Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:14 am

AlexNg,

I for one, would trust Haudricourt and Maspero. They at least have some linguistic qualification.

You on the other hand in the statement above, shows that you are not an objective inquirer, and nothing but your own pet theories would satisfy you.

Dyl,

qrasy

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby qrasy » Fri Dec 03, 2004 10:53 am

To Find out the answer, may be we can just come back to the definition.

I want to know the definitions of Austroasiatic and Mon-Khmer.

My definition of Sino-Tibetan:

1. Tonal. If a syllable is read in different tones, it would have different meanings. The tones are "fixed" (not affected by punctuation marks)

2. Simple grammar structure (no imflection)

3. Most (but not all) words is monosyllabic

4. Has noun classifiers. Most languages has many noun classifiers.

Is my definition true?
Please, don't say anything about race and geography, because they seem unrelated to language classification.

Also, Maspero and Handicourt seems to contadict each other, Maspero thinks that Viets should be grouped inside Tai.

It is stated in http://www.vny2k.net/vny2k/SiniticVietnamese5.htm that:

"In the past Vietnamese had been formerly believed to belong to the Mon-Khmer group of the Austroasiatic linguistic family. In 1911, 1912 and 1952, however, Maspero reclassified Vietnamese with the Thai (T’ai, Tai, Dai, Tay) languages, members of the Daic division of the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family, with which Vietnamese shares, among other things, a tonal system on the Chinese model. "

Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:21 pm

With regard to Maspero 1952, this work was a posthumous publication. Henri Maspero died in Buchenwald concentration camp during the latter years of the second world war. An obituary can be found here,

http://www.umass.edu/wsp/sinology/persons/maspero.html

Dyl.

AlexNg

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby AlexNg » Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:09 am

Dylan,

I think grasy is a more scientific and more refined person than you. I have put out my doubts in my previous postings and so far nobody seem to have disproved my doubts.

what are the characteristics of sino-tibetan and what are the characteristics of mon-khmer ?

If you had bothered researching more into the vietnamese origins, you will know that there are so many different accounts from so-called linguists which contradicts with other historic sources.

These so-called linguists are trying to make everything suit into their so-called theories. Saying such thing as the vietnamese is originally non-tonal etc without solid proof just because they cannot fit into the model of mon-khmer group.

If these linguists are so perfect as you claim them to be, then why is it that it was originally placed under sino-tibetan ? and then moved to mon-khmer ? Or is it just another mistake as they cannot determine the true origins of the vietnamese people ?

Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:08 pm

Take a look at "What's so Chinese about Vietnamese" by Mark J. Alves at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

http://www.geocities.com/malves98/publications.html

Dyl.

Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:04 pm

Alves' 1995 paper on "Tonal Features and the Development of Vietnamese Tones", is worth reading too.

Also, you might like to read about the development of tones (tonogenesis) in Vietnamese, a different perspective by Graham Thurgood of California U.

http://www.csuchico.edu/~gt18/Papers/Vi ... enesis.pdf


Dyl.

Chongtak

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Chongtak » Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:37 pm

Definitevely the correct character for the kinh people (living in Viet Nam and southern China guang dong and guang xi) is 京, same word as jing in Bei Jing and Kyo in Tokyo, this character used for ages in China and also well known by Chinese who imigrated to Viet Nam mostly since the chinese Ming dynasty collapsed.
Then Vietnamese people is originally from the old kingdom of Nam Chao 南州 this area is called as kingdom but it seems that there was no king, people as Burmans, Thai people (and Lao from the same root), Kinh (vietnamese) and many tribes were living not together but in quite near places. All those people are from the tibeto-birman group.
The vietnamese language and all other tibeto-languages such as thai, lao, han chinese (mandarin, cantonese, hakka, chao zhou, fu jian, wenzhou, etc...) is a tonal language. The mon-khmer languages are not tonal.
Actually the word Viet Nam 越南is only the name of the country ran by the Kinh people, this name is not the first one before was Dai Viet 大越, Dai Co Viet 大古越, Nam Viet 南越 and now is Viet nam 越南.
Also the word viet, yue or yut 越 is not the same as the word yue, yut 粵 that designates the cantonese people and language (廣東話=粵語)

qrasy

Austronesians, Khmers, Vietnamese and Chinese

Postby qrasy » Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:21 am

However, I want to say something about Austronesians. They were negroids. Today, some of them are still negroids, such as Maluku people. For I live in Indonesia, I know this fact.

Now, how about Malays? They don't seem to be very negroid. How would I explain that?

In fact, Malays are not pure Austronesians. They are a mix of Negroids with other races, mainly with Mongoloids. Khmers are similar to them, so we can conclude than Khmers and Malays are nearly half-Mongoloid and half-Negroid.

So, we can see that Khmers are genetically related to Mongoloids. (and of course, Vietnamese)

Mr. Pham chinh Trung wrote "Vietnamese, Khmer...have the origin of Malayo-polynesian (Austronesian) language, before any contact with Sino-tibetan language." but anyone can
write the reverse: "Vietnamese, Khmer...have the origin of Sino-Tibetan language, before any contact with Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language.". It seems more plausible by means of Genetics, since Vietnamese do not seem to have any genes special to Negroids.

We can take examples from what is said to be "Native-Vietnamese" by Mr. Mark Alves.
(http://www.geocities.com/malves98/)
Every/Each: V.=M[o.]i ~ Mand. Mei3
To Suffer: V. Ph[a?]i ~ Mand. Bei4
To Suffer/Withstand: Ch[i.]u(*)~ Mand. Shou4
(*) note that this could be taken from Chinese a later age, because the tone fits too well to
Middle-Chinese tonal scheme.

Taking the "Tonogenesis" idea, it was possible that Sino-Tibetan tones developed from Registers, 4 × 2.
Probably, The "2" was Voiced/Voiceless initials, and the "4" was:
Clear---------->V. Ngang~Huy[e^`]n, C. Ping tones
Creaky------->V. S[a(´c]~ N[a.]ng, C. Shang tones
Stop----------->V. S[a(´c]~ N[a.]ng, C. Ru tones
Fricative------> V. H[o?]i ~ Ng[a~], C. Qu tones
(see the tones of the words for night, horse, human, forest etc..)
(Interestingly, "Old Chinese Loans" as stated by Mr. Mark Alves, has Yin Shang tone that becomes S[a(´c]now.)

Here, the "reversal" of Qu and Shang tones may be just a tonal conflict between
Middle-Chinese and native-Vietnamese.

Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:32 am

In my message of 11-27-04 I pointed out that there are characters which cannot be explained purely from a tonal development in MC. These are character pronunciations most likely to have come from an Old Chinese source.

Dyl.

AlexNg

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby AlexNg » Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:15 pm

Grasy,

write the reverse: "Vietnamese, Khmer...have the origin of Sino-Tibetan language, before any contact with Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language.". It seems more plausible by means of Genetics, since Vietnamese do not seem to have any genes special to Negroids.


There are still 3 mysteries:

1. Vietnamese genetically are closer to east asians than the malays (austronesian) characterized by their fair skin and thin eyelid.

2. The existence of tones which do not exist in mon-khmer as I have argued previously, tones are not easy to acquire (look at korea and mongolian, japanese language), those countries which are heavily influenced by china.

3. Other basic elements which are missing from the vietnamese language
but which exist in mon-khmer languages. Of course, the linguist claim it was "lost".


When the same tribe of people migrate to different parts of the world, their languages change but their genetics do not change (ie. change from a dark skin type round eye to fair skin oval eyes type etc). The language family of the various chinese dialects and the tibetan languages can be traced to the same ancient group of people who migrated in different directions.

I once saw a few vietnamese in my country, hardly distinguishable from the other chinese (just by looking at them).

Dylan Sung

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Dylan Sung » Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:40 pm

Actually the Korean writing system, hangeul invented around 1444 does have a system of tone marks used for Middle Korean. These marks are no longer used, but in modern Korean, and modern Japanese, they have pitch distinction, so J. hana depending on the stress and pitch will either mean flower or something else.

With regard to the tones,
http://www.benjamins.nl/jbp/series/DIA/ ... /0008a.pdf
at the bottom of page 90:

Chapter 11: James A. Matisoff “Prosodic diffusibility in South-East Asia”.M opens by pointing out that tone, a classic diffusion feature, fooled early Southeast Asian language researchers, who took it as an inherited trait, thus linking tonal Vietnamese with unrelated, but tonal, Tai rather than with its rightful cousin, atonal Khmer.

And with regard to it's genetic relationship

http://si.unm.edu/linguistics/viet/viet

See also the section in that link on syntax, something which is hard to acquire in linguistic borrowing, which leads linguists to say Vietnamese is not of Chinese/Sinitic origin.

One should never confuse the linguistic history of a language with the cultural history of a people. Language and ethnicity are indirectly linked, but one does not depend on the other. For instance black african americans speak english, but it does not mean their ancestors spoke english. Though we know of the slave trade, we can say their ancestors spoke some sort of african language, but to say which is not certain, since slaves were taken from Africa from many coastal regions, and the languages that span the coastal areas of western Africa are diverse.

Vietnamese may have once had some origin in southern China before the Zhou dynasty spread it's influence southwards. This does not mean the Proto-Vietnamese were of Chinese origin, or spoke any sort of Chinese language, or have much Chinese vocabulary in Proto-Vietnamese.

Dyl.

Eng Wai

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Eng Wai » Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:28 pm

Malay is a big mix pot like Chinese. Not really understanding the usage of "Malay" and the distribution of etnics in Indonesia, I would like to comment on Malaysia Malay.

The first mass Malay immigration to Malaysia occured when Parameswara escaped to Melaka. Before that, would you define those is Kedahan as Malay? So the supposedly pure Malay in Malaysia should be Jambi. But Bugis (do you consider them Malay? Do Bugis look like Mongloid Chinese?) invaded Selangor and became the royal race there. Negeri Sembilan is ruled by Minangkabau (Malay??). Former Perdana Menteri Mahatir has a Tamil granddad. The greatest modern Malay literature giant in the malaysia history is Munshi Abdullah, who is not a Malay at all (direct mix of Arabic n Tamil).

I have 2 friends who are 50% Tamil 50% Chinese. Both look like Malay for me. Sometimes I can't differentiate an Arabic from a Malay, sometimes I can't differentiate a Tamil from a Malay. I can't differentiate Borneo indigenous from Malay.

I come to conclusion that the Malay look in my mind, in fact many, comes from the non-similarity to Chinese, Indians and white. So I doubt the over-simplification of Malay being half Mongloid half Negroid.

AlexNg

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby AlexNg » Tue Dec 14, 2004 8:28 am

Eng Wai,

Just because you cannot differentiate between the various races is because you didn't observe carefully.

I am talking about the PURE race here (no mixing).

1. Arabic

Round eyes with thick double eyelid
Slight brown skin
Caucasoid

2. Chinese

Oval eyes with single or thin double eyelid
Fair skin
Mongoloid

3. Malay

Round eyes with thick double eyelid
Dark Brown skin
Mongoloid (facial features less pronounced than arabs)

Eng Wai

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby Eng Wai » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:14 am

Well Alex Ng,

Maybe first I should know the definition of Malay, and pure Malay in your mind. Where can you find pure Malay?

I was speaking to my Arabic friend just last night, incidentally about Arab race. I told him in my mind the North African Arabs(Algerian, Moroccon, Eygiptian, Libyan) and Mediteranian Arabs (Jordanian, Lebanon, Palestinian, Syrian) are not the pure Arab, as like Penisular Arabs (Saudi, Omani, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, UAE, Katar). The black Arabs (Sudanese, Chad, Maurituanian) for me are not pure Arabs also. Black Arab = pure Arab + Black African, Mediteranian Arabs = pure Arab + european. In my mind, I have set up a definition of pure Arabs being the Saudi Arabs who have hairy beards (like Prophet Muhammad), black curly hair, pronounced facial features, brown skin. But my arabic friend considered everyone pure Arabs, as long as they are not newly mixed Arabs. His answer is very sensible, perhaps you need to go back to tribal difference to trace the pure Arabs, pure Malays and pure Chinese.

I am a pure Chinese as far as I know. My grand parents came from mainland China. But I am darker and shorter than northern China Chinese, hairier than inland China Chinese. My white friends tell me that I do not look like the Chinese stereotype, which amusingly include Koreans n Japanese. But I definitely don't look like Malay or Indians. I consider myself as a pure Chinese because in my understanding, Chinese culture as a whole is not a unique heritage possesed by certain tribe or certain Chinese (inland CHinese). So Hokkien, Cantonese are all pure Chinese though they look more like IndoCina than Mongolian. Will you say the inland Chinese are not pure Chinese but mongolian?

