4

I need advice/help on creating a system similar to the Old National Pronunciation system/language for a worldbuilding project called Roses, Tulips, and Liberty.

Some background: Imagines, it's a world in which China is partitioned in 1857, with Southern China coming under a Cantonese-speaking monarchy, and the north remaining under the Qing. They are reunified in the 1930s, and thus would require an official language and lingua franca. China is limited to China proper. Taiwan was successfully colonized by the Dutch.

This new language would ideally combine the phonologies of Mandarin dialects and Cantonese, or a good compromise. I attached an image of an in-progress table of consonants below. Does it look like the phonology of an actual Chinese dialect? What changes would you make? Do you have any recommendations on how to further develop this (including tones, vowels, endings, romanization, etc)?

Thank you!

.

1
  • Where do you define Southern China? Southern China is riddled with mountain ranges and as a result have vastly different dialects. I don't think it is possible for a monarchy, even an authoritarian, to impose Cantonese on all of them.
    – Lily White
    Oct 6, 2022 at 2:26

1 Answer 1

2

China is partitioned in 1857, with Southern China coming under a Cantonese-speaking monarchy, and the north remaining under the Qing. They are reunified in the 1930s, and thus would require an official language and lingua franca. China is limited to China proper. Taiwan was successfully colonized by the Dutch

an interesting alternate world 😸

my suggestions:

set the base of this sino-language to 19 initials, and 56 finals, and 9 tones.

if cantonese is more influential, adding a few more, emphasise the entering tone. if mandarin is more influential, subtract all 18 stop coda 😼

to make it more exotic, adding retroflex, according to dutch language 🙀

table of consonants

to persuade others that you’re talking about a sino-language; you need to compose a table of initials (聲母表), a table of finals (韻母表), indicating how many tones used (聲調).

then, compose a table of syllables, something like these:

cantonese syllables

mandarin syllables

have fun :)

12
  • Thank you for your help! A few questions, if I want to make it more like Nanjing Mandarin, what would be the best way to do that? I was thinking: - Add [ʂ]/[ʃ] & [ʐ] initials - Adding medials to the finals chart (ia, iao, ian, iang, ie, iou, iong, ua, uai, uan, uang, uei, uen, ueng). - If medials are added, how would that change the rest of the finals chart? Would it make sense to remove some Cantonese finals/vowels. If so, which? Thank you again!
    – Omar
    Oct 3, 2022 at 5:00
  • @Omar, well, first of all, do you want to keep entering tone (finals ends with -p, -t, or -k), if not, chop them; the result would be “less-cantonese”. secondly, if you add medials, the table of finals would larger, to keep it reasonable, chop some finals. maybe, you compose the table of finals first, ask again, i’ll adjust it accordingly. btw, how serious do you need? a “sino-language” withstand linguists’ criticise, or, fantasy? Oct 3, 2022 at 7:44
  • Here is the link to the page with the initials, finals, and some ideas. Ideally the language should be accurate and believable to your average Chinese speaker, can be written/romanized fairly easily. Any insight from a linguist/language expert like yourself is greatly appreciated! :) @水巷孑蠻
    – Omar
    Oct 3, 2022 at 8:45
  • @Omar, i read, and thought about the chart, some points you need to clarify: 1 why “亞” (glottal x stop-plain) 2 the cuhk site has alveolar & post-alveolar, why these two are merged together in the chart? (知,雌,思) 3 羅 is approximant x alveolar; while in cuhk site, it’s lateral x alveolar? Oct 4, 2022 at 13:02
  • 1) put 亞 there just in case I got rid of entering tone, 2) for simplicity, I'll add post when it's complete, 3) that was a mistake, I'll change it. What do you think of removing the retroflex 書 & 肉 sounds and the entering tone? Maybe merge 書 into [s] completely, remove 肉, & -p, -t, -k all become glottal stops? For the finals chart - does it make sense & how to improve it? Would it be better to start with the Mandarin final chart instead and modify it from there, since many of these final sounds would be new for Mandarin speakers? @水巷孑蠻
    – Omar
    Oct 9, 2022 at 8:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.