Why should it be classified according to language Re: Compare Chinese costume with Kimono and Korean's Hanbok

1 view
Skip to first unread message

~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 3:57:01 PM10/24/01
to
On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 23:56:03 +0000 (UTC), ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Chang
~{VY) wrote:

>>>
>>>Who cares whether they are "Han" Chinese or not.
>>>Why don't you define what you mean by "Han" Chinese?
>>>
>>>Eric
>>
>>
>>Han Chinese are the one who's mother tongue is a Han dialects, which can be written in Chinese writing solely.
>>
>
>Why should it be classified according to language? Burmese and Vietnamese
>are also Sino-Tibetan but they most certainly are not Han-Chinese. Many


Han dialects is just part of Sino-Tibetan language group.


>Chinese dialects could not easily be written in Chinese, so I guess Cantonese
>and Fujianese (Hokkienese) should not be classified as Han Chinese?


Not true, they teach Chinese using Cantonese dialect in Hong Kong and Hokkian
dialect in Taiwan, if these two dialects were non-written dialect like you claim
them to be, then the teaching couldn't be done in these dialects. see these
websites:
http://www.edu.tw/mandr/allbook/taihtm/index2.htm
http://www.edu.tw/mandr/result/taihtm2
http://www.edu.tw/mandr/allbook/taihtm/B322.htm

http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Canton2/open.html
http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Canton/
http://chunchun.uhome.net/GB.htm


>
>Isn't it true that the Mandarin or Putonghua spoken in China today is
>heavily influenced by the Manchus?


I think most of the Manchu influence on Northern dialects of China is on the
pronounciation only, this is pale compare to the Sanskrit's enrichment of
Chinese language when it come to words describing sprituality. And English
influence of Chinese language on the modern scienctific terms.

They only left something like Gege (Manchu princess) to Chinese vocabulary.

>
>My point is, China has been incorporating many cultures and influences
>over the ages. There is no reason to reject Manchu influences as
>foreign


Again, by your logic, if Japan sucessfully conquer China in 1940's, then
Japanese infulences over China should also be consider "domestic inter-infulence
between East Asian people"? Alien conquerer from outside Great Wall are alien
conquerer all right? We shouldn't rewrite history just because the present
China rule over both sides of Great Wall.


>and accept everything Ming or Sung as authentic "Han", when
>"non-Han" peoples and cultures have been influencing China long before
>the Sung dynasty.
>
>
>Eric
>
>
>
>In article <8gmbttc49uf9grb54...@4ax.com>,
>~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin <zan...@malandrin.org> wrote:
>>On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 20:26:01 +0000 (UTC), ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Chang
>>~{VY) wrote:

