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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In Matisoff’s phylogeny, TB itself has a star- shaped structure, with eight branches the Tujia 2 branch as defined on p.

At first sight, the TB length distinction as reconstructed by Matisoff does not correlate particularly well with the Chinese distinction: Here are examples of TB-Chinese comparisons with initial l- which M. Li Fang-kuei Jige Shanggu shengmu wenti. Here reflexes of the posited proto-rimes in some important languages usually Tibetan, Burmese, Jingpo, Lahu, Lushai, and a representative of the Bodo-Garo group, sometimes also Mikir, Nung are tabulated and examples are given.

Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 7, 2: This prefix was first reconstructed for Old Chinese by Sagart but the reconstruction appears to hold good for the whole of ST. The Chinese word does not explain -w- in TB. An intransitive nasal prefix m- was reconstructed for TB by Wolfendenand this is maintained by later writers, including Matisoff.

Preparing document for printing…. 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 preferable to stick with Karlgren’s old system. Putting together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics, Matisoff adds new allegedly related TB forms. How can PST speakers have known writing brushes?


The forms in bold type are not cited by Matisoff. 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. WB w- corresponding to WT g. A comparative vocabulary of five Sino-Tibetan languages. In Szu Ch’i-liang et al. The correspondence of initials is off.

In SagartI have argued that the transitivity-related voicing alternation, at least, is better explained as induced by a prefix intransitive m- see below than as lexical variation in PTB, and even in PST. Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale Vol. Claims made in the book can only be verified by checking the cognate sets, but finding the cognate sets is not straightforward. Moreover final -r in this word is a reconstructive error of Karlgren’s: The rest of the book is organized into chapters, each dealing with a piece of the PTB syllable: Highlight all Match case.

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

In the next section, a suggestion wll be made that the velar vs. Every effort should be made to replace them with explicit prefixation hypotheses.

He does not recognize, or discuss, Burling’s innovation-based Sal group Burling Thus, of the 73 Chinese comparanda proposed by M. Help Center Find new research papers in: WT ‘spit’ tho, ‘hammer’ tho:: The origin of Vietnamese and Chinese tones has been successfully explained by Haudricourt a,b as resulting from the loss of final laryngeal segments around years ago. Benedict thought two manner types for stops voiced vs. 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 off B syllables type B syllables are those in which a medial yod appeared in Middle Chinese.


The TB languages are the only proven relatives of Chinese, with which they form the great Sino-Tibetan family.

Although his TB reconstructions were often cited, Benedict’s system was not sufficiently explicit on sound correspondences and no one else save Matisoff seems ever to have used it productively. IVmonophthongal and diphthongal rhymes Ch.

University of California Press

Discussion is speedy and not quite to the point. London, Royal Asiatic Society. University of California Press. 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.