Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
RedSultan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby RedSultan » Sat Apr 27, 2002 1:15 am

You accuse Sum Won of being one-sided, yet you too are being one-sided. Rather than making a long tirade about this, I'll get straight to the point - that's quite hypocritical.

I know very little of my own culture because admittedly, I am one of the many victims of Americanism. But as a proponent of the preservation of culture and one who ardently believes that we must do all we can to find the truth, I believe we the Cantonese people do have the obligation to find our true ancestral anc cultural roots. We simply can't go on denying what our ancestors once were, since that would be self-betrayal. To simply blindly going on saying your all "Chinese" even though your ancestral roots may be unique from traditional Han Chinese is the same as the way minorities in America simply call themselves "American", but are ashamed of their own ancestral culture. Many people gave up their cultural identity and simply became clones merely to appease the majority of society. That is a very sad thing that happens and continues to happens as our cultural identities are continuing to disappear in this dark age of globalization. We must have pride in what we are and not go on and say we're something else.

kp

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby kp » Sun Apr 28, 2002 5:40 pm

Just statements like these:

"those natives having been conquered would love to live as citizens under Canton Government (not use the historical term), due to higher living standard, better technology and higher culture. Those not being conquered living around the Han cultural sphere would like to take advantage from Han. Then, contacting with Han, learning from Han and deliberately fusing to Han took place from time to time"

"As for the so-called indigenous culture of the native, what was that?"

Though Terrence seems to be extremely educated on this subject, these type of statements show his opionions are extremely biased.

Viets sure didn't want to become part of the "Han" race. Tibet is still trying to get their independence TODAY......

Sum Won

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Sum Won » Tue Apr 30, 2002 5:01 pm

You're correct in asking what the "indigenous Cantonese culture" is, and if I haven't made myself clear in earlier posts, "we should strive to research on the subject". That's what this forum was originally for. If none of you remember, look back at the earlier posts, to see how we were debating over the subject of "Cantonese originally not being Chinese". This topic was set up to settle an answer, if not the least to ask more questions. Sadly, it has turned into a political debate (which I myself have been part of). So "without further adieu", I will now continue on my research.

snow

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby snow » Thu May 09, 2002 3:48 am

hello!
I want to ask how to spelling 谭 喜 悦 from cantonese.
Thank a lot

snow

Ally

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Ally » Tue May 14, 2002 6:37 pm

I only just scanned the sixty or so messages here, so I might be repeating someone's words. I thought that the Hakka dialect is closest to the ancient Chinese sounds...

iserlohn

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby iserlohn » Wed May 15, 2002 7:59 pm

Cantonese is the closest to MC (Middle Chinese (Tong and Sung)) and all the p/t/k endings are still kept in Cantonese.

Modern Mandarin seems to have evoled from the northern MC dialects and is more progressive, droping all of the p/t/k endings.

Many dialects can be traced to more ancient roots, including Hakka and Fukkien. However, as we move further back in time, the languages in China would have been more fragmented, with regional differences more pronounced.

It is really hard to trace back the pronounciation of languages thousands years back. Even languages that have a phonetic script cannot be restructed fully. Most of the information we have for ancient chinese dialects comes from rhyme and style guides.

David

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby David » Fri May 17, 2002 4:31 pm

Taishanese, a sub-dialect of Cantonese, has more in common with Mandarin than does Cantonese with Mandarin.

For example:

Where
Who
Eat rice
The pronounciation of the number "one"
And it's Chairman Mao not Chairman Tao fat.

Sum Won

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Sum Won » Tue May 21, 2002 6:03 pm

"hopefully, when you say 'taishan', you're referring to the yue language variation, rather than the taishan in the saying 'You yan bu zhi tai shan'"

Everyone knows here that Cantonese (the yue dialect in general, sorry for not being politically correct or concise) has many variations within it. I'm not an expert on TaiShan, but even if this is true and are trying to challenge the theories that Cantonese were originally not Chinese, you'll have to consider the factors of hakka migration. If this is not the case, then let's apply the theory that Cantonese were originally not Chinese. If you notice how the Cantonese (most of them) say "who" as "bin goh" instead of "sui".

ppk

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby ppk » Thu May 23, 2002 1:59 am

the question here is 'cantonese originally not chinese?'. when did we start using the term 'canton' and 'cantonese'? at least from the moment we use 'canton' to name a southern region in china they are oredi chinese, and i believe this had even been longer. the ancient baiyue, however, are not huaxia ppl. but they dun really exist anymore cos they were conquered and intermarried with qin ppl long time ago and there are no more true blue baiyue ppl now.

and japanese is not from chinese. they and korean belong to mongolian line of language, usually with verb at the end of the sentence. in chinese its 'i eat my dinner', in japanese it's 'i my dinner eat'. structurally they are different. but they did borrow chinese characters and pronouciation. japanese ppl were not from chinese region. their bone and facial structure doesnt resemble most ancient human skeletons unearthed in china.

Ally

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Ally » Thu May 23, 2002 11:56 am

I don't think that Hakka people say sui for who either. They say na-aa, or something to that effect.

ppk

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby ppk » Thu May 23, 2002 1:14 pm

in chinese dialects there are formal and informal pronouciation. like 'people' in hokkien can be pronounced as 'nang' or 'lang' in spoken hokkien and 'jin' in formal hokkien. in chinese its called 'wendu'(literal pronouciation) and 'baidu'(common tongue pronouciation). if we use 'shuiren'(谁人) as example then i am pretty sure there is a pronouciation in both cantonese and hakka for 'shui'(who)

Sum Won

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Sum Won » Thu May 23, 2002 5:16 pm

You are correct about when the term "Canton" came about. However, as I guess I haven't said it clearly; "sorry for not being politically correct, or historically concise" about the term "Canton". Yes, by the time "Canton" was used, the Yue people have long inter-married with their conquerers. On matters of the "formal/informal" pronounciations, you can't deny a possibility that informal pronounciations are a result of the aboriginal language mixed with Tang-Chinese still lingering in daily speech, while the formal pronounciations are a result of Tang-Chinese in it's slightly purer form.

*Note for any of you barely reading this, that this "formal/informal pronounciation is only present in southern dialects. Mandarin words are pronounced the same way no matter what. The only difference is in the use of words, which form the wendu/baidu difference.*

ppk

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby ppk » Fri May 24, 2002 2:26 am

well we never knew how the yue language and ancient mandarin was actually like, so its still hard to decide which had more influence on which. wendu/baidu oso occured in other northern dialects. mandarin dont just appear in history out of nowhere. it came from the older dialects. wendu and baidu means for the common dialogues and reading from text some words have different pronouciation. this difference is here cos ancient mandarin is closer to the dialects. when reading historical text and names and events of ancient ppl and happenings, we have to use the old pronouciation. its not a matter of purer form. example:

1. chanyu(单于) both as a surname and the title of the huns(xiongnu) rulers cannot be pronouced as 'danyu'.
2. boruo(般若) is a buddhist term directly translated from sanskrit so it has to remain as 'boruo' instead of 'banruo' in mandarin.
3. canci buqi(参差不齐) cannot be pronouced as can'cha' buqi.
4. most poems in 'shijing'(诗经,book of poems) have to be pronounce in ancient way even when we read them in mandarin.

besides, there is change of pronouciation in mandarin due to habits, like:
呆板 or 垃圾 can be pronouced as 'aiban' and 'daiban', 'laji' and 'lese'.

mandarin came about when ancient dialects evolved, adding or removed certain features. it isnt and never was a language on its own. mandarin is just the common tongue for the chinese. the northern dialects are chosen as mandarin cos more ppl in china speaks and understands it presently. southern dialects appeared cos they 'were' the common tongue last time, meaning in ancient times(qin-han) people in the north oso speak a language like cantonese, and northern people in middle age china(sui-song) speak something like hokkien or teochew. ppl in the south didnt develope together with the north and the difference in dialects became significant.

Sum Won

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Sum Won » Tue May 28, 2002 5:48 pm

Thank you, for that information. I actually managed to learn some stuff that can actually help me incorporate new information into my research (unlike many previous posts). However, can you or someone else clarify the precise evolutionary period of Chinese? Because the time between the Sui to Song dynasty is quite alot.
There is one minor thing I think you left out (I could be wrong though): Mandarin has also changed because of politics also. This is evident, in some texts by one emperor, writing his own father's name, but left out a stroke purposefully, so that he would avoid actually writing it (in Chinese --as I'm sure you'd know-- that emperors' names are avoided being said/written). Another example of avoidance, but with a change in pronounciation of words, would be the Mandarin pronounciation of "chicken". Because some famous guy's --I forgot whether or not he was an emperor-- wife's name rhymed with the old term for chicken, so everyone changed the pronounciation from "zhi" to the modern-day "Ji".
I got this from watching a bunch of episodes of "Li Ao: Da Ge Da". One thing I'm puzzled with the "chicken episode", is that I'm not sure whether or not this "verbal avoidance" of words also applied to dialects of the south.

ppk

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby ppk » Wed May 29, 2002 1:26 am

yes, sometime prounouciation changed with certain events. but that part was not closely monitored. i wonder if there are any writings on that. the usual case is that they change to another word. for the names of emperors, it only apply to emperors of the same dynasty.

example the ppl in song dynasty can address and use the words included in the name of the emperors in han or tang dynasty. example, like the backdoor of the imperial palace in beijing was call 'xuanwu men'(xuanwu gate. 'xuanwu' is a mythical creature signifying the north direction. chinese houses in northern china usually had back door to the north bcos of natural climate) since ming dynasty. but it coincides with the name of emperor kangxi in qing dynasty, which is 'xuanye', so the name 'xuanwu men' was changed to 'shenwu men'(shenwu gate) during kangxi's era, and used since then. but the writings changed totally. as u said, name of emperors cannot be addressed or written. so i think using another word is the common practise, instead of just changing the pronouciation.

taking away strokes only happen in younger ppl writing words that are included in the names of their parents and grandparents. in old chinese society where moral values ruled, calling elders by name is considered disrespectful and it grew to avoid using the exact words as well. but it is no more like like now. if u read 'the dreams of the red mansions'(hong lou meng) there is a part when a girl, called lin daiyu, was writing in class, and her teacher found out she purposely miss a stroke everytime she's writing a certain word. then he realized it was included in the name of her mother and she had to avoid writing the exact word.


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