>>Manchu belong to a different language group -- Altaic
>>http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?name=Altaic&subid=709
>>
>>, and Han dialects belong to the Sino-Tibetan group
>>http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?name=Sino%2DTibetan&subid=872
>>, see this sentece of Manchu
>>
>>翻譯成羅馬拼音的一段滿洲話﹕
>>
>>tere inenggi sure kan, nenehe genggiyen kan i yabuha kooli bithe be
>>juwe howajan jang jiyan, jang ing kui de niru seme afabuha weile be
>>nirume wajiha sain seme jang jiyan de emu juru niyalma, emu ihan, jang
>>ing kui de emu juru nayalma sangnaha.
>>
>>This is the Chinese translation
>>翻譯成中國文字﹕
>>
>>「那天﹐聰睿汗(按指清太宗皇太極)以先英明汗(指清太祖努爾哈齊﹐滿文genggiyen
>>為英明之意。早年清代官書中有直譯為庚寅汗的)的實際經歷的書﹐命令兩個畫匠張儉
>>﹑張應魁畫出。這託付的事畫完了﹔因為畫得好﹐便賞了張儉兩個人﹐一頭牛﹔給張應
>>魁兩個人。」
>>
>>常用滿語例句﹕
>>
>>1。你好How are you?
>>
>>si sain
>>
>>你 好
>>
>>2。你身體好嗎﹖Are you feeling well?
>>
>>sini beye dursun sain nio?
>>
>>你的 身 體 好 嗎﹖
>>
>>3。很好Very well.
>>
>>umesi sain
>>
>>很 好
>>
>>4。見到你很高興Glad to see you.
>>
>>simbe sabufi umesi urgunjembi
>>
>>你 看見 很 喜悅
>>
>>5。我們好久不見了Long time no see.
>>
>>muse jaci godame bahafi acahaku
>>
>>我們 太 久 得 未會面
>>
>>6。再見See you later.
>>
>>sirame acaki
>>
>>接著 見
>>
>> 
>>
>>7。這是什麼﹖What's this?
>>
>>ere oci ai jaka?
>>
>>這 是 什麼 東西﹖
>>
>>8。這是一本書This is a book.
>>
>>ere oci emu debtelin bithe
>>
>>這 是 一 本 書
>>
>>9。你是什麼民族﹖What is your ethnicity?
>>
>>si ai uksura?
>>
>>你 什麼 民族﹖
>>
>>10。我是滿族I am a Manchu.
>>
>>bi oci manju uksura
>>
>>我 是 滿洲 族
>>
>>
>>Learn some more Manchu here:
>>http://baqizidi.top263.net/mzyw/mzyw.htm
>>
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>In article <3BD5C583...@indiana.edu>,
>>>Anthony J. Bryant <ajbr...@indiana.edu> wrote:
>>>>Eric Chang ~{VY wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> What's sad about it? Aren't Manchus Chinese too?
>>>>> Ma Gua and Qi Pao are nice in their own right?
>>>>> Besides, western suits seem to be the norm today.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>They're not Han Chinese. The Manchu, like the Mongols and the Ch'in, were
>>>>conquering invaders.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>Tony
>>>>
>>>
>>
>

Eric Chang ~{VY

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 4:11:02 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9c5ettgdtoolqqo2l...@4ax.com>,

~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin <zan...@malandrin.org> wrote:

>>My point is, China has been incorporating many cultures and influences
>>over the ages. There is no reason to reject Manchu influences as
>>foreign
>
>
>Again, by your logic, if Japan sucessfully conquer China in 1940's, then
>Japanese infulences over China should also be consider "domestic inter-infulence
>between East Asian people"? Alien conquerer from outside Great Wall are alien
>conquerer all right? We shouldn't rewrite history just because the present
>China rule over both sides of Great Wall.

My point is, we should not reject, in total, cultural influence from a foreign
nation simply because because that nation has commited injustices against
us. Should we reject everything western simply because western nations has
colonized parts of China, and Singapore, and Malaysia, etc.?

Many aspects of western culture are already deeply ingrained into today's
China, and that is mostly positive.


Eric


Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 4:58:28 PM10/24/01
to
~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin wrote:
>
> On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 23:56:03 +0000 (UTC), ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Chang
> ~{VY) wrote:
>
> >>>
> >>>Who cares whether they are "Han" Chinese or not.
> >>>Why don't you define what you mean by "Han" Chinese?
> >>>
> >>>Eric
> >>
> >>
> >>Han Chinese are the one who's mother tongue is a Han dialects, which can be written in Chinese writing solely.
> >>
> >
> >Why should it be classified according to language? Burmese and Vietnamese
> >are also Sino-Tibetan but they most certainly are not Han-Chinese.

Vietnamese is not Sino-Tibetan, it's Austroasiatic.
--
Peter T. Daniels gram...@att.net

Mike Wright

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 6:42:15 PM10/24/01
to
"~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin" wrote:
>
> On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 23:56:03 +0000 (UTC), ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric Chang
> ~{VY) wrote:
>
> >>>
> >>>Who cares whether they are "Han" Chinese or not.
> >>>Why don't you define what you mean by "Han" Chinese?
> >>>
> >>>Eric
> >>
> >>
> >>Han Chinese are the one who's mother tongue is a Han dialects, which can be written in Chinese writing solely.
> >>
> >
> >Why should it be classified according to language? Burmese and Vietnamese
> >are also Sino-Tibetan but they most certainly are not Han-Chinese. Many

Vietnamese is not Sino-Tibetan, it's Mon-Khmer. (Though there are tons
of Chinese loanwords, going back to about the 10th Century AD, IIRC.)

> Han dialects is just part of Sino-Tibetan language group.
>
> >Chinese dialects could not easily be written in Chinese, so I guess Cantonese
> >and Fujianese (Hokkienese) should not be classified as Han Chinese?
>
> Not true, they teach Chinese using Cantonese dialect in Hong Kong and Hokkian
> dialect in Taiwan, if these two dialects were non-written dialect like you claim
> them to be, then the teaching couldn't be done in these dialects. see these
> websites:
> http://www.edu.tw/mandr/allbook/taihtm/index2.htm
> http://www.edu.tw/mandr/result/taihtm2
> http://www.edu.tw/mandr/allbook/taihtm/B322.htm
>
> http://www.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Canton2/open.html
> http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/Canton/
> http://chunchun.uhome.net/GB.htm

The words that can't be written are generally non-Han loans. During
the early stages of writing, non-Han loans regularly got characters
assigned to them. This process appears to have tapered off at some
point, though the Cantonese continued to apply the process. Hokkien
speakers don't seem to have done much of this kind of thing.

Of course, the writing system is not relevant to defining a language family.

> >Isn't it true that the Mandarin or Putonghua spoken in China today is
> >heavily influenced by the Manchus?

I can't find any documentation supporting this.

> I think most of the Manchu influence on Northern dialects of China is on the
> pronounciation only, this is pale compare to the Sanskrit's enrichment of
> Chinese language when it come to words describing sprituality. And English
> influence of Chinese language on the modern scienctific terms.
>
> They only left something like Gege (Manchu princess) to Chinese vocabulary.

<soc.culture-type stuff snipped>

--
Mike Wright
http://www.CoastalFog.net
_______________________________________
"I think Descartes got it wrong.
It's not 'I think, therefore I am.'
It's 'I am, therefore I don't know.'"
--Ken Fair

Eric Chang ~{VY

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 6:55:08 PM10/24/01
to
In article <3BD743A4...@coastalfog.net>,

Mike Wright <dar...@coastalfog.net> wrote:
>
>The words that can't be written are generally non-Han loans. During
>the early stages of writing, non-Han loans regularly got characters
>assigned to them. This process appears to have tapered off at some
>point, though the Cantonese continued to apply the process. Hokkien
>speakers don't seem to have done much of this kind of thing.

I have often heard people mention a Cantonese Vietnamese connection
in terms of shared heritage. Language-wise, does Cantonese and
Vietnamese have any connections?


Eric


Mike Wright

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 11:29:05 PM10/24/01
to
Eric Chang ~{VY wrote:
>

Nothing particularly direct, if I understand what I've read on the
subject (always a chancy assumption). Of course, all my sources
concentrate on Chinese, rather than on Vietnamese, so the details are
often skipped over. It may be that Cantonese and Vietnamese share some
non-Han vocab items, but I don't know anything about that. Perhaps
Patrick Chew, Lee Sau Dan, Tak To, or Thomas Chan have an answer.
(Though I wouldn't be surprised if they have several answers.)

Although loanwords have come into Vietnamese both before and after the
Middle Chinese period, there was a relatively large influx of
vocabulary when the Chinese writing system was adopted. One of the
first things I noticed when I studied Vietnamese was that technical,
scientific, and military terms tended to sound a lot like Hokkien,
which I was just learning at the time.

As I understand it, the Vietnamese tone system is somewhat analogous
to the Middle Chinese tone system (two registers with four tone
contours each), and loans tend to be fitted into that tone system in a
fairly regular way. It happens that Cantonese has done the best job of
any Chinese languge of preserving the Middle Chinese tone categories,
though apparently not the actual tone contours.

Vietnamese permits a variety of final stops, so the final stops of
Middle Chinese are preserved to a great extent--but not necessarily
with their original values. The palatalized finals <nh> and <ch> are
often used where Middle Chinese had [N] and [k], respectively. I think
that this may be regular, depending on the preceding vowel(s). It also
happens that Cantonese has done the best job of any Chinese language
of preserving the Middle Chinese final stops.

The one case where Vietnamese has done a *better* job than Cantonese
is in retaining final [p] in syllables with a labial/labiodental
initial. Hakka is the only Chinese language that has maintained final
[p] in that situation. In Cantonese and Hokkien, it generally changes
to [t]. The standard example is Mand. <fa3>, "law".

