188.8.131.52:59: TRACING RABBIT STEPSDoes Tangut
0281 1tsəɪʳ 'rabbit'
have any cognates?Before I look for similar words in other languages, let me reconstruct its pre-Tangut form first.
1tsəɪʳ is a Grade I syllable with a 'depressed' vowel. (As far as I know, this interpretation of Grade I is unique to my reconstruction.*) This 'depression' was conditioned by a lost 'depressor' which may have been
- a presyllable with a low vowel: *Cʌ-
- a preinitial with a back consonant: e.g., *q-
The retroflexion of the vowel of 1tsəɪʳ may be from
- a preinitial or presyllabic *r-: *r(V)-
- a final *-r
(Medial *-r- conditions Grade II, not Grade I, unless it is combined with a preinitial/presyllabic *r(V)- and/or a final *-r: *rʌ-Cri(r), *Cʌ-Crir > Grade II Cɪʳ)
So 1tsəɪʳ 'rabbit' is from either
*rʌ-tsi (with a presyllable conditioning both 'depression' and retroflexion)or
*Cʌ-tsir (with a presyllable conditionig retroflexion and a coda *-r conditioning retroflexion)
y-words for 'rabbit':
Written Tibetan yos
Written Burmese yun
l-words for 'rabbit':
Proto-rGyalrong *qa-la (cf. forms in Jacques 2004: 209)
Old Chinese 兔 *hlas (< *qla-s?)
Qiang z-words for 'rabbit':
Mawo Qiang ʁdʒə < ?*q- (Sun 1981: 197)
Taoping Qiang ʑi (Sun 1981: 197)
Ronghong Qiang ʐə-tɕhɑq (Huang and LaPolla 1996: 335)
These z-words are not cognate to Written Tibetan ri-bong 'rabbit' < *ri-ɣ/k/gong (Hill 2006: 97). Matisoff (2004: 9) derived their initial from a palatalized lateral.
I conclude that 1tsəɪʳ is a Tangut innovation.
2.6.00:50: The l-words for 'rabbit' may be cognate to the first half of Tangut
2lɨ̣-2ʔo < *S-lɨH-ʔoH 'rabbit'Tangut -ɨ may be from a much earlier *-a (Matisoff 2004).
Li Fanwen (2008: 610) lists no examples of the first half without the second half.
However, the second half can occur without the first in the compound 2ɣew-2ʔo 'jade hare', implying that the second half was once an independent root.
So did early Tangut have three roots for 'rabbit', one with *ts-, another with *l-, and a third with *ʔ-?
Pre-Tangut *ʔoH has the same vowel as the second half of Proto-Tibetan *ri-ɣ/k/gong, but I doubt it's a borrowing from Tibetan since I would expect *ɣ/k/gong to develop into Tangut 1ɣõ with a fricative initial and nasal vowel.
More on this disyllabic Tangut word for 'rabbit' here and here.
*I regard 'depression' as the defining characteristic of all Grade I rhymes. Although Nishida and Gong did reconstruct Grade I i-class rhymes as -ɪ and -e with 'depressed' vowels, their reconstructions of other Grade I rhymes do not have 'depressed' vowels: e.g., their Grade I u-class rhyme is -u, whereas I reconstruct -əʊ.
184.108.40.206:57: YEAR OF THE DOTTED BEAST
Over a month ago, I asked,
[C]ould you explain the structure of the graph for 'rabbit'?
The answer according to the Tangraphic Sea is
0281 1tsəɪʳ 'rabbit' =
all of 0558 1neʳ 'wild animal' (semantic) +
right of 3851 1tsəɪʳ 'spot' (phonetic)
Is the right of 3851 really sufficient to indicate the pronunciation 1tsəɪʳ? There are 223 other characters with that right-hand component ('cok' in David Boxenhorn's alphacode) and most were not read 1tsəɪʳ. To put it another way, only 1% of cok-graphs were read 1tsəɪʳ. Moreover, there are only 7 characters pronounced 1tsəɪʳ and out of them only only three (0281, 2107, 3851) contain cok.
The Tangraphic Sea analysis of 0558 is circular and improbable:
0558 1neʳ 'wild animal' =
left of 0281 1tsəɪʳ 'rabbit' (derived from 0558!) +
left of 3269 1vu (1st half of 1vu 1neʳ 'wild animal'; derived from 0558; see below!)
3269 1vu (1st half of 1vu 1neʳ 'wild animal') =
right of 0558 1neʳ (derived from 3269; see above!) +
all of 2952 1lwɔ̃ 'reckless, depraved, empty, unexpected' (all 'wild'? - cf. the semantic range of wild in English wild animal, wild guess, wild coincidence)
I think 3269 is from 2952 plus
'beast' (alphacode: gen)
which may or may not be from 0558. If 0558 is the source of gen, then the gen in 0558 must be from a source other than 3269 or has no source tangraph.
3269 and 0558 represent the disyllabic word
1vu-1neʳ 'wild animal'
Li Fanwen 2008 does not list any examples of 3269 outside this compound. I conclude that 3269 is a bound morpheme like cran- of cranberry. Like berry, 0558 can be an independent word. 0558 has a range of meanings (Li Fanwen 2008: 95):
1. 'wild animal'
2. 'wilderness' (cf. Chinese 野獸 'wilderness-beast' = 'wild animal')
3. 'hunt' (wild animals?)
4. 'enemy' (< person like a wild animal?)
They all share the common denominator 'wild'.
Li Fanwen also listed two other definitions for 0558, but I don't think they're necessary:
5. 'musk' in 0558-4135 1neʳ-1ʃɐ 'musk' which I regard as a compound 'wilderness' + 'musk' (loan from Chinese 麝 'musk')
6. 'monkey' in 0558-2174 1neʳ-1ba 'wild monkey' which I regard as a compound 'wilderness' + 'monkey'
Li Fanwen lists no examples of 1neʳ meaning 'musk' or 'monkey' in isolation.