Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Discussions on the Cantonese language.
Anonymous

Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Anonymous » Fri Aug 17, 2001 6:40 am

Hello everyone,
I think that Cantonese originally weren't Chinese.
"Why?" you might ask. Well, for starters, if you look at the maps of ancient China, the Cantonese regions weren't even taken over until the Qin dynasty. Plus, look at the similarity between the way we (the Cantonese) say "yes" compared to the Japanese.
What do you think?

cherry8829_wong

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby cherry8829_wong » Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:18 am

Hi.Anonymous:
U couldnot say cantonese isnot chinese fm One word.U know Japanese language based on Chinese?
"Cantonese."is only a dialect of China.Such as sheung hai language...ect.
cherry

Thomas Chan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Thomas Chan » Fri Aug 17, 2001 2:34 pm

: I think that Cantonese originally weren't
: Chinese. "Why?" you might ask. Well, for
: starters, if you look at the maps of ancient
: China, the Cantonese regions weren't even
: taken over until the Qin dynasty. Plus,
What makes you think the Cantonese aren't
descendants of the people who were sent to
take over and colonize those regions?
On the other hand, its possible that there
was intermarriage with the indigenous
population.

: look at the similarity between the way we
: (the Cantonese) say "yes" compared to the
: Japanese.
That's probably an accidental coincidence.
With all the languages out there and the
limited number of sounds that humans can
produce and the limited number of ways that
they can be combined, its bound to happen.
Also, have you considered the possibility
of loanwords?

Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu

Anonymous

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Anonymous » Fri Aug 17, 2001 4:46 pm

Sure, it's only one word (that I found). However, you can't just say that it's "just a coincidence". Of any other language, was Japanese and not any other language?

Anonymous

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Anonymous » Fri Aug 17, 2001 4:54 pm

Correction: Japanese only borrowed some Chinese words, when they came on an expedition to study Buddhism in China. So you can't say that "Japanese is based on Chinese".
And if you want to add something like "maybe they went to Guangdong and took some vocabulary from there", well, my question to that would be:
"Why not go further south-east to Tibet or India to study buddhism?"
/|
|
The reason for this, is because they wanted to study Chinese culture. So "where else would be a better place to study Chinese culture, other than the capitol of China?"
Now, for those of you who are confused at where I've pulled this conversation: "I still stick by the idea, that we (the cantonese) were originally not Chinese"

Thomas Chan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Thomas Chan » Fri Aug 17, 2001 6:51 pm

: Sure, it's only one word (that I found).
: However, you can't just say that it's "just
: a coincidence". Of any other language, was
: Japanese and not any other language?
Since you're claiming there is a relationship
betweeen Cantonese hai and Japanese hai, you're
the one that has to show that it is the case.
I presume you are claiming that Cantonese hai
comes from Japanese hai, right?
There are several problems. One is that
Japanese h- used to be p-. When they borrowed
words such as 'sign' from Middle Chinese
around the time of the Sui and Tang dynasties,
(paai in Cantonese), they first rendered it
as *pai, but then p- became h- in Japanese
(you can see this in places like the kana system,
where the non-"voiced" version of ba/bi/bu/be/bo
is no longer *pa/pi/pu/pe/po like it was when it
was set up, but ha/hi/hu/he/ho). However, p-
came into the language later, so when they
borrowed 'sign' again (in the sense of 'mahjong
tile', it was borrowed as pai, and is so to
this day. If you're proposing that Cantonese
hai is from Japanese, then you need to show
that such a word existed in Japanese at that
point in history (pre-Qin times?), and also
explain how and why *pai become hai, since
Chinese languages have always had p-.
Also, hai 'yes' in Cantonese is really 'it is',
i.e., the copula, rather than a special word
just for "yes". (Compare its antonym,
m-hai 'no', which is actually 'it is not'). This
is not the case in Japanese, where the copula 'is'
is not hai, but da/desu (and various other similar
variations). However, they do have hai/ee as a
separate word for 'yes' (and iie/ie for 'no').

Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu

Anonymous

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Anonymous » Mon Aug 20, 2001 3:53 am

For a note: "I'm not claiming that he Cantonese 'hai' comes from the Japanese 'hai'
Think of it in these terms: "Before the 秦 dynasty, we had our own sovereignty. However, somwhere along the 秦dynasty and when 南越王 carved out his piece of the land to rule, we fled to Japan." or,
if you're familiar with the story about 秦始皇 sending a bunch of people on an expedition for that "eternal life medicine", where the people stayed there and their descendants became the descendants of the modern-day Japanese person; now unless I have my dates wrong, you could explain add the following hypothesis into the story: "Because he gained new territory in the south (the Cantonese regions), he used those people to go look for the medicine."
And actually, in their "kana-system", the kana for all sounds that begin with "h" are only pronounced with a "p" sound, is when you add a little tiny circle on the upper-right corner of the word, and are pronounced with "b" sounds, when you add parentheses-like strokes or dots at the uper-right hand corner. So, are you sure about the "h-p/b dillemma"?

Anonymous

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Anonymous » Mon Aug 20, 2001 4:14 am

Correction, to the statement that "Japanese borrowed from Cantonese", I meant to say that "Japanese are ethnically related to Cantonese"

Red Sultan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Red Sultan » Tue Aug 21, 2001 1:07 am

Keep in mind that not all people living in China are necessarily Chinese. It has been displayed in various regions that several different groups had their own distinct culture. China was not always unified. It was many different tribes/countries long before unity ever occurred and unity was not always stable (as in the Three Kingdoms, the Warring States Period, the relocation of the Sung dynasty after Beijing fell to invaders). For example, the city of Chongqing, long before it became annexed into Imperial China had its own culture and perhaps its own language as well. The mountainsides of Chongqing has carvings of fierce pagan gods non-existent in mainstream Chinese culture. The original Chongqing people were also primarily decimated due to war and thus the Emperor called for a migration to this region. Its likely that the Emperor called for migration to other regions thus cultures mixed together until they became absorbed into the Chinese or were destroyed by the Chinese. If you look at a map of the Qin Dynasty, the region that is now Guangzhou province is left unclaimed. So who lived there? Its likely that there were independent tribes living in this region. And later in Chinese history, the Chinese people migrated into this region, mixing with the original people, thus eliminating their cultural identity. Another thing to mention, if you look at records of the earlier dynasty such as the Xia, Shang, and Chou, they all existed in the northern regions, not southern.

Red Sultan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Red Sultan » Tue Aug 21, 2001 1:08 am

: Keep in mind that not all people living in China are necessarily Chinese. It has been displayed in various regions that several different groups had their own distinct culture. China was not always unified. It was many different tribes/countries long before unity ever occurred and unity was not always stable (as in the Three Kingdoms, the Warring States Period, the relocation of the Sung dynasty after Beijing fell to invaders). For example, the city of Chongqing, long before it became annexed into Imperial China had its own culture and perhaps its own language as well. The mountainsides of Chongqing has carvings of fierce pagan gods non-existent in mainstream Chinese culture. The original Chongqing people were also primarily decimated due to war and thus the Emperor called for a migration to this region. Its likely that the Emperor called for migration to other regions thus cultures mixed together until they became absorbed into the Chinese or were destroyed by the Chinese. If you look at a map of the Qin Dynasty, the region that is now Guangzhou province is left unclaimed. So who lived there? Its likely that there were independent tribes living in this region. And later in Chinese history, the Chinese people migrated into this region, mixing with the original people, thus eliminating their cultural identity. Another thing to mention, if you look at records of the earlier dynasty such as the Xia, Shang, and Chou, they all existed in the northern regions, not southern.

Red Sultan

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Red Sultan » Tue Aug 21, 2001 1:18 am

Oops. Double post...

eatsee

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese??? wrong!

Postby eatsee » Wed Aug 22, 2001 9:25 am

: Hello everyone,
: I think that Cantonese originally weren't Chinese.
: "Why?" you might ask. Well, for starters, if you look at the maps of ancient China, the Cantonese regions weren't even taken over until the Qin dynasty. Plus, look at the similarity between the way we (the Cantonese) say "yes" compared to the Japanese.
: What do you think?

Concerning the way the Japanese say "yes" is similar to the Cantonese "yes", please refer to your Japanese teacher, as they all know that in Japanese, it should be "so" instead of "hai", but in the turn of the 20th century, the Japanese suddenly borrowed the Cantonese word "yes" and used that as their own because they found the Cantonese word "yes" was more powerful and clear for articulation purpose.

Martin Lee

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby Martin Lee » Sat Dec 08, 2001 7:07 pm

It's true. The Cantonese have to free themselves from the yoke of the northerns. Long live the (soon to be) independent Cantonese people.

Sum Won (formerly Anonym

Re:

Postby Sum Won (formerly Anonym » Mon Mar 11, 2002 6:54 pm

Maybe, you should refer to your Japanese teacher again, and find out which parts in what context of the language, "so" would mean "yes". Anyways, if any of you still don't believe me, you should read Si Ma Qian's "Shi Ji". Or, Schafer's "The Vermilion Bird: T'ang Images of the South".
*If you'd like to reply to me through e-mail, you'd probably have to send it twice, because my mail server's pretty screwed up.*

KHP

Re: Cantonese originally not Chinese???

Postby KHP » Sat Mar 23, 2002 11:35 pm

Very possible that cantonese is not a Chinese language.....before Vietnam was conquered by China in around B.C. - A.D. changeover, the provinces of Guangdong and Guangsi were part of the Viet kingdom of Nam Viet.


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