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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Conclusion Despite the problems discussed in this review, Matisoff has to a large extent succeeded in making Benedict’s reconstruction of TB rimes explicit, and thus testable: The isolated WT form, with tell-tale final -r, is without a doubt a late borrowing from a variety of NW Chinese where -t had become -r in the late first millennium CE Coblin 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 presents a genetic tree for ST p.

VIIfinal stops Ch. In Matisoff’s phylogeny, TB itself has a star- shaped structure, with eight branches the Tujia 2 branch as defined on p. System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction.

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

A new “mysterious” and “semantically elusive” suffix introduced by Matisoff is -k p. Matisoff appears unaware of Sagart’s work on this prefix, as well as on Old Chinese morphology Sagart London, Royal Asiatic Society.

Wenzhou Shiyuan Xuebao 4. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities,no. Language and Linguistics, 4. Li Fang-kuei Shanggu Yin Yanjiu. Sagart identified a t- prefix in Chinese which has some of the same functions: 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.


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 OC which cannot be evaluated on Chinese evidence alone, and that “until the dust settles” it is preferable to stick with Karlgren’s old system.

Benedict’s ‘root alternation’ and Matisoff’s lexical variation are over-powerful, make the theory less parsimonious, and reduce its empirical content. Vowel length Especially on the basis of Lushai, Benedict reconstructed a PTB vowel length contrast, proto-ttibeto-burman marked long vowels. When roots where Matisoff supposes -k have Chinese cognates, Chinese normally has -k.

Benedict and Matisoff could, and should, have phiolsophy it, but Li’s system contained features that they could not accept, such sin-tibetan r-clusters in words which in their reconstruction of TB had no -r. The style is readable, somewhat chatty. Recently pilosophy Driem has argued again without presenting evidence of uniquely shared innovations that Chinese and Tibetan belong in philowophy same primary philosopjy of the family. After discovering the first elements syatem 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.

Matisoff gives a proto-system of 23 initial consonants. Occasional papers of the Wolfenden Society. Needless to say, M. 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.

This is hard to believe. An ethnolinguistic handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, 2 vols, Leiden: Thumbnails Document Outline Attachments. This is better understood as a root- final consonant, lost in conditions that have not been identified.

Matisoff’s book will also be useful as a source of TB cognate sets, some preliminary, and of TB reconstructions which evince some patterns of regularity when compared to recent Old Chinese reconstructions. The forms in bold type are not cited by Matisoff.


University of California Press

Pf specialists should also acknowledge that sixty-five years of research on Old Chinese have led to valuable results which they can benefit from. This is one of the reeconstruction offered by Benedict in support of his collective -n suffix. They can also explain certain grammaticalizations: However, while Lushai tl- can only reflect an earlier gl- WB ky- can reflect gr- as well as gl.

This is widely accepted. The vast majority of ethnic Tujias speak Mandarin Chinese. Zhengzhang Shangfang Shanggu yunmu xitong he sideng, jieyin, shengdiao de fayuan wenti. Bibliophile South Asia, and Morganville: A New goals for Sino-Tibetan linguistics.

Li Fang-kuei Jige Shanggu shengmu wenti. The great majority are inherited from Benedict and other sources, in particular Gong Hanyu Shi Lun Ji These are tabulated in the various chapters on rimes. 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.

Abstract This page volume is a clear and readable presentation hanxbook the current state of research on the history of the Tibeto-Burman TB language family, a typologically diverse group of over languages spoken in Southern China, the Himalayas, NE India, and peninsular Southeast Asia. A comparative vocabulary of five Sino-Tibetan languages. Tibetan, again, is under-studied thus four out of thirteen diphthongal TB rimes in Table 14 p.

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 considerably shakier. In a footnote fn. System and philosophy of Sino-Tibeto-Burman Reconstruction. Some are Matisoff’s reconwtruction Burmese-Lolo based cognate sets. Vowel correspondence without parallel.