吳實錄

Annals of Wu

漢藏緬語々言研究ㄟ博客
a sinotibetoburman linguistics blog
2013-01-01

Phonetic Corpora Updates tools - corpus

As part of my efforts to improve the accuracy and usability of the Shanghainese phonetic data set, I'm going through and running parallel collections for Suzhou and Changzhou. This is all being done by filling out a copy of 方言调查字表 for each, putting that data into an online database and then applying it to a second database, itself based roughly on the 廣韻, but with revisions. If you look for more than 2 seconds on Google you can find a pdf of 方言调查字表, however the retail price for a nice clean published version is 16RMB or anywhere from NT$40 to NT$70 on Taiwan. That store to which I linked just now is a great place to buy Mainland-published books in Taiwan, by the way.

This approach has yielded some interesting discoveries. For starter, there's a lot of evidence for plain old borrowing from Mandarin, tone class and all, for a number of words that otherwise should be entering tones, about which I wrote fairly recently. Beyond that, it's also good to see, side by side, pronunciations for common words in Suzhou, Changzhou and Shanghai. That brings me to another excellent book for fangyan research/comparison, 汉语方言字汇, edited by 王福堂. It's basically 方言调查字表, filled out for twenty different dialects including Suzhou and Wenzhou. While I'm relying more on 汪平's Suzhou dialect dictionary, it'll surely be useful to fill in some inevitable holes. I'm hesitant to include Wenzhou too much, as in general it's far removed from Taihu dialects like Changzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai, and at this stage it'll be too likely to influence my judgements of what's been borrowed versus what's a natural phonetic divergence. Still, a great book for a general overview.

Beware shopping on Kongfz.com. While I've had great luck with them in the past for buying antique books, shipped from Jiangsu to Jiangsu, I'm a little weary about whether or not my latest purchase will actually make it to Ilha Formosa as it should.

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    About

    A semi-academic linguistics blog about Sinotibetan, previously focused primarily on Wú, a Sinitic language spoken in the Yangtze Delta region. Topics now include historical linguistics, documentation, language rights, sociolinguistics and learning materials, as well as acting as the dev blog for Phonemica from time to time.

    I'm a linguist based in Asia, working on documentation and historical development of Sinotibetan. In addition to academic research, I'm heavily involved in Phonemica, an organisation that promotes crowd-sourced preservation of local languages.

    I'm currently in the field, so getting in touch isn't easy. However you can try to email me at the following address and I'll respond as soon as I'm able:

    yhilan.ko@gmail.com
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