文澩鼎 - Toraya

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文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Ghoster » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 11:15

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Toraya is an isolate with many borrowings from sino-tibetan languages as well as semitic languages. It’s written with adopted Chinese characters (abandoning completely the concept of phonetic elements) and supplicated with simplified Arabic script (with no diacritics). Traditionally it’s written top to bottom (in columns from right to left – it’s worth noting that the Arabic parts are tilted horizontally, it originated from Persian influence), but here I will use simple right-left orientation. As for the name:
tora ‘Ceremonial’ – While the word itself is native, the hanzi chosen for it represents sacrificial tripod from Chinese culture. The character was adopted to express concepts associated initially with sacrifices, later on with all kinds of rituals.
ya ‘River’ – This word is native as well, but the character shows how distinct from Chinese is character creation in Toraya. While the bottom radical represents water, top radical was just borrowed from “學” (with components: mortar, join and roof) which switched meaning from ‘to learn (by oneself)’ (as opposed to “斅” ‘to learn from a teacher’) to ‘school’, the top composition was later reused with the meaning of ‘place, location’, hence ‘the place of water’, i.e. river.
qoa ‘Language’
It all makes up the full name of 文澩鼎 Toraya qoa ‘Language of the Ceremonial River’.

Phonology:
/i/ ى /u/ و
/e/ ع /o/ ء
/a/ ا

/m/ مـ؍ /n/ ں /ŋ/ ح
/p/ ࢻ /t/ ط /k/ ڪ /q/ ٯ
/b/ ٮ /d/ ص
/h/ ه
/w/ و /j/ ى
/r/ ر
/ɬ/ ل

As you can see, Arabic letters have lost their dot markings, but they were chosen so that there's not much ambiguity between symbols. Some of the letters can still be mistaken for others, especially in the beginning of a phonetic part of the word and in the middle, but educated reader shouldn't have a problem with those.

Numbers:
  • 0 零 Hipiro (from Arabic صفر ṣifr)
  • 1 一 Oa
  • 2 二 Coi
  • 3 三 Abo
  • 4 亖 Tunda
  • 5 兰 Haio
  • 6 六 Tene
  • 7 七 Onu
  • 8 八 Dum
  • 9 九 Tangoi
  • 10 十 Aia
  • 20 卄 Coi te aia
  • 30 卅 Abo te aia
  • 40 卌 Tunda te aia
  • 50 卋 Haio te aia
  • 100 百 Qambi
  • 1.000 韆 Cien (from Chinese 千 qiān)
  • 10.000 萬 Uan (from Chinese 万 wàn)
Before some proper examples of sentences, let's look at how Toraya approaches Chinese characters.

Characters:
There are couple things different in how Toraya uses Chinese characters from how Chinese do it. First of all the stroke order is different, because the script is written differently (traditionally: top to bottom, modernly: right to left). It tends to start at the right-top corner of a character and go to the left-bottom; exceptions are characters like 道 or 兒, which last stroke is still from left to right (because in top-bottom direction it would then easily connect with the next character or Arabic part going diagonally top-right to bottom-left). There are also couple of ways that characters are used in Toraya:
  1. 字老 Habau di ‘Old characters’ – This is group of characters that were simply borrowed from Chinese without much changes to express concepts already existing in Toraya.
    • Abelarai - ‘Heart, feeling’
    • Iqo - ‘Woman’
    • Hobi - ‘Good, proper’
    • Qorara - ‘Life, live’
    • Mecalo - ‘Fire, hot, warm, friendly’
    • Toa - ‘Sun, day’
    • Onocu - ‘Small, tiny’
    • Hi, heada, mo - ‘No, not, without’
    • Tetequa - ‘Tree, wood’
    • Ahi - ‘Mother’
    • Hatau - ‘Father’
    • Yato - ‘Eye, vision, perspective’
    • Tahoata - ‘Body, flesh’
    • Qoahabi - ‘House, room, space’
    • Aroa - ‘Face, front’
    • Contaboi - ‘Turtle’
    • Mahimo - ‘Eachother, mutual’
    • Tobo - ‘Mountain’
    • Omo - ‘Rain’
  2. 字詞هاى變厶ط澩鼎 - Toraya te tiricadahai honbaia di - Torayan creative characters - This is probably the biggest group of characters, containing the ones with reused radicals for creation of purely ideographic characters with no phonetic background from Chinese.
    • هاى忐 Obihai ‘Happy, joyful’ - Radicals are pretty clear, "up" and "mind, heart"
    • هاى忑 Corohai ‘Sad, depressed’ - Likewise, radicals say "down" and "mind, heart"
    • Hongai ‘Rain’ - "Rain" and "down"
    • Roradam ‘Draught’ - "Rain" and "no, not"
    • هاى譕 Torangahai ‘To say nonsense’ - "Words" and "nothing"
    • 𪼓 Qali ‘King, ruler’ - "King" and "country"
    • 𪵨 Hacamara ‘Blood’ - "Private" and "water"
    • طورا怂 Honatura ‘Love’ - Two "people" on the top and "mind, heart" on the bottom.
    • Tama ‘Home, house’ - The origin of this character is a little obscure, it depicts "mountain" on the top and "east" on the bottom.
    • Aqali ‘Bad, not good’ - The upper part means "no", and the bottom part is an already existing Chinese characters meaning "good", depicting "woman" and "child".
  3. 字詞هاى唸新ط澩鼎 - Toraya te combonihai honbaia di[/i] - Torayan innovative characters - This group consists of characters that have no history in Chinese tradition, but were introduced based on other characters or just made anew.
    • 𨈐 Hintoba ‘Death’ - Comes from 身 "life" with removed inside.
    • 𠁼 Daia ‘Drop’ - It's pretty much graphical.
    • 𤖎 Ancabuta ‘Spider’ - It shows a picture of a spider; also it comes from Arabic عنكبوت ʿankabūt.
    • 𪓔 Ongotoraba ‘Scorpion’ - The form stems from the character 龜 "turtle", but it's more or less clear depiction of a scorpion with a tail and two pliers.
    • 𧥛 Raio ‘Question’ - It comes from 言 "words, to speak", but with an opening on the bottom meaning that the words are incomplete (not answered).
    • 𩡧 Yamalo ‘Camel’ - It's variation of 馬 "horse", also it's an Arabic loanwoard from جمل jamal.
    • Oliho ‘Inside’ - It is most likely connected to 骨 "bone" with removed "body" on the bottom.
    • 自厶 Cabai ‘Self, oneself’ - The 厶 "private" has been extracted as a selfstanding character reused in different contexts. As a radical it's also much more common than in Chinese.
    • Qondo ‘Temple’ - It shows a building with a sharp roof and a line depicting "sky" like in 天 "sky".
    • A couple of different particles [𪜊个𫇥𢖩𡗔𠠲𠤎𠀁𫝄𧰨𠬠刁] that I'll describe later.
  4. 字詞叚ط國中هاى音詞 - Yucorabihai Caeqo te caru honbaia di - Phonetical Chinese borrowings characters - These are characters that were barrowed along with their original pronunciation from Chinese.
    • هاى麗美 Merihai ‘Beautiful, pretty’ (from Chinese 美丽 měilì)
    • Maa ‘Horse’ (from Chinese 马 )
    • Pen ‘Root’ (from Chinese 本 běn)
    • Qe ‘Month’ (from Chinese 月 yuè)
    • Ta ‘Big, large, huge’ (from Chinese 大 )
    • Cae ‘Middle, centre’ (from Chinese 中 zhōng)
    • Cun ‘Dog’ (from Chinese 犬 quǎn)
  5. 字詞ط部兰 - Haio te honbaia di - Five-part characters - There’s also one not-so-common pattern to create characters based simply on multiplying them five times and putting into two distinct characters. The idea for it came apparently from the Chinese “森林” meaning ‘forest’, where there actually are five trees. Toraya people apparently liked this idea and reused it for couple of different words:
    • 林森 Hona ‘Forest, woods’ (radical: wood, tree)
    • 从众 Qangai ‘People, nation’ (radical: person)
    • 炎焱 Terao ‘Fire, conflagration (radical: fire)
    • 吕品 Ngohori ‘Storage, storehause’ (radical: box)
    • 㕕厽 Humatatai ‘Close friends’ (radical: private)
    • 孖孨 Eri ‘Children’ (radical: child)
    • 夶𡘙 Holaran ‘Size’ (radical: big)
    • 誩譶 Tenatea ‘Story, tale’ (radical: word)
    • 騳驫 Oromata ‘Many horses, harras’ (radical: horse)
      Although there’s a bunch of these, triple radical characters are quite rare, while quadriple radical characters never happen in Toraya.

    Pronouns:
    Toraya actually has a very rich system of pronouns.
    Ohi ‘I’ - Common pronoun
    Oro ‘I’ - Polite form

    Aheodi ‘We’- Common pronoun
    Oqim ‘We’ - Polite form, contextually can be understood as exclusive first person plural.
    Toraqata ‘We both’ - First person dual

    Idio ‘Self (m.)’ - Used either as equivalent of ‘self, one’ or in official situations reffering to 1sg.
    Idionai ‘Self (f.)’
    No ‘It (m./n.)’ - Refers to objects, animals, abstract ideas.
    Non ‘It (f.)’ - Refers to female animals.
    Abo ‘It’ - Refers only to objects, most likely small things that can be held in hand.

    Tama ‘You’ - Both singular and plural, Toraya doesn't distinguish it.
    Taihi ‘You’ - Said between mothers and children, father and sons, brothers and sisters (in all combinations), romantically engaged with/wife and husband.
    Coaman ‘Everyone’ - Depending on context it can be 1pl. inclusive or 2pl.

    Ino ‘He’
    Renai ‘She’
    Alade ‘He/she’ - Refers to absent good friends
    Conoi ‘He’ - Refers to young boys
    Cononai ‘She’ - Refers to young girls
    Madai ‘He’ - Refers to older men
    Madanai ‘She’ - Refers to older women


    Grammar:
    Grammar of Toraya is moderately complex, although noticeably different from any language that it came in contact with. It might be analyzed as SOV or SVO, but the important thing is that auxilary verbs come before strict [SO] part and the rest of the verbs come at the end of the sentence. It's a rather agglutinantive language, although it barrowed some analytical features from Chinese as well as even simple alternations from Arabic. Like Chinese it is a topic-prominent language (meaning that it emphasizes topic as a main information source rather than describe subject as “what the sentence is about”), but surprisingly topic more often than not finds itself at the end of a clause. For example:
    𪜊冊其هاى ىاع意㴱هئراى、
    /horai qondoahai yae, no cobai da/
    {very interestingADJ is, this book PART}
    ‘It's a very interesting book!’, literally ‘Very interesting is, this book!’

    Toraya also relies heavy on particles indicating all kinds of different moods, tenses and other grammatical features, one of which could already be seen in the last example.

    𪜊 da - Emphatic particle, probably most used among all the others.
    𪜊ںاىٯا曰說ىء速、
    Oluio hinunaiqa da.
    {fastADV sayIMP PART}
    ‘Say it, quickly!’

    个 o - Another emphatic particle, but not as strong as the previous one, might be added to a sentence either to make it more energetic or to soften the tone of a request.
    个翵肀其俺ىالى抓㧱、
    Tocamo yali ohi no qutaqai o.
    {take for 1sg this quill give PART}
    ‘Give me this pen.’

    𫇥 a - It is basically a question particle, although might also be used as a connector between two sentences.
    𫇥ڪاى承事之هوا侮ڪاى道認、
    Moatacai coaman huatora hidicai a?
    {know everyone what-thing do PART}
    ‘Does everyone know what to do?’

    𢖩 - iyo - This one expresses affection or concern.
    𢖩ىاع無事之هاى大、ىاى𤵂必無、
    {imperativeNEG worry, bigADJ thing not is PART}
    Qana habinai, tahai tora mo yae iyo.
    ‘Don't worry, it's not a big deal.’

