Y'all've been busy on this thread!
Right, which is what you wrote above! Sorry, I've only now started going through the materials, so while I've read all the discussion so far, I haven't had a reference point for it. As a result, even when my current questions have already been answered, I'm not always aware of the correlation!
To be fair, I just realized a while ago that this is pretty confusing, too, because AFAICT, it's usually tone four
from Middle Chinese that's left out, not tone six.
Speaking of previous discussion, I only now noticed that the tones symbols used in the pdf and your Google Doc are different. I think this had to do with the transcription system, right? The pdf uses Bodman and the Google Doc uses POJ?
If so, then it looks like in POJ high tone isn't marked.
Correct, the high flat unchecked tone isn't marked in POJ.
Then what about neutral tone? Bodman (or at least whatever the pdf uses) doesn't mark neutral tone, but does high tone.
Ser pretty much answered this question, but I dispute the idea that POJ makes no sense. Note that "neutral tone" is a commonly used term in the context of Chinese dialects/Sinitic languages ("Chinese dialects" and "Sinitic languages" are synonymous, btw; the only difference is whether you consider them dialects or languages)
and doesn't refer to a phonemic tone (or to any tone that has clear origins in Middle Chinese) but rather to syllables that don't have
a well-defined tone. Some of these syllables do have a well-defined tone in isolation, just not in certain contexts. For example, bē is mid tone in isolation, but in chia̍h--bē, it doesn't have a specific tone (a.k.a. it has neutral tone).
And why does POJ not mark the high tone but marks the high checked tone, yet marks the low tone and not the low checked tone? That seems quite confusing! Wouldn't it make more sense to not mark either the high tones (both checked and non-checked) or the low tones only?
I think this may go back to the tones of Middle Chinese again, combined with the all-important concept in Chinese culture of Yin and Yang. The tones of Middle Chinese were divided into four main categories
(whose names are translated into English as "level," "rising," "departing," and "entering," but they're more widely known by their Chinese names as read out in Mandarin), each with two subcategories called "dark" and "light" in English (yīn
in Mandarin). The high tone and the low checked tone are both dark according to this classification; this may be (part of the reason) why neither of them is marked (it may also have to do with the fact that the low tone, which is also dark, is not necessarily flat but rather low falling, whereas the high tone is flat. The high checked tone is light).
Oh and I have another question. On page 2, under "Amoy Consonants", they write:
The only consonants that occur finally are: m, n, ng, p, t, k and q
But then 3 paragraphs later they write:
The consonants that occur initially as well as finally are
Maybe it's just me, but if you say the only
consonants that occur finally are m/n/ng/p/t/k/q, then I wouldn't expect any of the others to occur finally! Or do they mean that those only occur finally
, whereas the others occur both initially and finally? If so, I think they should've phrased it as "The consonants that only occur finally are".
IMO that section is just really badly worded and organized, and what he should have said is first "here are all the consonants in Amoy Hokkien: b
almost as in bark, c
almost like" etc. and then
"the only consonants that occur finally are: m, n, ng..."
Understandably enough, księżycowy didn't scan the introduction of this book since it doesn't actually teach anything in the language. However, it does include an admission that Volume 1 of Spoken Amoy Hokkien
has a lot of things to be corrected and that the author unfortunately didn't get an opportunity to fix this at the time.
Also, I take it there are no diphthongs or triphthongs that involve /e/?
Bodman's system and POJ disagree as to what counts as a diphthong or triphthong. Bodman doesn't list any with <e> in them for sure, but POJ does have <oe> [ue] (which Bodman I think transcribes as <uê>).
And, finally, I see that Sound Drill 2 isn't yet complete in the Google Doc.
It is now!