23 March 2013

The Etymon: Where Genealogies Coalesce


How do we trace words and morphemes to their source? It’s simple. Take a set of forms that seem to be related (or cognate, in the jargon of historical linguistics), travel back in time and watch out for coalescence effects. The farther backwards you go, the more similar the candidate cognates should grow, until at some points they coalesce completely. If instead they seem to become less and less similar, and their genealogies seem to drift apart rather than converge, you are probably dealing with spurious cognates – words whose similarity is accidental, and not due to common descent.

If you have no TARDIS to actually travel in time, do what scientists do. Take a reliable model of historical tranformations (in this case, of phonetic and morphological changes: linguists have built them for many of the known language families), and run it backwards. It is not always easy to reverse reconstructed language changes, because they are frequently accompanied by an irrevocable loss of information. For example, if a language has been affected by a change consisting in the merger of the vowels *e and *o and *a (let’s imagine that they all become /a/), you may be unable to recover the original quality of the vowel in a given modern word containing /a/. Fortunately, information lost in the genealogy of one particular language may be preserved in related languages. In fact, a merger just like the hypothetical one described above occurred in the prehistory of the Indo-Iranian languages, but data from languages such as Greek, where the original vowel qualities are preserved more faithfully, allow us to disambiguate the Indo-Iranian evidence. Furthermore, even where the three vowels have merged, traces of their old pronunciation may be visible as different phonetic impact on the development of the neighbouring sounds (with information being re-encoded rather than lost). If in a distant past old *e regularly palatalised a preceding *k, which became č [ʧ] as a result, and if this č can only have this kind of origin, you know that a modern sequence like ča must reflect *ke. Modern ka is still ambiguous (*ko or *ka), but at least you can rule out *ke. And guess what? This is also what we really find in Indo-Iranian.

Note that the genealogy of a set of cognates does not have to follow the structure of family relations among the languages that contain those cognates. If, for example, a Germanic word has a cognate in Slavic and another one in Greek, we usually expect the genealogies of the cognates to meet in the common ancestor of Germanic, Slavic, and Greek. But words are often exchanged “horizontally” between languages. They have their own unique histories; they may even survive the death of their original host language and live on somewhere else. It may turn out that their genealogies, traced backwards in time, leave the Indo-European family before they finally coalesce.


Not so different: coalescence in biology

It is also possible for a set of related forms to converge only partly by the time we reach the common ancestor of the languages that contain them. For example, OE fȳr, Gothic fon (gen.sg. funins), and Old Norse funi beside fýr and fúrr ‘fire’ are all related and represent the scattered and partly reworked remains of a single ancient paradigm. That rather complicated paradigm was quite likely felt to be somewhat irregular already in Proto-Indo-European. We reconstruct it like this: nom.sg. *páh₂wr̥, gen.sg. *p(h₂)wén-s (the bracketed segment was probably left unpronounced). In Germanic, the *r/n alternation in the stem of the word was no longer conditioned grammatically. We have different Proto-Germanic byforms  of the ‘fire’ word, with either *r or *n generalised accross the board in the historically known languages. To “unify” them, we have to go beyond Proto-Germanic, but even as we reach Proto-Indo-European, the coalescence is not complete. The stem has different variants (“allomorphs”) in different case-forms. We can treat them as “internal” cognates traceable back to a still more remote common ancestor. Such an approach is called internal reconstruction, in this case within PIE. The stem looks as if it had originally consisted of two morphemes, with the word stress alternating between them, roughly along the following lines:

  • “strong” cases: *péh₂- + *-weN-
  • “weak” cases: *peh₂- + *-wéN-

The symbol *N stands for a hypothetical Pre-PIE segment that became PIE *r in the nom./acc. (where it was word-final) and *n in other case-forms. The transcription used above is provisional and has no claim to strict accuracy: internal reconstruction is inherently insecure, and the comparative method can’t be applied to PIE itself (unless one day we discover hitherto unrecognised cognates lurking in other language families). Can we identify the two morphemes? The *-wr̥/-wén- part is at least a recurrent derivational suffix, even if its function isn’t entirely clear. We find it in several other neuter nouns, usually related to a verb root. In Hittite, where it is particularly frequent, it productively forms verbal substantives. Perhaps, then, the *pah₂- part is the same as the verb root *{peh₂-} ‘protect, guard’ (note the regular change of underlying *e to *a triggered by an adjacent *h₂), and this ‘fire’ word originally mean ‘stuff to be protected’ (like the sacred fire of Vesta)? Possible but speculative. Nevertheless, at least from the formal point of view, we have approached the point of where the genealogies of fire and fon coalesce not only with each other but also with those of Greek pũr, Classical Armenian howr, Hittite pahhur (gen.sg. pahhuenas), etc. – and I mean not only the quotation form of each word, but also all its case-forms. In order to reach that point we have to travel back in time beyond Proto-Germanic and even beyond Proto-Indo-European, into the mostly uncharted territory of internally reconstructed Pre-Proto-IE.

There will be more about different types of coalescence later. 

41 comments:

  1. The fact some IE languages have got two different vowels a/o while others have got only a doesn't necessarily imply the latter merged them. This is just a theory, but there're other possible explanations.

    The one proposed by Villar is that in older stages, IE had a 4-vowel system with a back vowel . Later, the introduction of a new central vowel a arising from "laryngeal" coloring caused a reorganization of the system. In some varieties, a and merged into a, but in others was backed to o.

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  2. Well, whatever the pre-PIE situation, it's quite clear that Indo-Iranian merged earlier *a and *o (corresponding to the respective phonemes in such groups as Italic, Celtic, and Greek). They behave differently with regard to Brugmann's Law (old *o is lengthened in open syllables, whereas old *a isn't). By the way, in my view PIE had *a as an independent vowel quality all along, not just from *e coloured by an adjacent *h₂. But I'll be reading a conference paper about the PIE status of *a and *ā in a few months, so I can't divulge too much too soon.

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  3. Erratum: The back low vowel in the 4-vowel system is (vertical stroke to the left).

    By the way, in my view PIE had *a as an independent vowel quality all along, not just from *e coloured by an adjacent *h₂.
    This non-ablauting vowel (represented as *ɑ in some textbooks to avoid confusion with *a) is mostly found in Paleo-European substrate loanwords, and precisely this is one of their characteristic features.

    I think you've got an ortodox concept of "PIE" in the sense that everything reconstructable through the comparative method is automatically attributed to it. This would imply the IE family is the result of a single linguistic event which wiped out all the pre-existing languages. With regard to this, the proponents of the so-called "continuity theory" such as Alinei are even more extreme and think there were no pre-IE substrates at all, so IE was spoken ever since.

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  4. Just for clearing matters, Villar sees the introduction of o as a dialectal innovation which reached to some IE languages but not others.

    On the other hand, the research on IE lexicon is much less advanced than in other areas. For example, in his last book, Villar does a statistical analysis over a sample of IE words related to agriculture and concludes they're better represented in Italic, Germanic and Baltic. This is precisely what one would expect if they come from the languages spoken by European Neolithic farmers.

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  5. Yes, I'm perfectly happy with a pretty orthodox concept of PIE (but without the straw-man characteristics you attach to it). Let's leave it at that.

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  6. Perhaps I didn't understand you, but when you said "in my view PIE had *a as an independent vowel quality all along" were you referring to the same non-ablauting *a I mentioned in my comment?

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  7. I don't classify vowels into "ablauting" and "non-ablauting" ones. IE ablaut is not a unitary phenomenon. There are different kinds of ablaut, of different origin. Ablaut is not a vowel feature, either. Any vowel can produce an "ablaut" pattern provided that its occurrence, originally dependent on purely phonetic conditions, acquires a morphological function and becomes grammaticalised. The *a I'm referring to is at least potentially ablauting in this sense.

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  8. But the fact is this *a doesn't to the PIE ablaut system. This is precisely one of the reasons why some specialists consider those words to be substrate borrowings, i.e. not PIE-native.

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  9. I don't think it's a safe criterion. And I don't believe in such a thing as a uniform PIE ablaut system (where the fundamental form of a root has the short e-grade and the rest is a simple vowel algebra). What we call "ablaut" is the morphological interplay of several different processes, partly grammaticalised and conventionalised. Some of them were highly productive at the time of PIE dispersal, others mush less so. Ablaut involving *a was marginalised. It's something I'm going to publish soon, so I really can't be more specific now.

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  10. OK then. But as it happens, these Paleo-European substrate words have a very high frequency of a, so this can't be due to chance. Of course, these submerged languages might have different ablaut patterns such as e.g. a/u in Schrijver's bird names.