    𡗔 ha - This particle expresses very strong, positive emotion, most likely joy.
    𡗔ىاى贏اىاࢽ鬭乖其忥筴要هاى靠را源緣俺、
    Ohi tonocobara todohai taihi no maocabaian tohanai ha.
    {1sg originalADV sure about-to youEMPH this competition win PART}
    I was sure you would win this competition!
Last edited by Ghoster on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 14:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by sangi39 » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29

Only two things come to mind immediately (quick read before work, sorry):

1a) What does <c> represent in the romanisation? It's not mentioned in the phonology section, so I'm unsure.

1b) Also, as a secondary point, how do you represent /ŋ/ in the romanisation. I had assumed <ng> initially, but then I noticed a) that you lack /g/, and b) have clusters like /mb/ and /ng/.

2) I'm honestly a bit unsure at to why direction of the script would change stroke order in Chinese characters. Isn't Chinese, in some instances, written right-to-left, and yet the stroke order of individual characters doesn't change with the direction of the text (same for top-to-bottom)?
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Creyeditor » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:15

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29
Only two things come to mind immediately (quick read before work, sorry):

1a) What does <c> represent in the romanisation? It's not mentioned in the phonology section, so I'm unsure.

1b) Also, as a secondary point, how do you represent /ŋ/ in the romanisation. I had assumed <ng> initially, but then I noticed a) that you lack /g/, and b) have clusters like /mb/ and /ng/.
Obviously <c> /ŋ/ [:D] JK
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Shemtov » Mon 09 Jul 2018, 18:23

Where is this language spoken? If they're using Arabic script for phonetic elements, am I right in assuming they're Muslim or have heavy Islamic influence on their native religion? Given that nowhere does a Sinosphere country border an Arabic speaking one, do they also have influence from Persian, Turkic or Urdu? What about Mongolic influence?
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by clawgrip » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 09:11

It looks interesting. It's nice to see a large selection of discourse particles; it's a feature I rarely see in conlangs.

Like sangi39, I have doubts about stroke order changing just because writing direction does. Stroke order is more than just direction, it's also generally the easiest way to balance the character. For example, when writing 園, writing 囗 before 袁 makes 囗 govern the overall size and ensures that the character doesn't get out of proportion. There are many more subtle things like this in stroke order. The biggest problem is that stroke order is extremely important in Chinese writing tradition; cursive and semi-cursive writing is completely governed by stroke order. To change stroke order would result in a script that would be highly illegible to those familiar with normal Chinese characters which is fine for a conscript, but it would also require breaking fully from Chinese writing tradition, something no culture influenced by Chinese writing has ever done.

But then, this raises the question of how exactly would a mixed Chinese-styleArabic script even develop? I don't believe that Japanese of a good example, since kana basically is just Chinese that was repurposed and eventually simplified and standardized; it's not too foreign scripts that were merged. So it might be worth investing time in considering how such a system could come about.
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29
Isn't Chinese, in some instances, written right-to-left, and yet the stroke order of individual characters doesn't change with the direction of the text (same for top-to-bottom)?
Yes. It's essentially the same writing direction, though, top to bottom, right to left, but the columns are just one character high. I don't know much about Chinese, but really 20th century Japanese used this direction as the norm for horizontal headlines, signs, etc..
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Lao Kou » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 12:45

I'll chime in on the concerns about stroke order. If, as has been introduced:
Ghoster wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 11:15
Traditionally it’s written top to bottom (in columns from right to left – it’s worth noting that the Arabic parts are tilted horizontally, it originated from Persian influence),
(And I can only guess that Arabic parts "tilted horizontally" means something akin to Nastaʿlīq script was the original)

then this seems a rather natural way of writing, top-to-bottom, with Chinese and Arabic components written in a boustrophedon-y style within each column (though I can't write Nastaʿlīq on my computer):

Chinese ↘
Arabic ↙
Chinese ↘
Arabic ↙
Chinese ↘
Arabic ↙

هاى忐 obihai ‘happy, joyful’

忐 ↘
هاى ↙
𪜊ںاىٯا曰說ىء速、Oluio hinunaiqa da. ‘Say it quickly.’

速、↘
ىء ↙
說 ↘

ںاىٯا ↙
𪜊 ↘

in which case, there's no need to change character stroke order at all.
clawgrip wrote:
Tue 10 Jul 2018, 09:11
Like sangi39, I have doubts about stroke order changing just because writing direction does. Stroke order is more than just direction, it's also generally the easiest way to balance the character. For example, when writing 園, writing 囗 before 袁 makes 囗 govern the overall size and ensures that the character doesn't get out of proportion. There are many more subtle things like this in stroke order. The biggest problem is that stroke order is extremely important in Chinese writing tradition; cursive and semi-cursive writing is completely governed by stroke order.
As a vertical writing system, an interesting Sino-Arabic calligraphic style could emerge.
But then, this raises the question of how exactly would a mixed Chinese-style Arabic script even develop?
I personally don't worry about this.
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29
Isn't Chinese, in some instances, written right-to-left, and yet the stroke order of individual characters doesn't change with the direction of the text (same for top-to-bottom)?
This covers most of what I could observe on the topic.
Last edited by Lao Kou on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 04:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Lambuzhao » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 22:17

Some very very interesting concepts!


For another idea on a possible combined hanzi+arabic calligraphic writing, check out the works of Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang



http://islamic-arts.org/2011/haji-noor- ... ligrapher/

His works explore the Sini style of calligraphy used by Chinese Muslims.
https://www.deviantart.com/teakster/art ... e-81163279

Also, deviantartist Teakster has some interesting ideas budding from HND's work, which see:
https://www.deviantart.com/teakster/art ... e-81163279


On-again-off-again, I have considered a descendant of a union of Sufi+Zen philosophies. Not exactly what Frank Herbert developed in his Zensufi religion of the Dune series.

Something like this:
http://www.pilgrimsofemptiness.com/sufizen.html
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by All4Ɇn » Tue 10 Jul 2018, 23:01

Glad to see another conlang written in Hanzi! Definitely have some great ideas here and I'd love to see more [:D]
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by GrandPiano » Thu 12 Jul 2018, 13:45

Some very interesting ideas. One thing I couldn't help but wonder, when did you intend for the borrowing from Chinese to take place? Did you intentionally choose to have the loanwords be from Mandarin? If you did, that's fine, just know that the major non-Sinitic natlangs that borrowed the use of hanzi (Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) all borrowed from Middle Chinese.
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by DesEsseintes » Thu 12 Jul 2018, 15:55

Toraya (虎屋) is the name of a Japanese sweets manufacturer. They specialise in top-quality seasonal wagashi (和菓子). Yum.
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by Ghoster » Fri 13 Jul 2018, 17:27

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29
1a) What does <c> represent in the romanisation? It's not mentioned in the phonology section, so I'm unsure.
Oh, right; "c" represents the /k/ phoneme. Basically I have this dirty fetish since my first conlang, where I like to use both "c" and "q", but drop "k" entirely. Somewhat like Latin.
sangi39 wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 13:29
1b) Also, as a secondary point, how do you represent /ŋ/ in the romanisation. I had assumed <ng> initially, but then I noticed a) that you lack /g/, and b) have clusters like /mb/ and /ng/.
"ng" represents /ŋ/, while the other clusters are just a result of phonotactics. The only consonants allowable in the coda are nasals (i.e. "n", "m" and "ng", although last one is very rare).
Shemtov wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 18:23
Where is this language spoken?
By the Ceremonial River. Duh!
Shemtov wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 18:23
If they're using Arabic script for phonetic elements, am I right in assuming they're Muslim or have heavy Islamic influence on their native religion? Given that nowhere does a Sinosphere country border an Arabic speaking one, do they also have influence from Persian, Turkic or Urdu? What about Mongolic influence?
Given that my knowledge of Mongolian and other languages mentioned by you (other than Arabic) is non-existent, it doesn't feel proper for me to base this conlang upon them.
As to Arabic, or just larger cultures that influenced it, buddhism and islam are major dominating religions. I'll try to write something about it next time I go into my reality-escape-conlang-time.
clawgrip wrote:
Tue 10 Jul 2018, 09:11
But then, this raises the question of how exactly would a mixed Chinese-styleArabic script even develop? I don't believe that Japanese of a good example, since kana basically is just Chinese that was repurposed and eventually simplified and standardized; it's not too foreign scripts that were merged. So it might be worth investing time in considering how such a system could come about.
Well, the first thing is that Chinese characters in Toraya, in contrast to Chinese and even Japanese, were never treated phonetically. They were either barrowings from Chinese (basically half of the characters that's seen here) or they were made anew from already existing radicals, but never used as phonetic elements. So basically speaking it's stil purely ideographic script (also some of the words, especially one-character words, might have different reading depending purely on reader's mood). When Toraya were exposed to Arabic, it was basically the first script that was phonetical and that concept turned out to be very handy. The problem was that it was an abjad. So you could imagine that writing a language of such phonetics with an abjad would keep it being written in ironically more consistent Chinese characters, but supplicating it by phonetical Arabic. With time, Torayans came up with an idea to use abjad as an alphabet, so hamza turned into /o/ and 3ayn into /e/, but that was a later innovation.
Lao Kou wrote:
Tue 10 Jul 2018, 12:45
(And I can only guess that Arabic parts "tilted horizontally" means something akin to Nastaʿlīq script was the original)
Exactly.

As to the rest of your post, well, that's very logical, but as script had to adapt to right-left orientation, writing characters as:
→→→→→→→→
While it being a right-left kind of script would be annoingly impractical.
All4Ɇn wrote:
Tue 10 Jul 2018, 23:01
Glad to see another conlang written in Hanzi! Definitely have some great ideas here and I'd love to see more
This will probably become one of these conlangs that have one update every couple months, but I have couple ideas that I'd like to write down, so I hope not to disappoint you then.
And yes, Amanghu posted here some time ago was a very neat idea. I think Chinese writing on its own is just an amazingly deep pool of possibilities for conlanging because of it's utter complexity. I'll try to bring it to extremes with this conlang if it comes to character creation, so to anyone that can read hanzis/kanjis: be attentive to the characters, because I'll try to make those as interesting as possible in terms of at least radicalic choices.
GrandPiano wrote:
Thu 12 Jul 2018, 13:45
One thing I couldn't help but wonder, when did you intend for the borrowing from Chinese to take place? Did you intentionally choose to have the loanwords be from Mandarin? If you did, that's fine, just know that the major non-Sinitic natlangs that borrowed the use of hanzi (Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) all borrowed from Middle Chinese.
If you look closely, they're not loanwords from Mandarin. I'm just using Mandarin as a reference point as to where do they come from; the same with Arabic, but, of course, it's not as apparent with Arabic loanwords.
DesEsseintes wrote:
Thu 12 Jul 2018, 15:55
Toraya (虎屋) is the name of a Japanese sweets manufacturer. They specialise in top-quality seasonal wagashi (和菓子). Yum.
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Re: 文澩鼎 - Toraya

Post by GrandPiano » Fri 13 Jul 2018, 18:18

Ghoster wrote:
Fri 13 Jul 2018, 17:27
GrandPiano wrote:
Thu 12 Jul 2018, 13:45
One thing I couldn't help but wonder, when did you intend for the borrowing from Chinese to take place? Did you intentionally choose to have the loanwords be from Mandarin? If you did, that's fine, just know that the major non-Sinitic natlangs that borrowed the use of hanzi (Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) all borrowed from Middle Chinese.
If you look closely, they're not loanwords from Mandarin. I'm just using Mandarin as a reference point as to where do they come from; the same with Arabic, but, of course, it's not as apparent with Arabic loanwords.
What Chinese variety are “cien” and “uan” from, then? And what does the <c> in cien represent? /k/ doesn’t make sense, since 千 doesn’t have a velar initial in any Chinese variety (the initial was /t͡sʰ/ in Middle Chinese).
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2
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