25 votes
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Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Yes, it is possible to read texts that are written only in pinyin. This is pretty trivial in one sense: pinyin spelling indicates all of the segmental phonemic distinctions of standard Putonghua ...
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13 votes
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Is there a theory challenging the "strict" distinction between Thai and Vietnamese?

There is a theory, applicable to all human languages, that is even encoded in what certain words mean in linguistics. Namely, "related" is taken to be a claim about genetic (historical) relations ...
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12 votes
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Why does gang-nam and viet-nam both contain nam meaning south when one is in Korean the other Vietnamese?

Nán (南) is "south" in Chinese. Addendum: the Middle Chinese form assumed by Sagert & Baxter is nom. The reconstructions from their book are available here.
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11 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

It is possible only if you write in an informal way – the way you would say things out loud. The difference between formal and informal writing is quite large in Chinese, and the informal style may ...
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9 votes

Can the Chinese script be used to record non-Chinese languages?

Of course it can be used to record lots of other languages and you can find the complete list here For Vietnamese a new type of script called chữ nôm based on Chinese characters is created. There are ...
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8 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

You have had some good answers to your question, but I would like to expand on what you say about Vietnamese writing traditions. The Chinese-based chữ nôm had a very marginal existence in Vietnam, ...
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8 votes

Did the removal of Chinese characters have an impact on Korean and Vietnamese?

Native Korean speaker here. changed pronunciations so pairs of words are no longer homonyms: NO changed spellings so pairs of words are no longer homographs: NO Spelling of Sino-Korean words are ...
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7 votes
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Are there any purely monosyllabic languages in use today?

The official Chinese language isn't "supposed to" be monosyllabic, at all. That's a misconception. Chinese languages are polysyllabic and that's it, including the putonghua standard (the pīnyīn ...
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7 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Beyond other answers, I will add some examples of actual use of phonetic writing systems actually used for Chinese (or any Sinitic language, what is traditionally called Chinese dialects/topolects). ...
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5 votes

How was the /j/ initial in Middle Chinese borrowed into Vietnamese?

I found this answer satisfying: /j/ → /dʲ/ → /z///j/. Edwin G. Pulleybank wrote in Some Notes on Chinese Historical Phonology: Vietnamese d and v are also partly derived from earlier *j and *w ...
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4 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

The idea of pinyin or any other phonetic script replacing Chinese character writing is already more than a hundred years old. At the beginning of 20th century, when the Qing empire was collapsing, a ...
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4 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

It would be possible to use pinyin even without the tone marks to write down Chinese and it will be correctly understood. Actually, a similar thing has been done in the Dungan language for decades ...
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3 votes
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What tool was used to generate Vietnamese IPA entries on Wiktionary?

They use a template called {{vi-IPA}}, which calls the module vi-pron. Supposedly it's documented, but that page is empty, so the best we can do for now is look at the code. Basically, it breaks the ...
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3 votes

Did the Portuguese influence how days of the week are named in Vietnamese and Chinese?

This is a summary of the information on CJV Lang, which has a much more detailed view on the naming of the 7-day week across many languages. But in essence: Neither dynastic China nor Vietnam had a ...
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3 votes

Is there a relatively systematic way to converter from pinyin to Sino Vietnamese words (Hán Việt) or vice versa?

The answer is yes, there are ways to convert in both directions, as long as you don't mind the intermediary of chữ Hán (hànzì). On Mac, for example, you can add the VNI input source for Vietnamese in ...
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3 votes

Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did

Pinyin tosses out a lot of semantic information. Once Chinese characters are removed from the language, it becomes harder for Mandarin to coexist with different Chinese languages under the same ...
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3 votes
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Modern Khmer and modern Vietnamese genetic proximity

In speaking of a comparison of vocabularies between the languages, one may refer to the Swadesh list, which is a commonly used compilation of vocabulary items used for quantifying the relations ...
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3 votes
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How to translate a scientific term to Vietnamese?

In general, the translation of scientific terms is one of the greatest areas where a "normative procedure" is in place (some could argue it is a form of linguistic prescription). In the case of ...
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3 votes

What is the etymological relationship between French "feu", Lao "ເຝີ" (feu), and Vietnamese "phở"?

It's likely that the Laotian borrowed the Vietnamese dish. Pho originates in Northern Vietnam in either Hanoi or Namdinh. Over time Northern Vietnamese migrated South and brought the dish with them. ...
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2 votes

How was the /j/ initial in Middle Chinese borrowed into Vietnamese?

It may be instructive to note that Sino-Vietnamese readings are not the only Sinitic-based Vietnamese lexemes loaned into Vietnamese: there exist earlier substrata of Chinese loans (compare 呉音 go-on ...
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2 votes

How was the /j/ initial in Middle Chinese borrowed into Vietnamese?

Lưu Vĩnh Phúc has explained correctly how the phoneme written as "d" is realised in modern Vietnamese dialects. But in the context of this question we also need to ask why the Jesuit missionaries who ...
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2 votes

Which language among South East Asia has the most and least loanwords from English?

The languages with the most loanwords from English: There are several candidates, depending on how you define "loanword" (which is not quite clear in the case of creoles), "language" (as opposed to a ...
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2 votes

Why does Vietnamese language seem to be so similar to Mandarin Chinese

It is easy for Vietnamese to learn Mandarin because they are already familiar with Chinese grammar and structure Vietnam was under Chinese influence for most of its history There were many waves of ...
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2 votes

How does 小 get the Sino-Vietnamse as "tiểu"?

This is because of 濁上歸去 (Mandarin pinyin: zhuó shǎng guī qù, Cantonese jyutping: zuk6 soeng5 gwai1 heoi3), also known as 濁上變去, and a very well-known issue in Chinese historical phonology. This had ...
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  • 5,553
1 vote

What are these variants (Nguyễn and Nguyến) of Vietnamese last name Nguyen?

Vietnamese is notorious for having lots of near homonyms distinguished only by tone. This is the case with the very common family name Nguyễn versus the given name Nguyên. The latter was the middle ...
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1 vote

Is there an example of ʔɓ/ʔɗ sounds in contrast to ʔb/ʔd in Vietnamese?

My trying pronouncing those sounds. Each sound is pronounced twice with the rime -oi (as written ‘boi’ and ‘đoi’). First record: b ɓ ʔb ʔɓ Second record: d ɗ ʔd ʔɗ Personally, the pronunciation with ʔ ...
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1 vote
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(How) can autosegmental theories of tone account for pitch contours with more changes of direction than there are segments?

Autosegmental theory does not "say" as much as you seem to think. For example, the theory does not say that each segment of the rime carries a unitary instruction or gesture like up or down. What is ...
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1 vote
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Does Vietnamese mười reflects the Thai/Lao/Khmer uu sound?

Short answer The Thai vowel อู is a high, back, rounded vowel. The corresponding Lao vowel is very similar and for the Khmer one I can’t comment. The first element of the Vietnamese diphthong in ...
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1 vote
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Vietnamese Spelling Irregularities

After much reading, I figured that I pretty much answered my question in the question itself. There is one more rule, however! Vietnamese velar codas undergo labialization after back vowels (<o>...
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