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Sound Changes in Chinese-Based Vocabulary

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Enki
Tetraglot
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Canada
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54 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: Arabic (Written), English*, French, Korean
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 1 of 5
02 April 2013 at 6:18pm | IP Logged 
A large percentage of Korean and Japanese words come from Chinese characters. Of
course, both languages pronounce the words very differently, but there seems to be a
pattern to the sound changes in Japanese and Korean Sino-based words. For example:

1. ㅎ(h) sounds in Korean are か(k) sounds in Japanese (sometimes this turns to a g
sound).
2. ㅇ on top (neutral, vowel) sounds in Korean are が (g) sounds in Japanese (this one
has a lot of exceptions though).
3. ㅇ at the bottom (ng) is an elongated vowel in Japanese.
4. ㄹ at the bottom (l) is つ (tsu).
5. ㅍ(p) is は (h).

So you have words like:   生活 -> 생활 (seng hwal) せいかつ (sei katsu) 月-> 월 (wol)
げつ(getsu) 外國語-> 외국어 (way guk o) がいこくご (gai koku go) 被害-> 피해 (pi hae)
ひがい (hi gai) 中華-> 중화 (chung hwa) ちゅうか (chuu ka) 実現-> 실현(shil hyeon) じ
つげん(jitsu ken)

Do you guys know any other rules or patterns? Can this be applied to other languages
with Chinese characters like Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese?
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vonPeterhof
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Russian FederationRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Russian*, EnglishC2, Japanese, German
Studies: Kazakh, Korean, Norwegian, Turkish

 
 Message 2 of 5
03 April 2013 at 6:41pm | IP Logged 
Off the top of my head I can think of a few more:

- The syllable-final -p, -t an -k in Cantonese correspond to ㅂ, ㄹ and ㄱ in Korean and う (elongated vowel, which interferes with the aforementioned -ng examples), つ (or ち) and く in Japanese. I believe the Vietnamese equivalents are spelled -p, -t and -c. In Mandarin all three finals have simply disappeared.
- Palatalized n- in Japanese (as in に and derived syllables, like にょ) and Vietnamese (spelled nh-) disappears in Korean and becomes an r in Mandarin. The r can go either in the beginning or the end of the syllable; not sure what that is determined by. Some Sino-Japanese morphemes with that sound also have a different pronunciation in later borrowings - じ and its derived syllables.
- The syllable final -m is preserved in Cantonese and Korean, but gets merged into -n in Mandarin and Japanese.
- The syllable initial l- in Chinese becomes r- in both Japanese and Korean. Modern South Korean also turns the word-initial ㄹ into ㄴ, or removes it completely if it's palatalized.

A few more examples [only putting in those variants I can recall]:

ー -> 일 (il) いち (ichi) [or sometimes いつ (itsu)] yi
二 -> 이 (i) に (ni) er
三 -> 삼 (sam) さん (san) san [Mandarin] saam [Cantonese]
六 -> 육 (yuk) [륙 (ryuk) in the North] ろく (roku) [or sometimes りく (riku)]
十 -> 십 (sip) じゅう (juu)
日 -> 일 (il) にち (nichi) [can also be じつ (jitsu)] ri [IIRC the Vietnamese is nhat]

For further reading, this Wikipedia article may be a good place to start.

Edited by vonPeterhof on 03 April 2013 at 6:42pm

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Enki
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4749 days ago

54 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: Arabic (Written), English*, French, Korean
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 5
03 April 2013 at 8:01pm | IP Logged 
Thank you for the link! I wanted to read more about this but I didn't know the name for
it; "Sino-Xenic vocabularies".
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Raincrowlee
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United States
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621 posts - 808 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin, Korean, French
Studies: Indonesian, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 5
03 April 2013 at 11:16pm | IP Logged 
-The d- in Mandarin become ㅈ- in Korean. For example 電 is dian in Mandarin but 전 in Korean.

Edited by Raincrowlee on 03 April 2013 at 11:18pm

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karaipyhare
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Paraguay
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Speaks: Portuguese, Spanish*, English, Guarani
Studies: German, Italian, French, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 5 of 5
26 June 2013 at 3:07pm | IP Logged 
The wikipedia has a good article about it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Xenic_vocabularies


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