TT4802 TIGER le 2.7

has the structure ABA. Element A [フ+キ] was on the right sides of the tangraphs for another Tangut (A) word for 'tiger',

TT3084 TT1575 TIGER

ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30 (< ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30 'respect'?)

Element B is

TT2369 ONE-OF-TWO dzyiy 2.33

which has no apparent semantic or (Tangut A) phonetic function.

One might think that [フ+キ] was a semantic element for cats or tigers since it appears in nonhomophonous tangraphs for 'tiger'. It even looks vaguely like the Chinese semantic element 豸'beast' (but almost every tangraphic element resembles something in sinography, so that's not necessarily meaningful).

[フ+キ] could not be a Tangut (A) phonetic element since it appears on both ends of TT4802 TIGER le 2.7 'tiger'. There is no reason to suppose that the graph reflects an earlier *lel with a coda identical to its onset. (The word is probably cognate to various la-like East Asian words for 'tiger'.)

Sofronov (1968: 382-383) lists 22 tangraphs with [フ+キ] on the left and Grinstead (1972: 77) lists 43 tangraphs with [フ+キ] on the right. Since I don't have time to look at all of them, I'm going to focus on the five tangraphs that have [フ+キ] on their left and right.

I wondered if the 'frame' [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] could be considered a single unit like the element 行 in sinographs such as

衍 衎衒術街衙衝衛衡衢

I don't think it's likely that [フ+キ] by itself could mean 'cat' since it appears in at least 1% of tangraphs (60, which is ~1.1% of ~6,000) whereas the element 豸 'beast' found in cat names only appears in 15/~8500 = ~0.2% of the sinographs in 新华字典 Xinhua Zidian (New Chinese Character Dictionary, 1971 ed.). However, the frequency of [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] (5/~6000 = ~0.1%) is very low and comparable to the frequency of 豸 'beast'. So guessing that [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] means 'cat' is reasonable ... and wrong. Here are the four [フ+ キ]...[フ+キ] other than TT4802 TIGER le 2.7:

TT0949 頌 EXTOL (from Li Fanwen [1986: 451]; Shi et al. [2000: 281] have 流行語詞 POPULAR-WORDS!) zow 2.47

possibly a case of [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] with nothing in the middle; structurally analogous to 行?

why is the PLANT element on top?

TT4797 (first half of a clan name tsow 2.47 ze 2.7; the second syllable was written as


TT0944 TAKE (Li Fanwen [1986: 451] has 持 HOLD) zow 2.47

there's that PLANT element again!

TT2074 受 RECEIVE Giwey 1.34

this time, there's the mysterious 'horned hat'

analyzed in Tangraphic Sea as

top of TT2014 SACRIFICE tshwew 1.43 +

bottom of TT0944 TAKE?/HOLD? zow 2.47

I suspect there is no such thing as a single [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] in all these graphs.

TT0949 頌 EXTOL zow 2.47 is mysterious not only because it has an apparently pointless PAINT element but also because it seems to be the only tangraph containing [フ+キ] + [フ+キ] with nothing in between. This [フ+キ] + [フ+キ] may be phonetic, since TT0949 zow 2.47 is homophonous with TT0944 TAKE?/HOLD? zow 2.47 which has [フ+キ] | [フ+キ] with an additional vertical line. Was the vertical line arbitrarily deleted from TT0944 to create a new homophonous tangraph TT0949?

TT4797 ([フ+ キ] | [フ+キ]) tsow 2.47 functions as a single phonetic element in its near-homophone TT0944 TAKE?/HOLD? zow 2.47 and seems to be an abbreviation of TAKE?/HOLD? zow 2.47 in TT2074 受 RECEIVE Giwey 1.34.

Here is how I interpret the five [フ+キ]...[フ+キ] tangraphs using Tangut B:

TT4802 TIGER le 2.7

Tangut B phonetic sequence ABA

The meaning and Tangut A reading of the middle element (TT2369 ONE-OF-TWO dzyiy 2.33) are irrelevant.

