Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Tangent Constructed Chinese


Recommended Posts

It isn't meant to be Middle Chinese, or any existing modern Chinese, so yes it already is. The thing is that I wanted it to be a better representative of Chinese than Mandarin. But I don't know anymore. Nevertheless I'm also referencing General Chinese for my works now.


It is my mother, who is a Chinese teacher, who told me that it isn't good. My mother said it is simply the pronunciation used by the people who live near a certain area and is not something suitable for what I'm working with. Basically I would want something close to Middle Chinese, like the sino-Japanese and sino-Korean pronunciations I'm currently using.

My sources have been zdic and Wiktionary, and after Hofmann told me about GC, I started using that as well. Sometimes I check the actual Middle Chinese transcription by Baxter, but it turns out it isn't something I wanted, like oi and khem for 愛 and 謙. I think Baxter was more using letters to represent the initials and rimes instead of transcribing the actual pronunciations of the characters.


OK thanks, Hofmann.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well I haven't had a lot of motivation on posting my recent progress, but since this is pretty much the only public place...

When TCC was started, it was more of an exotic-sounding Chinese than some serious analysis work, and to be used in stories and when referring to Chinese concepts to friends. But since people around me seem to prefer some more serious work...

This is the last draft I uploaded that explains a bunch of changes. Currently I'm still thinking of replacing two series, one of them being the -io series. The TCC before had an nonuniform shift thing going on, such as "ai" for 愛 but "-ong" for 黃. With this new version, it's aimed to be closer to Middle Chinese and Sino pronunciations, and does not try to avoid the schwa.

This curent TCC is also a simpler version though. Originally I had /o/ existing in <io> and <ông>, which isn't really what I wanted. Now there's just the 6 vowels as I hoped for, and Cantonese -ai/Mandarin -i is no longer split into TCC -ai and -ei, but becomes <-ei>


Current behaviour of /o/ is that it is tense in <-io>, <-ou> and <-ong>, but lax otherwise, namely, <-o> and before other consonants.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to rethink about simplifying <ei>.

Meanwhile, I've listed the velar shift, to imitate historical Mandarin pronunciation and better represent modern Chinese pronunciations, but perhaps a bit further from Middle Chinese.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK this is a major TCC update here.
Reimu said something about homophones and while the TCC was mostly meant to harmonize with Sino Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese readings, it does not show the difference between some sounds that are differenciated in a number of Chinese languages. I had a different approach based on Mandarin at first, but I consider that unsystematic, and so this is the current version.


Actually I think I still need more work, especially on sounds like 山 "shan" and 夜 "ya"...

Or more clarification

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decided to retract my most recent revision of TCC. I've always wanted to represent modern Canto and Man o with a to harmonize with the sino pronunciations in Jp, Kr, Viet, etc, and I wanted to create "what they are trying to imitate with a simple six-vowel system" I guess I'll leave more homophones in this Romanized TCC and perhaps leave the complex ones for the complex one.


Also, isn't it that at the time the Guangyun is made, the language they spoke already lost voiced stops? Because ph is written with the fantsiet 滂 which supposedly had a voiced initial instead of being an aspirate... It is pronounced with a yang tone in Cantonese and the Sino-Japanese reading has it as bou in Go-on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This might be my last time here because my computer stopped working.

I have decided to add a back unrounded a <â> (corresponds to Canto <o>) and replace the <o> most probably, with it only appearing in <ong>, where the <o> represents /o/, distinct from <ung>.

Here are some examples to illustrate my new revision:

豪 ghâu, 羅 lâ, 愛 âi~, 奈 nâi~, 每 mwêi/, 知 ti (retroflex stops in MC merge with the alveolar ones), 微 vhi, 題 dêi, 麗 lêi~, 有 yiu/ (null initial + i > yi), 喻 yu~.

Originally I planned to write back unrounded a as <o> except in “ɑng”, where it is written as <ang>, although this fails to harmonize with the Sino readings without prior knowledge, and it’s less systematic so Zsolt probably wouldn’t like it so much. Since the “front a”-“back a” distinction isn’t really important in the Sino-Jp, Kr and Vietnamese readings, I chose circumflex a.

Initials: p ph b m f v vh; t th d n l; k kh g ng h gh (w); ds ts dz s z; c ch j gn sh zh y

Vowels: a e i â (o) u; medials: y-/-i- w yw-/-iu-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if people still care or will like it, but since this is pretty much the only place I can let people know, I've decided to put it here, an example sentence in TCC:

你係唔係睇電視? Since 係 exists in Hakka, 唔/毋 exists in Hokkien, and 睇 exists in 文言 iirc, and all of them exist in Canto.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually I think the TCC has deviated from the original "exotic and unfamiliar Chinese that doesn't have voiced initials to be a better representative of Chinese than Mandarin and Cantonese and to imitate what the Sino-pronunciations imitate" to some sort of Middle Chinese construction thing or at least more real language-like because that's what people like more...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few things I've worked out on that would be more of a Middle Chinese transcription/more sophisticated CTCC that resembles MC more:
登 -êng; 東 -ung; 冬 -ong; 仙 -iæn; 麻 -æ; 歌 -â; 戈 -uâ; 微 -i; 之 -ih; 豪 -âu; 侯 -êu

Oh and from Tung pao, 金 was reconstructed as "kjiêm", 心 being "siêm", etc.