    I suspected you consider this to be a PIE feature because in the ortodox model everything inside IE is considered to be inherited from PIE, something which I don't agree.

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  11. As examples of the kind of words I'm referring to, I'd quote *ɑbVl- 'apple' and *ɑkʷā 'water'. The latter is interesting because is cognate to the Hittite verb aku-/eku- 'to drink', which displays the std IE ablaut.

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  12. The western word for 'water, river' is unrelated to Hitt. ekuzi/akuanzi and Toch.B yoktsi 'drink' (whose root is *h₁egʷʰ-. The latter's PIE status is guaranteed by its distribution (a verb in the basal branches Anatolian and Tocharian, clear traces in Latin and Greek). The aqua word is known only from Latin and Germanic, which makes it a possible dialectal loanword from a non-IE source, but there's nothing "foreign-looking" about its form. A word like *h₂akʷah₂ (or h₂aḱwah₂?) could well be IE, especially in view of possible long-vowel derivatives in Germanic, *ēg(w)jaz 'ocean', *ēg(w)jō 'island'. Lengthened vowels were not coloured by laryngeals, so the alternation visible here indirectly testifies to an initial *h₂.

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    1. This connection, although possible, it's doubtful. See De Vaan (2008), who quotes Beekes on the matter.

      I'd prefer a link between *ɑk´w-ā 'water' (possibly kw is a better reconstruction than , alternatively spelled as ) and IE *h₁ōk´u- 'fast', so the former would actually mean 'running water', hence 'river'. I must insist there's no vowel colouring whatsoever.

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  13. Gypsies migrated out of India and they spoke an Indian Language.

    In European Gypsy language Indian "a" changed into European a,e,o.

    1. Change of Indian "a" to European Gypsy "e":
    European Gypsy: kher (house); Armenian Gypsy: khar, compare Pali gharam,
    Snaskrit graham, Hindi ghar etc.

    2. In closed syllable Indian "a" remains "a" in European Gypsy:
    European Gypsy: angust (finger); compare Sanskrit angustha; Hindi angutha.

    3. India "a" has turned into European Gypsy "o":
    European Gypsy: sosa (moustache); compare Sanskrit smasru
    Armenian Gypsy: vorov (big); European Gypsy: Baro; compare Hindi Bara

    Since this is a living proof of living language spoken by living people where
    Indian a has changed into european gypsy a/e/o, why do academics still keep arguing the other way?

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  14. They don't argue the other way. Romani (Gypsy) dialects have enlarged their vowel inventories, starting from a Sanskrit-like system, but Romani is a relatively young language. It has nothing to do with the origin of Latin, Greek, Old Irish, Gothic, etc. (let alone Hittite). Sanskrit /a/ reflects a much earlier merger of three different vowels, with a distribution completely different from that seen in Romani.

    How would you explain a Skt. form like cakā́ra (the perfect of {kr̥-} 'make'? Other languages (like Greek) show clearly that the phonological template of 3sg. perfect was Ce-Cor-e (in this case, *kʷe-kʷor-e), which explains all the features of the Skt. form: the initial *k was palatalised because it was originally followed by front *e, and the medial *o (but no other PIE vowel!) was lengthened in a n open syllable (Brugmann's Law). Linguists realised such things about 1876. If you can offer an alternative explanation, go ahead.

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    1. [They don't argue the other way. Romani (Gypsy) dialects have enlarged their vowel inventories, starting from a Sanskrit-like system, but Romani is a relatively young language.]
      Why could'nt Greek etc have enlarged their vowel inventories like Romani?

      [It has nothing to do with the origin of Latin, Greek, Old Irish, Gothic, etc. (let alone Hittite). Sanskrit /a/ reflects a much earlier merger of three different vowels, with a distribution completely different from that seen in Romani.]
      In what way is Sanskrit distribution different then Romani?

      [How would you explain a Skt. form like cakā́ra (the perfect of {kr̥-} 'make'? Other languages (like Greek) show clearly that the phonological template of 3sg. perfect was Ce-Cor-e (in this case, *kʷe-kʷor-e), which explains all the features of the Skt. form: the initial *k was palatalised because it was originally followed by front *e, and the medial *o (but no other PIE vowel!) was lengthened in a n open syllable (Brugmann's Law). Linguists realised such things about 1876. If you can offer an alternative explanation, go ahead. ]
      Hmmm. But then how do you explain: Gr. bárbaros (to laugh) and Skt. kákhati ?