No semantic elements.

TT0949 頌 EXTOL zow 2.47

Tangut B phonetic sequence CAA (C = the sound[s] represented by PLANT)

No semantic elements.

TT4797 (first half of a clan name)

Tangut B phonetic sequence ADA (D = the sound[s] represented by the vertical line)

ADA also happens to sound like the Tangut B root for two verbs (see below).

No semantic elements.

TT0944 TAKE (Li Fanwen [1986: 451] has 持 HOLD) zow 2.47

Tangut B phonetic sequence CADA

C is a phonetic symbol for a prefix attached to a verbal root ADA

Perhaps [フ +キ] | [フ+キ] is a drawing of two hands (cf. Chn 手 'hand') holding a stick and counts as a single unit (which I'll call X). If so, the structure of TT4797 is X, and TT0944 is CX. The next graph would be DX:

TT2074 受 RECEIVE Giwey 1.34

or it could represent a Tangut B phonetic sequence EADA

E is a phonetic symbol for a prefix attached to a verbal root ADA

No semantic elements.

I don't actually think that [フ+キ] means HAND because there already is a very different-looking Tangut element HAND: Nishida's radical 236, which never appears by itself but does form

TT1545 HAND lạ 1.63

with a vertical line (representing the Tangut B sound of HAND, or a prefix added to the root HAND written as radical 236? If there is no Tangut B, why bother to add a line?)

Next: So what does [フ+キ] mean? THE RYIR-L ETYMOLOGY

Until last night, I would have tried to interpret

TT3084 TT1575 TIGER

ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30 (< 'respectful'?)

as representing a Tangut B reduplicative sequence XYZXY 'tiger' as well as as an unrelated Tangut A ritual language word ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30 'tiger'.

However, the Homophones entry for

TT3082 FEAR ryir 2.72

points toward a simpler solution. It combines with its clarifier to form a disyllabic word

TT3082 TT1574

ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30

translated by Li Fanwen (1986: 433) as 恭敬 'respect'. This word is homophonous with 'tiger'. Moreover, its tangraphs are very similar to those for its homophone 'tiger'.

Hence I suspect that 'respect' was used as a Tangut A ritual replacement for 'tiger' (normally Tangut A le 2.7): i.e., 'the respected one'. Then the tangraphs for 'respect' were modified to represent 'tiger', with the right side of

TT4802 TIGER le 2.7

replacing the double PERSON of TT3082 FEAR ryir 2.72 and the single PERSON of TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30.

TT3084 TT1575 TIGER may not have had a Tangut B reading at all.

On the other hand, the structure of TT4802 seems to indicate that the Tangut B word for 'tiger' had the structure ABA:

A = [フ+キ]: meaning unknown; does not occur by itself

B = TT2369 ONE-OF-TWO dzyiy 2.33

One might guess that the element [フ+キ] means 'cat' or 'tiger' since it replaced PERSON in TT3084 TT1575 TIGER. Did [フ+キ] doubled indicate 'cat of cats'?

Next: tsow much for that idea ... TIGER TERROR

In the previous post, I speculated that if the Old Chinese word for 虎 'tiger' was *hra, it might have been cognate with the first half of Tangut

TT3084 TT1575 TIGER

ryir 2.72 (< *ra 'tiger'?) dzyï 1.30 (< 'respectful'?)

TT1575 is homophonous with

TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30

which has PERSON on the right instead of [フ+キ]. Removing the vertical line on the left results in

TT3080 FEAR kyạ 1.64

which appears as a component in the analyses of

TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30

TT2672 HEAD kạ 1.63

TT3055 ENEMY zyị̈ 1.69

TT3072 VIOLENT Gar 1.80

TT3076 (a digestive organ?) khiəy 1.41

TT3081 SWIFT dzyïr 1.86

(cf. Middle Chinese 疾 *dzit 'swift; hate [!; cf. TT3088 below]')

TT3083 MODEST r 1.84

TT3086 RESPECT byuu 1.7

TT3087 WORRY ga 1.22

TT3088 怨 RESENT lya 1.19

TT3089 炙 ROAST tsya 1.19

(< borrowed from Middle Chinese 炙 *tsyek 'to roast', *tsyah 'roast meat'?)

FIRE is on the right

TT3092 駭 ALARMED ngywï 1.30

TT4020 FEAR rerw 1.87

TT4417 FEAR kyị̈ 1.69 (vocalic variant of kyạ 1.64?)

TT5162 SOLDIERS/ARMY gya 1.20

TT3080 FEAR presumably also appears in the analyses of rising tone (2.X) tangraphs such as

TT3082 FEAR ryir 2.72

but this cannot be confirmed until the second volume of the Tangraphic Sea is found again.

These fifteen related tangraphs can be sorted into four categories:

I. +phonetic +semantic: tangraphs with similar readings and meaningsII. +phonetic -semantic: tangraphs with similar readiings
TT3087 WORRY ga 1.22
TT4417 FEAR kyị̈ 1.69
and perhaps
?TT3072 VIOLENT (< 'fearsome') Gar 1.80
?TT5162 SOLDIERS/ARMY (< 'fearsome group?') gya 1.20
TT2672 HEAD kạ 1.63
probably also
TT3072 VIOLENT Gar 1.80
TT5162 SOLDIERS/ARMY gya 1.20
III. -phonetic +semantic: tangraphs with similar meaningsIV. -phonetic -semantic: tangraphs with dissimilar readings and meanings
TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30
TT3055 ENEMY (< 'feared'?) zyị̈ 1.69
TT3083 MODEST (< 'timid'?) r 1.84
TT3086 RESPECT byuu 1.7
TT3088 怨 RESENT lya 1.19
TT3092 駭 ALARMED ngywï 1.30
TT4020 FEAR rerw 1.87
TT3076 (a digestive organ? [perhaps associated with fear??]) khiəy 1.41
TT3081 SWIFT dzyïr 1.86 (but nearly homophonous with TT1574 and 3055 in category III)
TT3089 炙 ROAST tsya 1.19

Here's how these categories can be interpreted using the Tangut B hypothesis:

I. +phonetic +semantic: tangraphs with similar readings and meaningsII. +phonetic -semantic: tangraphs with similar readiings
Both Tangut A and B derived a set of words from a root 'fear': TA kyạ 1.64 and TB ?tsya (see IV).Tangraphs with a Tangut A phonetic element kyạ 1.64
III. -phonetic +semantic: tangraphs with similar meaningsIV. -phonetic -semantic: tangraphs with dissimilar readings and meanings
Tangraphs reflect Tangut B morphology: the common graphic element represents a Tangut B root *?tsya (see IV) and other graphic elements represent affixes. The Tangut A translation equivalents do not share a common root and are hence phonetically dissimilar.TT3076 might really be III, and TT3081 might really be II. This leaves TT3089 which could be a phonetic + semantic compound of Tangut B *?tsya 'fear'+ FIRE. Presumably both Tangut A and B used the same Chinese loanword for 'roast'.

The second tangraph for TIGER was derived from TT3080 FEAR kyạ 1.64 via TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30:


TT1575 (second half of TIGER) dzyï 1.30 <

left of TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30 +

right of TT4802 TIGER le 2.7

(why isn't TT1575 derived from the left-hand vertical line of some tangraph plus all of TT3084 [first half of TIGER]?)


TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30 <

left of TT1575 (second half of TIGER) dzyï 1.30 +

all of TT3080 FEAR kyạ 1.64

No analysis has survived for the first half of TIGER,

TT3084 ryir 2.72

though I am certain that it too contains the left side of TT3080 FEAR kyạ 1.64.

How do the two TIGER graphs (TT3084 and TT1575) fit into the four categories?

