October 24, 2011 4 Comments
Focusing more heavily on Hoisanwa lately, I’ve been having trouble distinguishing word boundaries. Maybe it is just a lack of practice, or because I still haven’t made much progress in the lessons. But I have another theory related to the differences between Cantonese and Hoisanwa, specifically syllables starting with vowels.
In Cantonese all syllables start with consonants. I think after 4 years of learning Cantonese, I have subconsciously been conditioned to only hear syllable boundaries when the syllable starts with a consonant.
The only exception to that are a few words that could just as easily start with “ng”, and the “ng” is left off, such as:
To my knowledge, the vowels “e”, “eu”, “i” never begin a syllable in Cantonese.
But in Hoisanwa, syllables can start with any of the vowels. A lot of the syllables that start with a “d” in Cantonese drop that “d” when spoken in Hoisanwa:
dak55 | aak52 | 得
dei11 | i52 | 地
deui33 | ooi33 | 對
dung55 | ung52 | 東
duk11 | uk52 | 讀
NOTE: I think I got some of those Hoisanwa tones wrong, and too tired at the moment to look them up, but you get the idea …
I’m not sure if I really had a point, except that there is a lot more variety to the syllable boundaries in Hoisanwa than in Cantonese. And I think that’s possibly why I’ve had trouble noticing the start of a new syllable sometimes? Any one else feel similarly?