25

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 Chinese (it was designed to) and when used with tone marks and correct word division and punctuation, it indicates some of the suprasegmental and intonational ...


13

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 between languages. When we say that English and German are related, we mean that they historically derive from a single language. When we say that English and ...


12

Apart from the three languages you named, I know of at least three additional major languages that have used the Chinese script; which are, Thai, Zhuang, and Mongolian. Several minor ones that have also used it include Miao, Yao, Bouyei, Kam, Bai, and Hani. Thai used to use the Chinese script until the 13th century, when it was abandoned in favor of an ...


12

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.


11

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 feel very awkward in many circumstances. With Pinyin it wouldn't be possible to write everything the way it is written now. Some examples of clearly distinct ...


8

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 many ways to construct the new characters: Borrow the whole Chinese character and meaning with its Sino-Vietnamese reading. Sometimes it's also used to ...


8

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, being used almost exclusively for poetry and for “women’s literature” (basically translations - or imitations - of Chinese novels by and for women). The main ...


8

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 very rigid: with very few exception they are spelled in the way each constituent character (i.e., a Chinese character) is spelled. In most cases pronunciation ...


7

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 orthographic standard, for example, includes rules to space the letters by polysyllabic words). The confusion arises because Chinese morphemes are usually ...


7

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). These example show that it is linguistically possible to use a phonetic script to write Chinese; of course, doing so would be a major revolutionary change, ...


7

For Japanese at least, both happened: sometimes the characters are used semantically, others phonetically - either according to their Chinese pronunciation (which can come from either a Northern or Southern, earlier or recent form of Chinese) or to the Japanese reading. For instance, one of the Chinese readings of the char. "origin/beginning/birth" is "hon"....


5

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 respectively as we can see from other comparisons with Mương (Thompson 1976). This accounts for the fact that d corresponds regularly in Sino-Vietnamese with LMC j (...


4

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 lot of scholars came to the conclusion that it is because of China’s backwardness. They kept comparing China to the West and realized that in terms of technology,...


3

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 between two languages. I'll refer you to André-Georges Haudricourt, 1953 for the details, but the paper showed correspondences between Vietnamese and one or more of ...


3

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 real concept of a 7-day civilian week. The 10-day cycle 旬 xún was more common. Contact with Buddhism, especially in the 8th century, brought the 7-day cycle to ...


3

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 already, the only difference is they use not the Latin, but Cyrillic alphabet, and absolutely no tone marks although thera are tones in the language. Dungan is a ...


3

I'm no linguistics expert but the sound "oong" in the North is pronounced like "on" /ɔŋ/ in Southern dialect. In the South they are both pronounced the same. For example the word "đoòng" above is pronounced as "đòn" in Southern Vietnam. Some other common words for this are "xoong nồi" (pot for cooking), "cải xoong (Nasturtium officinale/Nasturtium ...


3

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. Note that pho is the name of the noodle not the dish, similar to bun (bún), mien (miến), mi (mì). The reason pho became of the name of the dish is because it is ...


3

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 Vietnamese though, there is no central body for linguistic regulation similar to the Académie Française in the case of the French language. I believe that there is no ...


3

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 Keyboard Settings. Type one syllable such as 'chữ', then highlight it and select 'convert to Hán-Nôm' in the Input Sources dropdown menu. You will be given a ...


3

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 text into syllables, then has lookup tables for initials (onsets), finals (nuclei plus codas), and tones, for each of the three major dialects. Each component of ...


2

I'm not sure if I should really call this an "answer", but I've conducted thought experiments in the past on rendering English in an ideographic writing system. The strategy I used was to break up words into morphemes, and use one character per morpheme (and a lot of morphemes of the same meaning were collapsed into single characters, e.g. -tion, -ment, etc.;...


2

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 and 漢音 kan-on for Japanese kanji, where 漢音 is the "canonical" Tang China loan). Additionally, there are indications that the Sino-Vietnamese are not strictly ...


2

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 invented Vietnamese Latin script in the 17th century decided to represent this phoneme as “d” rather than as something else. Modern scholarship seems to favour ...


2

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 dialect), and how you define "South-East Asia" (does Papua New Guinea belong to it?). In general, there are quite a few South East Asian countries where English ...


2

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 Chinese migration to Vietnam. Because of this, Vietnamese also has another category of Chinese loan words that Korean and Japanese lack, which are called từ Hán ...


2

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 umbrella. If I learned history right, the French used the Latin script to do that very thing: cut off the Vietnamese from the Chinese sphere of influence. Nowadays, ...


2

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 already started in the late Tang: in the 《切韻刊誤》 Mistakes of the Qièyùn, writer 李涪 Lǐ Fú complains that 「上聲為去,去聲為上」 (the shǎng tone becomes qù and the qù tone ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible