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Re. Hagga munti
Re. Hag5ga1 mun4ti2 - ko3 nen2 mao2 mun4ti2
My brother-in-law is a Cantonese speaker, and he can't speak any Hakka. My mum does not speak Cantonese, but she can understand him. She speaks Hakka to him, and he understands her. So it is possible to communicate, even though one does not speak the other's language. It is through coming into contact and being exposed to the other's dialect that understanding eventually develops.
I would think itinerant Hakka folk in the past would be able to socialise rather being isolationist. The Tower of Babel fable expressed an immediate change where each person began to speak a different tongue from his neighbour, nothing like what Zinfad said. He says the opposite, that the change is gradual, where Hakka and Cantonese today, together with a few other dialects may have a common ancestor.
By creolize, Zinfad hit the nail on the head, a common communication patois must have sprung up when the groups (now diversified) met up. Think of how much Hakka vocabulary now comes from education in another dialect, but embraced and converted into a Hakka reading. It has expanded to include terms for all sorts of modern things, such as tian4 nao3 (computer) or su1 yim1 gi1 (radio) etc. Even without creolisation, there is a possibility for communication via the most important thing you've forgotten about - writing!
Remember, the village, provincial, and imperial examinations are open to people of all backgrounds, and that being so, there would be intelligentsia from each and every dialect. Communication may not only rely on Hakka/Cantonese but GuanHua between the educated also. Classical Chinese survived until this century, and still being taught in some places. Don't forget our common culture in your consideration.
(This brings up WW2 era when Chinese could communicate with Japanese through writing, as Classical Chinese was and is still being taught in Japan. You can't get more different a couple of languages than that...)
Clem Lee wrote:
:As stated by you:
:3. My research is now focussing on Language change and shift in Southern
:China, and I would like to share my findings with anyone of you. To sum
:up: both Hakka and Modern Cantonese (and aslso most dialects in Jiangxi)
:are the descendants of a common tongue coming from the northern central
:plain. Old dialects in Guangdong have been displaced and creolized by
:this strong dialect and are only found in the remoted areas like hilly
:regions in Northern Guangdong. They are now referred to "Tuhua"
:If "Hakka and Modern Cantonese (most dialects in Jiangxi)" originated
:from "one common tongue", why are they so different sounding that a
:Hakka, a Cantonese or someone from Jiangxi can't understand one another
:if they use their own respective dialects to speak to one another?
:The Hakkas and Cantonese have been neighbours for hundreds of years, is
:it possible for them to change or evolve the "common tongue" of the
:"northern central plain" so drastically so that they can't communicate
:by speech using their respective dialect?
:My question really is:
:How did all that happen? With all due respects, your theory sounds very
:much like the Bible story of "the Tower of Babel" !!!