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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Moreover final -r in this word is a reconstructive error of Karlgren’s: I now fully recognize that Sino-Tibetan is a valid grouping: Despite his anti-megalocomparativist stance, Matisoff is reconstrucyion a half-believer in Austro-Tai.

University of California Press. It is liberally indexed and cross-referenced for maximum accessibility and internal consistency.

This is widely accepted. In support of this, Gyarong Jacques has contrastive velars and uvulars, and some of the words which in Burmese and Lushai have zero initial proto-tibeto-bumran uvulars in Gyarong ‘needle’; ‘jaw’.

WT ‘spit’ tho, ‘hammer’ tho:: This is hard to believe. A similar story may be told about the word for ‘ride’. In effect Matisoff is using empty suffixes as wild cards.

There have been expectations that Matisoff’s new book would finally provide an explicit and testable system of TB reconstruction in the Benedictian tradition, as well as integrate the results of 30 years of post-STC research into Sino-Tibetan. Matisoff replies in typical fashion, deriding van Driem’s proposal fn. Matisoff nandbook no safeguards against loans.

By the late ‘s, when Benedict and Matisoff were preparing the Conspectus for publication, work by Haudricourt a,bPulleyblank and Yakhontov had already resulted in major modifications to Karlgren’s system, even though their work had not been presented to the non-sinological public in as convenient a format as Grammata Serica. The great majority are inherited from Benedict and other sources, in particular Gong WT phag, Proto-tibeto-burkan wakwas first treated by Benedict Matisoff appears unaware of Sagart’s work on this prefix, as well as on Old Chinese morphology Sagart The reader who wishes to find what the reflex of a particular initial is in, say, Tibetan, must to turn to the index of reconstructed roots, look up each root beginning with a particular initial, and check the text for occurrences of that root in Tibetan.


Claims made in the book can only be verified by checking the cognate sets, but finding the cognate sets is not straightforward.

This prefix was first reconstructed for Old Chinese by Sagart but the reconstruction appears to hold good for the whole of ST. These are tabulated in the various chapters on rimes. Matisoff gives a proto-system of 23 initial consonants.

University of California Press

More Information Less Information. This view, though not implausible in itself, needs to be buttressed by evidence of unique TB innovations. Matisoff proposes a third interpretation: The Chinese word does not explain -w- in TB.

TB sound system of PTB Overall, the reconstructed system is inherited from Benedict; changes are in the direction of replacing phonological or morphological problems with untestable variation hypotheses: This is not felicitous. Some are Matisoff’s own Burmese-Lolo based cognate sets. He claims that Lushai tlaak ‘fall’ reflects the same root, suffixed with -k.

He reconstructed few words with long vowels, however. This will be of particular interests to students of Chinese, because it has been claimed by Zhengzhang and Starostin that the TB length contrast correlates with the Chinese distinction between type A and B syllables type B syllables are those in which a medial yod appeared in Middle Chinese.


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

Cooksix indexes, and a reference list. Sagart,identified the corresponding prefix in Chinese: Sanchez-Mazas eds The peopling of East Asia: An intransitive nasal prefix m- was reconstructed for TB by Wolfendenand this is maintained by later writers, including Matisoff.

This choice is unfortunate. Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics, Hanyu Shi Lun Ji Needless to say, M. This is one of the comparisons offered by Benedict in support of his collective -n suffix. It is in fact with Matisoff’s work that lack of explicitness gets in the way of falsification.

Highlight all Match case. Presentation of Chinese cognates “comparanda” is the main goal. In Szu Ch’i-liang et al.

Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, After discovering the first elements of 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.

The forms in bold type are not cited by Matisoff.