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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University of California Press

The forms in bold type are not cited by Matisoff. 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.

This is presumably because he cannot state the conditions under which the glide arises. They can also explain certain grammaticalizations: The correspondence of initials is off. I now fully recognize that Sino-Tibetan is a valid grouping: Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 7, 2: The reader who wishes to find what the reflex of a particular initial is in, say, Tibetan, must to turn to the index of reconstructed roots, look up each root beginning with a particular initial, and check the text for occurrences of that root in Tibetan.

Some are Matisoff’s own Burmese-Lolo based cognate sets. In Tang Zuofan, Hu Shuangbao eds. Highlight all Match case. 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.

It probably does reconstruchion exist. WT ‘spit’ tho, ‘hammer’ tho:: As for data, M. 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 them to allow their treatment of the ST family to be affected by the insights of sixty years of successful post-Karlgrenian research into OC.


Journal Asiatique How can PST speakers have known writing brushes? Language and Linguistics, 4. Matisoff’s page book deals with the reconstruction of the phonology, morphology and lexicon of Proto-Tibeto-Burman, conceived as ancestral to all of ST -this time including Karen- less Chinese. 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 reconstruction chosen for Hamdbook gives a severely distorted image of OC phonology, b the charts include many faulty comparisons and c many valid comparisons have not been seen.

Presentation of Chinese cognates “comparanda” is the main goal.

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

The great majority are inherited from Benedict and other sources, in particular Gong Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics, Medial -w- is a problem, though it is seen only in WT in this word.

For significant progress on ST sound correspondences, see Gong For all its immense historical merits, Karlgren’s system fails to use the same vowel for OC words which rhyme together in OC poetry, has a spurious series of unaspirated voiced stop initials, has spurious voiced stop endings -b, -d, -g in most MC open-vowelled rimes, misses medial -r- misunderstands the evolution of laterals Both the initial and main vowel correspondence are off.

This is one of the comparisons offered by Benedict in support of his collective -n suffix. Claims made in the book can only be verified by checking the cognate sets, but finding the cognate sets is not straightforward. This is hard to believe. Unfortunately, when he gives cognate sets, he does not say which forms obey known sound correspondences, and which are included on the basis of educated guesses. Skip to main content.


Hanyu Shi Lun Ji Here Matisoff has missed a sound correspondence Table 1. In a footnote fn. Wenzhou Shiyuan Xuebao 4. For the etymology of the Chinese word for ‘nephew, niece’, see Sagart New Light on a Forgotten Past. At first sight, the TB length distinction as reconstructed by Matisoff does not correlate particularly well with the Chinese distinction: In support of this, Gyarong Jacques has contrastive velars and uvulars, and some of the words which in Burmese and Lushai have zero initial have uvulars in Gyarong ‘needle’; ‘jaw’.

London, Royal Asiatic Society. In Matisoff’s phylogeny, TB itself has a star- shaped structure, with eight branches the Tujia 2 branch as defined on p. Despite his anti-megalocomparativist stance, Matisoff is himself a half-believer in Austro-Tai. This comparison is genuine but the horse arrives too late in Chinese culture to be inherited Sagart Vfinal nasals Ch.

Cooksix indexes, and a reference list. Yet Written Tibetan, the oldest TB literary language, with its abundant literature and convenient lexicography, is under-represented. Bibliophile South Asia, and Morganville: 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.

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: This must be because the form with -k is basic. Failures of this type are not limited to laterals, of course: After a general introductory chapter, the Handbook describes the PTB syllable canon. Help Center Find new research papers in: Click here to sign up.