Vietnamese doesn't seem to have done quite as neat a job with the
Middle Chinese initial consonants. I'm not sure about the vowels.

Gee. If we'd ever gotten sci.lang.chinese rolling, all this could have
been in the FAQ, and it could have been written by someone like
Patrick, who actually knows what he's talking about. Anyone out there
tempted to try again? I still have the charter stashed somewhere, but
have neither the time nor the expertise to run it through the system.

Eric Chang ~{VY

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 2:34:31 AM10/25/01
to
Wow! Thanks for the info, but this is a little beyond me.
Can you explain it in more layman terms?


Eric

Eric Chang ~{VY

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 2:35:39 AM10/25/01
to
In article <9r8bpn$1knn$1...@agate.berkeley.edu>,

In particular, can you explain what is "Middle Chinese"?


Mike Wright

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 3:50:47 AM10/25/01
to
Eric Chang ~{VY wrote:
>
> In article <9r8bpn$1knn$1...@agate.berkeley.edu>,
> Eric Chang ~{VY <ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:
> >Wow! Thanks for the info, but this is a little beyond me.
> >Can you explain it in more layman terms?

But I am a layman...

> >Eric
>
> In particular, can you explain what is "Middle Chinese"?

I'll try to avoid errors by sticking with quotes as much as possible.

The term "Middle Chinese" covers two varieties of Chinese, Early
Middle Chinese and Late Middle Chinese.

"Early Middle Chinese is the language of the _Qieyun_ rhyme dictionary
of A.D. 601, which codified the standard literary language of both
North and South China, the preceding period of division. Pulleyblank's
reconstruction is a thorough reworking of that of Bernhard Karlgren
[who called it 'Ancient Chinese'], completed in the twenties, and in
some respects differs radically from it. Late Middle Chinese is the
standard language of the High Tang Dynasty, based on the dialect of
the capital, Chang'an. It has not been reconstructed previously as a
separate stage but is of special importance, since it is the ancestor
of most modern dialects."
--from the flyleaf of _Lexicon of Reconstructed Pronunciation in Early
Middle Chinese, Late Middle Chinese, and Early Mandarin_, by Edwin G. Pulleyblank

"Because of this difference in geographical base, one cannot, strictly
speaking, consider LMC to have evolved from EMC. The little available
evidence however, makes it impossible to reconstruct the earlier forms
of Chang'an dialect which lie behind LMC. At the same time, the
phonological categories of EMC and LMC are very largely commensurate.
That is, one can usually category A of LMC corresponds to categories
B and C of EMC, or that the category X of LMC corresponds to a
definable part of category Y of EMC. This makes it clear that LMC must
go back to an earlier form of the language which made the same
distinctions as those found in EMC, and it makes sense to treat it *as
if* it had evolved from EMC."
--pages 129-130 of _Middle Chinese: A Study in Historical Phonology_,
also by E.G. Pulleyblank

The reconstruction of Late Middle Chinese is based on evidence from
rhyme tables and poetry, the rendering of Sanskrit Buddhist terms in
Chinese, transcriptions of Chinese terms in Tibetan, the modern
"dialects", Sino-Korean, Sino-Vietnamese, and the Kan'on variety of Sino-Japanese.

It's a very complex process, and it seems to me that the results
represent more phonemic categories than phonetic reality. That is, for
any one of the modern varieties of the language, it should be possible
to hypothesize a set of regular sound changes by which that language
can be derived from the reconstructed ancestor. Obviously this is an
ideal that can only be approached, not reached. Among other things, it
requires the reconstruction of the forms of the variousl Sino-Xenic
languges as they were at the time they borrowed most of their Chinese
vocabulary. It's hard to avoid a certain degree of circularity in the reconstructions.

To me, the actual arguments are almost mind-numbing in their detail,
but I keep wading through them, hoping that something will sink in. I
know a bit of standard Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien, Japanese, and
Vietnamese, which gives me something concrete to relate to the theory.

I don't know much, myself, but I have some really good books and some
idea of how to find things in them.

Tak To

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 10:57:31 AM10/25/01
to
"~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin" wrote:
>
> I think most of the Manchu influence on Northern dialects of China is on the
> pronounciation only, this is pale compare to the Sanskrit's enrichment of
> Chinese language when it come to words describing sprituality. And English
> influence of Chinese language on the modern scienctific terms.
>
> They only left something like Gege (Manchu princess) to Chinese vocabulary.

Don't forget <tai4tai> (wife), <sa1qi2ma2> (a dessert), etc.

Tak
-----------------------------------------------------------+----------
Tak To ta...@alum.mit.edu.-
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the .- to get my real email addr

Mike Wright

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 1:01:26 PM10/25/01
to
Tak To wrote:
>
> "~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin" wrote:
> >
> > I think most of the Manchu influence on Northern dialects of China is on the
> > pronounciation only, this is pale compare to the Sanskrit's enrichment of
> > Chinese language when it come to words describing sprituality. And English
> > influence of Chinese language on the modern scienctific terms.
> >
> > They only left something like Gege (Manchu princess) to Chinese vocabulary.
>
> Don't forget <tai4tai> (wife), <sa1qi2ma2> (a dessert), etc.

In the case of <tai4tai>, at least, the influence was not just on
Northern Chinese. In my 1873 Hokkien dictionary, <thai3-thai3> is
given as "wife of the prefect of a Foo department, or of a Hsi-fang,
or of a Kujin." And now it's just "wife".

And is <tai4tai> really due to the influence of the Manchu language?
<tai4> occurs in so many terms as a kind of honorific. Is it from a
Manchu word, or a simply a translation of a Manchu word? Finally, was
it not used in this way before the Qing Dynasty?

What are the characters for Gege and <sa1qi2ma2>? I can't find either
in any of my dictionaries that are arranged by sound, including the
cleverly titled _A Chinese-English Dictionary_ from Beijing and
_Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary_.

Eric Chang ~{VY

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 1:19:13 PM10/25/01
to
In article <3BD8455D...@coastalfog.net>,

Mike Wright <dar...@coastalfog.net> wrote:
>What are the characters for Gege and <sa1qi2ma2>? I can't find either
>in any of my dictionaries that are arranged by sound, including the
>cleverly titled _A Chinese-English Dictionary_ from Beijing and
>_Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary_.

Don't know about sa1qi2ma2, but here is gege:


| /--
| / \
--- \/
/|\ /\
/ | \ / \
| --

steve

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 1:54:12 PM10/25/01
to
In article <3BD8455D...@coastalfog.net>, dar...@coastalfog.net says...

>
>Tak To wrote:
>>
>> "~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin" wrote:
>> >
>> > I think most of the Manchu influence on Northern dialects of China is on the
>> > pronounciation only, this is pale compare to the Sanskrit's enrichment of
>> > Chinese language when it come to words describing sprituality. And English
>> > influence of Chinese language on the modern scienctific terms.
>> >
>> > They only left something like Gege (Manchu princess) to Chinese vocabulary.
>>
>> Don't forget <tai4tai> (wife), <sa1qi2ma2> (a dessert), etc.
>
>In the case of <tai4tai>, at least, the influence was not just on
>Northern Chinese. In my 1873 Hokkien dictionary, <thai3-thai3> is
>given as "wife of the prefect of a Foo department, or of a Hsi-fang,
>or of a Kujin." And now it's just "wife".
>
>And is <tai4tai> really due to the influence of the Manchu language?
><tai4> occurs in so many terms as a kind of honorific. Is it from a
>Manchu word, or a simply a translation of a Manchu word? Finally, was
>it not used in this way before the Qing Dynasty?
>
>What are the characters for Gege and <sa1qi2ma2>? I can't find either
>in any of my dictionaries that are arranged by sound, including the
>cleverly titled _A Chinese-English Dictionary_ from Beijing and
>_Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary_.

http://zhongwen.com/
>
>--
>Mike Wright

steve

Tak To

unread,
Oct 25, 2001, 2:48:10 PM10/25/01
to
Mike Wright wrote:

> What are the characters for Gege and <sa1qi2ma2>? I can't find either
> in any of my dictionaries that are arranged by sound, including the
> cleverly titled _A Chinese-English Dictionary_ from Beijing and
> _Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary_.

Oops, I meant <sa4qi2ma3>

<sa4> as in <pu2sa4> "bodhisattva"; sometimes written as <sha1> "sand";
<qi2> is either "strange", or that in <qi2ta1> ("other"), or "flag";
<ma3> is "horse".

