction of Proto-Japonic *z- for a small class of words which have a zero initial in isolation but have s- in compounds: e.g.,
ame ~ -same < *zama-i 'rain'
ine ~ -shine < *zina-i 'rice plant'
However, there is no zero ~ s- alternation for 'thread': i.e., there are no compounds with -shito < -sitə.
According to orthodox Japonic tone theory, 'thread' is reconstructed with a *low-high melody which matches that of Proto-Korean *sìCV́. At first glance, the initial low tone in Japonic could imply an earlier lost voiced consonant (not necessarily *z-: e.g., *j-, *ɣ-, *ɦ-) or a zero initial: i.e., *i- instead of *ʔi-. However, Shuri forms with a long vowel (ʔiichu ~ ʔiichuu as well as ʔichuu) may point to a Proto-Japonic *ʔii whose long vowel conditioned a low tone.
Modern Korean sh [ɕ] is from Middle Korean s before i and y.
This vowel is all that the Korean and Japonic forms undisputably have in common. The rising tone of the Middle Korean vowel arose from a low-high tone sequence in Proto-Korean. Proto-Koreo-Japonic short *i does not match the long ii of Shuri (section 1). Would Whitman regard length in Shuri as secondary?3. *t
There is no Korean-internal evidence for *-t- in 'thread'. It is likely there was a consonant between the *low and *high-toned vowels of Proto-Korean, but if that consonant became Middle Korean -r, it could have been *-l- or *-r- as well as *-t-. I don't know how Whitman would have explained the fate of Proto-Koreo-Japonic *-t- which seems to correspond to later Korean zero since I assume his Proto-Koreo-Japonic *-r became Middle Korean -r. See section 5.
ö is an old symbol for the Old Japanese vowel I reconstruct as ə, so Whitman might say that Old Japanese preserved the Proto-Koreo-Japonic vowel that was lost in Korean. There is no Korean evidence for the identity of this vowel; the Middle Korean rising tone only tells us that there was once a high-toned vowel. Vovin reconstructed the Proto-Korean final vowel as *ɯ́ which regularly corresponds to Old Japanese ə (see Whitman 1985: 126 for examples).
I assume Whitman reconstructed Proto-Koreo-Japonic *-r on the basis of Middle Korean -r. There is no Japonic evidence for a final consonant. However, like Vovin, I think Middle Korean -r is from an earlier intervocalic *-t- or liquid rather than an original final *-r. Hence I have placed the Korean final liquids in parentheses in the *r column since I think they really belong in the *t column.
18.104.22.168:39: THREADED PAN-ŬLHomefront Six mentioned four Korean words yesterday:
냄비 naembi 'cooking pot' (on my to-blog list since last December!)
실 shil 'thread'
바늘 panŭl 'needle'
선풍기 sŏnphunggi 'electric fan'
All of them involve technology (obviously not always of the Silicon Valley kind) and all of them have proposed or actual Japanese connections.
Normally I assume that all technological terms went from Korea to Japan until modern times when the direction was reversed.
선풍기 sŏnphunggi 'electric fan' is an example of a modern loan from Japanese 扇風機 senpūki 'fan wind machine'. Like many such loans, it is a made-in-Japan Chinese root combination that is read in Sino-Korean.
Conversely, I would expect the lower-tech word 냄비 naembi 'cooking pot' to be the source of Japanese nabe, but in fact the direction seems to have been the other way around.
Nabe is from Old Japanese 名倍 nambəy* which has an Japanese-internal etymology:
na 'side dish' (now in sakana 'fish' < orig. 'sake** side dish') +
mbəy < nə (genitive suffix) + pəy 'pot'
i.e., 'side dish's pot'
Ōno proposed Sino-Korean 瓶 pyŏng 'bottle' as a source, but the semantic match is loose, and the phonetic match is even looser.
Could pəy 'pot' have been borrowed from some earlier Koreanic word related to Middle Korean pʌ́y 'boat' (cf. the use of vessel for food vessels as well as boats in English)?
I cannot find naembi or the earlier form 남비 nambi in Yu's (1964) dictionary of premodern Korean or even in Gale's (1897) dictionary. However, Gale (1897: 484) does have an entry for 람비 (濫沸) rambi 'frying pan, small dish for rice'. Is that an attempt to give a Sino-Korean etymology for a Japanese loanword? (Sino-Korean word-initial r- is normally read [n] before a.) The characters mean 'overflow' and 'boil'; they seem to have been chosen primarily for sound and only secondarily for their meanings. Martin et al. (1967: 308) listed nambi but not naembi. However, Naver regards nambi as an error. The first vowel of naembi fronted to assimilate to the following i; cf. 애기 aegi from 아기 agi 'child'. (Naver regards fronted aegi as wrong even though it says fronted naembi is right! In any case, the nonfronted forms are older.)
Nambi obviously must have entered Korean at some point before 1897. My guess is that the final -i indicates a period before Korean developed e from earlier əy. Perhaps nambi was borrowed from a Late Middle Japanese nãbe during the Japanese invasions of the late 16th century. At the time, Korean had no [e], so the -i of nambi was an attempt to imitate the -e of Japanese nãbe. Lee and Ramsey (2011: 264) date Korean [e] from "the end of the eighteenth century".
Unfortunately Naver only lists one nonstandard apparent cognate 갈레비 kallebi for na(e)mbi without identifying a specific dialect as a source. That looks like a compound of kal '?' and nebi from naembi with n assimilating to the preceding l.
