The vocabulary contains 1472 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language White Hmong. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page White Hmong contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.
White Hmong entries in this field appear in the Romanized Popular Alphabet designed by linguists working in Laos and Thailand in the 1950s. It is more widely used than any other orthography by White Hmong people in the diaspora. For the most part, the values of the symbols are what one would expect (so
1) Since there is only one possible final consonant in a Hmong word—[ŋ]—consonant symbols in word-final position have been used to indicate tones: high level <-b>, high falling <-j>, mid rising <-v>, low level <-s>, mid level <-ø>, falling breathy <-g>, and low creaky <-m>.
2) The final [ŋ] is indicated by a doubling of the vowel: <-oo-> is thus [oŋ].
3) Certain symbols have special values:
4) In prenasalized clusters, the nasal is always written
Additional writing conventions (users of the RPA orthography differ in these practices)
1) No space is used between morphemes if that is the conservative spelling convention (dabtsi ‘what’, pojniam ‘wife’, menyuam ‘child’)
2) A hyphen is used between morphemes if the word
1) A two-word entry is labeled analyzable derived if
2) A two-word entry is labeled an analyzable compound if
3) All other entries of two or more morphemes are labeled analyzable phrasal. This is somewhat arbitrary: for example, pas dej ‘pool water’ is called a phrase because does not pass any of the tests in (2) above, but it often acts as a unit, and is what anyone will give as the equivalent of ‘lake’.
Use of “?”
|Comment on borrowed||
If a White Hmong word is linked to either Middle Chinese or Old Chinese, the lower Hmongic or higher Hmong-Mien reconstruction is provided here to demonstrate the likelihood of borrowing. These reconstructions are taken from
Ratliff, Martha. 2010+. Hmong-Mien Language History. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Australian National University.
In my Hmongic reconstructions, tone categories are indicated by the letters “A”, “B”, “C” and “D” following each form. In my Hmong-Mien reconstructions, the final laryngeals that gave rise to tones are indicated by -ø (tone A), -X (tone B), -H (tone C), and -p, -t, -k (tone D): these conventions are also used in Baxter’s Middle Chinese transcriptions.
Benedict, Paul K. 1975. Austro-Thai language and culture with a glossary of roots. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files Press.