‘south’ */ nam / ° / na˘m / ° / nan / ° / naN / ° ‘three’ */ sam / ° / sa˘m / ° / san / ° / saN / ° ‘year’ */ nien / ° / ni˘n / ° / niEn / ° / nJieN / ° ‘mountain’ */ San / ° / Sa˘n / ° / San / ° / SaN / ° ‘can’ */ n´N / ° / naN / ° / n´N / ° / neN / ° ‘east’ */ tuN / ° / tuN / ° / tuN / ° / t´N / ° T ABLE 7. Some Chinese words ending in a nasal 6 Tones have been left out. 7 Ancient Chinese was indeed a written language, but the writing system, i.e., the Chinese characters, does not give much information about the pronunciation.
Chapter 5 : Language families 8 We shall concentrate on the nasals in the coda of these monosyllabic words. In the Guangzhou dialect, we find the three nasals / m n N / in the coda, in Beijing dialect we find the two nasals / n N / in the coda, while in the Fuzhou dialect we only find the nasal / N / in the coda. Furthermore, we can establish the three different regular sound correspondences of coda nasals in T ABLE 8, where the AC reconstructions are also included. A NCIENT C HINESE G UANGZHOU B EIJING F UZHOU */ m / ° / m / ° / n / ° / N / ° */ n / ° / n / ° / n / ° / N / ° */ N / ° / N / ° / N / ° / N / ° T ABLE 8. Chinese regular coda nasal correspondences When we reconstruct a protolanguage, two of the most important principles governing our work may be formulated as follows: I. The number of phonemes in the protolanguage is identical to the number of regular sound correspondences between the modern languages. II. Reconstruct the protolanguage in such a way that the simplest and most plausible sound changes from the protolanguage to the modern languages can be postulated. Since the number of regular coda nasal correspondences between the Guangzhou, Beijing, and Fuzhou dialects is three, we conclude—on the basis of the first principle above—that the number of coda nasal phonemes in AC was also three. Furthermore, since one of the dialects has three different nasal coda phonemes, / m n N /, we postulate the same three phonemes in AC, because then—in accordance with the second principle above—we can postulate some very simple sound changes from AC to the modern dialects—cf. (3). (3) Some regular Chinese sound changes (a) AC coda */ m / > Beijing / n / (b) AC coda */ m / and */ n / > Fuzhou / N / No sound changes are required for Guangzhou in this case. In Beijing, AC coda */ m / has become / n /, while in Fuzhou, AC coda */ m / and */ n / have become / N /. 5.2.4 Shared innovations and family trees Sound changes can be used as data for the drawing family trees. Let us first formulate the sound changes in (3) in a slightly different way; cf. (4). (4) Some regular Chinese sound changes (a) AC coda */ m / > Proto-Beijing-Fuzhou / n / (b) Proto-Beijing-Fuzhou coda */ n / > Fuzhou / N / In (4) we have assumed, like before, that the coda nasals of AC were like those of Guangzhou. But now we have also assumed that AC first split up into two branches: Proto-Beijing-Fuzhou and Guangzhou. What distinguishes Proto-Beijing-Fuzhou
Chapter 5 : Language families 9 from Guangzhou is sound change (4a). Later, Proto-Beijing-Fuzhou split into two branches: Beijing and Fuzhou. What distinguishes Fuzhou from Beijing is sound
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