Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
hendri

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby hendri » Sun Mar 24, 2002 7:48 am

I thing chinese languge and cantonese languge are from the same root, we can see lt from how they pronounce it, the different only on the way of pronounce and intonation only.

joe

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby joe » Sun Mar 24, 2002 10:17 am

KHP:

excuse me but I think you should better clarify your post. Guangdong and Guangxi were part of the Nan Yue Kingdom not the Nam Viet. The kingdom was founded in 204 B.C. With the capital in Panyu 番禺 which happens to be in Guangdong province. The founder of this kingdom is Zhao Tuo 趙佗 some sort of official in Nanhai prefecture 南海尉 for the Qin empire. He named himself Nanyue Wuwang 南越武王 (Nanyue Martial King). The founder of this kingdom is most probably Chinese and definitely not Vietnamese yet the northern part of Vietnam 象郡 was undoubtedly a part of the Nanyue kingdom.

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Sun Mar 24, 2002 6:51 pm

um.....Nan Yue in chinese == Nam Viet in Vietnamese....=) thank you

joe

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby joe » Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:20 am

KHP:

um... what i mean is by calling it Nam Viet you are suggesting to readers that the kingdom was a Vietnamese kingdom when in fact it is a kingdom founded by Chinese.

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:16 am

Do you know who named Vietnam? It has alot to do with the "Nam Viet" or "Nan Yue" kingdom.


let me ask you this....what is Chinese?

"Chinese" people never hesitate to make it known that Manchurians and Mongols were Non-Chinese. Chinese also claim the people who live in the Souther parts of present day China as "Chinese." Yet, Manchus and Mongols look much more similar to those in Beijing than the Cantonese.

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:32 am

regarding your statement about Nam Viet being Chinese....I have read from a quite a few sources that Zhao Tuo was in fact Chinese like you mentioned, however the kingdom he founded was not of Chinese population. THis leads to the point of this whole thread...what are the origins of Cantonese?

joe

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby joe » Mon Mar 25, 2002 7:51 am

KHP:

Well, I admit the lines are not as clear-cut as some other ethnicities but I pretty sure that Chinese or actually Han Chinese are the people who claim descendance from Huangdi 黃帝. I feel that this is the easiest way to explain whether somebody is Han Chinese or not. Mongols, Manchus, and other Chinese minorities do not make this claim so this is what we will draw as the conclusion. Let's look at the current situation in China. Many people from the central plains of China who are Han Chinese are constantly migrating into areas primarily inhabited by minorities in the past. These migrants are unmistakably Han Chinese but after a several generations of settling down and possibly intermarrying with the local population, the facial and physical features of these Han Chinese will begin to diverge from how the Han Chinese in the central plains look. These group of people will still be connected to the rest of the Han Chinese by culture and heritage even though some of them may look different. This can explain why Northern and Southern Chinese have some subtle differences.

Terence Lee

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Terence Lee » Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:11 pm

This is for those readers not familiar with Chinese history.

Cantonese are not originally Chinese? It’s incredible!
Maybe it is a matter of naming, not a matter of races differences. Politically speaking, the name, China (English form) was a name given by British Empire, and it was widely used to identify our country during Qing Dynasty. The Japanese took it from both American and British to call our country as Chi’na (支那, the writing form), but, previously, they mostly called our country ‘Tang”, sometimes Ch’ing during Qing Dynasty. Why the British Empire called our country China? Because Indian called us as Xina (silk people), The Indian gave us this name because of Silk. (The ancient Hellas called us Serice also because of silk, not because of Qin Dynasty). Once the British fell in deep love with our finest porcelain products during Ming Dynasty, they learnt from Indian that the products were from Xina, Sina ,(sound has been changed to china afterwards.) The fine porcelain products was named as china by British and it gradually applied to represent the international name of our country, no matter it should be Ming or Qing Empire originally. Since late Qing, some of our overseas students in Japan (including Loeng4 Kai2 Ciu1梁啟超) called themselves as Chi’na student (not derogative at that time). It was because the foreigners identified them as Chinese though they knew themselves were Han people(race) or precisely Qing people( Qing citizens) or widely recognition Zhong Guo Ren (中國人). Later when the Republic Of China (中華民國) established in 1911, the name ‘China’ became our country’s formal international name for the first time. The People’s Republic of China (中華人民共和國established in 1949) still used it as her International name (short form). In this sense, the saying that Cantonese are not originally Chinese is to some extent justified, because there was no China when Canton (now written as Guangdong) appeared to be a province of Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming and early Qing Empires.

