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Subject: Re: palatalization and nasal sounds
From: TAKASUGI Shinji (tssf.airnet.ne.jp)
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 15:40:36 GMT
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

> But if you're saying Nippon was "nippon" from the beginning, are you also saying "happyaku" was "happyaku" from the beginning and never "hachihyaku"? I was under the assumption that these sound changes happened over time and the sound was originally "hachihyaku" and "nichihon".

"Nippon" and "happyaku" directly came from kanji pronunciation. Addition of /i/ or /u/ to a coda and shift from [p] to [h] occurred.

日: nit → niti (nichi)
日本: nit-pon → nip-pon
八: pat → hati (hachi)
八百: pat-pyak → hap-pyaku
二百: ni-pyak → ni-hyaku
三百: sam-pyak → sam-byaku

四百 is "yon-hyaku", not "yom-byaku", because "yon" is a native Japanese word.

This explains some old pronunciation changes.
三位: sam-wi → sammi
雪隠: set-in → settin (setchin)

Japanese people who knew Chinese tried to pronounce Chinese words like Chinese people did.

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