      Or: Sankrit prati, Greek pros?

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  15. Why could'nt Greek etc have enlarged their vowel inventories like Romani?

    Why did they do it in the same way, so that e.g. Latin /e/, Greek /e/, Celtic /e/, Slavic /e/, etc., have the same lexical distribution? And by what miracle does Sansktit (and Indo-Iranian in general) palatalise its velars exactly where the other IE languages show /e/ rather than /o/ or /a/? Not only in grammatical paradigms but also in lots of isolated words, like Lat. que, Gk. te = Skt. ca 'and', or Lat. quinque, Gk. pénte = Skt. pánca. We know for sure that the Skt. palatals are secondary and due to the development of velars before front vowels: the same development is found before *i (preserved in Sanskrit). It was facts like these that convinced all linguists already in the 1870s that Sanskrit was innovative, not conservative, in this respect.

    In what way is Sanskrit distribution different then Romani?

    I mean the distribution of /a, e, o/ outside Indo-Iranian is different from what we see in Romani. This shows that the Romani vowel system is an independent innovation and has no probative value.

    Hmmm.

    Is "Hmmm" an explanation?

    But then how do you explain: Gr. bárbaros (to laugh) and Skt. kákhati ?

    What am I supposed to explain here, apart from the fact that Gr. bárbaros has nothing to do with laughing? It's an adjective, not a verb, and it means 'non-Greek, foreign'. It's also unrelated to kákhati in any way, so why are you comparing them?

    Or: Sankrit prati, Greek pros?

    What problem have you with with this one? The failure of Brugmann's Law? It fails to operate between a few common adverbial suffixes, and we do not know the reason for that, but at any rate in verb forms like the perfect its operation is flawless. It even shows the PIE contrast between 1sg. *kʷe-kʷór-h₂a and 3sg. *kʷe-kʷór-e. The former has a short vowel in Vedic because the laryngeal of the personal ending (not yet lost in Proto-Indo-Iranian) rendered the medial syllable closed.

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    1. [Why could'nt Greek etc have enlarged their vowel inventories like Romani?

      Why did they do it in the same way, so that e.g. Latin /e/, Greek /e/, Celtic /e/, Slavic /e/, etc., have the same lexical distribution? And by what miracle does Sansktit (and Indo-Iranian in general) palatalise its velars exactly where the other IE languages show /e/ rather than /o/ or /a/?]

      Does Pāṇini's rules count? Asthadhyayi 8.2.30 talks about velarisation of palatals i.e conversion of ca-varga to ka-varga, compare vāc > {Skt. vāk, Tocharian wek, Hittite huek- }. It would seem that the experts have not taken into account Panini's rules, which are more then 2000 years old, where the reason for vāc > vāk is clearly given.

      Can we first resolve this before tackling others?

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  16. Experts know their Pāṇini well enough. They even have an advantage over him, since Pāṇini, for all his genius (which nobody denies), was not interested in languages other than Old Indo-Aryan, and was not even marginally aware of the evidence they provided. He was not a historical linguist either. His exclusive purpose was to describe Sanskrit in synchronic terms, not to explain the origin of alternations or the relationship of Sanskrit to other languages. His conversion rules are descriptively adequate, but they don't really explain anything and they were never meant to be explanatory. He gives no reason for the conversion, he merely defines a rule.

    If you look at the external relatives of Sanskrit vāk, gen.sg. vācás (Toch. wek, Lat. vōx, Gk. op-, but Hitt. huekzi/hukanzi does not belong here!), there is no palatal anywhere (unless a language-specific phonetic process creates one, as in Italian voce, where the [ʧ] came from Latin /k/ palatalised before a front vowel). What we see are just the expected outcomes of PIE *. If Pāṇini could have known all that, I'm sure that given his linguistic insight he would have reached the same conclusion as modern linguist: his synchronic rule of "velarisaton" is the reversal of the actual historical process of Indo-Iranian palatalisation resulting in the Sanskrit alternation of k and c. If you look at such processes in a cross-linguistic perspective, you will find that changes like k > ʧ before front vowels are extremely common and have a natural explanation, while ʧ > k is neither phonetically natural nor documented.

