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Re: Hagga munti
:My question was - if the the Hakka dialects, modern Cantonese and most
:dialects in Jiangxi were descended from "one common tongue", as stated
:by Mr. Liu zinfad, why did the dialects become so different sounding,
:even though the Hakkas, Cantonese and people from Jiangxi were
There aren't any clear cut answers despite the simplicity of the question. All I know is that some dialects change at different rates to others. Why this is so I am not sure.
I would expect that my spoken Hakka sounds will differ from my forebears of say, 150 years ago, roughly five generations back. I'd expect the same to have occured at roughly the same period from that. Once one loses contact with one's forebears, as they naturally succumb to old age, we loose another stratum of sounds from another earlier era. Language change is therefore slow but progressive, rather non-changing, static if you will. Perhaps your dialect of Hakka also differs in some ways from the area of China from which originates too.
My dialect is from the northern borders of the HK-SAR, but I have met folks from Meixian, Donguan and GuanLan. The distance is not great from the HK-SAR to Guanlan (about 100km), or to Dongguan (about 240km), to Meixian (about 1100km). Not exactly vast distances, but even with our own language of Hakka, the dialects sound different.
Between the dialects, different groups migrated from different areas of China originally. In Zhou times, it is thought that modern Cantonese speakers came from the southern Dukal Fiefdom of Chu. Hakka speakers, are thought to be spread across a belt east to west across many fiefdoms. My source is
Xianggang fangyan yu putonghua 香港方言與普通話 (Xianggangren zixue putonghua congshu)
(香港人自學普通話叢書) by Li XinKui 李新魁, published by
ZhongHua ShuJu 中華書局. ISBN 962-231-214-4. December 1988.
By the Zhou times, a common language was required to enable communication between the various states, that is, dialects had alread been diversified. If Chinese culture sprung from a common source, then a common tongue is possible for the development later into the Zhou linguistical state of affairs.
However, Chinese culture can also be sprung from many parallel civilisations that later unified into the Xia and Shang times, one ascending whilst the other declinng (though this is speculation of my part).
:Actually, I draw different conclusions from that of Mr. Liu zinfad. I
:would like to offer this theory:
:Because China is such a vast land, there were many native ethnic groups
:occupying different parts of it. Each group probably had their own
:culture, language, etc. Through assimilation over time, with the
:conquests of the Mongols, Manchus and the different Dynasties, the
:multi-ethnic groups of China assimilated rather than become more
:diversified as offered by Mr. Liu zinfad ("one common tongue" to
:multiple). Mongols(inner), Manchus and today, Tibetans, were or are all
:being assimilated. And the language?
There is no doubt that the invasions and incursions, and assimulations have taken place. The real amazing thing is, under foreign rule, Chinese culture was preserved, and so buffered the change, for the Chinese, at least. Repeatedly it was non-Chinese who assimilated, with only minor influence on the nature of the Chinese language.
You are asking why Southern Chinese dialects can traced to a common source. I think you will have to read Dr. Liu ZinFad's paper to find that out. He has done the work, using linguistic techniques that are accepted throughout his peers, and they credit him with recognition of his findings.
:Mandarin is now considered the
:official speaking language of China. So the process of becoming one
:rather than from one to many is more true.
The difference between now and yesteryear, is of course, mass education. I recall reading someplace that Mancurian is now a dead language - it has no living speakers. All Manchu descendents are using Mandarin.
:There may be similarities, and that's developed over time through
:assimilation, amongst the Hakkas, the Cantonese and people from Jiangxi.
:They came closer together rather than going from "one mother tongue" to
:One Chinese writing and one speaking language(Mandarin) strengthen
:rather than weaken my theory.
Not really. Modern education, mass education did not exist in the past utilising one set standard. Chinese society is based on agriculture. The majority of the folk would have little time to spend on that. Menfolk/boys would've been taught in schools in the villages according to the dialect of their village. Women/girls rarely had an education. It is women and the home hearth which propagates home ethics and instils culture in their offspring. Menfolk have always been elsewhere doing other things.
It was only in this century that we find any wholesale reforms to the Chinese language. Simplification to the Chinese script, introduction of romanisations such as Gwoyeu Romatzyh which utilised the roman alphabet which also coded tones, various other romanisations, including Pinyin and the invention of Zhuyin Fuhao. The original draft for the standardisation GuoYu under the Nationalists, (later becoming Putonghua under the Communists), of pronuciation of spoken Chinese to the Mandarin dialect produced a list of about 14000 character readings I believe, and was expanded in following drafts. So, the unifying of Chinese under one national language open to both men an women is a recent phenomena. The use of GuanHua is very different, as it was only available to an elite number of scholars, who had the chance to rise in public standing as officials. So local and provincial dialects continued to diversify as people migrated from one area to another, as witnessed by the change in Hakka over the geographic distances.
:Re. Hag5ga1 mun4ti2 - ko3 nen2 mao2 mun4ti2
: Hag ga mun thi - ken pun mo mun thi
Did anyone watch the gymnastics broadcasts that were held in China, Tianjin? I was hooked. Amazing level of skill from all athletes of the participating nations.