I vaguely recall someone proposing that 실 shil < Middle Korean sǐr 'thread' was borrowed from Old Chinese. Did I discuss this in my 1997 article evaluating proposals for early Korean loans from Chinese? I can't find my copy of that article. Oh well, no great loss since I know a lot more about Korean and Chinese than when I wrote it 19 years ago. (It wasn't published until two years later.) Long ago, such a proposal didn't seem outrageous since Karlgren (1957: 256) reconstructed Old Chinese 絲 'silk' as *si̭əg. One could imagine *-g leniting to *-ɣ which is close to *-ʁ and could be borrowed as *-r. However, we now know that
- 絲 ended in *-ə or *-ɯ; there was no *-r-like consonant
- Middle Korean sǐr is from an earlier Korean disyllabic *sìCV́; the rising tone is the contraction of a low and high tone on the two original vowels, and the medial consonant could have been *r, *l, or *t.
Pan Wuyun and Zhengzhang Shangfang reconstructed 絲 with a cluster initial *sl-. I don't know the reasoning for that, but if they are correct, then 絲 is not much like sǐr at all unless one resorts to metathesis (and even then the vowels don't match):
*slɯ > sǐr!?Then again, maybe the i is an epenthetic vowel:
*slɯ > *sìrɯ́ > sǐr
Whitman (1985: 235) reconstructed a Proto-Koreo-Japonic *zitör as the source of both Middle Korean sǐr and Old Japanese itə 'thread', but Vovin (2010: 186) argued against that. I agree with Vovin that the initial is a problem; there are no other cases of MK s- corresponding to Old Japanese zero.
Vovin (2010: 96-97) also rejected Whitman's (1985: 209) proposed common origin for Middle Korean pànʌ́r (> modern Korean panŭl) 'needle' and Old Japanese pari 'id.' Even if those words are somehow related, I bet that 'needle' is a Koreanic loan into Japonic; I doubt the words were inherited from a shared ancestor. Ditto for 'thread'.
*This spelling is from Man'yōshū 3824. Shoki has the odd spelling 儺迷 nambe with a different final vowel in the personal name Wonambe as well as 那倍 nambəy in the personal name Minambəy.
**The root of sake is saka; sake is from *saka-i. The root appears in compounds like saka-na 'fish'.
22.214.171.124:59: AN AW-TERNATIVE SPELLING IN LAO
Modern Lao spelling is quite straightforward unlike Thai with a few exceptions (Lew 2013: 10):
Four special graphemes based on etymological spelling are still in use [in Lao]. These regard the sequences /-am/ and /-aw/, and the sequence /-aj/ with two alternants.
/-am/ has two spellings:
ຳ <āṃ> (for native words)
Here າ <ā> is not for long /aː/ but is for short /a/; this may reflect Khmer ាំ <āṃ> for /am/
ັມ <am> (for Indic loans: e.g., ກັມ <kam> /kam/ < Pali kamma 'karma')
And /-aj/ has two spellings:
ໄ <ai> < *-aj
ໃ <aɨ> < *-aɰ
I presume ໃ <aɨ> was retained since it appears in high-frequency words like ໃນ <naɨ> /naj/ 'in'; cf. the retention of high-frequncy irregular spellings in Japanese (i.e., は <ha>, へ <he>, を <wo> for [wa e o]).
But I only know of one spelling for /-aw/:
a combination of ເ <e>, ົ <ŏ>, and າ <ā> corresponding to
Thai เ <e> + า <ā> for /aw/
and Khmer ៅ <e> + <ā'> (not ា <ā>) for *aw
cf. Khmer ោ <e> + <ā> for *o (not /aw/ as in Thai which has a separate symbol โ <o> for /oː/ with no modern Khmer counterpart - was there an ancient Khmer source for that character?)
Neither the Thai nor the Khmer script has a character corresponding to Lao ົ <ŏ> which normally represents short /o/ in closed syllables. Why does Lao have that extra character? Did Lao ever have a sequence *ເ <e> + າ <ā> corresponding to Thai เ <e> + า <ā> for /aw/? (Lao does have the sequence ເ <e> + າະ <āḥ> for /ɔʔ/ corresponding to Thai เ <e> + าะ <āḥ> for /ɔʔ/.) How did <e> + <ā>-type sequences come to represent o/au in Indic scripts: e.g., Devanagari (below)?
|क <ka> /ka/
cf. Khmer ក <ka> *kɔː
|के <ke> /keː/
cf. Khmer កេ <ke> *keː
|कै <kee> /kai/
cf. Khmer កៃ <kai> *kaj
|का <kā> /aː/
cf. Khmer កា <kā> *kaː
|को <kāe> /koː/
cf. Khmer កោ <keā> *koː
|कौ <kāee> /kau/
cf. Khmer កៅ <keā'> *kaw
Is there another spelling for /-aw/ in Lao?
2.27.0:17: Neither Hoshino and Marcus (1981: 174) nor Diller (1996: 463) mention a second spelling for Lao /-aw/. Does the spelling ັວ <aw> for /aw/ exist? (Its Thai counterpart ัว <aw> represents /ua/, not /aw/! The Lao spelling of /ua/ is ົວ <ŏw> with ົ <ŏ> instead of ັວ <a>. Was Lao /ua/ something like [uo] when that spelling was devised?)
