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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Another chapter deals with ‘allofamic’ variation in rhymes. It contains reconstructions of over a thousand Tibeto-Burman roots, as well as suggested comparisons with several hundred Chinese etyma.

Beijing University Press, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 7, 2: A similar story may be told about the word for ‘ride’. This is not felicitous.

In the next section, a suggestion wll be made that the velar vs. The origin of Vietnamese and Chinese tones has been successfully explained by Haudricourt a,b as resulting from the loss of final laryngeal segments around years ago. Tibetan, again, is under-studied thus four out of thirteen diphthongal TB rimes in Table 14 p.

Matisoff gives more detail than the Conspectus, but his discussion is hardly complete. Presentation of Chinese cognates “comparanda” is the main goal.

It is highly likely that tonal TB languages acquired their tones in similar ways. Sino-Tibetan Despite ‘Sino-Tibetan reconstruction’ in the subtitle, this book does not present a reconstruction of ST, neither does it identify new sound correspondences between TB and Chinese, or approach ST morphosyntax.


I now fully recognize that Sino-Tibetan is a valid grouping: Oceanic Linguistics 33 2: The Roots of Old Chinese.

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

Occasional papers of the Wolfenden Society. When, starting in the eighties, the results of the next wave of scholarship Zhengzhang ; StarostinBaxter started appearing, independently arriving at essentially the same system of over fifty OC rhymes as against 30 or so in the systems of Karlgren and Li and adopting features originally proposed by Pulleyblank and Yakhontov, making Li’s system obsolete, it was too late, the body of Chinese-TB lexical comparisons Benedict and Matisoff recognized was too dependent upon karlgren’s OC for reconstruchion to allow their treatment of the ST family to be affected by the insights of sixty years of successful post-Karlgrenian research into OC.

The Chinese word has to be a loan from TB, made in the second mill. Sino-tibtean correspondence of initials is off. 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.

Proto-itbeto-burman vast majority of ethnic Tujias speak Mandarin Chinese. System and philosophy of Sino-Tibeto-Burman Reconstruction. But this is a two-way street: Here reflexes of the posited proto-rimes in some important languages usually Tibetan, Burmese, Jingpo, Lahu, Lushai, and a representative of the Bodo-Garo group, sometimes also Mikir, Nung are tabulated and examples are given.


WB w- corresponding to WT g. The forms in bold type are not cited by Matisoff. Dialectal variation between th- and x- in this word unambiguously points to OC ahl- and in no way to an earlier velar initial. Reconstrucfion South Asia, and Morganville: 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: The majority of the rime correspondences presented in the book appear credible at first sight, but the uncertainty on initial consonants and on tones below weighs on the comparisons.


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Conclusion Despite the puilosophy discussed in this review, Matisoff has to a large extent succeeded in making Benedict’s reconstruction of TB rimes explicit, and thus testable: Preparing document for printing….

Matisoff’s PTB has neither tones nor anything out of which tones can arise. IVmonophthongal and diphthongal rhymes Ch.