It is made up of little lumps of rod shaped fried dough (size slightly
bigger than pencil-end erasers) glued together by syrup.

Someone has explained <ge2ge2> already. The term is uncommon outside
of history text until it was popularized a couple of years ago by a
Taiwan TV drama series called <huan2 zhu1 ge2ge2> (return.pearl.princess).

Tak To

unread,
Oct 26, 2001, 11:11:58 AM10/26/01
to
Mike Wright wrote:

> In the case of <tai4tai>, at least, the influence was not just on
> Northern Chinese. In my 1873 Hokkien dictionary, <thai3-thai3> is
> given as "wife of the prefect of a Foo department, or of a Hsi-fang,
> or of a Kujin." And now it's just "wife".
>
> And is <tai4tai> really due to the influence of the Manchu language?
> <tai4> occurs in so many terms as a kind of honorific. Is it from a
> Manchu word, or a simply a translation of a Manchu word? Finally, was
> it not used in this way before the Qing Dynasty?

OK, I look up the Morohashi and once again folk etymology is
wrong and I stand corrected. The usage as "wife of official of rank
<zhong1 chang2> or higher" was dated to Ming.

Morohashi also quotes a later source noting that the usage as simply
"wife" ("even those of beggars") was prevalent in "places in <Yen4> and
<Zhao2>" (i.e., around Beijing) in Qing.

Peter Zohrab

unread,
Oct 27, 2001, 3:26:51 PM10/27/01
to
The point is that you cannot write all the so-called "dialects" of Chinese
in *all and only* the characters that you use for Mandarin/putonghua/gouyu.
You could write any language in Chinese characters if you wanted to -- by
adding special characters as needed.

The difference between "dialects" and "languages" is largely political, in
every part of the world. The Dutch "language", for example, is
linguistically closer to
some North German "dialects" than they are to standard "German."

In China, the Communists drew back from the brink of replacing characters
with Pinyin as the writing system because (amongst other reasons) characters
are what make lots of somewhat diverse peoples think that they are all
"Chinese" or "Han". If you started writing all these "dialects" in Pinyin,
people would find it very hard to communicate, it would become blindingly
obvious that Cantonese, Hokkien and Mandarin (etc) are very different from
each other, and regional separatism would inevitably result.

Anyone can see the physical differences between "Han" people from different
parts of China, so the term "Han" is a cultural, rather than a racial term,
and the characters are the core of this cultural concept.

Peter Zohrab

----- Original Message -----
From: "~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin" <zan...@malandrin.org>
Newsgroups: sci.lang,soc.culture.china
Sent: Thursday, 25 October 2001 8:57 a.m.
Subject: Re: Why should it be classified according to language Re: Compare
Chinese costume with Kimono and Korean's Hanbok


> On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 23:56:03 +0000 (UTC), ecc...@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU (Eric
Chang
> ~{VY) wrote:
> >Chinese dialects could not easily be written in Chinese, so I guess
Cantonese
> >and Fujianese (Hokkienese) should not be classified as Han Chinese?
>

<snip>

Patrick Chew

unread,
Oct 27, 2001, 5:56:46 PM10/27/01
to
Peter Zohrab wrote:

> The point is that you cannot write all the so-called "dialects" of Chinese
> in *all and only* the characters that you use for Mandarin/putonghua/gouyu.
> You could write any language in Chinese characters if you wanted to -- by
> adding special characters as needed.

Correct. The Cantonese and Minnan regions have a long standing history
of colloquial/vernacular literature... using 'vulgar' characters where
the 'standard' fails to represent the colloquial. Hong Kong actually
has a newspaper published completely in colloquial Cantonese...
THough it shoudl be pointed out that while education in Taiwan and
HJong Kong is often verbally taught in the local vernacular, written
standards are still based on Mandarin, with diglossic mental tranlsation
taking place all the time.


> In China, the Communists drew back from the brink of replacing characters
> with Pinyin as the writing system because (amongst other reasons) characters
> are what make lots of somewhat diverse peoples think that they are all
> "Chinese" or "Han". If you started writing all these "dialects" in Pinyin,
> people would find it very hard to communicate, it would become blindingly
> obvious that Cantonese, Hokkien and Mandarin (etc) are very different from
> each other, and regional separatism would inevitably result.

True... I've seen the various pinyin systems for southeastern Chinese
'dialects.' Even the systems for Chaozhou, Xiamen, and Zhangzhou (all
Minnan) were very very different in many respects.

> Anyone can see the physical differences between "Han" people from different
> parts of China, so the term "Han" is a cultural, rather than a racial term,
> and the characters are the core of this cultural concept.

among other things....

cheers,
-Patrick

Mike Wright

unread,
Oct 27, 2001, 6:43:32 PM10/27/01
to
Patrick Chew wrote:

[...]


> THough it shoudl be pointed out that while education in Taiwan and
> HJong Kong is often verbally taught in the local vernacular, written
> standards are still based on Mandarin, with diglossic mental tranlsation
> taking place all the time.

[...]

(Spell checker broken? :-) )

Is this true now in Taiwan? When my kids were in school there, they
weren't permitted to speak Hokkien even amongst themselves. I just
asked my older son, who went through the third grade, and he says that
he doesn't recall *ever* hearing or speaking anything but Mandarin in
school. On the other hand, I never heard him speak Mandarin at home,
except with me.

However he doesn't really recall that it was forbidden--I heard about
this from his mother at the time. She said that kids would be punished
if they spoke Hokkien (or, presumably, Hakka).

The idea of just throwing kids into school to deal with new second
language may seem extreme, but this is how both my kids learned
English, and my son does have the impression that he might have picked
up a tiny bit of Mandarin before starting school.

~{4sBm;*So~}Malandrin

unread,
Oct 28, 2001, 11:09:25 AM10/28/01
to
On Sun, 28 Oct 2001 08:26:51 +1300, "Peter Zohrab" <zoh...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:

>The point is that you cannot write all the so-called "dialects" of Chinese
>in *all and only* the characters that you use for Mandarin/putonghua/gouyu.
>You could write any language in Chinese characters if you wanted to -- by
>adding special characters as needed.
>
>The difference between "dialects" and "languages" is largely political, in
>every part of the world. The Dutch "language", for example, is
>linguistically closer to
>some North German "dialects" than they are to standard "German."
>
>In China, the Communists drew back from the brink of replacing characters


Believe me, even during he hay day of wenzigaigek, they were still million of
light years away from successfully implementing the policy of total wenzigaigek.
Look at these:

http://geocities.com/lindaisange
Even the 2nd version of simplify scheme were sneered by the public, how can you
say they "drew back from the brink"?

Patrick Chew

unread,
Oct 28, 2001, 8:56:04 PM10/28/01
to
Mike Wright wrote:

> (Spell checker broken? :-) )

Buh... composed and sent in a rush.. =P

> Is this true now in Taiwan? When my kids were in school there, they
> weren't permitted to speak Hokkien even amongst themselves. I just
> asked my older son, who went through the third grade, and he says that
> he doesn't recall *ever* hearing or speaking anything but Mandarin in
> school. On the other hand, I never heard him speak Mandarin at home,
> except with me.

Hrm.. ok.. during the KMT installation up until the lifting of martial
law, true.. non-Mandarin vernacular was not permitted. From what I
gathered though, prior to Japanese/KMT take-overs, the vernacular was
used ... then again, back then it would've been <wenyan> instead of
Mandarin.. so hrm..
At least I know in HK, it was/is the case...



> However he doesn't really recall that it was forbidden--I heard about
> this from his mother at the time. She said that kids would be punished
> if they spoke Hokkien (or, presumably, Hakka).

Well, my instructors who were raised in Taiwan during those times told
horror stories of Mainlander teachers who would verbally abuse anyone
speaking a non-Mandarin dialect (even though his/her "Mandarin" may be
so locally accented, i.e. Hubei, some NW vernacular, etc...), sometimes
would draw a red circle around a student's mouth, and even went so far
as to physically abuse the students.

> The idea of just throwing kids into school to deal with new second
> language may seem extreme, but this is how both my kids learned
> English, and my son does have the impression that he might have picked
> up a tiny bit of Mandarin before starting school.

sink or swim, neh?

cheers,
-Patrick

ps.: how's [a33 m51]? Sin33khu51 h@51 bo33?

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages