Review of Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino- Tibetan Reconstruction. Article (PDF Available) in Language and Linguistics. System and philosophy of Sino-Tibeto-Burman Reconstruction. } Review: James A. Matisoff () Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. System Rethinking Sino-Tibetan phylogeny from the perspective of North East Indian. Review of Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction. By James A.

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Here are examples of TB-Chinese comparisons with initial l- which M. Skip to main content. Bibliophile South Asia, and Morganville: Highlight all Match case. Thus, of the 73 Chinese comparanda proposed by M. Vowel correspondence without parallel.

Tibetan, again, is under-studied thus four out of thirteen diphthongal TB rimes in Table 14 p. Expect a dental stop in TB.

Journal Asiatique The revised Conspectus took no notice. Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics, Matisoff offers little discussion of the evolution of manner contrasts: He reconstructed few words with long vowels, however. Every effort should be made to replace them with explicit prefixation hypotheses.

Matisoff Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. When roots where Matisoff supposes -k have Chinese cognates, Chinese normally has -k.

Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman: System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction

Yet Written Tibetan, the oldest TB literary language, with its abundant literature and convenient proto-tibeyo-burman, is under-represented. Failures of this type are not limited to laterals, of course: Conclusion Phiosophy the problems discussed in this review, Matisoff has to a large extent succeeded in making Benedict’s reconstruction of TB rimes explicit, and thus testable: After discovering the first elements of evidence of a genetic relationship between Chinese and Austronesian, where TB elements were not prominent, I claimed in a conference paper Sagart that Chinese stood closer genetically to Austronesian than to Tibeto-Burman.


He claims that Lushai tlaak ‘fall’ reflects the same root, suffixed with -k. Occasional papers of the Wolfenden Society. New Light on a Forgotten Past. Another problem with M’s inventory of consonants is the alternation, already mentioned, between initial velars and zero. A comparative vocabulary of five Sino-Tibetan languages. N- preserved as prenasalization in early loans to Hmong-Mien. Often there are several widely different Chinese comparanda for one TB word, or vice versa.

Matisoff earlier produced such a hypothesis for Burmese-Lolo. University of Hawai’i Press. The Chinese word does not explain -w- in TB.

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Although we are still without explicit testable theories of TB consonants and TB tones, it is clear that progress with the rhymes can only improve the prospects of solving them. Matisoff maintains the same range of assumptions, but treats root alternation, not mentioned by name, simply as lexical variation at the PTB level.

In SagartI have argued that the transitivity-related voicing alternation, at least, is better explained as induced by a prefix intransitive m- see below than as lexical variation in PTB, and even in PST.

This must be because the form with -k is basic. It contains reconstructions of over a thousand Tibeto-Burman roots, as well as suggested comparisons with several hundred Chinese etyma.


Weak semantics; vowel correspondence off see below at ‘red’, example This is not felicitous. The reader is invited to admire e. Matisoff has no safeguards against loans. The great majority are inherited from Benedict and other sources, in particular Gong A New goals for Sino-Tibetan linguistics.

Wenzhou Shiyuan Xuebao 4. The tables of Chinese comparanda are of limited value in elucidating the system of sound correspondences between TB and Chinese rimes, because a the system of sino-itbetan chosen for OC gives a severely distorted image of OC phonology, b the charts include many faulty comparisons and c many valid comparisons have not been seen.

Matisoff’s PTB has neither tones nor anything out of which tones can arise. There are also problems, discussed below. Much progress on sound correspondences between Tai-Kadai and Austronesian has been achieved by Ostapiratleaving no doubt that a genetic interpretation is valid. Matisoff proposes a third interpretation: Sino-Tibetan at “perhaps years BP”, p.

An intransitive nasal prefix m- was reconstructed for TB by Wolfendenand this is maintained by later writers, including Matisoff. Hanyu Shi Lun Ji This is widely accepted.

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