RE: Gwoyeu Romatzyh marking the optional neutral tone

From: Joe (
Date: Mon Jul 13 2009 - 15:23:17 CDT

  • Next message: James Cloos: "Re: Gwoyeu Romatzyh marking the optional neutral tone"

    I made the mistake of giving away my Mandarin Primer in a bookshelf purge decades ago, but I still have two books from the Gwoyeu Romatzyh school:

        1200 Chinese Basic Characters, W. Simon, Percy Lund Humphries, 1957

        Concise Dictionary of Spoken Chinese, Yuen Ren Chao and Lien Sheng Yang, Harvard, 1962

    The Simon book does not indicate neutral tones at all (and spells "gege" as "gex" (!)), but Chao's dictionary does specify:

        A small circle before a character or a syllable indicates optional neutral tone. [p. xxxvii]

    I agree with Charlie Ruland's guess that Chao intended this as - in our terms - a "half-width" version of U+3002 IDEOGRAPHIC FULL STOP. It is definitely neither U+2092 LATIN SUBSCRIPT SMALL LETTER O nor U+2080 SUBSCRIPT ZERO .


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