Date: Tue Jan 20 2004 - 16:33:24 EST
Andrew C. West scripsit:
> These are glyph variants of Phags-pa letters that are used with semantic
> distinctiveness in a single (but very important) text, _Menggu Ziyun_ , a 14th
> century rhyming dictionary of Chinese in which Chinese ideographs are listed by
> their Phags-pa spellings. In this one text only, variant forms of the letters
> FA, SHA, HA and YA are used contrastively in order to represent historical
> phonetic differences between Chinese syllables that were pronounced the same in
> early 14th century standard Chinese (Old Mandarin).
In short, these are like the diacritics used in some English-language dictionaries
to mark up English words to show how the vowels are pronounced, except they are
"abstract diacritics" rather than shape-based ones.
-- "While staying with the Asonu, I met a man from John Cowan the Candensian plane, which is very much like firstname.lastname@example.org ours, only more of it consists of Toronto." http://:www.ccil.org/~cowan --the unnamed narrator of Le Guin's _Changing Planes_
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