So Alex, I think you need to verify your own definition of Malay and validate it with a degree of sensibility before you jump to conclusion that Malay are Round eyes with thick double eyelid
Dark Brown skin
Mongoloid (facial features less pronounced than arabs).

Even by your definition, the difference between Malay and Arabs are just simply that Malays have less pronounced features. The ambiguity is great here, have you seen a less pronounced Arab? Can you say they are Malay instead?

Malay language is an obvious Austronesian language. Assuming Austronesian human share the same historical ancestors, somewhere in africa or wherever, in heaven if you are religious, Austronesian people should share roughly same looks. In fact, this is not true. Take Bali as a devider, Austronesian to the east look more like Chinese, Austronesian to the west look more like African black. SO who are the pure Austronesians?

I don't think there is a clear cut Malay definition, even by the Malay themselves. Rather than those who look like "Malay" are Malay, Malay are more likely those southeast Asian who speak Malay as first language. Are Phillipino Malay? For me they are, for some they aren't. Are the majority Indonesians Malay? Bugis? Minangkabau? Balinese? Javanese? Aceh? Most Indonesian consider those different races, for me they are more or less the same. For you?

Eng Wai

qrasy

Re: Vietnamese is sino-tibetan ?

Postby qrasy » Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:02 pm

I want to say that many words' tones can change register, so what I wrote is partially wrong...

Note that some Chinese characters, which seems not to be Sign-Phonetic actually can be Sign-Phonetic characters if we consider other Sino-Tibetan languages. Some exists in
Vietnamese.

Also:

Eng Wai,
You wrote: "Hokkien, Cantonese are all pure Chinese though they look more like IndoCina than Mongolian". What do you think Mongolian is? I saw some Mongolians dissimilar to
Chinese, even to Northern ones. Also, What do you mean by "IndoCina"? Vietnamese people? My message 11-18-04 indicates my wrong thought about IndoCina. I thought
"Indocina" is white, fair but actually I saw wrong people.
How could you determine which was the "national" tribe, if there lives some tribes whose population is more than 10% of total population?

And, "Pure" Malay here is already a mix of Mongoloid with Negroid. Javanese, Buginese, etc... could be a mix of Mongoloid and Negroid with different ratios. I think you confuse West and East. See the Indonesaian map. Papua is at EAST, and Sumatra is at WEST. "East Asia" are east if seen from Europe, but it is not if seen from Indonesia. Mongoloid comes from northwest (of Bali), so western Austronesian would look more similar to Chinese than
Negroids. And my "half" was only a very very very rough approximate (did I write "nearly"?). Actually it ranges from 10%-90% (90% Mongoloid still looks very different from Chinese, as I see from my friends, and 10% Mongoloid is not similar to Mongoloid any more, like Ambon.
Note also that these are still very rough). "Malay" here are ambiguous. It can mean a specific tribe (Melayu), but can also mean "People who looks between Mongoloid and Negroid". "Filipino" are not Malays by first definition, but they are by the second one. Also, there are
some of Malays that mixes with people from India, Arab. Anyone can see India and Arab genes easily.

AlexNg,
You wrote: "Vietnamese genetically are closer to east asians than the Malays (Austronesian) characterized by their fair skin and thin eyelid.". Actually it makes my assumption plausible: The ancestors of Vietnamese could be like East Asians but some of them mixes with negroids
(very very old Austronesians) and become "Malays"/"Khmers". It seems that the "mixed people" include Karen from Tibeto-Burman (have you ever seen Karen people?).

Dylan,
You wrote: "See also the section in that link on syntax, something which is hard to acquire in
linguistic borrowing, which leads linguists to say Vietnamese is not of Chinese/Sinitic origin."
Who wrote that Vietnamese is Chinese/Sinitic?
I think Vietnamese can never be Chinese/Sinitic. Their syntax are very different. May be Vietnamese is closer to Miao-Yao/Tibeto-Burman.
I would like to know where you got the information about the Hangul.
I think losing tones are easier than generating tones.
By my definition:
1. Tonal. If a syllable is read in DIFFERENT tones, it will have DIFFERENT meanings. The tones are "fixed" (not affected by punctuation marks)
2. Simple grammar structure (no imflection)
3. Most (but not all) words is monosyllabic
4. Has noun classifiers. Most languages has many noun classifiers.
It includes the Miao-Yao and Thai-Kadai. (should it include something like Phan Rang Cham, it would be wrong.)


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