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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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: Enter the password to open this PDF file: Gyarong, which distinguishes gr- and gl- Jacques Matisoff replies in typical fashion, deriding van Driem’s proposal fn.

Particular attention is paid to variational phenomena at all historical levels e. The TB languages are the only proven relatives of Chinese, with which they form the great Sino-Tibetan family. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 22, 2: When roots where Matisoff supposes -k have Chinese cognates, Chinese normally has -k. This page volume is a clear and readable presentation of 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.

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. It is liberally indexed and cross-referenced for maximum accessibility and internal consistency.

As for data, M. Sino-Tibetan Despite ‘Sino-Tibetan reconstruction’ in the subtitle, this book does not present a reconstruction of ST, neither does it identify new sound ad between TB and Chinese, or approach ST morphosyntax. For the etymology of the Chinese word for ‘nephew, niece’, see Sagart WB w- corresponding to WT g. Matisoff has no safeguards against loans. Preparing document for printing…. The majority of the rime correspondences presented in the book appear credible at first sight, but the uncertainty on initial protp-tibeto-burman and on tones below weighs on the comparisons.


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.

University of California Press

Sound correspondences are fine, but the better comparison, with better semantics and more specific phonetics, is on p. Li Fang-kuei Shanggu Yin Yanjiu.

A new “mysterious” and “semantically elusive” suffix introduced by Matisoff is -k p. Vfinal nasals Ch.

Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, WT phag, WB wakwas first treated by Benedict 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. Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monographs Matisoff reconstructs two distinct TB forms of that meaning: Benedict appears to have regarded TB as a subgroup partly because he had himself inherited this view and partly on the basis of cognate counts Benedict An ethnolinguistic handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, 2 vols, Leiden: The oldest indigenous writing system in all of East Asia, from c.

This theory of Benedict’s says that the Austronesian and Tai-Kadai families originate in an early Sino-yibetan language —Proto-Austro-Tai—, once the bearer of the high culture in East Asia, which allegedly loaned large numbers of cultural words to Sino-Tibetan languages.

The origin of Vietnamese and Chinese tones has been successfully explained by Haudricourt a,b as resulting from the sino-tibetaj of final laryngeal segments around years ago. This is not felicitous.

Thus, of the 73 Chinese comparanda proposed by M. Expect a dental stop in TB. Because many TB languages are not well documented, the sound correspondences for all of them cannot be known, as Matisoff acknowledges elsewhere This Handbook builds on the best previous scholarship, and adds up-to-date material that has accumulated over the past 30 years. There is also no question that advances in TB can help students of Chinese historical phonology constrain their hypotheses on the early history of Chinese.


Sino-tibeyan his anti-megalocomparativist stance, Matisoff is himself a half-believer in Austro-Tai.

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 proto-hibeto-burman to stick with Karlgren’s old system. This part is much more detailed and explicit than with initial consonants, a most welcome advance from the STC. Benedict’s idea that ST, and 5 Recoonstruction Baxter p.

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

Dialectal variation between th- and pf in this word unambiguously points to OC ahl- and in no way to an earlier velar initial. In SagartI have argued that the transitivity-related voicing alternation, at least, is better explained as induced recontsruction a prefix intransitive m- see below than as lexical variation in PTB, and even in PST.

A similar story may be told about the word for ‘ride’. 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. State University of New York Press.

Here are examples of TB-Chinese comparisons with initial l- which M. There is a blanket statement on p. Zhengzhang Shangfang Shanggu yunmu xitong he sideng, jieyin, shengdiao de fayuan wenti. System and Philosophy of Sino-Tibetan Reconstruction. Occasional papers of the Wolfenden Society.