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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The vast majority of ethnic Tujias speak Mandarin Chinese. When Benedict wrote his Conspectus in it was natural that he should use that reconstruction, then the most prlto-tibeto-burman in the world.

Benedict’s first solution, which is also that supposed by Haudricourt and Ferlus see Ferlus to explain Vietnamese spirantization of voiceless stop initials, should be preferred. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. A similar story may be told about the word for ‘ride’.

Surely sixty years of research should have led to the chart being modified, improved, enlarged, reconsturction disappointingly Matisoff’s book does not approach the issue. Matisoff proposes a third interpretation: It is highly likely that tonal TB languages acquired their tones in similar ways. When, starting in the eighties, the results of the next wave of scholarship Zhengzhang ; StarostinBaxter started appearing, independently arriving at essentially the same system of over fifty OC rhymes as against 30 or so in the systems of Karlgren and Li and adopting features originally proposed by Pulleyblank and Yakhontov, making Li’s system obsolete, it was too late, the body of Chinese-TB lexical comparisons Benedict and Matisoff recognized was too dependent upon karlgren’s OC for them to allow their treatment of the ST family to be affected by the insights of sixty years of successful post-Karlgrenian research into OC.


Matisoff adds new allegedly related TB forms. Matisoff’s PTB has neither tones nor anything out of which tones can arise.

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.

This must be because the form with -k is basic. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 7, 2: This theory of Benedict’s says that the Austronesian and Tai-Kadai families originate in an early SEA 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.

Lack of explicitness also preempted attempts at evaluating the system’s internal reconstructikn, and more generally, critical discussion.

When roots where Matisoff supposes -k have Chinese cognates, Chinese normally has -k. Matisoff earlier produced such a hypothesis for Burmese-Lolo. 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 Abd. I now fully recognize that Sino-Tibetan is a valid grouping: It contains reconstructions of over a thousand Tibeto-Burman roots, as well as suggested comparisons with several hundred Chinese etyma.

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

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.


Language and Linguistics, 4. Vfinal nasals Ch. Another problem with M’s inventory of consonants is the alternation, already mentioned, between initial velars and zero.

University of California Press

Journal of Chinese Linguistics monograph series number 7. Vowel correspondence is off M. Expect a dental stop in TB. In the next section, a suggestion wll be made that od velar vs.

Needless to say, M. Matisoff has no safeguards against loans. WT ‘spit’ tho, ‘hammer’ tho:: WT phag, WB wakwas first treated by Benedict It probably does not exist.

There is a blanket statement on p.

My use of that term should not imply that I am presently convinced that it is a valid grouping. No good parallels for ty But this is a two-way street: I cannot speak for Jones and Starostin but I can assure Lroto-tibeto-burman that my Philodophy theory Sagart is very explicit on sound correspondences and makes predictions that can be tested linguisticallyin a number of ways.

Sagart,identified the corresponding prefix in Chinese: They can also explain certain grammaticalizations: London, Royal Asiatic Society.

Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, This is widely accepted. More Information Less Information. Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities,no. Sound correspondences are fine, but the better comparison, with better semantics and more specific phonetics, is on p.