Insights into Naxi and Pumi at the end of the 19th century: evidence on sound changes from the word lists by Charles-Eudes Bonin

Abstract : The word lists published in 1903 by C.-E. Bonin for several languages of East Asia are highly rudimentary; the transcription is based on French spelling conventions. These lists nonetheless provide hints about the pronunciation of these languages at the end of the 19th century. We examine two of Bonin's lists in light of more recent and more systematic descriptions of the same languages, looking for evidence about phonetic evolutions. The Naxi word list offers hints about the pronunciation of vowels /i/, /y/ and /o/ and the degree of palatalization of velars before high front vowels. The list for Pumi shows that the initial cluster /st-/ was still present at the time in the dialect recorded.
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Alexis Michaud, Guillaume Jacques. Insights into Naxi and Pumi at the end of the 19th century: evidence on sound changes from the word lists by Charles-Eudes Bonin. Cahiers de linguistique - Asie Orientale, CRLAO, 2010, 39 (1), pp.21-40. ⟨halshs-00516872⟩

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