Re: RE: Discussion on Manchu rules

Hi Greg,

The drafters are surely better sources for information on the drafts. In case they are out of touch, here is some information publicly available.

A GB draft for Todo is available at
More information on the November 2015 drafts for Manchu and Todo are available at
I am unable to find drafts for Mongolian/Sibe. Drafts seeking public review are posted to

Standards for Manchu, Todo, and Sibe (plan numbers 20140221-Q-469 through 20140223-Q-469) were all supposed to be finished in 2014
A recommended standard for Uyghur Mongolian (plan number 20153399-T-469) is supposed to be finished within 12 months of December 2015
I am unable to find any plan to revise the standard GB 25914-2010 for Mongolian on the website of the Standardization Administration.


> -----Original Messages-----
> From: "Greg Eck" <>
> Sent Time: Friday, June 17, 2016
> To: "" <>, "" <>
> Cc: 
> Subject: RE: Discussion on Manchu rules
> Hi Weizhe,
> Welcome to the forum. Thank you for the detailed discussion points as listed.
> As I am not so much up on Manchu grammar, I will ask others to step in and lead this discussion. One thing that I can do though is to give a listing of our current OT rulings in Baiti as they relate to Manchu. This will be out within the next few days.
> Thank you, Weizhe, for the reference to the new GB draft on Manchu. That is new information to the most of us and is very helpful. If you know of other drafts like this for the other scripts, please pass them on to the forum. We have been searching for this type of information to no avail. So, references like this are very valuable. In particular, I would like to the see the 2015 GB draft proposal for Mongolian (U+1820 - U+1842). Todo and Sibe will be helpful as well.
> And thanks to Richard for helping Weizhe to get on the forum.
> Greg
> >>>>>
> Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 1:32 AM
> Subject: Discussion on Manchu rules
> Greg suggested that I join the discussion on Manchu encoding on this forum. I learned a lot from Martin Heijdra's excellent document on Manchu rules. Here are a few points on default behavior and Ali Gali that I would like to discuss.
> (1) Syllable-final k (final or between vowels and consonants)
> It is well-known that g/k/h takes the back form before a/o/uu and the front form before e/i/u. Rule 1g adopts the same grouping for syllable-final k: back in ak/ok/uuk, and front in ek/ik/uk. This makes sense, but does not correspond to actual usage. I think the rule should be back in ak/ik/ok/uk (exception: front in kuk/guk/huk), and front in ek/uuk. This would significantly reduce the frequency of FVS needed to encode Manchu texts.
> (2) Final o/u
> The current default for final o/u is the long form, and one needs FVS for the short form. I think the rule in Manchu is short form if the final o/u is the only vowel, and long form otherwise. The current default means that even the most basic syllabary "a uju" requires very frequent use of FVS. Unfortunately at least for o the correct behavior may be difficult to implement, because the code-point U+1823 is also used for Mongolian o, which has a different default behavior.
> (3) zi and AG.i
> In Mongolian Baiti, z+i gives si with vertical stroke (let me call this the longer form), while z+AG.i gives the shorter form: i is aligned with z in initial/medial position, and becomes a hook in final/isolate position. This assignment is baffling to me. In non-AG and AG words alike final/isolate zi is usually in the shorter form. And in Tong Wen Yun Tong (source for AG, available at
> initial/medial zi is in the longer form. There seems to be no difference between AG and non-AG. In all positions the more common form should be represented by 
> z+i, and the rarer form, if attested, represented using FVS. AG.i does
> not seem necessary here. Is there any use of AG.i in Manchu at all?
> (4) Initial
> In rule H it is remarked that the e in ngeng is "left out" and this is 
> compared to the situation in Mongolian where e in eng is left out in 
> certain words such as tngri. Here is another explanation. When followed 
> by a vowel, in initial position functions as a diacritic: it adds 
> a circle to the initial form of the vowel. So ngeng is eng with circle, 
> nge is e with circle, ngi is i with circle, ngei is ei with circle, ngen 
> is en with circle, nga is "a" with circle. Seen in this way, the 
> behavior is completely regular.
> (5) Initial AG.a
> Tibetan letter 'a (U+0F60), when used alone, is transcribed in Manchu 
> with the isolate form of AG.a, as mentioned in rule K. TWYT lists 14 
> more Tibetan syllables beginning with the letter 'a:
>          'i   'u   'e   'o
>     'an  'in  'un  'en  'on
>     'ang 'ing 'ung 'eng 'ong
> In Manchu these are transcribed by i, u, e, o, an, etc., with the head 
> modified (compare lists 2-4 of the Tibetan section of TWYT with lists 1, 
> 11, 12 of the Sanskrit section). Parallel to the case of, we can 
> introduce an initial AG.a, which functions as a diacritic: it modifies 
> the head of the initial form of the next character. The glyph of isolate 
> AG.a also needs modification.
> (6) AG gi, ge, gei
> In Manchu AG, g is always transcribed using the back form of g, even if 
> followed by i/e. The form of AG ge is peculiar: it has a forward tail, 
> and the dot is placed to the right. The unusual positioning of the dot 
> makes gei distinct from gi. The same holds for ghi, ghe, ghei. In 
> Mongolian Baiti, g+FVS1+i gives AG gi, but AG ge, gei, ghe, ghei are not 
> correctly rendered. One way to render them is to introduce ligatures for 
> g+FVS1+e and gh+e. Another solution using FVS is proposed in a draft 
> Chinese standard 
> (, 
> but it is not clear how gi and gei are differentiated in the draft.
> Weizhe
> >>>>>

Received on Friday, 17 June 2016 04:47:10 UTC