Next: The ryir-l etymology of ryir 2.72 dzyï 1.30 'tiger'. THE *HRA'-IGHT RECONSTRUCTION?

Until last night, I agreed with Sagart's (1999: 41) reconstruction of 虎 'tiger' as OC *ahra' (= *hra' in my notation). 虎 appears as an abbreviated phonetic 虍 in many graphs pronounced with Middle and modern Chinese l- which is usually from OC *r-: e.g.,

Md lu2 < MC *lo < OC *ra: 盧蘆廬臚爐顱瀘鱸轤壚鸕罏艫鑪籚櫨嚧攎蠦纑瓐矑髗獹黸

Md lu3 < MC *lo' <OC *ra': 虜擄鐪

Md 2 < MC *lïə < OC *ra: 驢藘曥

Md 3 < MC *lïə' < OC *ra':

Md 4 < MC *lïəh < OC *ras: 慮濾鑢勴爈櫖

but note two cases of 虍 as phonetic in graphs for non-l syllables:

Md fu1 < MC *puə <OC *pra: 膚 'skin'

Md chu1 (obsolete?) < MC *Thïə < OC *thra: 攄 'extend'

(The current reading of 'extend' is Md shu1 implying OC *sra or *hla. Jiyun has an alternate spelling 捈 [with the phonetic 余 OC *la] and a fanqie spelling 魯故 indicating MC *loh < OC *ras [with emphasis!].)

(Some of the syllables represented by these graphs may not date back to OC or MC.)

If Sagart's reconstruction *hra' is correct, then it would be difficult to link 虎 'tiger' to other East Asian words for 'tiger' with a lateral. OC had both *(h)l- and *(h)r-, so there would be no reason to borrow a foreign lateral as *hr.

Sagart's rhotic reconstruction *hra' resembles the first half of a less common Tangut word for 'tiger'1

TT3084 TT1575

ryir 2.72 (< *ri or*ra?) dzyï 1.30

I suspect that this is the ritual language word for 'tiger' since ritual language words are said to be predominantly disyllabic. The word may originate from a noun-adjective phrase *TIGER RESPECTFUL since TT1575 has a homophone

TT1574 RESPECTFUL dzyï 1.30

written with PERSON on the right instead of [フ+キ].

Sagart's OC *hra' and Tangut ryir 2.72 (< ?*ra) are the onlytwo ra-words for 'tiger' that I know of in East Asia. Was OC *hra' a Chinese innovation that was borrowed into Tangut?

Can these words be reconstructed with *r-l-clusters: i.e., were they prefixed variants of the lateral word for 'tiger' in the previous post? The problem, at least on the Chinese side, is that *r-l- would have become MC *D- and *r-hl- would have become MC *Th- (Sagart 1999: 28). But 虎 'tiger' did not have a retroflex stop initial in MC. I don't know what would have happened to *r-(h)l- in Tangut.

Recently I have found some weak Chinese-internal evidence for a lateral in 虎 'tiger'. Sagart posits *Cəl- as another source of Middle and modern Chinese l-. So OC *ra in the above list of 虍-graphs could be rewritten as *Cəla, etc. Although Schuessler (2007) reconstructed OC *r- for words written with 虍 (except for his 虎 *hlâ' 'tiger'), he linked a couple of them to words with laterals. (Reconstructions are in my notation.)

廬 OC *ra (?*Cəla) 'hut': 舍 OC *hlas 'resting place'

or 旅 OC *ra' 'guest, stranger; traveller; road'

艫 MC *lo 'boat' (no OC attestation): 兪 OC *lo 'make a boat by hollowing the log'

Neither etymology is sufficient to justify reinterpreting the many graphs with 虍 as *Cəla instead of *ra graphs. 廬 'hut' has a potential rhotic initial etymology (albeit with weaker semantics). At first I thought 艫 MC *lo 'boat'

- could be linked to 盧 MC *lo < OC *ra 'food vessel' (cf. the culinary and naval use of English vessel)

- was a graph coined during the MC period for an archaism *lo 'boat' that had not undergone the OC *l- > MC *y- shift; as an MC graph, it would tell us nothing about OC phonology

but I just discovered that 艫 dates back to Late Old Chinese *la 'prow' (not 'boat' as a whole). 艫 LOC *la 'prow' may be an extended use of 顱 LOC *la < OC *ra 'skull' (later 'forehead'). Cf. Mandarin 船頭 chuantou (lit. 'ship-head') for 'prow'.

