The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey/Philology

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By the Rev. Samuel R. Clarke

System of orthography used in writing down the following vocabularies:—

a, like a in father. e, like e in led. eh, like u in inurder. ö, like eh, or like the same letter in German. i, like ea in tea; when followed by a final consonant, like i in sit. o, like o in so; when followed by a final consonant, like o in hot. u, like oo in too; when followed by a final consonant, like u in sung. ï, hardly a vowel sound. Pronounce the English word its without the i and that is what tsï is like; without the it, and that is what sï is like. ai, like i in light. ao, like ou in loud, li, like ai in laid, eo, a blend of e and o. aeo, a blend of a and eo. ua, like wci in M;a/f. uei, like the English iway. uo, like i<?a in war. b, like 6 or jo in English unaspirated. d, like rf or ^ in English unaspirated. /, h, k, I, m, n, r, s, sh, v, y, w, these are pronounced like the same letters in English. Note. — ' is the sign of an aspirate; thus/" is/ aspirated. c, like a very hard sharp k ; there is something like a click in it in Miao. ch, like ch in chin, aspirated. g, soft, like g in gin, unaspirated. g, hard, like g in gate. nd, nasal sound before d. nt, nasal sound before t, aspirated. mb, sound of m before b. mp, sound of m before p, aspirated. ng, like ng in sing; also used as an initial sound. ny, n before the y sound. p like p in English, aspirated. t, like t in English, aspirated. hk, a strongly aspirated guttural. ll, like the Welsh ll. hi, hr, dr, gl, kl, pi, pr, these are pronounced the same as in English.

z, a rough initial sound, not an aspirate; not like the English z; it is undescribable, and must be heard to be appreciated. The final consonants m, p, t, k are pronounced the same as in English but much more lightly. Note the r in Chung chia has a suggestion of th in it ; in the other languages it is never trilled.

Note. — The Chinese given is the Chinese of Kweiyang Fu, Kweichow province. The Keh lao are from Anshuen Fu. The Lo lo are from Anshuen Fu. Chung chia from Kweiyang Fu. Heh Miao from Panghai, Chinpen Hsien. Ya chio Miao from Tatang in Tinfan chow.

Hua Miao from Anshuen Fu.