Vietnamese is sino-tibetan Part 2

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
AlexNg

Postby AlexNg » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:51 am

It depends on how you look at the number of tones in cantonese (how you classify), it can be around 6 to 9. The same goes for vietnamese. I am not debating on the exact number of tones in vietnamese (6 or 8) but rather the gaining of tones from a non-tonal language to (6 or 8) is definitely an anomaly.

Older chinese languages like cantonese, hoklo will try to retain the number of tones from middle chinese and they are closer to the languages spoken during the middle chinese period.

'Modern' languages such as mandarin tries to simplify the language making it easier to learn by losing the number of tones. Of course, it had some influence from non-tonal altaic languages speakers (mongolian, manchurian dynasty) who found the number of tones overwhelming. So the theory is that it is easier to go from tonal to non-tonal. Ask any non-chinese speakers and they will tell you the tones are the most difficult to master.

Don't you find it strange that the northern vietnamese dialect has 6 tones whereby the southern vietnamese dialect has lost one tone ? We all know that northern vietnam is the original territory. Southern vietnam was only conquered from the "khmer or champa" speakers and with influence from the non-tonal languages just as mandarin was influenced from the altaic languages.

When somebody here argued that one should ONLY look at the numbering system to determine the origins of the language rather than the whole characteristics of the language (that is how it sounds like in general).
I had to ask how does one know which of the 2 numeral system in vietnamese is the original and which is borrowed, instead I got this rather non-professional argument of "because it is". A rather unconvincing argument of someone who wants his beliefs shoved down other people's throats ?

Then there is the rather debatable classification of tai languages into another family grouping (by some linguist) which has a numeral system which sounds so similar to chinese except for 0,1,2,5 if one only looks at the numeral system to determine the origins. The fact that the "1" of sound "neung" is borrowed can also be debatable, seeing as "11" of sound "sip it" is similar to chinese languages such as hakka or hoklo.
same goes for "21" which sounds like "yi sip it" instead of using "song sip neung". The theory that numerals cannot be borrowed is debatable seeing these anomalies in the tai language.

Would it be foolhardy to look at indian languages to determine the origin of 0,1,2 in the tai language ?

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:17 am

Those are called 'registers' rather than tones. I never heard Mon or Khmer language, but I speculate that they make some different pitches but these are unlikely to be called tones. (Refer to my posts at the transition of Part 1 and Part 2 of this topic)
.


Some people here are confused as to the precise definition of tones rather than registers. For example, in english, if you ask a question 'where do you stay?' with a raised tone at the end and without a raised tone, it is still understood. "stay" and "stay?" are not different meanings of the same word !

Whereas in cantonese(or other tonal languages), if you ask "nei sik mei" it can mean "have you eaten?" or have you understood/learned" ?
This 2 "sik" here have different meanings and have their own chinese character. That is what we call tonal and not those 'pseudo-tonal' that people are arguing here.

The definition of monosyllabic means that if a word is broken apart it still has its individual meaning. For example, train = "fo che" meaning fire train. "fo che" is not considered polysyllabic ! Whereas in indo-european languages, you cannot break up most words to have individual meaning.
"individual" breaking up into "in" "di" "vi" "dual" has no related meaning and only "in" and "dual" has meaning in itself.

Do you have such things in khmer languages ?

qrasy

Postby qrasy » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:52 am

I don't really know Japanese verb grammatization, but 指使い can surely by changed into adjactive without using "的". Usually the "-teki" is used after a loaned Chinese word, making it "loaned with grammatization", but after that the compounding uses non-Chinese formula. I've never seen "Kanji"+"Kana tail"+"Kanji again" in single, suffixed VERB.
The "grammatized-loans" also exist in Vietnamese, where they have to use Chinese grammar in compounding some words.
One thing that many does not realize (of course, not including you): Kanji can be read very differently from Chinese readings. Non-infix languages can be written with Kanji+special script, despite the readings would be 99.9999999% different ("Cut" and "Burn" are also read similar to Chinese.) []
Usually when we have adjective in Japanese, there is a な ending. But I found in some strange adjectives it uses の. The head is seemingly noun.
Once, I thought that の had the same function as 的 or 之. I'm not quite sure now, but my attempt is 指使いの家稲妻物の新しく売り物、お買いやすく商い物が数々あります!
In the Japanese version of google you can see usage of Western loans more than original Japanese of Chinese loans.
Sorry, I typed to many 9's. I think there are not more than one billion of words.

[b]I was in canada for several years. Their cantonese is still tonal although in a slightly different tones than the hongkongers but that is normal considering when people migrate they will develop slightly different dialects.

May be the Canadian Youth Cantonese only exist in one city (if the reduction existed more than in 1 city, it would be very strange), and you stayed in another city so you didn't hear them.

The issue of whether tones developed because of Chinese may be hard to answer, however dismissing that tones can develop in an otherwise non-tonal language is an idea worthy of dismissal in itself. Actually, the Ru tone is an artifice of Chinese philology. They single out syllables with clipped endings but in all Chinese dialects which have Ru tones, they can be distributed amongst the other tones according to their tone contour. For example, Cantonese credited with 9 tones only has six tonemes. The loss of tonal distinction is does not arise when Cantonese is written with only six distinguishing tone markers.

The Ru tone readings of characters that are "lost" in Mandarin are distributed amongst the four tones, principly the two Ping tones, the Qu and Shang.

As we see with Sino-Viet, the associated Ru tones are in fact merged in to the tones associated with the Qu upper and lower tones. So it has six tonemes, rather than the artificial eight as you continually suggest.

This kind of "Ru"-register tones seemed to have merged in the early age of tonogenesis, confusing "Shang" register tones.
The Chinese tone changed, but strangely the "Shang" and "Qu" seems to reverse in Middle Chinese.
I'm not sure about what happened. But it seems that in new Sino-Vietnamese: Yang-Qu->Yang-Ru, Yin-Ru-> Yin-Qu (middle Chinese tone base)
As for whether the Ru tones really exists in Modern Viet, I'm quite sure. The rising tone seemed to change when it comes with stops. If I'm not wrong, the tone becomes like /51/ and is glottalized.

Then there is the rather debatable classification of tai languages into another family grouping (by some linguist) which has a numeral system which sounds so similar to chinese except for 0,1,2,5 if one only looks at the numeral system to determine the origins. The fact that the "1" of sound "neung" is borrowed can also be debatable, seeing as "11" of sound "sip it" is similar to chinese languages such as hakka or hoklo.
same goes for "21" which sounds like "yi sip it" instead of using "song sip neung". The theory that numerals cannot be borrowed is debatable seeing these anomalies in the tai language.

In fact only '0' and '1' sounded unlike Chinese. 2 is likely to be "song" 雙. 5 is "Haa", a strange reduction of "Ng-". 0 is not basic number, in many languages it exists as loan. In this case, Tai likely loans from Khmer.
"Neung" this word for '1' is strange, it's dissimilar to 單 or anything I know to have meaning related to '1', but in Zhuang language "deu" seemingly have to do with Hoklo.

It depends on how you look at the number of tones in cantonese (how you classify), it can be around 6 to 9. The same goes for vietnamese. I am not debating on the exact number of tones in vietnamese (6 or Cool but rather the gaining of tones from a non-tonal language to (6 or Cool is definitely an anomaly.
Gaining of tones like Chinese, i.e. the "Chinese tonogenesis", only appeared around China in the age around Han. The endings etc. were lost and become pitch contours. I don't know which language group started it, but their tone product is very similar to each other, it has 8 tones (of course, including 1 registers of "Ru"). Its very unlike African tonogenesis, which makes only 2 tones and these very very few tones may not hear like other group of tonal languages. Nowadays the tone reduce and reduce, but there are found 9~15-tonal languages, and I don't know how the languages get >8 tones.

Don't you find it strange that the northern vietnamese dialect has 6 tones whereby the southern vietnamese dialect has lost one tone ? We all know that northern vietnam is the original territory. Southern vietnam was only conquered from the "khmer or champa" speakers and with influence from the non-tonal languages just as mandarin was influenced from the altaic languages.
It is not strange. Tonal reduction is common everywhere. In Burmese you have 3 tones. Do you know that Hakka and Hoklo have less than 8 tones, despite the languages around them are tonal? (The languages around them even have 8-9(?) tones)

Some people here are confused as to the precise definition of tones rather than registers. For example, in english, if you ask a question 'where do you stay?' with a raised tone at the end and without a raised tone, it is still understood. "stay" and "stay?" are not different meanings of the same word ![]
"Stay" and "Stay?" will have the same meanings if you add "5W1H" (What WHen Where Who How). But if it is "free", "Stay" means to order someone to stay, and "Stay?" means that the speaker are confused why the other person want to stay.
It seems that I have to make clear my definition of tones.
I'm not comparing tones with registers, but with normal kind of pitch. In tonal syllable, it have to go definite change of pitch relative to [b]itself
, not to the sentence. or word. If you want to say tonal languages, all syllables are tonal.

The definition of monosyllabic means that if a word is broken apart it still has its individual meaning. For example, train = "fo che" meaning fire train. "fo che" is not considered polysyllabic ! Whereas in indo-european languages, you cannot break up most words to have individual meaning.
"individual" breaking up into "in" "di" "vi" "dual" has no related meaning and only "in" and "dual" has meaning in itself.

I don't know what it should be called, but I guess I'll call it "Polymonosyllabic" or "Compound monosyllabic", i.e. it consists of some monosyllabic component. Its difference with an ordinary polysyllabic word is clear, it can be broken apart to its syllables and still have meaning. In Khmer lanugaes there are many monosyllabic words, but there are found an appreciable number of polysyllabic words, although usually it's only 2. It seems like basic-English, which has mostly monosyllabic words.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:17 am

Grasy,

Yes, you are right, it is highly likely that the tai numeral 2 "song" is another version of "siong" (cantonese) as they sound very similar.

But "Ha" for numeral 5 is too different from "ng" (cantonese), "goh" (hokkien) or "wu" (mandarin) in sino languages and cannot be sinitic in origin.

Doesn't this prove that numerals only cannot determine the linguistic origin and can be borrowed ? Why is it that 0, 1, 5 are non-sinitic and the rest are sinitic ? Anybody can explain in a rational manner this anomaly ?

qrasy

Number 5

Postby qrasy » Sat Mar 26, 2005 1:09 pm

Actually, there are some Tibeto-Burman languages that call '5' 'Nga', 'Hnga' or even 'Ha' itself. In the Kam-Sui branch of Tai-Kadai, it is around 'Ngo'.

'0' is not a basic number, even in Indonesian we use 'nol' that seems related to 'null' or any other Indo-European languages. Or we use 'kosong' but actually that means 'empty'.
Thai and Lao seem to take '0' from Khmer, and Viet from Chinese (if I'm not wrong).

In some languages of Tibeto-Burman there are some numbers that are of unclear origin at once. But they could be false negatives.

But if you look at some Indo-European terms in some Tibeto-Burman languages, it's indisputable that numbers can be loaned.

Sometimes I feel that numbers in different language families are 'coupled', i.e. they seem to be cognates.

Taishan Ren

Re: Number 5

Postby Taishan Ren » Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:53 am

qrasy wrote:Actually, there are some Tibeto-Burman languages that call '5' 'Nga', 'Hnga' or even 'Ha' itself. In the Kam-Sui branch of Tai-Kadai, it is around 'Ngo'.


"Ngo" (#5) sounds similar to those who speak Chaozhou-hua, Minnan-hua, & Taiwan-hua.

Taishan Ren

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:56 pm

Your guys mentioned burma,mon and khmer are languages with tones.I have books about learning these three languages but there are no mentioned of tones like thai and laos language.Have you ever opened a basic book to learn them?
There are no special tone mark there.If accent in these languages can be called tone ,then english can be called a language with tones as well.

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Mon Mar 28, 2005 2:59 pm

Lanna Thai spoken in chiengmai is also a language with tones like central thai.

qrasy

Postby qrasy » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:15 pm

Your guys mentioned burma,mon and khmer are languages with tones.I have books about learning these three languages but there are no mentioned of tones like thai and laos language.Have you ever opened a basic book to learn them?
There are no special tone mark there.If accent in these languages can be called tone ,then english can be called a language with tones as well.


Well, it's been repeated several times that Mon and Khmer don't have tones.
The 'tones' mentioned here are not pitch differences between syllables, but the pitch difference relative to the syllable itself.

For example, if we have a sequence of 'a's, the difference can be seen.
a(high-rise)-a(high-fall)-a(low-fall)-a(low-rise)
Japanese have only high-low difference, so Japanese users percieve: a(high)-a(high)-a(low)-a(low)
Mandarin is quite consistent in tone, there are no similar tones, so Mandarin users percieve: a(rise)-a(fall)-a(fall)-a(rise)
(this can be seen when trying to learn Viet tones, Mandarin users will likely confuse ~ and ´ tones)
While Indonesian users percieve nothing special but a-a-a-a

Actually in Thai and Lao there are tonal marks. And I know that in Khmer script there are registral marks.

qrasy

Postby qrasy » Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:46 pm

There are 3 tones in Burmese.
It is strange that there are only 1 tone mark(?), aukmyit, written as a dot below.
There are no marks for 2 other tones.
May be the tones are distinguished by Voiced-Voiceless initials.
It is valid to assume the Yin-Yang different so the Middle Chinese is said to have 8-tones rather than 4-tones.

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:12 am

qrasy,
yes,my myanmar's dict from their goverment says there are 4 tones in their language.But in their dict or other myanmar dict from the west,there are no words like chinese and thai,laos with one word exactly same vowel and consonant but with different tones.
So I cannot consider myanmar is a tonal language.By the way,myanmar script is from Mon which isn't burmese own invention.

AlexNg

Tonal language

Postby AlexNg » Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:11 am

ongtk wrote:qrasy,
yes,my myanmar's dict from their goverment says there are 4 tones in their language.But in their dict or other myanmar dict from the west,there are no words like chinese and thai,laos with one word exactly same vowel and consonant but with different tones.
So I cannot consider myanmar is a tonal language.By the way,myanmar script is from Mon which isn't burmese own invention.


Myanmar/tibetan are both tonal languages. In fact both these groups are genetically related to the chinese which was separated from each other many thousand years ago.

The sino-tibetan (which are all tonal and monosyllabic) consists of 3 branches:

1. sino branch - min, wu, mandarin, cantonese, hakka etc

2. tibetan/burmese

3. tai, laos


We are debating whether vietnamese belongs to the tai branch which has the characteristics of adjective after noun eg. chicken male instead of male chicken.

The writing system doesn't dictate the language family (tai obviously borrowed from sanskrit, an indian language). I suspect the same goes for burmese and mon languages (though not certain about this) due to the indian influence in the past (buddhism).

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:28 pm

who said that burmese,mon,tibet are monosyllabic languages like chinese.
burmese,mon,tibet have to use a few vowel and consonant to form a word but not chinese.Chinese languages cannot form a sanskrit word easily but thai ,burmese ,english can easily to do.
Burmese and tibet are more about vowel length for different tones but unlike chinese and thai whereby we have to learn a same word formation in different tones to get different meaning for it.

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:50 pm

see here saying few of the tibetan-burma are monosyllabic at the same sense.
many tiibetan -burmese are tone languages but seems to be a secondary feature.
most of them unanalyzable polysyllables.
http://thor.prohosting.com/~linguist/burmese.htm

ongtk

Postby ongtk » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:53 pm

there are web pages saying that thai language are monosyllabic like chinese but I cannot see it is mono like chinese in a true sense


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