1. Here are the last two vowel symbols¹ in the Alternate Script Bureau's (ASB) proposal for writing English in the Khmer script with their counterparts in Huffman and Proum (H&P; 1983) and my own preferences:

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<ï> យូ

In modern Khmer, <o> is pronounced [ao] after *voiceless consonants and [oː] after *voiced consonants. H&P must have the first phonetic value in mind.

In modern Khmer, <au> is pronounced [aw] after *voiceless consonants and [ɨw] after *voiced consonants. H&P must think English /aw/ is closer to Khmer [ao] than Khmer [aw].

H&P and I have the historical sound values of Khmer symbols in mind. In earlier Khmer, there was no [ao], so <au> would have been the best choice for English /aw/.

H&P do not have a special symbol for /juː/, so I speculate they would write /juː/ with their symbols for /j/ and /uː/.

ASB uses the short neutral (i.e., nonpalatal and nonlabial) vowel symbol ឹ<ï> for the palatal-labial   sequence /juː/ even though <ï> is pronounced [ə] after *voiceless consonants and [ɨ] after *voiced consonants in Khmer.

9.5.0:29: The logic here seems to be that a simple, common Khmer symbol is preferred to a symbol sequence for a common English phoneme sequence.

¹From a rhotic speaker's perspective. ASB is designed for nonrhotic English, as part 13 will make clear.

2. On Sunday I learned of three martial arts that originated in Hawaii. They all have interesting names that I could call 英制和語 <ENG MAKE JPN WORD> Eisei wago 'Japanese words made by English speakers' or 布制和語 <HI MAKE JPN WORD> Fusei wago 'Japanese words made in Hawaii²' - terms intended to sound like the actual term 和製英語 <JPN MAKE ENG WORD> Wasei eigo 'made-in-Japan English words':

2a. カジュケンボ Kajukenbo is from 空手 <EMPTY HAND> karate + 柔道 <SOFT WAY> + 拳法 <FIST METHOD> ken 'martial arts' (see 2b below) + boxing. Note how the long vowel of jū is absent from Kajukenbo. It could be spelled in kanji as 空柔拳法菩 'bo(dhisattva) of the empty and soft martial arts'.

2b. 唐法拳法 Kara-ho Kempo looks redundant in kanji:

Kara is the archaic Japanese word for continental Asia (China and Korea; the word is ultimately cognate to Korea). Here it is written as <TANG> (i.e., Tang dynasty) to specify that Kara refers to China rather than Korea.

法 <METHOD> is read as in most contexts (but see below). Kara-hō is presumably 'Chinese method'³.

拳 <FIST> ken (pronounced [kem] before p-) in Japanese is homophonous with 劍 <SWORD> ken, so 劍法 <SWORD METHOD> 'swordsmanship' (now spelled 剣法 in Japan) is also kenpō (or kem if one prefers to romanize phonetically). That is not a case of 50/50 ambiguity, though. In Google, 拳法 kenpō 'martial art' outnumbers 剣法 kenpō 'swordsmanship' by a ratio of almost 32 : 1 (1.81 million to 57,000).

法 <METHOD> appears again at the end but is read as after ken. 法 was originally borrowed with initial p- in Japanese, but that p- was weakened to h- except in the clusters -np- and -pp-.

Tonight I was puzzled by "DIAN HSUHE" on the official Kara-Ho shield until I figured it referred to Mandarin 點穴  diǎn xué <POINT HOLE>, a.k.a. the 'touch of death'. "HSUHE" is from the Wade-Giles romanization hsüeh with the letters of eh reversed.

2c. 檀山流 Danzan-ryū 'Sandalwood Mountain School' contains a Japanization of Chinese 檀山 'Sandalwood Mountain' (Taansaan in the Cantonese spoken by most Chinese here), an archaic name for Hawaii unknown in Japanese.

I just realized that sandal- in sandalwood looks like an Anglicization of Sanskrit candana- 'sandalwood'. (Middle Chinese 檀 *dan is an abbreviation of 栴檀那 *tɕiendanna, a borrowing of candana-.) It's not - Wiktionary shows that the Europeanization of candana- occurred much earlier in Greek which borrowed the word as σάνδανον sándanon. (Latin in turn borrowed the Greek word as sandalum an unexpected -l-. Perhaps the word was remodelled after the similar-sounding but unrelated word sandalium, the source of  English sandal.)

²9.5.0:27: 布 fu is short for 布哇 Hawai 'Hawaii' which looks as if it should be read Fuai: i.e., the sum of its parts 布 fu and 哇 ai. I've never been able to explain how Hawai came to be spelled 布哇. Usually mysteries of this type can be solved by reading the kanji in Mandarin (i.e., the spelling is imported from Chinese), but 布哇 isn't in use in Chinese (the Chinese name for Hawaii is 夏威夷), and as far as  I know, 布 is not read ha in any language.

³唐法 Kara-hō is an invented 湯桶 yutō-style collocation unique to this proper noun. If I didn't already know that noun, I would read it as hō Kenpō with the Sino-Japanese reading for 唐, since two-kanji words are mostly read with two Sino-Japanese readings, often even from the same stratum of borrowing.

3. I can't remember anymore if I ever wrote a guide to how I assign grades to Tangut syllables, so here goes:

In general, I follow Gong Hwang-cherng's grade assignments though I do not use his notation:

How do I determine whether Gong's -j- corresponds to my -3 or -4?

STEP 1: Is the j-rhyme listed twice in Gong's reconstruction? For instance, Gong reconstructs both rhyme 10 and rhyme 11 as -ji.

If the rhyme is listed twice (like rhyme 10/11 -ji), go to step 2. If not (like rhyme 62 -jụ), go to step 3.

STEP 2: If there are two j-rhymes that Gong reconstructs identically, I assign Grade III to the first rhyme and Grade IV to the second: e.g., Gong's rhyme 10 -ji is my -i3 and his rhyme 11 -ji is my -i4.

STEP 3: If Gong only reconstructs a j-rhyme once, I assign grades mechanically depending on the initial. I assign Grade III if the initial is

All other j-syllables with a nonduplicate j-rhyme have Grade IV.

That assignment is not arbitrary; it follows the general pattern of initials in syllables to which I assigned Grade III and IV according to the methodology in step 2.

That pattern seems to be phonetically motivated. Grade IV was apparently more palatal than Grade III, and the initials associated with Grade III may have been 'antipalatal': v-, l- (phonetically velar or velarized?), and the class VII initials and zh- (phonetically retroflex?).

9.5.2:40: I am reminded of Polish which has retroflex consonants with Tangut parallels:





Polish nonpalatalized velarized [ɫ] became [w] in standard Polish (but is retained in some dialects). Tangut l- and v- could have been like Polish [ɫ] and [w].

The nonpalatalized [l] ~ [w] alternations of Ukrainian and Belarusian also come to mind:

The masculine forms originally ended in *-l.

In all of the above Slavic languages, a lateral and [w] originated from nonpalatalized *l, whereas in Tangut, l- and v- are distinct initial phonemes with distinct histories. I do not intend to draw any deep parallels between Slavic and Tangut. I cite Slavic merely to show how a lateral and [w] can be phonetically similar enough so that one can change into the other. l- and v- must have been phonetically similar in Tangut too.

As for why l- and v- behave like the retroflexes, I am reminded of the unetymological -w- after some Mandarin retroflexes: e.g., in 霜 shuangwaŋ] 'frost' < Late Middle Chinese *ʂaŋ. And Wikipedia  agrees with my perception of English /tʃ, dʒ, ʃ, ʒ/ as "often slightly labialized: [tʃʷ dʒʷ ʃʷ ʒʷ]." So the Grade III consonants are united by some sort of w-ish-ness.

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