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Whence the Pronunciation of Taoism? Michael Carr J. he object ofthis paper is to analyze Taoüm's [tauizam] cacology from Chinese source to English consequence.1 The first section introduces linguistic aspects of Chinese dào 'way' and dáo 'lead the way'. Section 2 discusses difficulties in romanizing the unvoiced unaspirated l%l phoneme in Chinese dào [tau] 'way'. The third looks at the Chinese DaolTao loanword and the English Daoüm/Taoüm calque. Section 4 compares pronunciation glosses ofTaoüm from principal British and American dictionaries. The fifth advances some general lexicographical suggestions about Chinese borrowings. (Modern Standard Chinese [MSC], not "Mandarin" (see n. 4), is transcribed in the Pinyin system. Old and Middle Chinese forms [OC and MC]— from ca. the 7th century B.C. and 7th century A.D.—are reconstructed by Karlgren, except where otherwise noted in section 1 .) 1. Chinese Dào This section outlines the semantics, graphics, and pronunciations of Chinese dào ] [ romanization of the unvoiced unaspirated Chinese ItI in dào [tau]. None of the rival transcription systems used in the past four centuries is completely satisfactory, owing to the political and linguistic confusion (see Gardner, Lo, Bortone, Zheng, and Chen). Chinese 'way; the Way; lead the way' was first romanized in 1736 as Tau (see section 3). It is best known as tao in the Wade-Giles and variant sys- Whence the Pronunciation of Taoism?59 terns, but has other transcriptions of J7JJ daw, dàu, and dào. In 1867, Thomas Wade proposed an "international" romanization for Chinese, but it was not long before French and German sinologists devised competing systems. Ever since Herbert Giles modified Wade's system in his 1892 dictionary, the Wade-Giles scheme for romanizing Chinese has been the most widely used in the Western world. Wade-Giles tao (or tao4) was adapted into variant schemes, including those of S. W. Williams, Post and Telegraphic, and China Inland Mission. In systems developed in China during the early part of this century, the 'way' was transcribed as National Romanization daw and Latinization tao. The 1913 Zhuyin Zimu 'National Phonetic Alphabet' alternately uses roman letters or 39 symbols based on Chinese logographs (and resembling Japanese katakana). The 1928 Guoyu Romaji 'National Romanization' system (Simon) has the advantage of alphabetically transcribing both phonemes and tones (e.g., Pinyin dào, dào, dào, and dào are written dau, daur, dao, and daw). The 1923 Ladinghua 'Latinization' system employs some Cyrillic characters, and has been weakly promoted in China. None of these three Chinese systems has been widely used in the West. Western sinologists, missionaries, and pedagogues have devised numerous schemes for romanizing Chinese. Most are variations of existing systems; for instance, Joseph Needham uses (cf. IPA [h] to replace the Wade-Giles indicating aspiration. In the 1943 Yale system, which was developed for teaching Chinese as a foreign language , but has little application outside of textbooks, the 'way' word is transcribed dàu. Pinyin is the new standard romanization system of Chinese. Movements within the People's Republic ofChina for logographic and linguistic standardization (DeFrancis, Cheng) led to the development of the Pinyin Zimu 'Phonetic Alphabet' which was based on the National Romanization and Latinization systems. After being officially adopted in 1962, Pinyin has become increasingly used worldwide. There are two arbitrary ways of representing in English the MSC opposition between aspirated vs. unaspirated stops and affricates : introducing a symbol for aspiration (non-phonemically distinctive in English), or utilizing the English opposition between voiced versus unvoiced (non-distinctive in MSC). Wade-Giles uses the former, transcribing [tau] 'way' as tao4 and [thau] 'peach' as t'ao2; Pinyin uses the latter, transcribing them as dào and táo. The causa causans of the pronunciation of Taoüm with [t] is the Wade-Giles system, which employs apostrophes to indicate aspiration; 60Michael Carr unvoiced aspirated marked p' = [ph], t' = [th], and k' = [kh] contrasting with unaspirated unmarked p = [p], t = [t], and k = [k]. This ['] usage derives from the Greek "breathing" diacritic superscripts of ['] to indicate aspirated "rough breathing" on an initial vowel versus ['] to indicate unaspirated "smooth breathing" (Trager 404). In criticism of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 55-74
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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