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  17. "If Pāṇini could have known all that, I'm sure that given his linguistic insight he would have reached the same conclusion as modern linguist: his synchronic rule of "velarisaton" is the reversal of the actual historical process of Indo-Iranian palatalisation resulting in the Sanskrit alternation of k and c."

    Are you suggesting that Pāṇini is wrong in creating the rule 8.2.30?

    And if you are saying so then are you also implying vāk > vāc?

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  18. No he wasn't wrong descriptevely, but he didn't know anthing about the origin of the alternation (because he never studied non-Indo-Aryan languages or compared them to sanskrit). His rule is synchronic and inner-Sanskrit, not historical.

    Historicall speaking, we have *wāk- > *wāč- before front-vowel endings, with the velar preserved in the nom.sg. (PIE *wōkʷ-s).

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    1. [No he wasn't wrong descriptevely, but he didn't know anthing about the origin of the alternation (because he never studied non-Indo-Aryan languages or compared them to sanskrit). His rule is synchronic and inner-Sanskrit, not historical.

      Historicall speaking, we have *wāk- > *wāč- before front-vowel endings, with the velar preserved in the nom.sg. (PIE *wōkʷ-s). ]

      Sorry I am bit confused. If Pāṇini is not wrong then are you suggesting that the rules and laws created by modern historical linguists do not apply to Sanskrit and daughter languages?

      Because in Sanskrit we definitely have vāc > vāk. (There are other "ca varga" > "ka varga" examples).

      How do we explain this since Pāṇini and modern linguists seem to be at odds with each other?






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    2. Do you understand the difference between a synchronic regularity (the description of a pattern) and a historical process? Let us suppose that somebody is describing the accents of northern England in the following way:

      "The high vowel /ʊ/ is substituted for /ʌ/ (in words such as love, run, strut, etc.): /ʌ/ -> /ʊ/"

      Is such a description correct? Synchronically, yes, because it adequately defines the one-way correspondence between "standard English" (an RP-like accent) and Northern British English for this lexical set. But you can't claim historical accuracy for it, because the actual historical development was in the opposite direction: in the 17th century most instances of /ʊ/ changed into /ʌ/ in the southern accents, and the northern pronunciation is in fact older.

      The Sanskrit rule tells you how to derive grammatical forms within Sanskrit. It takes no external data into account and has nothing to say about the origin of the alternation or the Indo-European background of Sanskrit. Pāṇini's knowledge did not extend beyond Indo-Aryan, so you can't expect his analysis to be relevant to Indo-European languages in general. I hope I have made myself clear; I wouldn't like to discuss this ad infinitum.

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    3. I think the problem is you're not arguing with someone who is relying on evidence, you're arguing with someone who holds a conclusion on faith and is hunting for evidence to support it. Not much different than trying to convince a Biblical literalist why Carbon-14 dating works.

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    4. I'm not trying to convince Shivraj (if his attitude is denialist) but to show that his objections can be addressed by linguists, that they have in fact been satisfactorily dealt with more than a century ago, and that there is no international "academic" conspiracy to belittle the status of Sanskrit by ignoring or downplaying the work of the Old Indian grammarians.

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  19. Westerners changed Beijing to Peking => Implication:Palatal > Velar.

    Blind insistence on Velar < Palatal is faulty IMHO.

    Something is up with Centum language group.

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  20. The Middle Chinese pronunciation of the word for 'hill, capital city' (the second syllable of Beijing 'Northern Capital') was /kʲæŋ/ (reflecting an Old Chinese form with an initial velar, cf. Baxter & Sagart 2011). Westerners borrowed the name of the city with the old pronunciation, before the initial stop became affricated.

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  21. Mr baxter got it wrong. From 1400 AD Beijing area was called as Beijing. French Monks mangled the palatal to the velar. These French Monks reached China some 400 years back when Beijing was already in use.

    Similar mangling was done in the name Nanjing.

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  22. Baxter didn't get anything wrong, since Baxter and Sagart don't say anything about the pronunciation of Beijing. I only use their table as a reference source for the MC and OC pronunciation of jīng. The traditional French romanisation system and the "Postal Atlas" transcription, to which we owe the form Peking, were based on the Nanjing pronunciation of Mandarin, and on Cantonese, respectively. They did not even attempt to imitate standard Beijing Mandarin but reflected a pronunciation which was "archaic" and etymologising from the Beijing point of view (e.g., making distinctions no longer made in the modern standard but preserved in the dialects).