126.96.36.199:35: RA-ITING (LA-ITING?) IN THE LAND OF APRICOTS
I forgot to look for other Tungusic words for 'apricot' in my previous entry. I was hoping to find more forms that could bridge the gap between Jurchen <gui.fa.ra> (?) and Manchu guilehe [gujləxə], but Cincius (1975 I: 168) only lists Nanai gujləxə moni 'apricot tree', regarded as a loan from Manchu. (What is moni? I assume it isn't simply 'tree', as 'tree' is moo in both Nanai and Manchu.)
(2.25.23:40: Too bad Onenko's 1989 Nanai dictionary has no entries for gujləxə or moni.)
I also forgot to mention last night that
also represented the stem of the Jurchen verb <ra>/<la> 'to make, write' cognate with Manchu ara- 'id.' Unfortunately Cincius (1975 I: 48) has no cognates elsewhere in Tungusic. Since I know of no prefix a- (and since prefixation is un-Manchu), my guess is that Manchu ara- is more conservative, though it is attested later, whereas pre-Jurchen *ara- underwent apheresis and lost initial a-. I wonder whether the result of apheresis was ra with an un-Altaic initial r- or la.
The character <ra>/<la> also has a dotless variant in the Da Jin deshengtuo songbei inscription of 1185 (see Jin 1984: 147):
I wonder if the dotless and dotted versions originally represented <la> and <ra> (or vice versa). The dotted version could have come to dominate due to hypercorrection.
188.8.131.52:32: THE LAND OF APRICOTSIn August 2012, I asked,
Does the use of 杏 for gui 'nation' [in the Khitan large script] indicate that the Khitan word for 'apricot' was (nearly?) homophonous with gui 'nation'?
Today Andrew West answered my question. The Khitan word for 'apricot' was probably gui or something like it because he pointed out that similar words for 'apricot' are attested in later languages:
Mongolian ᠭᠦᠢᠯᠡᠰᠦᠨ güilesün
Jurchen <gui.fa.ra> or <gui.fa.la>
Manchu ᡤᡠᡳᠯᡝᡥᡝ guilehe
Andrew speculated that the Jurchen form may actually be guilafa:
Kiyose (1977: 103) and Kane (1989: 204) also proposed the inversion of the last two syllables in the Bureau of Translators vocabulary which is the only extant source of the Jurchen spelling of the word; the Bureau of Interpreters vocabulary only has a Chinese transcription 貴 of a monosyllabic word gui. Could the Ming Dynasty Jurchen dialect in the Bureau of Interpreters vocabulary have preserved a Khitan loanword in its original form sans suffixes (or final syllables retained in Mongolian but lost in Khitan)?
The syllables after gui do not match in the three non-Khitan languages:
- Mongolian -lesün and Manchu -lehe have 'feminine' vowels but Jurchen -lafa (or -fala, etc.) has 'masculine' vowels; this implies that Jurchen gui had 'masculine' vowels (and hence was gūi in a Manchu-style romanization).
- Manchu -he is from *-ke, whereas Jurchen *fa is from *pa
- Jurchen la might be ra, as the phonogram
is ambiguous according to Ligeti (see Kiyose 1977: 71). Jin (1984: 155) generally read it as <ra>, but read the word for 'apricot' as both <gui.ra.fa> (p. 155) and <gui.la.fa> (p. 130, 264, index p. 30). The Chinese transcription 歸剌法 *guilafa is ambiguous, as there was no sinograph pronounced *ra.
Rozycki (1984: 131) derived Manchu guilehe and Jurchen guwifala (his spelling) from "Early Mo[ngolian]"; he did not comment on the second and third syllables. Would he consider Khitan to be Early Mongolian? (Khitan is thought to be para-Mongolic but could be considered 'Mongolian' in an extremely broad sense.) He mentioned "Kitan" as valuable for "the establishment of both absolute and relative chronologies for sound change in Mongol loans into Manchu", but did not include Khitan in his list of abbreviations of languages (p. 15), suggesting that he may not have used the term Khitan in his lexicon of Manchu words of Mongol[ic] origin. (I have not checked all his entries to verify that.)
Was the Khitan large script character 杏 already identified as gui by 1984? Kane (2009: 169-171) did not mention the character in his brief survey of Khitan large script studies up to 2000, though omission is not evidence of absence.
184.108.40.206:32: DUCK LEGS AND DUKE'S GRANDSONS
Japanese ichō 'ginkgo' has three unusual spellings:
銀杏 ('silver apricot'; can also be read ginkyō, the source of ginkgo)
公孫樹 ('Gongsun tree'; can also be read Kōsonju; kō is 'duke' and son is 'grandson')
鴨脚樹 ('duck leg tree'; looks as if it should be read *ōkyakuju)
The last spelling reflects the belief that ichō is from Mandarin 鴨脚 yajiao [jatɕjaw] 'duck leg'. But I think that derivation is improbable since I would expect that word to be Japanized as *yachau or *yachao. There was no sound change that would reduce *ya to i in Japanese. Moreover, the shift of *au to ō was already complete in Japanese by the time *jakjaw became [jatɕjaw] in Mandarin, so an early modern Japanese *yachau would not become modern Japanese ichō.
There is another etymology deriving ichō from 一葉 'one leaf'. I presume ichō is supposed to be a contraction of Middle Japanese it 'one' and yō 'leaf'. This is phonetically plausible but makes no semantic sense.
The derivation of ichō from i 'sleep' and chō 'butterfly' has the same problem.
I initially thought that the i of ichō could be from in, a Japanization of a northern Chinese reading of 銀 *jin 'silver' from the last millennium, but at no point was northern Chinese 杏 *xiŋ > [ɕiŋ] 'apricot' ever pronounced anything like chō or an earlier Japanese source for chō like *tyau or *tefu.
I conclude that the etymology of ichō is unknown. The long ō points to Chinese as the most probable source. Perhaps the word was borrowed from some colloquial Chinese term (*jin ... 'silver ...?') whose second half is unknown.
220.127.116.11:59: THREE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF PRE-TANGUT 'FIVE'
Here's a closer look at one of the cognate sets I brought up in "Sino-Tibetan Numerals".
Looking only at Old Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese evidence, one would reconstruct the Proto-Sino-Tibetan word for 'five' with *-a. However, the Tangut word is
with schwa rather than -a. Normally Tangut -a corresponds to -a elsewhere. How can I account for this irregular correspondence?Solution A
I reconstruct a preinitial labial *P- as the source of the -w- of 1ŋwə. Related languages have labials preceding the ŋ-root of 'five': e.g., m- in many rGyalrongic varieties. What if this *P- was the initial of a presyllable whose vowel *Ə conditioned the raising of *a to schwa?
*PƏŋa > *PƏŋə > *Pŋə > 1ŋwə
(I use capital letters to indicate presyllabic vowels that 'color' the vowel in the main syllable: e.g., *I caused *a to front and raise to i, etc.)
But is there any external evidence for *Ə? (2.23.0:52: There are other Sino-Tibetan languages with pə- in 'five', but other prefixes are attested, and even if I only look at p-prefixes, I can find all sorts of vowels after p-: e.g.,
Chokri pɤŋu ~ püŋu
Wakung pə ŋ (one syllable or two?)
It would be cherry-picking to say that Wakung and Lushai preserve a pə- that was lost everywhere else except in pre-Tangut.)
The pre-Tangut word was *PV́ŋa with stress on the first syllable. The original *a was unstressed and reduced to schwa. When stress shifted to the second syllable and the original first syllable was lost, the schwa of the second syllable remained as the only vowel in the word:
*PV́ŋa > *PV́ŋə > *PVŋə́ > *Pŋə > 1ŋwə
But there is no external evidence for initial stress in 'five'.
Proto-Sino-Tibetan had a vowel *ʌ that raised to schwa in Tangut but lowered to a elsewhere:
*Pŋʌ > *Pŋə > 1ŋwə
But is it wise to reconstruct a vowel at the Proto-Sino-Tibetan simply to account for an irregularity in Tangut?
None of these three solutions satisfy me. Maybe there's a fourth.
2.23.1:09: Could the vowel of 'five' have changed to match that of the adjacent numeral *T-ləC 'four' at a stage when it had lost *-C but before its vowel had become retroflex: *T-ləə? But that begs the question of why 'four' has schwa instead of the expected *i.
18.104.22.168:59: SINO-TIBETAN NUMERALS: EVIDENCE FOR NUMEROUS VOWELS?
Matisoff's (2003) reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman looks a lot like Written Tibetan (WT), and recent Old Chinese reconstructions also resemble WT. One might expect their common ancestor Proto-Sino-Tibetan to also be Tibetan-looking. But are these reconstructions going in the right direction, or will they be viewed the same way that we now view a Sanskritish 19th century reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European?
WT has only five vowels: a, i, e, o, and u. Recent Old Chinese reconstructions and my pre-Tangut reconstruction have six: the five of WT plus schwa. One might expect these vowels to line up nicely, and they more or less do with the exception of Tangut. Does the inclusion of Tangut data necessitate the reconstruction of a more complex Proto-Sino-Tibetan system with more vowels such as *ɨ, *ʌ, and *y?
|Gloss||Old Chinese||Written Tibetan||Tangut||Pre-Tangut||Written Burmese||Matisoff's (2003) Proto-Tibeto-Burman*||Proto-Sino-Tibetan**?|
|'eight'||*pret||brgyad||1jaʳ||*rja||hrac||*b-r-gyat ~ *b-g-ryat||*rjat|
I have excluded 'seven' and 'ten' since no common ancestors can be reconstructed for them:
|Gloss||Old Chinese||Written Tibetan||Tangut||Pre-Tangut||Written Burmese|
Are WT and Old Chinese really as conservative as many assume them to be***, or could Tangut be preserving Proto-Sino-Tibetan vowel distinctions lost in those other two languages?2.22.12:36: I have added Written Burmese and Matisoff's (2003) Proto-Tibeto-Burman.
*I don't believe in a Tibeto-Burman subgroup of Sino-Tibetan (i.e., all Sino-Tibetan languages other than Chinese in a single branch of Sino-Tibetan). And even if such a subgroup existed, I do not think its ancestral language would be as similar to Tibetan as Matisoff's (2003) reconstruction: e.g., his PTB *b-r-gyat 'eight' is almost identical to Written Tibetan brgyad and even contains the Tibetan innovation of -g- between *r and *y. Nonetheless I include his reconstruction as an example of a proto-language with only six vowels.
**The Proto-Sino-Tibetan forms here are only offhand guesses, not the product of large-scale systematic comparison. I merely intend them to illustrate an alternative to mainstream reconstructions with four to six vowels (Gong 1995 and Hill 2012). I consider Hill (2012) to be the state of the art in Sino-Tibetan vowel reconstruction. Until recently I have assumed that the unusual Tangut vowels were conditioned by lost presyllabic vowels and/or stress (e.g., *Pʌ́-ŋə > *Pʌ-ŋə́ > *Pŋə > 1ŋwə 'five'). but now I am not so sure.
***No one assumes Written Burmese is vocalically conservative: e.g., the sound change *-ik > -ac in 'two' and 'seven' is well established.
22.214.171.124:59: RED SPREAD: THE *A-XODUS OF TANGUT VOWELS
Below I have color-coded pre-Tangut vowels using the colors I used for Yiddish:
The Yiddish colors were selected to mimic a spectrum mapped to five vowel types in AEIOU order. Unfortunately that order does not nicely map onto phonetic reality since A is actually between front EI and back OU. Nonetheless I have retained the colors for ease of comparison with my previous post.
I assigned white to symbolize the achromatic nature of schwa, a vowel absent in the Yiddish vowel codes I've been exploring.
So far, it seems that the Tangut vowel types are fairly stable through time* with a few exceptions.
There may be even more exceptions that have not yet been found.
1. Fronting: *a, *u, *o fronted to i- and e-type vowels under uncertain circumstances. I think fronting was conditioned by presyllabic vowels *I and *E, but there is no external evidence to back up this hypothesis.
2. Bleaching: *a, *i, *e, *u, and *o were reduced to ə-type vowels, possibly when originally unstressed. Again, there is no external evidence to back up this hypothesis.
3. *aŋ backed to o-type vowels (a change shared with the local Chinese dialect).
4. Dissimilation: *u fronted to *i before *-ɰ from *-k. (But perhaps it was a presyllabic *I rather than a final glide that conditioned fronting. See 1.)
Out of the six Tangut vowel types, only a and u are derived exclusively from earlier *a and *u (and hence retain their original colors):
|i < *i, *a, *u||ə < *a, *i, *e, *o, *u||u < *u|
|e < *e, *a, *o||a < *a||o < *o, *a|
*a could become any vowel other than an u-type vowel. Hence "Red Spread" and "*A-xodus".
2.21.0:21: But is a Red Spread realistic? A quick reading of what I just wrote suggests that almost any Tangut vowel could develop into any other Tangut vowel for uncertain reasons. Must we wait this chaos to be explained, or is there a more orderly alternative? I'll explore the latter in my next post.
*E.g., pre-Tangut *i developed into Tangut ə(ə)i, ɪ(ɪ), ɨi(i), i(i), əị, əiʳ, etc. which are all still i-like.
126.96.36.199:59: THE RUBIK'S CUBE OF YIDDISH VOCALISM
David Boxenhorn asked me to expand the table of Yiddish vowels from my last post, so I've done so below using the correspondences in Katz (1978: 8-13):
|Dialect \ Vowel||11||12||13||21||22-23||24||25||31||32-33||34||41||42-43||44||51||52-53||54|
|Polish||[u]||[aj]||[eː] ~ [ej]||[aː]||[ɔj]||[ĭ]||[iː]||[oː] ~ [ow]|
The presence of a breve is phonemic rather than phonetic; it indicates the presence of a length opposition. So [ă] and [a] may be phonetically alike, but [ă] contrasts with [aː] whereas [a] does not.
In Netherlandic Yiddish, 13 is short [ă] in Germanic words but long [oː] in Hebrew words.
My quick guess at a Proto-Yiddish vowel system:
|31 *ĭ||32-33 *iː||34 *ij||51 *ŭ||52-53 *uː||54 *uw|
|21 *ĕ||22-23 *eː||25 *ej||41 *ŏ||42-43 *oː||44 *ow|
|24 *aj||11 *ă||12 *aː||13 *aw|
34 and 54 may have been phonetically *[ɪj] and *[ʊw] since *[ij] and *[uw] would be hard to distinguish from 32-33 *[iː] and *[uː] which they never merged with. The vowels of 34 and 54 later lowered even further.
All three Yiddish dialects have no synchronic vowel length distinction for high back vowels.
Netherlandic Yiddish vowel inventory
Almost symmetrical (if one considers [ă]/[aː] central) except for the absence of [e] and a length distinction for [u].
Light green for [ɛj] indicates its mixed origins: part yellow *eː, part green *ij.
A different light green for [aː] indicates its mixed origins: part yellow *aj, part blue *ow.
Polish Yiddish vowel inventory
|[eː] ~ [ej]||[oː] ~ [ow]|
No phonemic height distinction for mid vowels. Phonemically [ɛ] could be the short counterpart of [eː] ~ [ej].
Gray for [ĭ]/[iː] indicates their mixed origins: part green *ĭ/iː, part purple *ŭ/*uː.
Lithuanian Yiddish vowel inventory
No length distinctions. Symmetrical if one treats as the [ej] as the glide-final counterpart of [ɛ]. One could group the vowels into two classes: one with [i]/[j] and one without.
I think there may have once been a three-way opposition between [ɛ], [e], and [ej] that ended once secondary *e lowered to [ɛ]:
primary *e > [ɛ] (or maybe *e was [ɛ])
primary *ej > secondary *e > [ɛ] (or maybe *ej was [ɛj] and lost its glide)
*eː, *aj > secondary [ej]
*iː > *əj > [aj] (I couldn't reconstruct *ej as an intermediate stage since this vowel did not merge with primary or secondary *ej)Light green for [ej] indicates its mixed origins: part yellow *eː/*aj, part blue *oː/*ow.
Gray for [ɔ] indicates its mixed origins: part red *aː, part blue *ŏ.
2.20.15:36: I have added color to the tables and comments regarding mixed colors. Reconstructing Yiddish vowel history is like solving a Rubik's cube: e.g., how did the red area split in Netherlandic and Polish Yiddish?
188.8.131.52:33: WEINREICH'S YIDDISH VOWEL CODES
When I discovered Max Weinreich's system of codes for facilitating the comparison of vowels across Yiddish dialects last week, I thought of my letter codes for Sinospheric tones:
|First digit \ Second digit||1. Short||2. Primary long||3. Secondary long||4. Diphthong||5. Special long|
|1. *a||11. ă||12. ā||13. ă̄||(no 14)||(no 15)|
|2. *e||21. ĕ||22. ē||23. ĕ̄||24. eG||25. é|
|3. *i||31. ĭ||32. ī||33. ̄̄ĭ̄̄||34. iG||(no 35)|
|4. *o||41. ŏ||42. ō||43. ŏ̄ ̄||44. oG||(no 45)|
|5. *u||51. ŭ||52. ū||53. ŭ̄||54. uG||(no 55)|
The diacritics and G for 'glide' are my notational choices. The acute accent for length is taken from Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian.
Questions (numbered, of course!)
1. What conditioned the secondary length of the -3 series?
2. Why did the -2 and -3 series merge with the exception of 12 and 13 in Netherlandic Yiddish?
|Dialect \ Vowel||11||12||13||41||42-43||44||51||52-53||54|
|Polish||[u]||[ɔj]||[i]||[iː]||[oː] ~ [ow]|
3. How did the long low vowel 12/13 rise in Polish and Netherlandic Yiddish without merging with 41 [ɔ] as in Lithuanian Yiddish?
Short 11 remained low [a] in all three dialects described in the article. Sanskrit has the opposite pattern: long /ā/ is low and short /a/ is schwa-like.
4. Why did 42-43 front to [ej] while all other back vowels remained back in Lithuanian Yiddish?
5. What conditioned the secondary length of 25?
6. Why is 25 the only -5 vowel?
Glancing at table 2.18 in Katz (1978: 12), I have a new explanation for the fronting in Polish and Lithuanian Yiddish 42-43: the distinction between *-j and *-w was lost after *o, so 42-43 merged with 44 *oj (my guess), the vowel of 'tree':
Proto-Yiddish *boym (?)
Netherlandic Yiddish [baːm]
Polish Yiddish [bɔjm]
Lithuanian Yiddish [bejm]
English beam (obviously no longer 'tree')
How can I bridge the gap between Proto-Germanic *au and Proto-Yiddish *oj?
*au > *æu > *æɥ >
Lithuanian Yiddish [ej]
Polish Yiddish *œɥ > [ɔj]
Yiddish vowel number codes got me thinking about my old ideas about number codes for Tangut vowels. Everyone agrees that the dictionary dialect(s) of Tangut had 105 rhymes and that - for example - the first seven rhymes were something like -u. But there is no agreement on how to reconstruct those rhymes. Codes like u1.1 (first u-type rhyme of the first rhyme cycle), u2.2 (second u-type rhyme of the second rhyme cycle), etc. are more infomative than 'rhyme 1', 'rhyme 62', etc. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on the vowel types and cycles of some rhymes: e.g.,
|Rhymes||Arakawa 1999||Gong 1997 and this site|
|Vowel type||Cycle||Vowel type||Cycle|
The only neutral labels for these rhymes are 77-79, etc.
184.108.40.206:19: THE BROADER RELEVANCE OF BRISK VOWELS
All roads seem to lead back to the Tangut Empire - even if they start in Belarus.
Last night I realized that the correspondences in "Broad Bread" were like those between Tangut and its relatives: e.g.,
front vowel : back vowel
Litvish breyt 'bread' : Standard Yiddish broyt 'id.'
Dutch been 'bone' : English bone
Tangut 2rieʳ 'bone' : Written Tibetan རུས་ rus 'id.'
Does this mean that the correspondences have similar origins? No. I think the Tangut vowels fronted to harmonize with lost front-vowel presyllables: e.g.,
*CI-ro-H > *CI-rø-H > *Ci-re-H > *Ci-rie-H > 2rieʳ
On the other hand, Dutch ee is from a Proto-Germanic *ai that lost its *i in Old English and rounded to o in Middle English. And maybe Litvish ey is the product of dissimilation followed by assimilation:
*aw > *ew (vowel fronting to be further away from back *u)
*ew > *eɥ > ey (glide fronting to assimilate to *e)
So perhaps my hypothetical *øɥ was wrong - or was it? David Boxenhorn reported øɥ existed in some variety of Yiddish. Maybe the vowel tree was something like this:
|Germanic Yiddish aw||*ew|
|Polish Yiddish oy||? Yiddish øɥ|
ey reversed is ye = ie, which with retroflexion is the vowel of Tangut 2rieʳ 'bone'. There is no escape from the lost tongue of the Great State of White and High. It's ultimately all about me, no, I mean
220.127.116.11:16: BROAD BREAD
Reading about Al Jaffee's years in Lithuania yesterday led me to the Wikipedia articles on Lithuanian Jews and the Brisk tradition, bringing me back to the Brest half of Brest-Litovsk.According to "Lithuanian Jews",
Litvaks have an identifiable mode of pronouncing Hebrew and Yiddish; this is often used to determine the boundaries of Lita (area of settlement of Litvaks). Its most characteristic feature is the pronunciation of the vowel holam as [ej] (as against Sephardic [oː], Germanic [au] and Polish [oj]).
Apparently Sephardic [oː] is the most conservative pronunciation. How did the others develop? My guess is that
*oː became *ow
which Germanic Jews dissimilated to [aw] (= [au])
which fronted to *øɥ
and dissimilated to [oj] in Polish Jewish speech
but delabialized to [ej] in Lithuanian Jewish speech
I would not have expected *øɥ in Polish or Lithuanian Jewish speech since neither Polish nor Lithuanian have front rounded vowels or labiopalatal glides. *øɥ reminds me of standard German eu/äu [ɔʏ]. What would be the motivation to front the vowel of *browt 'bread' (or to at least shift *w to *j)? Such fronting also occurred elsewhere in Germanic: e.g., English bread (front and nonlabial) and Swedish bröd (front and labial) as opposed to Dutch brood and German Brot (both back and labial). More cognates here.The title was inspired by this passage:
In all probability, Minsk also became the only capital city in Europe where, as late as 1937, one could see a truck passing through the city streets, distributing bread to local cooperatives, with the word "Bread" written in Yiddish on it. Actually, as someone noticed at the time, lamenting the level of "ignorance and provincialism" of the text on the bread lorry, the writing did not appear in standardized literary Yiddish, but in Litvish Yiddish, or the dialect spoken in Minsk and its environs. (Instead of reading "broyt" - or "bread" in Standard Yiddish - the text on the truck read "breyt," which in the Litvish dialect indeed means "bread" but in standard Yiddish means "wide."
A Lithuanian Jew, who pronounces the word broyt (bread) with the diphthong /ei/, may spell it breyt if he is not familiar with standard orthography, and if he is very deficient in orthography and he wants to write in a "literary" fashion, he may come out with a statement that the street is broyt (bread), instead of breyt (wide).
English has the adjective broad corresponding to the noun breadth. What is the origin of that alternation which is also in
long : length
strong : strength
wrong : wrength
Never heard of wrength before, but make no mistake - I like it.
Looking at Wiktionary, I get the impression that
Proto-Germanic *ai > Old English ā > Middle English o
and confirmed that in Beekes (1995: 157), but why wouldn't that change also affect the noun which was Middle English brede (not *brode)?
That change is parallel to
Late Old Chinese *ai > Middle Chinese *a > Cantonese o
and the first stage has already occurred in southern US English dialects with 'ah' for I.
I've long been puzzled by vowel correspondences between English and other Germanic languages. Beekes (1995: 159) addressed the very words that bother me (emphasis mine):
PIE *ou > ī: ear < OE ēare < PGmc *aurōn- < *ous (but note exceptional developments of PIE *ou in death, great, high, red [cf. Dutch dood, groot, hoog, rood]).
For starters, how did Proto-Germanic *au become Old English ēa? I write in English, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know much about English.
2.17.0:51: Ah, I think I see now: *u lowered and delabialized to harmonize with a fronted *æ:
Proto-Germanic *au > *æu > *æo > *æɔ > *æa > Old English ēa
But I still don't understand where the length in the Old English diphthong came from.
18.104.22.168:40: BALTIC VOWEL LENGTH: REPRESENTATION AND EVOLUTION
The Litovsk in Brest-Litovsk means 'Lithuanian'. When I read about the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk a few days ago, I had no plans to blog about Lithuanian, but then yesterday I read about Al Jaffee's years in Lithuania. I reacquainted myself with the Lithuanian alphabet and wondered:
1. Why is there no consistent method of indicating long vowels of nonnasal origin?
a, e [æ], and o can be short or long, but their length is not indicated in writing
(Short o is only in loanwords since Proto-Balto-Slavic shifted original short *o to *a. Perhaps the length of o was not indicated since one could just shorten it in loanwords. But what about a and e?)
ė [eː] has a dot
short i [i] and long y [iː] are written with different letters
ū [uː] has a macron
If I redesigned the Lithuanian alphabet, I would add the letters ā and ē for long a and e and ŏ for borrowed short o which I assume is less frequent than native long o.
2. How did the three-way distinction between [æ], [æː], and [eː] develop from Proto-Balto-Slavic which only had *e and *eː? (Those [æː] written as ę are of nasal origin, but not those written as e.)
3. Why is there no ǫ [oː] < *õ? Are some long o [oː] from *ó̃? Had *ó̃ already denasalized and merged with *oː at the time Lithuanian orthography was established?
The post-1946 Latvian alphabet has length indicated with a macron for all vowels other than o. Ō continues "to be used in print throughout most of the Latvian diaspora communities, whose founding members left their homeland before the post-World War II Soviet-era language reforms." Apparently long o is in loanwords (whereas in Lithuanian it is short o that is in loanwords). My guess is that original long o shortened in Latvian, which later gained a new long o in loanwords.
Why was uo for [uɔ] discarded in favor of o in 1914?
Why are [æ]/[æ] and [e]/[eː] both written with e/ē?
Did Latvian ever have nasalized vowels, and if so, what happened to them?
22.214.171.124:50: WHAT'S SO BRISK ABOUT BREST?
Earlier this week I was reading about the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, named after a city that is now called Brest in Belarusian. Almost all the other names end in -t or contain some consonant derived from *t (e.g., earlier Belarusian Bieraście < *Beraste). The one exception is Yiddish בריסק Brisk. Why does it end in -k instead of -t? Is it from an earlier *Brist-k? I don't think *-t dissimilated to *-k after *s since the Yiddish present second person singular verb ending is -st, not *-sk.
19:33: Is the Yiddish noun Brisk derived from a Slavic adjective like Polish brzeski 'Brest'?
