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Editor / Translator: Paul Sidwell
Not only is May otherwise undescribed in writing, it is the only small Vietic language documented and analysed in such detail, and one of few endangered Austroasiatic languages described so thoroughly.
May is predominantly monosyllabic, yet retains traces of affixes and consonant clusters that reflect older disyllabic forms. It is tonal, and also manifests breathy phonation and vowel ongliding, yeilding a remarkable complexity of syllable types. The lexicon, which is extensively documented, has a substantial achaic component. Consequently, the volume provides an invaluable resource for comparative historical and typological studies.
This book is an English translation of the 2018 Russian language monograph by Babaev and Samarina.
Significant O/P works of reference that complement the focus of the Languages of Asia series that seeks to redress the balance of underrepresentation in Western scholarship of the following language families and isolates: Eskimo-Aleut, Chukchi-Koryak, Itel'men (Kamchadal), Tungustic, Yukaghir, Ainu, Nivx, Japonic (Japanese and Ryukyuan), Korean, Mongolic, Turkic, the Tibeto-Burman languages found in Central Asia (e.g. Tibetan or Tangut), Yeniseian, Burushaski and Uralic.

Abstract

The present paper, an homage to B. Laufer’s “Asbestos and Salamander” (1915), adds South Asia to the story of a remarkable Eurasian cultural meme meant to explain the presence of fire-proof cloth after its manufacturing technology was forgotten, namely that asbestos was the fur of a mythical animal. I argue that none of our Sanskrit dictionaries contain the correct meaning of the term agniśauca, which does indeed mean asbestos. The widely shared motif explains why in Sanskrit literature too we have animals (a nondescript mṛga) by the same name. I examine textual passages from kāvya, purāṇas, as well as Buddhist sūtras and śāstras, to elucidate this topic. I also cite some evidence that in the period between the 9th and the 11th c. some areas of India still possessed knowledge of asbestos manufacturing. However, as for where and when the correlation was first made, I must leave the question open.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Author: Brett Shults

Abstract

The Tevijja Sutta is an early Buddhist text notable for the way it addresses a problem in Brahmanical theology. Many have studied or cited the Tevijja Sutta, but for various reasons scholars have had trouble describing the problem that the sutta addresses. This article reviews some key developments in the modern academic study of the Tevijja Sutta and proposes a solution to interpretive difficulties associated with the text. The proposed solution leads to a more contextualized reading of the Tevijja Sutta and sheds light on Brahmins and Brahmanical theology in the early Buddhist period.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

A new volume, Setting Out on the Great Way: Essays on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism (2018), collects essays on questions related to the origins of the Mahāyāna Buddhist movement. This review article considers the contributions, and offers a few observations on the state of the field.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

This article introduces the Chinese Ideophone Database (CHIDEOD), an open-source dataset, which collects 4948 unique onomatopoeia and ideophones (mimetics, expressives) of Mandarin, as well as Middle Chinese and Old Chinese. These are analyzed according to a wide range of variables, e.g., description, frequency. Apart from an overview of these variables, we provide a tutorial that shows how the database can be accessed in different formats (.rds, .xlsx, .csv, R package and online app interface), and how the database can be used to explore skewed tonal distribution across Mandarin ideophones. Since CHIDEOD is a data repository, potential future research applications are discussed.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Dmitry NIKOLAEV

Abstract

This short note provides phonetic and phonological arguments in favour of the explanation of the sound change *ld > nd in Tibetic proposed by Sprigg (1972). It is argued that an alternative explanation by Gong (2016), resting on a novel interpretation of the consonant system of Common Central Tibetan, is not supported by the data and has no conceptual advantages.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Abstract

In 1981, Okumura Mitsuo reported that the dialect of Izumo Taisha in western Japan had preserved remnants of the separate tone class 2.5, which until then had only been found in dialects in central Japan. His discovery proved that this tone class had formed part of proto-Japanese, but the phonetic realization in Izumo and in central Japan was totally different. The article offers a reconstruction of the proto-system of the Izumo region, as well as an explanation of how class 2.5 came to be (partly) preserved in Izumo. It is argued that this was through a series of rightward shifts of the /H/ tone. These shifts radiated out from the northwestern part of the region. In the period, when the shifts were active, a contour tone on the second syllable of class 2.5 blocked rightward /H/ tone shift in this class. In this way, the contour tone, although later lost, left a trace in the modern dialects.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Authors: Juan SUN and Cristina GRISOT

