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# Questioning Allograph

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Be going to present at a private group, 12 Dec, 2012. Subjected to change without prior notice until read.

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### Questioning Allograph

1. 1. Questioning AllographEvidence from Old Hiragana Kazuhiro Okada Hokkaido University TwiFULL SLiM #   
2. 2. Agenda• Reviewing a theory of grapheme–allograph structure in detail• Examining the theory with the character structure of Old Hiragana• Introducing grapheme class to clarify the responsibilities for grapheme and allograph 2
3. 3. On Some Terms (Rogers )• An  is a member of a grapheme, which is not contrastive to the other allographs• A  is a contrastive unit in a writing system 3
4. 4. On Some Terms (Rogers )• A   is a system for graphically representing the utterances of a language• A  is a general term for a writing system without regard for its structural nature 4
5. 5. What is Allograph?• A and a are allographs of the grapheme A in that replacing them does not alter the meaning of the word, as calm and cAlm, except oddness • Note: Studies of Chinese characters treat allograph as relation of graphemes which descend from the same origin, despite a description found in Rogers () 5
6. 6. Allograph Class• Allographs constitute classes over grapheme (Rogers, ) • CAPITAL and minuscule • Sans-serif and serif • Roman, Bold and Italic • Gill Sans and Avenir and so on… 6
7. 7. Grapheme and Phoneme• Grapheme, as the name suggests, is deﬁned parallel to phoneme, and allograph to allophone • It is also referred to morpheme/allomorph, hereafter omitted • Note that Rogers () does not insist that writing system is completely parallel to phonology 7
8. 8. Grapheme and Phoneme• Minimal pair plays a central role in determining a phoneme, but similarity is also convincing• Conversely grapheme is solely determined by usage, not by graphical likeness • No outsiders would understand that γ and Γ are of the same grapheme 8
9. 9. A HoTEL Experiment• To a certain extent, to know a writing system is to know allograph relations• In the brain we process a written word without regard to allograph variation • Consequently nonetheless HoTEL and hotel are visually diﬀerent we can read both /həʊˈtɛl/ (Dehaene, ) 9
10. 10. A HoTEL Experiment• ‘Wait! Can we assume that both HoTEL and hotel suﬀer same process?’• That both HoTEL and hotel go the same process has little implication to the structure of grapheme • For instance it is not obvious that either H and h are uniﬁed then processed or separately processed 10
11. 11. A HoTEL Experiment• No one will argue against allograph itself• Still there is room for an argument against grapheme–allograph structure • In other words, there is some doubt that linguistic contrast can fully capture a structure of a writing system 11
12. 12. Contrastiveness Criterion• Whether instances make a contrast is not so straightforward in the case of writing system • colour and color • beber and vivir (Spanish, b and v are not distinguished)• Once contrast happened, it will guarantee the other contrastiveness in writing system 12
13. 13. Contrastiveness Criterion• Degree of diﬀerence made with each allograph class is not slight• In Latin script, the case class seems the most diﬀerentiated class • No other classes make a variation like Q and q, R and r 13
14. 14. Contrastiveness Criterion• Supposed that both the case distinction and stylistic diﬀerences make up equally allograph classes, how to illustrate the speciality of the case class? • They do, actually, make a contrast, don’t they?• There seems a need to elaborate the criterion 14
15. 15. Contrastiveness in Modern Latin• Contemporary Latin writing system, which is not authorised one, some distinguish vowel i, u from consonantal j /j/, v /w/, the others not (partial application is also found) • Originally the writing system of Latin lacks these vowel/consonant distinction whose distributions are purely complimentary (Marotta, ) 15
16. 16. Contrastiveness in Modern Latin• In the older writing system we neutralise the distinction in writing and decode in reading• Practically those subtle diﬀerences ease distinctions over i, u and j, v, and let them be one time distinct graphemes, the other time allographs 16
17. 17. A Question• What’s the contrastiveness in a writing system anyway? 17
18. 18. Old Hiragana• Used from   around to  • Has over  kanas for  core morae (adopted from Sproat, ) • later fused into , but maintained ancient ‘category’ (Frellesvig, ) 18
19. 19. Old Hiragana• Cursivised from Kanji, which was borrowed from Chinese writing system to represent Japanese morae• Not closed system• Hereafter ‘Kana’ refers to ‘Old Hiragana’ 19
20. 20. Kanji to Kana• When Kanji (hàn zì in Chinese) was utilised to represent Japanese, there were mainly two ways: • Borrowing its sound • Utilising the ﬁrst sound of correspondence Japanese word • Both ways ignore what the word means 20
21. 21. Kanji to Kana• Most kana borrowed the sound• In borrowing some simpliﬁcation took place as Middle Chinese syllable structure is more complex than Old Japanese • As a result large amount of homophonous application occurred • /ka/ in Kojiki (): 加可珂賀何訶 21
22. 22. Kanji to Kana• In developing Kana the use by public servant give a direction • Nearly ignored so-called seidaku distinction • Consulted few Kanji for a core mora • Tended to write cursively 22
23. 23. Contrast of Kana• Two level contrast shall be distinguished • Mora level contrast (kana category) • あ, い, う, え, お… • Sub-mora level contrast • /ha/: は, は, は, は… 23
24. 24. Contrast of Kana• Mora level contrast is no doubt contrastive• Sub-mora level contrast is said to make no contrast • Whether one writes かは or かは does not contribute to the representation of a word 24
25. 25. Contrast of Kana• Non-contrastiveness does not immediately lead to the conclusion that they are allographs• There is a possibility of distinction as they are mostly derived from diﬀerent Kanji and also a degree of cursiveness diﬀerentiate the shape largely 25
26. 26. Seidaku and Grapheme• Sub-mora level contrast is not contrastive on core morae• However Seidaku contrast is not mentioned 26
27. 27. Seidaku and Grapheme• As noted, Kana lacks distinction for seidaku• Seidaku, which nowadays is a voiced/ unvoiced contrast, was formerly contrast with prenasalisation (supposed to have changed gradually within Middle Japanese period) 27
28. 28. Seidaku and Grapheme• If mora level contrast is grapheme distinction in Kana, allographs, namely, sub- mora level contrast will be used freely over Seidaku• If sub-mora level contrast make a contrast in usage of Seidaku even slightly, it shall include grapheme distinction, or even question grapheme/allograph structure 28
29. 29. A Case of f/b/p Distinction• In Late Middle Japanese (–) current /h/ was /ɸ/ • By a convention later transcribed as f• /ɸ/ descended from /p/ in the environment of word-initial • /w/ was for word-medial and ﬁnal 29
30. 30. A Case of f/b/p Distinction• Dakuon for /p/ can be reconstructed as /ᵐb/, which fused into /b/ no later than Late Middle Japanese• After losing its place, however, [p] seemed to have remained as an allophone for the environment of such as geminate consonant and onomatopœia 30
31. 31. A Case of f/b/p Distinction• f/b/p share characters in writing • By moraic nature they are combined with vowel • は, ひ, ふ, へ, and ほ correspond to /fa/, /ﬁ/, /fu/, /fe/ and /fo/, respectively• Do they, in fact, make no contrast? 31
32. 32. Jesuit Mission Press in Japan• Jesuit Province of Japan printed Japanese textbooks with movable type (–)• Their publication includes in Latin script and in Japanese script• Originally made by European hand, from  they renewed their movable type on their own 32
33. 33. Jesuit Mission Press in Japan• They had used metal movable type, not wooden type, in order to recast same character again and again• It is important that in which character it is written is very clearer than hand-written materials 33
34. 34. f/b/p Distinction in Missionary Press• Early Japanese script publication (EJ)• Late Japanese script publication (LJ) • EJ lacks a digraph for p; both have a digraph for b, but often omitted• Examining more than two characters per a core mora 34
35. 35. f/b/p Distinction in Missionary Press• EJ (Okada, , modiﬁed) • は（者, 波, 者゛, 八, 和/wa/） /fa/ /ba/ part. ba /pa/ /wa/ part. wa /Cw-/ Total 22 18 3 43 1 2 3 49 49 98 1 96 172 23 292 10 10 35
36. 36. f/b/p Distinction in Missionary Press• EJ (Okada, , modiﬁed) • へ（部, 遍, 部゛, 衣/e/, 恵/e/） /fe/ /be/ /pe/ /e/ part. e total 79 9 88 9 6 9 6 30 130 1 131 4 4 28 28 36
37. 37. f/b/p Distinction in Missionary Press• LJ (Shirai, , modiﬁed) • は（者, 八, 盤, 和/wa/, 王/wa/） /fa/ /ba/ part. ba /pa/ /wa/ part. wa Total者 13 10 60 21 8 112八 26 45 137 208盤 1 1和 17 17王 1 1 37
38. 38. f/b/p Distinction in Missionary Press• Mora level distribution does not relate simply to phoneme• Rather each character has their own relation • 八 goes mostly to /ba/, or /wa/ • 者 goes to /fa/, /ba/, or /pa/ • 部 to /e/, 遍 to /fe/, /be/, or /pe/ 38
39. 39. Allograph in Missionary Press• There was some uniﬁcation before, both look alike: • /fa/: 八 A B • /fe/: 部 A B 39
40. 40. Allograph in Missionary Press• Attestation of 部B is too scarce ( times)• Both 八A () and 八B () relate to /wa/ in the environment of word-medial and ﬁnal 40
41. 41. Allograph in Missionary Press• Attestation of 八 conﬁrms that they did not receive distinction• 部 implies that the diﬀerence was so subtle as hardly to work independently • Allograph in Kana has such a diﬃculty in distinguishing them in shape and usage 41
42. 42. Theoretical Implication• What we called mora level contrast so far is rather weak category regarding core morae• The fact that some sub-mora level contrasts have unique relation to phoneme shows their independency in the writing system and may name them graphemes 42
43. 43. Theoretical Implication• In sub-mora level contrast, shape unlikeness is a source of distinction• Unique sound relation in some of them shows every shape unlikeness has a potence to have it• Therefore sub-mora level contrast is a graphemic level diﬀerence 43
44. 44. Theoretical Implication• Mora level contrast is more abstract than grapheme • To generalise it can be named as grapheme class 44
45. 45. Theoretical Implication• Graphemes of Kana also gives a ground for dividing capital and minuscule into separate graphemes • Introducing grapheme class makes contrastiveness criterion weaken than Rogers () • This alternate intends to limit allograph to stylistic one 45
46. 46. Conclusion• By introducing grapheme class responsibilities for grapheme and allograph become lighter• Old Hiragana is a good example to present a grapheme class–grapheme–allograph structure 46
47. 47. Conclusion• A   is a weak category which comprises similar sound graphemes• A  is a unit which has independence in identiﬁcation and sound correspondence• An  is what is subjected to parent grapheme 47
48. 48. Thank you for listening! k-oada@let.hokudai.ac.jp 48
49. 49. Literature• Dehaene, S. (). Reading in the brain: The science and evolution of a human invention. New York: Viking• Frellesvig, B. (). A history of the Japanese language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press• Marotta, G. (). The Latin syllable. Hulst, H. & Ritter, N. (eds.) The syllable: Views and facts. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter• Okada, K. (). A development of Kana movable type by Jesuit mission press in Japan: With special reference to On Baptism and Preparation for Death (日本イエズ ス会版における日本語活字の開発: 『病者を扶くる心得』の仮名活字組版か ら). Unpublished ms. [in Japanese]• Rogers, H. (). Writing systems: A linguistic approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell• Shirai, J. (). Kana glyph usage in Jesuit Mission Press (キリシタン版の仮名文字 遣). Kuntengo to Kunten-shiryō  [in Japanese]• Sproat, R. (). A computational theory of writing systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 49