Thursday, April 28, 2011

Constructing a merging system ourselves, continue

In my last post, I outlined the objective (merging Chinese written system with the Chinese verbal system seamlessly), the initial and the boundary conditions, etc.. Now, let me rephrase them in more understandable terms.

Our objective is similar to making 60,000 distinguishable cookies which carry unique sound and meaning,  by using only a set of Lego pieces (220 pieces in this case) while there are only 1,000 distinguishable sound available.

I will call these lego pieces as roots, and each root has a unique shape and meaning. Thus, it is not too difficult to make 60,000 distinguishable cookies by the different combinations of those 220 roots. As every root has its own meaning, the meaning of every cookie can be read out from the meanings of its composing parts. Yet, how can we attach a sound to each cookie with these roots?

Seemingly, we can assign a sound (phonetic value) to each root, and we can sound out the sound of the cookie from its composing roots. However, there is a problem with this special case. We have only 220 roots while there are about 1,000 distinguishable sounds. That is, we must assign 4 to 5 different sound to every root, and this will cause major confusion for the sounding out process. In fact, we must make a new set of sound tags in order to achieve our objective.

Thus, our first design strategy is “not” to assign any sound to the roots. In the making cookie process, the roots will always keep silent.

Our second design strategy is to construct 1,000 small cookies as sound tags, and each of them is assigned with one unique sound. Now, we have enough sound tags to cover the entire phonetic universe according to our design specification.

Our third design strategy is to make 60,000 distinguishable cookies with those roots any which way we prefer, to our heart’s content.

Our fourth design strategy is to attach a sound tag to each of those 60,000 cookies.

Now, our design is complete, a great success.
1. We can make as many cookies as we like, not just 60,000. And, they can be all unique.
2. The meaning of each cookie can be read out from its composing roots.
3. The sound of each cookie can be read out from its sound tag.

However, there is one problem in this system, that is, many cookies share an identical sound, the homophone or the homonym.  Yet, this problem can be resolved easily, and I will discuss it in future posts.

Now, let’s review the following words again and to see whether those ancient Chinese had a similar idea the same as ours.
Case one: words in the group have identical pronunciation.
 (妻 、 悽 、 棲 、 淒 、 )
(志 、 誌 、 痣 ),
(貽 、 怡 、 詒 ).

Case two: words in the group have “slightly” different (still related) pronunciation.
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
(佳 、 哇 、 詿 、 桂 、 鮭 、 閨 、 奎 、 崖 、 涯 、 洼 、 卦 、 封 、 硅 、 )
(曉 、 膮 、 嘵 、 撓 、 嶢 、 僥 、 、 獟 、 嬈 、 、 燒 、 澆 、 )

Case three: words in the group have “completely” different pronunciations.
(鳳 、 鳩 、 鳶 、 鴆 、 鴻 、 、 鴿 、 鴨 、 鸚 、 鵡 、 鵬 、 鶯 、 鷗 、 鷙 、 )

Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

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