In the meantime though, I think working on a Canto-Man-Jp diaphone thing (CMP) would be more appealing and I'll incorporate more MC elements...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First piece of work I have that features TCC, an abstract representation of a Chinese/Sino-Jp/Kr/Viet diaphone. Story set in ancient China and Taiwan.

Trip to Hourai/Bung-lai (蓬萊)

My name is Ghwang Shiang-kiet. Political struggles take place every day here in the Middle Kingdom. I've read from a certain book that there's a paradise off the coast, not too far away from here. What was it called... Ah yes, Bung-lai (蓬萊, Japanese: Hourai). Such a place should be much freer, right? I mean, every day with all these things, it gets really exhausting. However, many people have not been able to go to Bung-lai... Would I make it safely? Let's hope so...
At last, I've arrived at this paradise. I was expecting it to be as people describe it, a place with many beautiful trees, few people, but of an ancient civilization, and birds singing in the sky. Bung-lai wasn't quite what I had in mind but it doesn't look bad. The technology is at least as advanced as ours. These people spoke a language I couldn't understand, which was to be expected, really. After all, it's not like people from the legendary paradise would speak your language as their first, right? Unless they can adapt to your language whatever it is... Well anyway. Initially I had a hard time travelling around, as most of them don't speak my language, and I certainly don't speak theirs. Apparently a few of them spoke my language, not without accents though. It was a bit unexpected, and they really helped me get around a lot. I owe them.
The writing system they use is really peculiar. It uses a lot of symbols I don't understand. I think I've seen something similar before... Where was it though... The Magic of Latinization or something? Anyway, this writing is funny in that instead of using one thing for one word, it uses a bunch of symbols clustered together. This certainly destroys the beauty of vhun-yen (文言)... But I've been told that they're supposedly easier to learn, and that they they come from a place called Grapetooth (葡萄牙, TCC: Bu-dâu-nga, Taiwanese: phû-tô-gâ, Portugal). Such a peculiar name for a place, Grapetooth...
So since I planned to stay there for some time, I decided to learn their language. Turns out, their writing is entirely phonetic-based, unlike our characters, which are both semantic- and phonetic-based. If you know how to pronounce a word, you will know how to write it, most of the time, not all the time though, because of tone shifts. I guess that's something the Peh-oe-ji, as they call their writing, is superior to ours. However, you do not get the joy of reading into what the characters represent, with the Peh-oe-ji. Sometimes it's funny discovering the meanings of new characters we come across in Chinese just by looking at the characters themselves.
There's something funny though. Despite how our languages are completely different, I can't help but notice a few things that relates to my language. Some wordings seem to be similar, and... Words that begin with a muddy initial in Chinese... I cannot put my finger on it but, they have some sort of relationship...
After several years I started to miss my home. I decided I should go back to the Middle Kingdom, to meet my family once again, and to tell them about the wonderful things I've seen in Bung-lai. And so, I said goodbye to my Bunglainese friends, and headed home. How has my home become? I guess I will see soon... And with that, I began to set sail...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TCC to Vietnamese correspondences:

越 (TCC ywet; CTCC /juæt/)

Conversion rules:

- TCC yw > Viet wy <uy>: wyet

- Vietnamese word-initial w > v: vyet

- ye becomes ia/iê/yê (the three are equivalent in Vietnamese): Viêt

Vietnamese: Việt


Current revision.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Final words: 小 少 月 掉 巨 書 病

sieu/ shieu~ ngiuet dieu~ gio~ CTCC: /gĭo/ shiu beng~


CTCC distinguishes between /j/ (y- initial, yang tone) and /i/ (null initial but medial, yim tone)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With this revision, the TCC can finally have a clear correspondence with Canto and Man without having to rely on CTCC, which may be considered the immediate ancestor of TCC. Now at least I don’t need to show CTCC readings for analysis.

In CTCC, a schwa is present if one is in Cantonese

Note that CTCC /æ/ corresponds to Canto and Man –a, but shifts to <e> in TCC after <i> and <iu>, as with Mandarin. It corresponds with Go-on “a” and Kan-on “e”.

And if the now “e” is considered a variation of the schwa (ê), it would correspond to Korean and Vietnamese readings as well. Thus, the TCC can correspond to Japanese pronunciations in orthography while sounding exotic to Cantonese speakers.

The second element in diphthongs like /ai/ and /au/ may be considered as a final /j/ and /w/.

Below is the original CTCC, which still works with the current revision as the CTCC had these vowels to begin with. Pronunciations listed in red do not need to be taken into account of in constructing the TCC reading. As before, initial medial “i” becomes <y>, and for stand-alone “i”, <y> will be appended before it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...