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  23. P.S. The northern palatalisation before i, ü took place in the mid-17th century, so when the European Jesuits first romanised the name, in still had a velar stop even in and around Peking/Beijing itself (and they followed the then prestigious Nanjing pronunciation anyway). The mediaeval pronunciation at the time when the Northern Capital got so named, was approximately /pik kiŋ/.

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  24. Xiaomin is correct.


    Shuntian and Beizhili: When the usurping Yongle Emperor established his base of Beiping as a secondary capital in 1403, he renamed the town Shuntian (t 順天, s 顺天, p Shùntiān, w Shün-t'ien, lit. "Obedient to Heaven") and the region Beizhili (t 北直隸, s 北直隶, p Běizhílì, w Pei-chih-li) to mimic the names of Yingtian (modern Nanjing).

    Jingshi and Beijing: When the palace was finally completed in 1421, the Yongle Emperor moved the majority of his court north. The name Jingshi (t 京師, s 京师, p Jīngshī, w Ching-shih, lit. "Capital") ceased to be used for Yingtian and was now employed for Shuntian. The area around Yingtian became known as Nanjing while Beijing was used to describe the area directly administered by the capital (generally modern Hebei).

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    1. Yes you are correct. From 15th century onwards Beijing had a palatal and no velar despite what euro priests wrote or their followrs writing in todays day.

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  25. Except that Běijīng is the modern pinyin transcription (made official in 1958) based on the modern Standard Mandarin pronunciation. It does not reflect the Chinese pronunciation of 1403 or of the early 17th century, when Mateo Ricci invented the first system of romanisation. He did not "mangle" anything; he was just doing his best to record the contemporary normative pronunciation of a language he knew pretty well.

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    1. Your syllogism->

      (A) a linguist from west said something;
      (B) eurocentrism demands west is always correct;

      hence linguist from west is correct.

      Though an entire nation of China somehow did not want Peking and changed it and the west is still correct in coming up with Peking!

      What bizzare logic.



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    2. "The entire nation of China" chose the modern Mandarin pronunciation of the Beijing area as the basis of the national standard. It doesn't mean that this pronunciation is very old or that has always been as prestigious as it is now. When I say that the palatalisation is datable to the middle of the 17th century, I base my opinion on that of competent Sinologists (including Chinese linguists). I am sorry, but it's you who should read up on the historical phonology and dialectology of Chinese.

      Anyway, foreing versions of Chinese placenames are now often based on the pinyin romanisation just for the sake of diplomatic courtesy, but there's nothing wrong with using traditional versions that differ from the official Chinese ones. All the world does that. The French call London [lɔ̃dʁ], not [ˈlʌn.dən], and the British call Paris ['pærɪs], not [pa'ʁi]. My country's capital is called Warszawa [varˈʂava]. Should I insist that the Mandarin version Huáshā (華沙) is "mangled" and "incorrect"?

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    3. "It doesn't mean that this pronunciation is very old or that has always been as prestigious as it is now."

      Bad assumption. Beijing name was used since 15th centruy. Competent sinologists introduced a fictional velar in place of an older palatal.

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    4. OK, close your eyes, stop your ears and repeat, "You are wrong". It's an invincible argument.

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    5. I agree with Xiamen. You need to give up this insistence that Chinese do not know their own pronounciations but some French clergy know it better then the Chinese. What a Eurocentric view this is!

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    6. Shivraj, do you realise that the non-palatalised pronunciation is still used today by millions of Chinese people (especially south of the Yangtze) who don't happen to be speakers of Standard Chinese? It was not invented by Matteo Ricci (who was Italian, not French, by the way). And my opinion about dating Chinese sound changes is simply based on what linguists say -- Chinese linguists too. Native speakers know a lot about their own pronunciation but we are discussing the pronunciation of their ancestors a few hundred years ago, and most people, wherever they come from, are totally ignorant of the history of their own language.

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  26. Mr. Fong - how do you explain the correspondences between Mandarin jīng , Cantonese ging1 , Japanese kyō < kyau , Korean kyeong , Vietnamese kinh , each of which is stated in Chinese records and their own in KJV's cases to be borrowings if not direct descendants of middle Chinese 亰 ?

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    1. Mr Shelton,
      jīng goes back to Ji (蓟/薊 Jì), Jicheng or the City of Ji (蓟城/薊城 Jìchéng) from the time of Zhou dynasty.

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