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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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Loans from Chinese are not recognized: Recently van Driem has argued again without presenting evidence of uniquely shared innovations that Chinese and Tibetan belong in the same primary branch of the family.

VIIfinal stops Ch.

Thumbnails Document Outline Attachments. Tibetan, again, is under-studied thus four out of thirteen diphthongal TB rimes in Table 14 p. More examples of this prefix can be found in other TB languages, like Kachin and Karen; most of the proto-Loloish verbs reconstructed by Bradley with prefixed m- are of this type: Matisoff reconstructs many more. This is widely accepted. Enter the password to open this PDF file: New Light on a Forgotten Past.

Certain comparisons are illustrative of an accumulation of weaknesses in Matisoff’s method: TB proto-tibet-oburman system of PTB Overall, the reconstructed system is inherited from Benedict; changes are in the direction of replacing phonological or morphological problems with untestable variation hypotheses: In this book and elsewhere Matisoff makes a virtue of necessity, adopting the stance that OC reconstruction is in disarray, that there are a multitude of competing proposals on Reconstrution which cannot be evaluated on Chinese evidence alone, and that philozophy the dust settles” it is preferable to stick with Karlgren’s old system.

Beijing University Press, These problems discourage verification. This Handbook builds on the best previous scholarship, and adds up-to-date material that has accumulated over the past 30 years. Because many TB languages are reconstructipn well documented, the sound correspondences for all of them cannot proto-tibeto-burrman known, as Matisoff acknowledges elsewhere More Information Less Information. The Chinese word does not explain -w- handbooj TB. The rest of the book sino-tibtean organized into chapters, each dealing with a piece of the PTB syllable: There have been expectations that Matisoff’s new book would finally provide an explicit and testable system of TB reconstruction in the Benedictian tradition, as well as integrate the results of 30 years of post-STC research into Sino-Tibetan.

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This prefix was first reconstructed for Od Chinese by Sagart but the reconstruction appears to hold good for the whole of ST. Matisoff gives more detail than the Conspectus, but his discussion is hardly complete. Written aroundthe manuscript was published inedited by Matisoff, updated with a thick layer of footnotes which presented Benedict’s, and in some cases, Matisoff’s ideas at the time the manuscript was being prepared for publication.

After a general introductory chapter, the Handbook describes the PTB syllable canon. Matisoff treats it as just variation, but another prossibility, adopted in Peiros and Starostinis that this alternation reflects earlier uvular initials. When Benedict wrote his Conspectus in it was natural that he should use that reconstruction, then the most advanced in the world.

Benedict thought two manner types for stops voiced vs. The style is readable, somewhat chatty.

University of California Press

Remember me on this computer. An important difference is that when you remove one of Matisoff’s empty suffixes, typically one consonant is left in the stem, and lexical comparisons become handvook shakier. Matisoff maintains the same range of assumptions, but treats root alternation, not mentioned by name, simply as lexical variation at the PTB level.

Gong, Hwang-cherng Collected papers on Sino-Tibetan linguistics. For significant progress on ST sound correspondences, see Gong Li Fang-kuei’s system, a very clearly and systematically exposed revision and simplification of Karlgren’s although it did not incorporate all the insights of Haudricourt, Pulleyblank and Yakhontov became the new standard of OC reconstruction in the eighties.

WT phag, WB wakwas first treated by Benedict pgilosophy This is better understood as a root- final consonant, lost in conditions annd have not been identified. This must be because the form with -k is basic.

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Surely sixty years of research should have led to the chart being modified, improved, enlarged, but disappointingly Matisoff’s book does not approach the issue. 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.

Benedict’s ‘root alternation’ and Matisoff’s lexical variation are over-powerful, make the theory less parsimonious, and reduce its empirical content. He reconstructed few words with long vowels, however. It would have been interesting to know how similar proposals fare in other TB languages or branches. London, Royal Asiatic Society.

I have not conducted a full investigation of the correlation between the two features, however.

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

Here are examples of TB-Chinese comparisons with initial l- which M. It is liberally indexed and cross-referenced for maximum accessibility and internal consistency.

This comparison is genuine but the horse arrives too late in Chinese culture to be inherited Sagart University of California Press. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities,no. This choice is unfortunate. The reader is invited to admire e.

Matisoff forgets that for Popper falsifiability goes on a par with explicitness. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, The Chinese word has to be a loan from TB, made in the second mill. My use of that term should not imply that I am presently convinced that it is a valid grouping.

In Old Chinese too evidence for uvular consonants may be derived from phonetic series mixing Middle Chinese velar and laryngeal initials: