On the 13th, I stumbled onto the Vietnamese word bôn 'bolshy, bolshie' in Bui Phung's 1992 dictionary which is online at SEAlang. Since Vietnamese favors monosyllabic roots and doesn't allow -l in syllable-final position, bolshy (< Bolshevik) was shortened to n with final -n.

Bôn looks like an abbreviation of Bônsêvích which I found in Google along with a rarer spelling Bônsêvíc with an un-Vietnamese rhyme -ic. Vietnamese s is like Russian sh in the northern dialect.

Today I found that Bui (1992) also lists xích hóa 'Bolshevization; join the Bolshevik party' with the suffix -hóa '-ize' (< Chinese 化). (Vietnamese words are generally written with spaces between syllables, so spaces can separate affixes from roots.) Xích [sik] looks like a monosyllabic reduction of the last two-thirds of Bolshevik.

The Vietnamese Wikipedia uses the term Bolshevik without any Vietnamization. In modern written Vietnamese, more and more foreign words are being used as is, or with minimal modification: e.g., Afghanistan or Áp-ga-ni-xtan (with an un-Vietnamese cluster xt [st]; found in Hyde 2008) instead of earlier A Phú Hãn (found in Nguyễn 1966), a Sino-Vietnamese reading of Chinese 阿富汗 (Mandarin Afuhan).

What did Ho Chi Minh and others of his generation call the Bolsheviks? Would they have used a term like Bố nhĩ thập duy cách, which I found in Trần Văn Kiệm's Giúp đọc Nôm và Hán-Việt (2004)? Those five syllables look like a Sino-Vietnamese reading of 布爾什維格, pronounced Buershiweige in Mandarin. (The actual Chinese term has a different final character: 布爾什維克 Md Buershiweike.) How widely was that term used? I can't Google any attestations outside his dictionary. Was Bố nhĩ thập duy khắc, the Sino-Vietnamese reading of 布爾什維克, ever used? No Google attestations for that either. And my massive English-Vietnamese dictionary has a defintion for Bolshevik but no translation.

The title refers to the meanings of the Chinese characters in 布爾什維克:

布 SV bố / Md bu 'spread'

爾 SV nhỉ / Md er 'you'

什 SV thập / Md shi 'ten'

維 SV duy / Md wei 'only'

克 SV khắc / Md ke 'conquer'

These meanings are irrelevant when characters are used as phonetic symbols. DAKWAH DAN AZAN

Today I saw the cover of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's Indonesian book that's been in the news lately:

Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC Dakwah Islam di Jantung Amerika Pasca 9/11

lit. 'cry adhaan from debris WTC da`wah Islamic in heart America post 9/11'

'A Call to Prayer from the Debris of the WTC: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of Post-9/11 America'.

The first word that caught my eye was dakwah 'da`wah' (دعوة) which has k corresponding to Arabic ` [ʕ], a sound absent from Indonesian. Did shift to [k] in Indonesian? No. Written Indonesian syllable-final -k can represent either [k] or [ʔ], so I think dakwah is [daʔ-wah] rather than [dak-wah].

The second was azan 'adhaan' (أذان) which has z corresponding to Arabic dh [ð], a sound absent from Indonesian.

Did Indonesian get these words directly from Arabic or from some intermediary like Persian, which also has glottal stop and z corresponding to Arabic [ʕ] and [ð]?

8.21.2:15: I forgot to mention that dan in my post title is 'and', though that could be guessed from context.

I also forgot to mention a couple of examples of unwritten syllable-initial glottal stop in Indonesian:

Indonesian Arab (not Karab) < Arabic `arab (عرب)

Indonesian Alquran (not Alqurkan) < Arabic al-Qur'aan (القرآن)

According to Waruno (1981: 409), there is no zero : [ʔ] contrast in syllable-initial position. The syllable-initial [ʔ] of a morpheme may or may not be lost after a preceding consonant, though there is no way to tell in writing: e.g., ber- [bər] + apa [ʔa-pa] 'what' can result in the minimal pair

berapa [bər-ʔa-pa] 'to have (or contain) what' (glottal stop retained)

berapa [bə-ra-pa] 'how much' (glottal stop lost)

Here are pairs of homographs distinguished in speech by the presence or absence of a glottal stop:

beruang [bər-ʔuaŋ] 'to have money' < ber- [bər] + uang [ʔuaŋ] 'money'

beruang [bə-ruaŋ] 'to have space'< be- [bə] + ruang [ruaŋ] 'space'

(be- is used instead of ber- before r-.)

berévolusi [bər-ʔe-fo-lu-si] 'to be in evolution' < ber- [bər] + évolusi [ʔe-fo-lu-si] 'evolution'

berévolusi [bə-re-fo-lu-si] 'to be in revolution' < be- [bə] + révolusi [re-fo-lu-si] 'revolution'

(be- is used instead of ber- before r-.) WHY WOULD HE THEN BE A MUMMY?

Japanese 木乃伊 'mummy' looks like it should be pronounced as mokunaii or bokudaii, but is actually pronounced miira (< Portuguese mirra 'myrrh'*, used in embalming). The spelling 木乃伊 is taken directly from Chinese 木乃伊 which must be a phonetic transcription since it makes no literal sense:

木 'wood'

乃 'then'

伊 'he, she'

The earliest attestation of 木乃伊 that I know of is in the 16th century 本草綱目 Compendium of Materia Medica. The modern standard Mandarin reading of 木乃伊 is munaiyi with -n- which is in no other word for 'mummy' that I have ever seen followed by the sequence -aiyi which is unusual in transcriptions. Did a Chinese speaker simply mishear the second -m- of some word for 'mummy' as -n-? I don't know of any precedents for that. Moreover, why the complicated -aiyi instead of -ai or -i? Some speculations:

- The spelling was coined by a speaker of a dialect with *l-/*n-(con)fusion (such dialects exist today) or *nd- < *n- (a shift in Tangut period northwestern Chinese which had no simple *d-).

- The spelling was coined by a speaker of a dialect with *-e < *-ai (a shift in Tangut period northwestern Chinese).

- Hence 木乃伊 could have been pronounced *mulei or *mundei with *-l- or *-nd- corresponding to foreign *-r-. *mul- ~ *mund- resembles Arabic مر murr 'bitter', but *-ei (or *-aiyi) remains a mystery.

*The modern East Asian word for 'myrrh' is 没薬, pronounced Md moyao, Jpn motsuyaku, Kor moryak, etc. 藥 is 'medicine'. 没 is literally 'to sink' which makes no sense, so it must be a transcription of some mur-type word. TANGRAPHIC RADICALS 13: HOI-TY TOI-TY HORSES

The radical


from the previous post has a rare variant hoi which is in only two tangraphs:


0518 2baʳ 'pair' (hoidex)

0765 2khiə 'steep' (hoicin) +

0517 2bəi 'two' (hoedex) (dex = 'person'; note the graphic and semantic similarity between 0518 and 0517; is 0518 a modification of 0517, and is the shared initial indicative of a common root b-?)

0765 2khiə 'steep' (hoicin)

Could this be a modification of Chn 陡 'steep' with the left half of hoi corresponding to 阝 and the rest corresponding to 走 (with the top becoming キ and the bottom becoming ヒ)?

Although the analysis of 0765 is unknown, I imagine it contains 0518.

The functions of dex and cin in 0518, 0517, and 0765 are unknown.

0765 resembles the much more common tangraph

0764 1rieʳ 'horse' (hincin)

whose cin seems to be a filler with no obvious function. I don't know why hin can't be an independent tangraph for 'horse'.

0764 in turn resembles 0766:


0766 1tʃwɛ̃ 'hunchback; tumor' (toicin) =

0527 1vɨạ 'tumor' (cumtun; tun = skin) +

1523 2lhõʳ 'swelling' (boagekbil) +

0768 (liquid initial; reading otherwise unknown) 'as' (hinbeucin)

cum is only in 0527. It presumably represents a hump.

1523 is the only tangraph with gek. Grinstead (1972: 129) lists a tangraph boahinbil with hin instead of the rare gek.

The analysis of 1523 extracts gek from toi:


1523 2lhõʳ 'swelling' (boagekbil) =

5555 'center, middle' (gosbalfea; this makes no sense whatsoever; boa is 'speech') +

0766 1tʃwɛ̃ 'hunchback; tumor' (toicin; toi = cumgek) +

2276 2bə 'to expand' (qoebaabilbaebil)

The right side (baabilbaebil) of 2276 might mean 'expand'. It is also in

1972 2riẹ 'to distend' (baebaabilbaebil; what is bae for?)

which is in these analyses:


0671 1sa 'to swell, choke' (jaijom)

1972 2riẹ 'to distend' (jai = baebaabilbaebil; jai = baebaabilbae)

2696 1dzi 'narrow' (qaljom)


4819 1tiəə 'stare, glare' (biociaceubil) =

4684 1me 'eye' (biociabeucin) +

1972 2riẹ 'to distend' (baebaabilbaebil; ceu = baa...bae)


5105 1tsə 'lungs' (doxbaabilbaebil; dox = 'meat') =

5273 2si 'liver' (doxqal) +

1972 2riẹ 'to distend' (baebaabilbaebil)

8.19.0:55: Why wasn't 1972 abbreviated consistently? What is the significance, if any, of each different abbreviation? Why couldn't baabilbaebil stand alone without a bae on the left? TANGRAPHIC RADICALS 12: HORSE WITH AN EXTRA HEAD

The surname Bi from the previous line

1121 2bəi (alphacode: hoe)

resembles the radical hin

'horse' (< Chn 馬)

with an extra フ on top and has a pronunciation vaguely like *mbæ, the Tangut period northwestern Chinese reading of 馬 'horse'. So I think hoe < hin < 馬.

There are only five other tangraphs with hoe:

0517 2bəi 'two' (with dex 'person')

1116 2bəi (second half of 1və-2bəi 'fur, leather') (with tun 'skin'; < Chn 皮?)

2771 1phɪ 'the surname Phi' (with dex 'person' plus the mysterious right-hand radical cin)

3366 1bɛ 'the surname Be' (with dex 'person')

4374 1phæ (first half of 1phæ-æ 'white fir'; < Chn 白杉?; box 'wood' on top)

hoe is a phonetic in all of them. Its range could be described as

{1, 2} + {ph-, b-} + {-iI-II, -eII, -aII}

The superscript Roman numerals indicate grades:

-iI = -əi

-iII =

-eII =

-aII =

These rhymes could be described as low(ered) front. There are no basic vowels (-i, -e, -a) or Grade III/IV high rhymes. THE GOLDEN GUIDE: LINE 76: TANGRAPHS 376-380

76. I was expecting this line to end in an adjective like the last three lines. But it ends in the disyllabic word 5619-5525 'child' which may also be a surname (cf. the English surname Child).

Tangraph number 376 377 378 379 380
Li Fanwen number 1637 1121 3512 5619 5525
My reconstructed pronunciation 2ba 2bəi 1dew 2miə 1ziə̣
Tangraph gloss the surname Ba; transcription tangraph the surname Bi the surname Dew first half of 2miə-1ziə̣ 'child' child
Word Babi child
Translation Babi, Dew, Myzy (?).

376: 1637 has a circular analysis. 1637 probably predates 0757:


1637 2ba 'the surname Ba' (haxyax) =

0757 2bạ 'help' (haxyaxcin; phonetic) +

4889 1dʒwɨə 'one who ...; mutual' (piabilcor; piabil = yax)


4889 1dʒwɨə 'one who ...; mutual' (piabilcor) =

0757 2bạ 'help' (haxyaxcin; yax = piabil) +

0929 dʒɨe 'pure; cream' (famdoscor; phonetic)

377: I'll look at the derivatives of 2bəi (analysis unknown) in my next post.

378: Looks like 'high' plus 'hand'. Analysis here.

379: 5619 (analysis unknown), the first half of 'child', may be derived from the tangraph for the second half of 'child':


5619 2miə (first half of 2miə-1ziə̣ 'child') (terhax) =

5162 1miə 'mother' (terzao; zao = 'mother'; phonetic) +

55251ziə̣ 'child' (goshax; hax = 'child'?)

380: 5525 has a derivation consisting of cognates:


55251ziə̣ 'child' (goshax) =

5070 1ziə̣ 'children; posterity; descendants' (gosdexdao) +

1085 1zi 'man; male; son' (haxtun; cognate) THE GOLDEN GUIDE: LINE 75: TANGRAPHS 371-375

75. I have now translated 3/8 of the Golden Guide.

Why are some names like 2670-1595 and 3654-3423 written with recycled tangraphs for regular morphemes rather than special onomagraphs like 2834? Did the surname Solwo really derive from 'dusky male', or are 2670 and 1595 unrelated homophones? Similarly, do the last tangraphs represent a surname Ahon (not in Kychanov 2006 or Li Fanwen 2008) derived from 'fragrant monk', or should they be translated as 'the fragrant A'? (Cf. the last two lines which also ended in adjectives.)

Tangraph number 371 372 373 374 375
Li Fanwen number 2670 1595 2834 3654 3423
My reconstructed pronunciation 2so 1lwo 1de 0ʔa 1xiõ
Tangraph gloss male; male (yang) principle; transcription tangraph dim; dusky the surname De monk; companion; the surname A; prefix in kin terms fragrant (< Chn 香)
Word the surname Solwo the surname Ahon?
Translation Solwo, De, Ahon,

371: 2670 (dexcexjoi) has a unique combination cexjoi. dexcex has five possible sources and joi has six:


0344 1khəu 'wisdom'

2216 1tiẹ 'swift'

2630 1tiə̣ 'often; constantly' (derived from 3212)

3201 2di 'complete' (not to be confused with 3200 'six'!)

3212 1tiə̣ 'boy' (derived from 2630)


0661 1ŋiõ 'sea'

0669 2so 'even'

2675 2so 'bird'

3871 2so 'yang principle'

4187 2ŋiõ 'Chinese flowering crabapple'

4828 2ŋiõ 'the surname Ngon'

2670 may have the analysis


2670 2so 'male' (dexcexjoi) =

3212 1tiə̣ 'boy' (dexcexhax) +

3871 2so 'yang principle' (joigak)

372: Adding a stroke to 1595 results in its Chinese loanword equivalent 1596:


1595 1lwo 'dim; dusky' (duudexpak) =

0491 2lɨọ 'how' (duudex) +

3576 1swie 'clear' (dexduupak)


1596 1xwəĩ 'dim; dusky' (fuldexpak; < Chn 昏)

0493 2siə 'the surname Sy' (fuldex) +

1595 1lwo 'dim; dusky' (duudexpak)

0493 was probably chosen arbitrarily as a 'source' of ful. I doubt there is any connection between the Chinese word 昏 and the Sy family.

373: 2834 has a circular and inexact analysis:


2834 1de 'the surname De' (gaiqem) =

3512 1dew 'the surname Dew' (gaipik) +

0874 1dẽ 'the surname Den' (hervea - not qem!)


3512 1dew 'the surname Dew' (gaipik) =

2834 1de 'the surname De' (gaiqem) +

5308 2kwə 'stumble' (pikdir)


0874 1dẽ 'the surname Den' (hervea) =

0600 1dẽ 'a kind of grass' (herveagem; gem = 'grass') +

2834 1de 'the surname De' (gaiqem - not vea!)

374: 3654 has a circular analysis:


3654 0ʔa 'the surname A' (dexcurham) =

3119 1ʔi 'many' (dexfamdosdux) +

5981 0ʔa 'one' (curham)


5981 0ʔa 'one' (curham)

5951 0ʔa 'mud boots' (curher) +

3654 0ʔa 'the surname A' (dexcilham)

375: How can fragrance be in coal? What is the true analysis of 3423?


3423 1xiõ 'fragrant' (coutea) =

3333 2məəi 'coal' (dexgiibil; tea is bil atop something) +

5856 2ɣa 'in' (teacok)

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