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Re: Huaxiagnathus orientalis



Quoting David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>:

> > "huaxia" would be something like "hwah-shyeh", but the *h* is rougher than
> in
> > English (technically speaking it's a uvular fricative),
> 
> ...and the x has a fricative component, too. Let's see... s, sh and ch as in
> Loch Ness at the same time. :-} More s than sh in some parts of China, vice
> versa in others... yes, it is difficult. :-)

Yes, the x represents a fricative as well.  Fricatives are consonants produced
by turbulent airflow and also include the sounds represented by the English
letters and digraphs s, z, h, sh, th (actually two sounds, voiced in "that" and
voiceless in "thing"), the "zh" sound in the middle of "measure", and for some
speakers, wh as in "white".

The Mandarin speakers I've heard pronounce the sound represented by <x> in
pinyin as an alveolopalatal or dorso-alveolar fricative, kind of like saying
"s" and trying to say "y" at the same time.


> > and the "eh" sound is
> > actually closer to the vowel in English "cat",
> 
> No, it's a normal ah. :-) You've described the a in "xian".

You're right, as my Mandarin-speaking friends confirm.  Hwah-shahg-nath-us.

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan