Modern  Literal  Taiwanese,  MLT
Note: Harnji = Han characters, Kanji, Chinese characters, Chinese ideograms
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Search: Introduction,. East-West Cultural ExchangeFormal-MLT,. Alphabets, General Usage in Taiwan

Introduction:Since Keahioong Liim  and friends invented TMSS (Taiwanese Modern Spelling System) as the building blocks for written Taiwanese in 1943, they endeavored to clarify the grammatical structure of living Taiwanese language as spoken by the nowadays people.   The primary study proceeded during the Reign of Terror when Taiwanese people was severely punished whenever found using or studying their own mother tongue.    Secret  study was carried on, but the results was unpublished before the withdrawal of the 40 years'  Marshial Law in Taiwan in 1986.   The fundamental grammar of the living Taiwanese  language resembles English grammar, but it contains many differing details which are rather adequately expressed as the word specification of TMSS.
   __    __    _
         The spoken Taiwanese which is written carefully with grammatical consideration is  the basic requirement for the MLT (Modern Literal Taiwanese).

         To be grammatically correct, it is quite difficult to write Taiwanese sentences completely with Harnji (Chinese ideograms).    It was found in around 1950 by the author  that a literal style of a mixture of  TMSS and Harnji in a same sentence will become popular.    He first publicly announced this idea in LosAngeles in 1986.  (This idea is now accepted even by the people who advocates Church Romanized Phonetics (CRP), and  writes into a mixed style of CRP and Harnji.)

MLT/TMSS in the East-West Cultural Exchange and Understanding:
    In the 21-st Century, the MLT without Hanji appears to demonstrate a new role for  the East-West Cultural Exchange and understanding.    This role can be accomplished by  rebuilding a new set of Taiwanese grammar which somewhat exceeds the daily spoken Taiwanese.   Taiwanese children, who do not ordinarily talk in Taiwanese language at   present, can be trained to write such  a Formal-MLT and  become familiar with this even  after they study Han characters and Mandarin.
         The Formal-MLT in TMSS is in a friendly style for Westerners to translate any of  their articles word-by-word without labor, or even by automated translation machines.  The  results are understandable by Taiwanese people, or linguists of other nations, and is easily rewritten into their mother tongues in literally matured styles.

     Taiwanese scholars can rewrite Eastern articles of Chinese ideograms into such totally  Latinized MLT, which is understandable by Western scholars who have no idea on Harn  characters (Chinese characters), i.e. Hanji.  On the other hand,

Eastern Harnji-Cultures  -------------|------------- Western Cultures in Alphabets
by Taiwanese |scholars  ._ | _. .  by|Western scholars 
-------|or  computer
. | .
. Living language of Taiwanese people .
         The aim of this idea is to make MLT a universally useful language, such as Esperanto or  Interlingua, for documentation.    It is intended to let this written language be a kind of Agency Language that can be stored in the computer memory for later analysis.

Alphabets  in  Modern Literal Taiwanese by TMSS:
__To be one of universally compatible language systems, the alphabets of MLT/TMSS was designed in accord with international usage.  A comparison with Esperanto, the Universal Language, is given below.    (In Esperanto, there are some letters having an superimposed symbol (^).  This symbol can be put after the letter or replaced with the latter h  or   when the document is to be prepared with an ordinary typewriter.   Thus, C^ = Ch = Cx
Esperanto A B C C^ D E F G G^ H H^ I
Typewriting A B C Ch D E F G Gh H Hh I
Name  (Esp.) [a] [bo] [zo] [chio] [do] [e] [fo] [go] [jio] [ho] [Ho] [i]
_TMSS A B C Ch (D) E (F) G - H - I
Name  (MLT) [a] [by] [cy] [chy] [ied] [e] [ef] [gi]  -  [hy]  -  [i]
_  _
 Esperanto J J^ K (K) L M N O - P (P) -
Typewriting J  Jh K (K) L M N O - P (P) -
Name  (Esp.) [io] [jo] [ko] (kho) [lo] [mo] [no] [o]. - [po] (pho) -
_TMSS (I) J K Kh L M N O (O) P Ph (Q)
Name  (MLT) [ - ] [ji] [ky] [khy] [ly] [my] [ny] [o]. (o) [py] [phy] [kiuq]
_   _Note:  The character o is used in textbooks for pronounciation, only.     In general documents, o is used.)
See < Dialects of Taiwan > . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..  . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. .
 Esperanto R S S^ T (T) U UV V - - - Z (Z)
Typewriting R S Sh T (T) U U V - - - Z (Z)
Name (Esp.) [ro] [so] [sho] [to] (tho) [u] [wo] [vo] - - - [jwo] (zho)
_TMSS_ (R) S Sh T Th U (U) (V) (W) (X) (Y) Z Zh
Name (MLT) [ar] [sy] [shy] [ty] [thy] [u] [-] [viw] [w] [ex] [y] [zef] [zheq]

    In Esperanto, letters  k, p, t, are pronounced as  [k~ or kh~], [p~ or ph~], [t~ or th~] for individual case.    In TMSS, each couple should be discriminated clearly.    J in TMSS corresponds to  Jh in Esperanto, and pronounced like  Gh. - C,Ch  in TMSS should follow the vowel  [~i~] only;   [~a~. ~e~,~o~,~u~, ~ng]   follow Z,Zh.

    Mute letters in TMSS_ _
Expressing tone of the syllable
__f(raised). q(cut down) r(pushed up)   x(depressed)
Nasal consonant 
Syllable stops of  short cut¡@
__q   h,   g   k,__b   p,__d   t

General Usage of MLT/TMSS in Taiwan:
  (1) For readers without enough knowledge in Han characters ...... Taiwanese children and foreigners.
  (2) For practical use for convenience and speed  ........  General typewriting and manuscript prparation.
  (3) As the pronunciation aid for Han words and to search dictionaries.
  (4) For preparing science reports with abandunmt technological or medical terms.
  (5) For preparing Internet homepages, educational website, and international  communication, including e-mail.
  (6) Preparing Taiwanese textbook and conversation guide for visiting foreigners.

Modern Literal Taiwanese,  MLT                  Rewritten in November, 2001 by Prof.  Liim