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Re: new Chinese dinosaur names



Thank you for the helpful references on apostrophes and pinyin

Apparently this is a more recent usage as it never appeared and was, in
fact, frowned upon in the ancient days when I studied this.

Even so, it seems to me that this is an uncommon usage: that is to say,
it is used only in very specialized cases and, perhaps, not universally
(by inadvertant elision).

One wonders, then, if it would ever appear in a "proper name" for a
dinosaur.

ES

bh480@scn.org wrote:

> > bh480@scn.org wrote:r.
> >
> > >
> > > Nick is quite correct--the apostrophe is used in
> pinyin to
> > > show separate syllables so that xian and xi'an are
> > > pronounced like "shyen" and "shee-ahn."
> >
> > Woud you be kind enough to supply a reference for the
> use of an
> > apostrophe in pinyin?
> >
> > Such usage appears in virtually no source that I have
> come across in
> > more than 35 years. Is this a recent usage? Or are you
> conflating two
> > romanization systems?
> >
> > Thank you.
> >
> > ES
>
> I can refer you to a number of sources. The nearest at
> hand at the moment are:
> The pinyin Sino Chinese-English Dictionary (Sino
> Publishing Company) pg. xi, under II. Phonetics, 4.,
> states: "An apostrophe (') is used to separate syllables
> in compound-character entries that maybe confused."
>
> Chicago Manual of Style: Chap. 9, Foreign Languages in
> Type; Transliterated and Romanized Languages, subsection
> 9.113:
>
> "In an attempt to reproduce sounds more accurately, pinyin
> spellings often differ markedly from the older ones, and
> personal names are usually spelled without apostrophes or
> hyphens; an apostrophe is sometimes used, however, to
> avoid ambiguity when syllables are run together (as in
> Chang'an to distinguish it from Chan'gan)."
>
> The practice of inserting an apostrophe in such cases
> seems pretty universal in the publications I have seen,
> including English language publications from China (China
> Reconstructs, Beijing Review, etc.). An obvious example is
> the city of Xi'an--See the American Heritage Dictionary
> and Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary, which spell
> Xi'an with an apostrophe. Note that in the old Wade-Giles
> system compound-character words and names were separated
> by a hyphen (Hsi-an), so such ambiguity was not an issue.
> The apostrophe is used in a totally different way in the
> Wade-Giles transcription to show aspiration of consonants,
> as has already been pointed out.
>
> Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org

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