Résumé

En adoptant, de manière originale, une approche inter-linguistique de la référence temporelle en chinois mandarin, cette étude vise à mener une investigation globale et exhaustive des différents moyens linguistiques et non-linguistiques par lesquels le mandarin exprime, en l’ absence de tout marquage morphologique de temps, la référence temporelle d’ une situation, ainsi que leurs riches interactions. Nous prenons part au débat récent entre l’ approche tensée (centrée sur les langues indo-européennes) et l’ approche non-tensée (centrée sur les différences typologiques du mandarin) de la référence temporelle en mandarin, et nous donnons des arguments théoriques et empiriques en faveur de la dernière.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

摘要

本文從音韻的觀點針對東河賽夏語中客語、閩南語及日語借詞展開更全面的比較研究。研究發現賽夏語的借音共15個,包括13個輔音以及2個元音。客語詞彙大量借入賽夏語,影響最深,除了來自日語的借音/d, g, z/ 外,客語概括閩南語和日語對賽夏語語音系統的影響。

本文也檢視及比較了在賽夏語中借詞所主導之音節結構的規則。客語和閩南語的規則相同,而日語的規則則有些不同。客語和閩南語單音節詞,借進賽夏語之後,為了符合實詞雙音節以上的規律,發生音節重整。日語單音節借詞借進賽夏語之後直接重疊。客語、閩南語與日語元音起首音節,借進賽夏語之後,為了符合賽夏語輔音起首之原則,自動加上喉塞音。客語與閩南語音節元音結尾,無論在第一音節或是第二音節,皆會元音延長;日語的規則則不同,第一音節不變,在第二音節會加上喉塞音。

最後,本文發現有些借詞同時來自客語、閩南語和/或日語造成有雙式借詞或三式借詞,須仔細地辨認每個借詞的來源,同時需要考量許多複雜的因素,包括發音人對不同語言熟悉度、借音以及音節結構的規則。

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Abstract

The present paper continues a serial article dealing with the identifications of sources for Chapter 6 of the Book of Zambasta, a Mahāyāna Buddhist poem in Khotanese. The first installment of this serial article was published in 2018 by the same authors in this journal. In this installment, we report on new identifications made in the interim, and offer a detailed analysis of four additional identified quotations, underlining their significance in historical and cross-cultural perspective.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Author: Lucas den Boer

Abstract

The Tattvārthādhigamabhāṣya, which is an early commentary on the Tattvārthādhigama attributed to Umāsvāti, contains several passages in verse. The inclusion of these verses has not been studied before, even though they are relevant for the discussion of the relationship between the Tattvārthādhigama and the bhāṣya. This article provides an analysis and translation of these verses, including the introductory verses and the colophon that usually accompany this text. Although some scholars regard the bhāṣya as an auto-commentary, the outcomes of this analysis indicate that the bhāṣya was written by a different author. Further, this study shows that some of the verses in the bhāṣya are derived from other Jaina works in Sanskrit that are no longer extant. This suggests that the Tattvārthādhigama was not the only Jaina philosophical text in Sanskrit at the time of the final redaction of the bhāṣya.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

Indian Buddhist literary sources contain both systematic and casual rejections of, broadly speaking, the caste system and caste discrimination. However, they also provide ample evidence for, possibly subconscious, discriminatory attitudes toward outcastes, prototypically caṇḍālas. The rhetoric found in Indian Buddhist literature regarding caṇḍālas is examined in this paper.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Authors: Laurent SAGART and Kun MA

Abstract

A 250-concept list was established for the purposes of an ongoing lexically-based study of Sino-Tibetan. This paper supplies the Old Chinese version of the list, in the Old Chinese reconstruction of Baxter and Sagart 2014. Chinese words attested in pre-Han times were selected based on their meaning as given in major lexica such as the Hànyǔ Dà Zìdiǎn. At times more than one OC item was found to match a concept in the list without it being clear which of the terms was the oldest. In such cases all the candidates were retained. As a result, the Old Chinese version of the list contains 301 words.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Abstract

By reviewing a recent quantitative study of rhyme patterns in Mandarin Chinese, this study shows how data handling and data analysis in the study of rhyme patterns can be improved. Suggestions for improvement include (a) a consistent annotation of rhyme data, which is exhaustive and facilitates data reuse, and (b) emphasizes the importance of automated approaches for exploratory data analysis, which can help to analyze rhyme data in an improved way, prior to applying statistical frameworks for hypothesis testing.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Zhì Hào WÁNG

Abstract

Rhyming plays an important role in the study of Chinese phonology. Traditionally it is believed that there are two types of rhyming between finals: free rhyming and mixed rhyming. Finals which rhyme with each other freely constitute a rhyme group, while the rhyming between finals from different rhyme groups can only be mixed rhyming. By analyzing the rhyming in the modern Beijing dialect using a statistical method, we find a third type: semi-free rhyming, which is close to free rhyming. As a whole, these two types can be called pan-free rhyming. Thus, the definition of rhyme group must be revised as the maximum unit of pan-free rhyming, because free rhyming is no longer a transitive relation, i.e., when both final pairs A–B and B–C are free rhyming, A–C may be semi-free rhyming. As for the Beijing dialect, our statistical test results approve that non-érhuà finals are divided into 15 rhyme groups, and subsequent phonological analyses show that words in the same rhyme group share the same nucleus and coda. Besides finals, tones also function apparently in rhyming, but in a different way from the three types mentioned above. As more Chinese dialects are studied, the typology of rhyming in Chinese dialects can be analyzed, creating a useful reference for the study of Chinese historical phonology.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Song TAN

Résumé

Cet article se consacre à l’ analyse du morphème polyfonctionnel 搁 GE en dialecte de Shenyang appartenant au mandarin du Nord-Est. 搁 GE peut fonctionner comme un verbe, une préposition, un adverbe et un subordonnant et il possède cinq réalisations possibles : [kɤ44], [kɤ24], [kɤ213], [kɑu44], [kɑu24]. L’ emploi privilégié de 搁 GE est toutefois celui de la préposition polysémique « à ». En fonction du sens des morphèmes qu’ il met en relation, 搁 GE « à » présente, au niveau sémantique, des valeurs spatiales (localisation des objets ou des activités, trajet, provenance), temporelle, instrumentale ou encore la valeur d’ accompagnement et la valeur de conformité.

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: 桑吉次力

摘要

本文主要探討古藏語中前置輔音b-後跟清阻塞音的複輔音對應迭部藏語濁輔音的現象。這種對應在藏語諸方言中非常罕見。以此可以認為迭部藏語經歷了一種“清音濁化”。 結合前人對古藏語形態的研究成果,一些雙唇阻塞音的例子可以證明這種音變創新發生在前藏文時代。

In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Richard Salomon

Abstract

The article presents a new edition, translation, and interpretation of the inscription, which was previously published by H. Falk in 2014, of the otherwise unknown Buddhist patron Helagupta (helaüta). The inscription, datable to the latter half of the first century CE, is recorded on five copper plates and is the second longest one known in Kharoṣṭhī script/Gāndhārī language. This edition proposes several new readings and interpretations as well as discussing its cultural implications for issues such as the performance of ancestral rituals by Buddhists, and Buddhological ramifications such as the concept of “brahma merit” (Gāndhārī bramo puṇyo) and the contemporary understanding of variant forms of titles of the Buddha.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Volume Editors: Mathias Jenny, Paul Sidwell, and Mark Alves
Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective elevates historical morpho-syntax to a research priority in the field of Southeast Asian language history, transcending the traditional focus on phonology and lexicon. The volume contains eleven chapters covering a wide range of aspects of diachronic Austroasiatic syntax, most of which contain new hypotheses, and several address topics that have never been dealt with before in print, such as clause structure and word order in the proto-language, and reconstruction of Munda morphology successfully integrating it into Austroasiatic language history. Also included is a list of proto-AA grammatical words with evaluative and contextualizing comments.