Re: Decimal separator with more than one character?

From: John Cowan (
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 21:19:07 EDT

  • Next message: Allen Haaheim: "More on Zhong (but not Unicode) [totally OT now] (was RE: Decimal separator with more than one character?)"

    Allen Haaheim scripsit:

    > Yes, there are also good arguments for using Wade-Giles by a similar logic:
    > when read by the uninitiated, the words usually come closer to the actual
    > sound.

    I think that very much depends. If you are a young American or Australian
    anglophone, you probably use aspiration rather than voicing to distinguish
    /p/ from /b/, exactly the same distinction made in Mandarin, so "Beijing"
    comes out exactly right if you can get it in your mind that "j" = /dZ/ just
    as in your native tongue.

    My problem with W-G is that it's easy to mutilate: the apostrophes tend
    to get lost, and then the true form is unreconstructible.

    > Another disadvantage of pinyin is its need for diacritical marks, which GR
    > (Guoyu luomazi) tonal spelling dispenses with, instead distinguishing
    > differing tones by using spelling rules, resulting in far less
    > homophonous-looking romanized words, and less confusion with and inattention
    > to tones.

    Yes, but GR is so *painful*. "More effort" is not the word. I have
    devised a (IMHO) better tonal spelling for Mandarin with a straightforward
    mapping to HYPY just for the fun of it, but this list isn't the place
    to discuss it.

    John Cowan
                    I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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