If for the sense that China represents all the empires since Xia Dynasty夏, I do not see why Cantonese are not originally Chinese. Canton was established and named by Qin Dynasty with a more ancient name as Nan Hai南海郡213 BC↑. Once Canton was founded, the people who lived in Canton were called Cantonese just like those in Fujian called Fujianian. Both Cantonese and Fujianian were Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Yun, Ming, Qing and now PRC people (i.e. Chinese, in this sense). If not, will it be ridiculous if I say that the Californian are not originally American (US people)?

In the sense of races, it was understandable that there were natives lived in the area of Canton before Qin’s invasion in 221-213 BC, and they were called Nan Yue南越.or simply Yue people(百越). However, race assimilation had made the natives become parts of Qin and Han races.

Race formation, apart from born difference of human race, has its historical process. Usually, new race formed through conquering wars. Take a look at the ancient Chinese history. There were a lot of tribes and clans scattered over the ancient land of China at first (mainly the central plain of present China). Xia and, Shang were just the larger leading clans among others. Zhou started the first form of kingdom, but clans and tribes still existed around Zhou kingdom together with states established by her. Conquering wars took place everywhere among the tribes, clans and states when the power of Zhou throne went weakened and as a result of annexes, mergers and unity among the small states and clans, they formed new group using the conqueror’s name. The people of the loser states became subjects of their conqueror and started to share the same language, customs and writing. (mainly, of the conqueror’s and it was called assimilation). Once the sharing process was completed, the people of the State, though originated from different clans or small states, were deemed to be an individual race in contrast with other states/races. So after Qin had unified China (more precisely, conquered all other states in the old land of China), the subjects were all called Qin people. People outside Qin would take those wearing same clothes, using same system, writing same characters and speaking similar language as from the same race of Qin. The name Qin race did not prevail because of the short span. However, the similar recognition of race name applied to Han, the empire succeeded Qin. Long span and great honor of nations would have their race names prevailed for long. So, there were Han race, Tang race and now Hua race.

Back to the native races at Canton, part of them were driven away during the invasion in between 221-213 BC. The rest became subjects of Qin. Be noted that Qin had sent 500000 troops for the invasion and most of soldiers garrisoned and stationed in South China even after the war. After having founded the Nan Hai shire, another 500000 Qin people consisted of prisoners, criminals and traitors were forced to migrate to Canton. Both soldiers and migrants were carrying the Qin’s culture to the newly founded Canton. Taking into account that 1 million people were remarkably outnumbered the native especially in the year more than 2200 years ago. Therefore, the original culture of the natives was finally replaced or fused by that of Qin and Han thereafter (some might have left but insignificant). During Chu Han Confrontation after Qin’s breakup, a Chinese, namely Zhao Tuo趙佗formed a kingdom in Canton, It was called Nan Yue kingdom南越and its capital was at Panyu番禺 (nowadays Guangzhou廣州) Nan Yue kept on to be Han’s vassal state and that Han's culture was still upheld and prevailed there.
Cantonese at that time, was a common language as that prevailing in central part of Han Empire. Common language often means to be that the people living in and around capital speaks and as a result of removals of capital and conquered by other races and nations, the Chinese common language (now Putonghua) has changed from time to time (mainly took place in northern part of China due to invasion from the North). However, the far away provinces like Canton had, comparatively speaking, little influenced The Canton language, though actually the legacy of ancient Han Language, has been reduced to be one of the dialects due to the change of common language. Some words and phrases used by nowadays Canton people are still the same as their ancestors did in or before Han Dynasty. An example is given here that there was a curse phrase prevailed during Eastern Zhou called墜命亡氏,踣其家國, Now, the Cantonese still curses someone by uttering as踣家,踣家仔 (sounded as puk1 gaai1/ puk1 gaai1 zai2) This phrase is no longer used by the common language speakers but still kept in the colloquial of Cantonese. It is because most of the Cantonese in the ancient time were illiterate. They did not know how to write characters but memorized the sounds for communication. Sounds might experience slight change from its original but it is by no means deemed to be a significant proof to say Cantonese not originally Chinese.

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Mon Mar 25, 2002 5:30 pm

wow....nice arguements. Where did you learn this stuff? Sounds very interesting. Either way, nice talking to you guys.

Just wondering, anyone know where Japanese get such long names?

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Mon Apr 01, 2002 9:00 pm

so...was Cantonese spoken by the original Natives of the Canton area....or was it brought by the supposed 1,000,000 troops and criminals who migrated there? I use supposed because that number sounds a little high.

Terence Lee

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Terence Lee » Tue Apr 02, 2002 4:00 pm

Dear KPH,
You doubt that there were not as many as 1 million Qin people migrated to Canton? So did I. But many history books including text books chosen for secondary schools of Hong Kong, has shown that number.(I read them some twenty years ago) You can check that out in History of China中國通史 written by a Taiwan scholar, Mr. Fu Le Ceng, Please also noted that the so-called Qin people were mostly the original subjects of the warring states. They might not have carried to Canton the entire Qin culture but that of the central plain’s were for sure. The natives in the area of the later known Canton, of course not speaking Cantonese at first. According to the “Study in the Original Races of Ancient Yue嶺南古越人探源”, the natives were Yue people from various tribes sharing similar tradition and culture as those of nowadays Zhuang 壯族race in Guangxi and Li黎族 race in Hainan. The writer further revealed that the natives in the coast areas around South China including north part of Vietnam, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, and southern part of Japan were from close races though might be of different tribes. However, the natives in Canton were small in number and have been fused by Han, except those scattered in mountains and being driven far away from cities. Zhuang and Li are some of their remains. Despite it was out of question that some nowadays Cantonese were descendants of the natives, they have all been assimilated and have adopted the Han culture and language. They are thus still called Cantonese since it does not contradict the term of defining what Cantonese is. I myself may also be a descendant of the ancient natives of Yue, but I am a Hongkongese, Cantonese, and also a Chinese.

Please bear in mind that American Indians or so-called Native Americans and their descendants are also American if you guys will accept them. Imagine that after a thousand years of assimilation, can you distinguish them among the American even from the outlook? Mongoland Manchu people are still on the way to fuse into Hua race, some rigid and hasty Chinese, (may be not long enoughto complete assimilation) discriminate them by not recognizing them to be a Chinese, but 孫中山 accepted them.

More to say, the original author of this topic has taken the different pronunciation of 是as a proof to indicate the different race origin of Cantonese was not deemed to be proper because Cantonese pronounce hai6 not for 是but for 係. This character was also a very ancient word appeared in Han. It was later borrowed to replace 繄. The word 繄means 是 even in pre-Qin era. (P.S. some ancient Han pronunciation existing in modern Cantonese are also for sure)

AOJMrLightninG

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby AOJMrLightninG » Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:54 am

I have to say that this topic is very shocking. Where did Cantonese come from? Cantonese is not originated from Chinese? Well, first you have to know what Chinese is. There is no one who can speak REAL Chinese nowadays, we all speak different Chinese dialects. Cantonese is a dialect, and Mandarin is also a dialect.

Do Cantonese write? Yes, they write Chinese. Then how could you suggest that Cantonese is originated from Japanese? All Cantonese words are based on Ancient Chinese pronounciation, though some are a bit different.

Cantonese region was not part of China before the Qin Dynasty? Hmm, well, Honestly, it certainly was not part of China at that time. But I am sure no one spoke Cantonese at that time period, and I am sure no one spoke Japanese at that time period, as Cantonese is a language that originated from Ancient Chinese over the years, and Japanese borrowed their language mostly from China.

Hai and Hai. I have to say that Hai is a Chinese word. The reason you don't think Hai being a Chinese word is people who speak Mandarin say Shi. In Ancient Chinese, Hai means be, while Shi (Si) means correct. Believe me, in Ancient Chinese, it was Si, not Shi. (I can't show you what exactly I meant as my computer can't type Chinese). Now, why not say Mandarin is originated from Spanish? Spanish people say Si.

Japanese borrowed their language from Chinese. Study their language please, and you will realize something. If you still think Cantonese does not have any relation with Chinese, I WILL KILLL YOU! (I have been very nice till now)

AOJMrLightninG

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby AOJMrLightninG » Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:57 am

By the Way, the word China is from the Greek word Sino.

joe

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby joe » Thu Apr 04, 2002 1:45 am

What makes you think Japanese names are long? Do you mean the pronunciation is long or the fact that most of their names are written with four characters? Most Japanese people did not have surnames until about 1870.



wow....nice arguements. Where did you learn this stuff? Sounds very interesting. Either way, nice talking to you guys.

Just wondering, anyone know where Japanese get such long names?

Lisa C

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Lisa C » Thu Apr 04, 2002 10:40 pm

Their names are usually based on where they're from.

Ex. Yamada = mountain field (yama + da)
- mura = village

There words aren't single syllable so whatever they say will be longer than if it was in Chinese.


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