126.96.36.199:42: THE LINEAGE OF 'LOVE': THE TWO DZU OF TANGUT
Tangut has two words for 'love' that were pronounced something like dzu:
|Li 2008 #||Tangraph||Rhyme||Nishida 1966*||Nishida in Arakawa 1997||Sofronov 1968||Li Fanwen 1986||Gong 1997||Arakawa 1997**||This site|
This is the only case of alternation between rhymes 1 and 2 that I know of. How can I account for it?
These words may be cognate to Old Chinese 慈 *dzə 'affectionate, loving, kind' and 字 *dzə-s 'to love' (now 'character'!). Tangut -u may be from an earlier *-k. Hence I reconstruct
Pre-Tangut *dzə-k > 1dzəu
Pre-Tangut *Cɯ-dzə-k > *Cɯ-dzɨək > 1dzɨu
The prefix *Cɯ- (perhaps *mɯ-?; cf. Written Tibetan mdzaH 'to love') conditioned the partial raising of *ə to *ɨə which later simplified to ɨ. I do not know whether this raising and simplification preceded or followed the shift of *-k to -u.
The STEDT database has Proto-Tibeto-Burman*** *m-dza-k 'to love' on the basis of
NW (northwestern?) rGyalrong ndot tɕʰak 'to copulate'
but this variety of rGyalrong also has mdz-, so did *m-dz- really become tɕʰ-, or is tɕʰak just a lookalike? (Too bad 'love' isn't in this massive rGyalrong database.)
Jingpho ndžáʔ < *-k 'love'
Nanhua Yi ȵe̱³³ dʑᴀ̱³³ 'love'
but Nanhua Yi vowel constriction (indicated by underlining) could also point to another stop
Only the Jingpho form unambiguously points to *-k. Tangut is distant from Jingpho, so this *-k is not a shared innovation. It may also not be a shared retention if it was independently added in the two languages.
Oh great, I already wrote about this pair of words in 2010. And here's an even earlier article with *-k-less reconstructions. At least my comparative table and commentary on the STEDT reconstruction are new.
*Nishida's (1966) 西夏文字小字典 (Small Tangraph Dictionary) lists no tones. I don't know why the two words were reconstructed as homophones. They are in different homophone groups in Homophones and Mixed Categories of the Tangraphic Sea.
**Arakawa's (1997) 西夏語通韻字典 (Tangraph Rhyme Dictionary) does not contain reconstructions for either 'love' tangraph, but does contain reconstructions of their initials and finals which I have combined here.
***I don't believe in a Tibeto-Burman subgroup of Sino-Tibetan, so I regard STEDT Proto-Tibeto-Burman reconstructions as a vague approximation of Proto-Sino-Tibetan minus Chinese evidence.
188.8.131.52:32: WHAT PRECEDES INDRA'S POWER?The father of the first king of all of Laos was Zakarine. I think the modern Lao spelling of his name is
Why was this name romanized with Z-? At no time would <s> have ever been [z]. Lao did not have a [z] in the 19th century.
The Thai Wikipedia article about him has the name
ินทร <indr> [in] is 'Indra' (< Skt Indra-) and ฤทธิ์ <ṛddhi> [rit] is 'supernatural power' (< Skt ṛddhi-), but what is สักร <sakr> [sakkar]? My guess is that it is a hybrid of Pali Sakka- and Sanskrit Śakra- 'The Mighty', i.e., Indra. However, I would expect the Thai spelling
with a different first letter if the name was based on Sanskrit Śakra-.
with that letter is a Thai male name.
The reduction of the vowel sequence -a-i- to -i- in the underlying Sanskrit *Śakrindra- is possible in Pali but not Sanskrit which favors fusing the vowels into -e-: Śakrendra-.Why does the Thai name have an extra element ฤทธิ์ <ṛddhi̽> [rit] absent from the full name
in the English article?
Samdach Brhat Chao Maha Sri Vitha Lan Xang Hom Khao Luang Prabang Parama Sidha Khattiya Suriya Varman Brhat Maha Sri Sakarindra
Zakarine's son was
<sī> is from the Sanskrit honorific Śrī.
<wŏṅ> is from Sanskrit vaṃśa- 'family'. Is it short for Phoulivong, a name in the English but not the Lao, Thai, or French Wikipedia entries? What is the Indic source of Phouli?
<sḥhw1āṅ> [savaŋ] is Lao for 'dawn'. [sa] appears to be a prefix of unknown function added to a root [vaŋ] which is homophonous with 'free, idle'. Pittayaporn (
Why did the Thai Wikipedia romanize [savaŋ] as Savangsa with a silent -sa?
Sisavang Vong's son, the last king of Laos, was
<waɗdḥnā> 'progress' is from the Pali neuter noun vaḍḍhana- 'increase'. Why does the name end in a long <ā> as if it were feminine? The common noun 'progress' is ວັດທະນະ <waɗdḥnḥ> [vattʰanaʔ]; its Thai equivalent ends in long <ā> like the king's name: วัฒนา <waḍhnā> [wattʰanaː].
*14:56: Pittayaporn (2009: 133) derived early Tai *(h)waːŋ B 'free, idle' (my reconstruction) from Middle Chinese 亡 ‘not present’ or 罔 ‘not have’; both were *wɔŋ in Annamese Middle Chinese but were something like *mɔŋ in early Cantonese. The semantic match is loose, the initials do not match if the Tai were not in contact with a *w-dialect of Middle Chinese, the vowels do not match, and the tones do not match (亡 had a tone corresponding to Tai A and 罔 had a tone corresponding to Tai C).