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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

440

Tlte Loom of Language

or other of the syllabaries Consequently there is a movement to
introduce the Roman alphabet. It is somewhat moie economical
than the syllabaries, and it would have two more substantial advan-
tages One is the possibility of distinguishing between homophones as
we do when we write, wright^ right, and nte The other is that it is
impossible to represent the compound consonants of Latin or Greek
roots in international technical terms with Kana signs
Westernization has brought about a new influx of foreign words.

M   N    S   Z

B      T    D     K     G    Y    R      H    W

U
E

0

UN

13-
*

-y

a

a'

J

FIG 46  JAPANESE Katakana SYLLABARY
Some of the corresponding sounds are not exactly as indicated in the table, i e
TI = chts TU = tsu and HU = fhu Note that the voiced and voiceless pairs
s-z, p-b> r-cfj k-g are distingiushed only by diacritic marks in the top right-hand
corner.
mainly from Enghsh sources,, and Japanese has freely assimilated
international technical terms in preference to compounds of Chinese
monosyllables In doing so it distorts them in conformity with its own
phonetic pattern (Fig 14 and p 215) What is foreign red in China is
amnn3 and spirit of coal is gasu Typical of such distortions are pe$i
(page)j basu (bus), pondo (pound), doresu (dress), gurando (sports
ground), kunmu (cream), taipwraitu (typewriter)
Till recent times European scholars did not doubt that the mono-
syllabic uniformity of Chinese reflected human speech at its lowest
level There is now some evidence for the view that Chinese may not
always have been an isolating language of monosyllables Modern
scholars believe that Chinese once had disyllabic words which became
shortened through phonetic decay and fusion, as the Old Enghsh
lufu has been reduced to Jove, and the Latin bestta (beast) to French
bete According to the researches of Professor Karlgren, the personal