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Hofmann

Detecting entering tones in Japanese

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Hofmann

Is there a surefire or almost surefire way of telling whether or not a character has an entering tone in Japanese?

The final -p consonants are looking fuzzy.

Edited by Hofmann

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chrix

yes, there was a sound change : -p- intervocalically -> -w-, which means -0- when not preceding a (and this -u usually has combined with the preceding vowel, forming a long vowel, a bit like what happened to -ng, which became -u う). In 歴史的仮名遣い, you can still find it as ふ, like にふ for 入 and てふ for 蝶. Some were borrowed as -t, and are thus still detectable, like 立, but these are exceptions!

Have a look at this dictionary, it includes the historical kana spelling. So by and large, Japanese historical spelling accurately reflects the rusheng.

Edited by chrix

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Hofmann

So I guess there's no way to be sure by modern pronunciation alone. Thanks.

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HashiriKata
So I guess there's no way to be sure by modern pronunciation alone.
If this is your hope, then even Mandarin is more reliable. Japanese is a lost cause in this respect.

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chrix

But how's Mandarin more helpful than Japanese regarding entering tones?

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Ah-Bin
But how's Mandarin more helpful than Japanese with regard to entering tones?

It isn't. The entering tone is distributed across all the four tones of Mandarin, and therefore impossible to deduce.

Japanese is only "a lost cause" for syllables that ended in -p. All the others that ended in -k and -t are intact. That is two-thirds accuracy at deducing entering tones as opposed to zero accuracy in Mandarin.

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HashiriKata
Japanese is only "a lost cause" for syllables that ended in -p. All the others that ended in -k and -t are intact.
This is correct. Looking at post #2 at the time of replying, I completely forgot about -k and -t.

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Ah-Bin

Then on the way home I thought my comment wasn't completely fair. Actually if you compare Mandarin with Japanese you can guess where some of the lost -p's are too. If a Japanese syllable ending in -u doesn't correspond to an Mandarin syllable ending in -ng, then it probably represents a final -fu in pre-1949 spelling, and hence, an entering tone! So Mandarin can help in this respect but only if you put it side-by-side with Japanese.

Examples:

Not entering tones

常 jou = chang

當 tou = dang

Entering tones

法 hou = fa

合 gou = he

Actually these retain a vestige of the final p in some compounds where they cause the initial consonant of the following syllable to double. 合戦 kassen (old kafu/kap+sen) battle.

It may not work in all cases, - not for Mandarin syllables that end in -ao but it does help.

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chrix

In principle you're right, though there's much more endings in Mandarin besides -ng that correspond to a long vowel (either ou or uu) in Japanese, so that kinda renders the whole thing moot, as you can't distinguish between those and the -pu endings.

法 hou = fa

合 gou = he

Actually these retain a vestige of the final p in some compounds where they cause the initial consonant of the following syllable to double. 合戦 kassen (old kafu/kap+sen) battle.

Most do not retain such residual consonants, 法 (as in 法度 hatto)* and 合 are exceptions, as well as 十.

*) 法 is a strange case, it is faat3 in Cantonese, but the Tang pronunciation is reconstructed for biæp, as well as Sino-Korean which has 법.

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Hofmann

Cantonese changes some -p to -t. 壓 is another example, where Japanese does it too.

Also, there are some -m to -n, e.g. 犯.

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chrix

The n/m distinction has been lost in Japanese unfortunately. It looks like Sino-Korean is a much better indicator of all these things...

I was just reading some threads on the standardisation of Mandarin and was thinking what it would have been like if they had decided to keep the -n/-m distinction and the rusheng endings for Mandarin, even if unpronounced :wink: (I think something like that was being discussed at some stage)

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Glenn

I'm curious as to the advantage of knowing them. Is it just being able to better guess readings of characters you haven't learned yet? Do you also have to know the reconstructions of the readings into Middle and Classical Chinese for this to have a benefit?

I was just thinking, suppose you knew that 易 was an entering tone. I'm guessing knowing that wouldn't automatically tell you what the ending was. But, suppose you knew the ending was "k." Then how would you guess? エク seems the best guess, given that there are so many readings ending in ク, but in this instance it's エキ. But then that's for the word 貿易 (ボウエキ), and the word 容易 has a different reading: ヨウイ (consistent with modern Mandarin ).

Or is there a completely different reason it would be helpful? Or is it just intellectual curiosity?

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chrix

Hofmann hasn't told us his motives for asking the question, but probably it relates to his interest in Classical Chinese poetry, where you have to know which syllables have entering tone and which don't.

If you're studying Korean or other Chinese languages, it'd also be handy to know...

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chrix

So, in the spirit of this question, do you have a nice list of entering tones hanzi, preferably sorted by -p/-t/-k. That would remind me which ones end in -p, and which ones ending in -t in Japanese originally were ending in -p.

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Hofmann
But then that's for the word 貿易 (ボウエキ), and the word 容易 has a different reading: ヨウイ (consistent with modern Mandarin yì).

易 has two pronunciations. 以豉切 for "easy" and 羊益切 for "change." See CantoDict.

In another thread I said if you read Chinese poetry in on-yomi you could get the 入聲, but then I thought I typed too fast, so this thread was to verify that I was wrong.

do you have a nice list of entering tones hanzi

From row 3181 to 3876 of the 廣韻 .xls file here are all 入聲 characters in -t, -k, -p.

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chrix

Nice list, so I took the most important characters (feel free to add some if I forgot any important character):

十什拾褶

執汁

習襲

集輯

立粒笠

急汲給級

斟 (misclassified?)

閤鴿

庵 (misclassified?)

蓋 (duoyinzi, in Japanese this can be gai and ou)

臘蠟

塔搭

接睫

貼 (duoyinzi, in Japanese this can be read ten and chou) 蝶

協挾俠

疊墊 (misclassified?)

洽狹陜

鴨壓

乏泛

What I mean by misclassified: some character seem to end in a nasal actually, though this might be some kind of alternation/duoyinzi phenomenon, maybe Hofmann can shed light on that. As far as I can see there's only the following characters in Japanese that now end in -t:

- 濕 (湿)

- 立

- 壓 (圧)

- 執

however, these characters have all alternate readings ending in long vowel (-p), and 壓 even has a nasal alternation (though I can't find any example for it).

Those that can show vestiges of entering tone in compounds:

- 十

- 合

- 法

I hope I didn't miss any, feel free to add/correct...

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Hofmann

Looking for the seemingly misclassified characters in a .xls 平水韻, they are also 入聲, although some also have 平 readings. I don't think it's a screw up. I'll have to look closer at it later. I'm in class now...:clap

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Hofmann

My guess: They're variant pronunciations. Dialectal maybe. I don't think the ones who wrote 廣韻 or the ones who made the .xls messed up. But one might be interested in homorganic nasal/stop alternations in Cantonese.

feel free to add some if I forgot any important character

眨 is an example of 入聲 loss in Cantonese. It is an example of how one can't tell a 入聲 all the time in Cantonese either.

Edited by Hofmann

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chrix

This is interesting, and it might explain some of the alternations in finals with phonetic components, as in my thread on unexpected phonetic components :clap

Though there are still some that fall through the cracks, like 擬 凝 (we should probably discuss this further on the other thread)

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Glenn

That Cantodict is really cool! Once again I am amazed at my ignorance (I didn't know that 易 had different readings for different meanings), and appreciate you pointing it out to me.

I had a look at that paper (although it appeared to be incomplete), and it made me start thinking about going into grad school to study linguistics with a focus on the Sinosphere and character etymology (although studying historical Japanese linguistics is something I also find appealing). I just have a problem with the money situation and an idea of what I would do with that knowledge once I graduated....

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