For the time being, I will continue to interpret 虍 as a rhotic-initial phonetic element *ra and view 虎 'tiger' as a potential early case of taboo deformation: *hla' > *hra'? (The original lateral was preserved in the nonstandard dialect form 於菟 / 於檡 OC *'a-/'a-la.) This deformation presumably occurred before 虍 was used to write *ra-syllables. It is even possible that 虍 was used to write *la-syllables before the deformation and *ra-syllables after the deformation. This hypothesis could be tested by examining the earliest OC texts and seeing if 虍-graphs represent words that have lateral but not rhotic-initial cognates.

Next: Tiger terror. 於 *'A OF THE 虎 TIGER (explanation1)

Although the three Old Chinese (OC) readings of 谷 'valley' are probably due to Chinese-internal developments, David Boxenhorn's suggestion of multiple borrowings as a source for emphatic variation might still apply to other words. But I can't think of any known borrowings into OC that have both emphatic and nonemphatic pronunciations.

It doesn't help that most OC vocabulary is generally assumed to be native, even though that may not have been the case. Schuessler's ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese (2007) proposes many Austroasiatic (AA) sources for OC words. I was not previously aware of a large AA stratum of borrowing in OC and would like to closely examine his proposals in the future. However, there is little doubt that AA was a component of OC vocabulary, though the extent of its contribution may be debatable.

One often-cited potential AA loanword in OC is 虎 'tiger'. Schuessler (2007: 282) cited Diffloth's 1984 Proto-AA reconstruction *kala' 'tiger' which resembles his OC reconstruction *hlâ' (= my *hla') for 'tiger'. (Why the circumflex?2) He noted that

[t]he regular OC equivalent of foreign *kl- is expected to be a voiceless *lh-3 > MC śy- or th-. [But other outcomes may have been possible.4] (p. 293)

But 虎 'tiger' had initial *x- in Middle Chinese. Perhaps this initial is due to deliberate (i.e., taboo) distortion. Schuessler noted that

[s]ome interior Min dialects have *khoB [< OC *khla'] but the stop feature is prob. secondary.

I wonder if this *kh- is from an earlier *khl- (root initial cluster; cf. Khmer khlaa 'tiger') or a prefix *k- (indicating a count noun?) plus root initial *hl-.

The Fangyan (early 1st century AD) has the following passage about 'tiger':

虎, 陳魏宋楚之間或謂之李父, 江淮南楚之間謂之李耳, 或謂之於菟. 自關東西或謂之伯都.

'Tiger: in the regions of Chen-Wei Song-Chu [Central China], some call it lifu; in the regions of Jiang-Huai Nan-Chu [Southern China], they call it li'er, and some call it wutu. From the Pass, east- and west-ward [Eastern and Western China], some call it also bodu.' (adapted from Serruys 1967: 256)

The words for 'tiger' in that translation are pronounced anachronistically in standard Mandarin. I reconstruct their Late Old Chinese pronunciations as

李父 Md lifu : *rïə'bïa' < ?*rə'ba'

李 耳 Md li'er : *rïə'ñïə' < ?*rə'nə(ng)'

are these attempts to write *r-prefixed words (though I know of no roots like *ba' or *nə(ng)' meaning 'tiger'), or are they 'Li's father' and 'Li's ear': i.e., code phrases for 'tiger' whose reasoning is now totally opaque?

於 菟 Md wutu : *'athah < *'a hla

伯 都 Md bodu : *pækta < ?*rpakta

Serruys' OC *blxâg 'tiger' appears to be an attempt to reconcile these dialectal forms.

The Chu dialect word 於菟 'tiger' also appears in the Zuo zhuan (5th c. BC; see the passages here) and was probably pronounced as 'a hlah (< ?*'a-hla[k]s) at that time.

Schuessler (2007: 283) reconstructed 於菟 as OC *'a-lhâk, which would be equivalent to OC *'a-hlak in my reconstruction. This caught my attention because it was a nonharmonic sequence. I wondered if the Chu dialect lacked emphatic harmony. However, the Taiwanese government dictionary listed 於 菟 as Md wutu which would come from a harmonic OC *'a-hlah (< ?*'a-hla[k]s).

於 had two OC readings, *'a and *'a. The two readings are still distinct in Mandarin:

wu < *'a

yu < *'a

The latter is far more common, which may be why Schuessler (2007: 281-282) read 於菟 as Md yu-tu (< his OC *'a-lhâk = my OC *'a-hlak).

I am not sure whether 於菟 was disharmonic or not, but I don't think it ended in a final *-k. 菟 has another open vowel reading *la. Normally a-graphs are used to write -a, -a', -ah syllables but not -ak syllables.

Schuessler may have reconstructed *-k in his 於菟*'a-lhâk because of the final *-k of his reconstruction of another OC word for 'tiger',

於檡 *'a-/'a-hlak

(Once agan, I'm not sure whether 於 was emphatic, and so I don't know if the word was harmonic. Schuessler reconstructed *'a- instead of *'â- [= my *'a-].)

Interestingly, 黃 晉波 Huang Jinbo's dictionary of the modern Quanzhou dialect lists a special open-sylalble reading do2 ?[to] (< OC *la) for 菟 and 檡 in 於菟 and 於檡 'tiger' (which presumably only appear in Old Chinese texts5). 菟 is normally read to5 ?[tho] (< OC *hlah) and 檡 is normally read diak8 ?[tiak] (< OC ?*rlak).

The Taiwanese Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants lists the Mandarin readings of 菟 and 檡 in 於菟and 於檡 'tiger' as tu2 (< OC *la). The normal reading of 菟 is tu4 (< OC *hlas) and the other readings of 檡 are shi4 (< OC *hlak) and ze2 (< OC *rlak). (See entries B03918 and B01865.)

Thus I prefer to reconstruct both 於菟 and 於檡 as OC *'a-/'a-la without a final *-k.

I wonder if the first syllable of 於菟 and 於檡 is actually part of the root and not a prefix. Its glottal stop could correspond to the first consonant of the Proto-AA word (cf. instances in which OC *'l- corresponds to foreign kl-):








*' or *'

*a or *a



*h (< *[k]s)



(implied by Quanzhou do, Md tu)







(implied by Quanzhou do, Md tu)

But why would *kala' be borrowed with *-hl-? Was it initially borrowed as *kla(C), whose cluster was later reduced to a voiceless *hl after the addition of a prefix *'a-/*'a-? Reconstructing 於菟 and 於檡 with *-la (as implied by the Quanzhou and Mandarin readings) avoids this issue.

Was 虎 originally *kla'? The later fricative initial might reflect a similar lenition after a lost prefix:

*kla' > *Cə-kla' > Cə-hla' > hla' > Late Old Chinese xa'

There is no trace of *k in the Tangut word for 'tiger'

TT4802 le 2.7

or in its Qiangic cognates (see Matisoff 2004: 14).

