[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Gog5 vui4 pen2 yiu1 (Dear Friends),
Sin4 dan4 kuai4 log6! Sin1 ngian2 hao3!
I think I must change to English before you close my file. I just want to
join the discussion of Cantonese and Hakka linguistics started by Dylan Sung.
Dylan's friend is right that for a layman, Cantonese has only six tones
because apart from the p, t, k ending, yinru (Tone 1, Tone value 55)=yinping
(Tone 7), zhongru (Tones 3, TV 33)=yinqu (Tone 8) and yangru (Tone 6, TV
22)=yangqu (Tone 9). However, I oppose his observation on the merging of
tones in some Cantonese varieties. The Hong Kong variety sound still the
same as Canton's and has 9 complete tonal classes. However, in Macau and
western Guangdong (e.g. Yangjiang) plus some oversea Chinese communities
(who mainly stemmed from western Guangdong), the yinshang (Tone 2, TV 35)
and yangshang (Tone 5, TV 13) have merged (all TV 35) resulting in 8 tones.
For those who speak Cantonese as a mother tongue or thoese who master
Cantonese better than Hakka, they can see that there are good
correspondences between the tones:
Can. T1 (YINPING), TV 55 = Hak. T1 (YINPING), TV 33 (Bao'an) or 44 (Meixian)
Can. T2 (YINSHANG), TV 35 = Hak. T3 (SHANG), TV 31
Can. T3 (YINQU), TV 33 = Hak. T4 (QU), TV 53
Can. T4 (YANGPING), TV 11 = Hak. T2 (YANGPING), TV 31
Can. T5 (YANGSHANG), TV 13 = Hak. T1 (YINPING), TV 33 (Bao'an) or 44 (Meixian)
Can. T6 (YANGQU), TV 22 = Hak. T4 (QU), TV 53
Can. T7 (YINRU), TV 55 = Hak. T5 (YINRU), TV =32
Can. T8 (ZHONGRU), TV 33 = Hak. T5 (YINRU), TV =32
Can. T9 (YANGQU), TV 22 = Hak. T6 (YANGRU), TV 55
Of course, there are no rules without exceptions, but for the most cases the
above rules are OK (most with over 95% accuracy). The only problematic class
is Can. T5, because the correspondence is weakest there; however, it can
still survive as a rule since it holds more than 50% of the cases.
Moreover, some words (about 200) in Cantonese with lower tone values (T3-6)
have changed into tones of higher values (Tone 2 especially), which is a
kind of Baidu Biandiao (oral Sandhi). The change of tone masked its identity
and cause Cantonese speakers learning Hakka or Mandarin problems because
they forget to reverse the Biandiao before they make the correspondence. For
example, "fish" in Cantonese is "yu2", which derived from the literal form
"yu4" as in "yu4tau4" (fish head). Cantonese speakers then always think that
fish is a shangsheng in Mandarin and produce the tone yu3 iunstead. Similar
mistakes can occur if they learn Hakka or other dialects.
I hope the above essay can help you understanding Cantonese and Hakka. I can
go into more details if anyone of you are interested.
Liu Zinfad (Lau Chunfat).