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Tangent Constructed Chinese


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I think looking up on the different pronunciations of 萬, thinking whether I should write “mhwan~” or “mhan~” for it. Then I realized, it seems that m+w doesn’t contrast with mh(+w). i.e., 萬 could in theory be written either as mwan~ or mhan~ in TCC without sacrificing any contrasts (滿 is mwân/). If written as mhan~, mh would correspond to m- in Canto, Jp and Kr, w- in Mandarin and v- in Vietnamese straight. Or, the “m” in “mw-” could be interpreted as the initial 微, with Cantonese and the others dropping the w, and Mandarin and Vietnamese shifting to ʋw- > w-. This would save a new initial “mh” which has been said to look ugly, but characters like 未 would be written as mwi~ instead of mhi~ as a result.


Edit: But then mwân and mwan would carry different MC initials. So a problem lies in whether I should write mhwan~ or mhan. But 文 and 風 are mhun and fung since the u is the main vowel in those characters in TCC.


Also, here's a comparison of several MC transcriptions:


My system explained:

My Tangent transcription uses an e-circumflex to represent a schwa, “/” for the rising tone and “~” for the departing tone, although the acute and grave accents could also be employed instead. “vh” and “mh” are used interchangeably. A-circumflex stands for division I “a”, which shifts to /ɔ/ in various modern varieties of Chinese. It is meant to be a direct transcription of a given character’s initial, medial, rime class and tone, and is more faithful to Late Middle Chinese. The system is modelled after the TCC, with the <ea> and <ae> conventions from GC. <a> pretty much does not exist in my MC transcription (only â and ea, although the latter becomes just “a” in TCC), so that the if diacritics are omitted, people will will be able to tell what the pronunciation is to an extent. Although in this system, the difference between ê and e is vital, and it is used in favour of the TCC <ou> as a more consistent transcription system. It also harmonizes with varieties like Taiwanese Hokkien, Cantonese and Suzhounese with the schwa in characters like 陰.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Several dialects of the southeastern coastal area preserve a glottal stop in the rising tone, and the Buddhist sources indicate that the rising tone of Middle Chinese is high, short, and level" - http://tlmei.com/tm17web/res/tones.pdf


This would explain Polyhedron's use of 55 for the rising tone.

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The name of the 上 tone might refer to "up/top" instead of "rising", since, according to some reconstructions, the zhiâng tone had a high level pitch, which was also used by Polyhedron in his Middle Chinese lessons.

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