Given that 虎 ended in *-a' and assuming that 於菟 and 於檡 were OC *'a-/'a-la, it appears that OC borrowed a nonemphatic AA word *kala' as emphatic. Since I suspect that */a/ was emphatic by default in OC, I would predict that foreign *a words would be borrowed as emphatic. Other examples are

烏 弋山離 OC *'a lək ksan (tə)ray 'Alexandria' (Han shu 96)

(ray corresponds to Greek ρει; presumably a Greek ραι would have been borrowed as *ray)

浮 屠 OC *bu da 'Buddha'

Neither Greek Ἀλεξάνδρεια nor Sanskrit Buddha contain emphatics. Cairene Arabic also borrows nonemphatic words with /a/ as emphatic (Youssef 2006: 43-44):

An examination of loanwords supports this conclusion: a foreign word with a low back vowel that is borrowed into Cairene Arabic is usually interpreted as emphatic ... These cases provide evidence that speakers hear the vowel quality and not the consonant, as exemplified in [lˁɑˁmˁpˁɑˁ] ‘lamp’ in which all vowels and consonants are emphatic throughout. Suppose that this word is borrowed from Italian lampa, in which case the consonants are clearly non-emphatic. The Italian vowel [a] was mapped onto the most similar phoneme [ɑˁ]6 which is expected in Cairene after an emphatic consonant. In borrowing, the vowel allophone was kept essentially unchanged and the consonants were made emphatic to correspond to it, not vice versa (Harrell 1957:79).

However, one might expect foreign words with other vowels to be borrowed as nonemphatics. Another frequently mentioned AA loan in OC seems to violate this prediction:

*krong 'river' (rather than nonemphatic *krong)

cf. AA forms for 'river' (Schuessler 2007: 306): Proto-Monic kroong (Diffloth 1984: 132), Literary Mon krung, Bahnar krong, Viet sông < *krong 'river'

But if Katu karong is conservative (and not an expanded form of an earlier *krong), then perhaps this is yet another case of foreign *a being borrowed as OC *a:

Some ancient AA language *karong > OC *karong > *krong

Next: The 虎 *hra'-ight reconstruction?

Eventually: Were foreign non-/a/ vowels borrowed into OC as emphatics?

And: Was OC /a/ really emphatic by default?

1A reference to "Eye of the Tiger", a song by Survivor.

2Schuessler's (2007: 95) circumflexed vowels correspond to emphasis (underlining) in my reconstruction. The circumflexes are a purely notational device without any specific phonetic value.

3This *lh- is more or less the same initial as the *hl- of Schuessler's 虎 *hlâ' 'tiger'. Schuessler (2007: 7) wrote *lh- to signify a voiceless lateral that became Middle Chinese *th- or *śy- whereas he wrote *hl- to signify a voiceless lateral that became Middle Chinese *x- (e.g., in Middle Chinese *xo' 'tiger').

*hl- hardened to a stop *th- in emphatic syllables, whereas it became a fricative *śy- in nonemphatic syllables. This explains why Middle Chinese graphs belonging to the same phonetic series had readings with th- and *śy-:

偷 MC *thəw 'steal' < OC *hlo (*lhô in Schuessler's notation)

輸 MC *śyüö 'transport' < OC *hlo (*lho in Schuessler's notation)

4It's not clear to me why foreign *kl- wasn't just borrowed as OC *kl- which did exist in Schuessler's reconstruction: e.g., his 谷 *klôk 'valley' (2005: 259). Elsewhere, Schuessler (2005) derived

- 狗 OC *kô' 'dog' from an earlier (pre-OC?) *klo', ultimately from an AA form with *kl- or *cl- (p. 65)

- OC *'l- "from foreign kl-type clusters" (p. 65)

- OC *tl- from foreign *Cl-clusters including *kl- (7, 91)

The different outcomes may reflect temporal and regional variation: e.g., one OC dialect may have merged *kl- with *tl-.

5I assume that the normal spoken Quanzhou word for 'tiger' is ho. The DaiwanWay dictionary of Taiwanese (a closely related language) lists 虎 ho for 'tiger'.

6I don't know why Youssef departs from standard practice by indicating phonemes with brackets rather than slashes. Usually brackets surround phonetic forms, whereas slashes surround phonemic forms.

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