What Makes Chinese so Vietnamese?
An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies
(Ýthức mới về nguồngốc tiếngViệt)
Table of Contents
Examples of some polysyllabic and dissyllabic vocabularies
The following tabulation of randomly selected wordlists will help the readers make judgement whether: (1) Vietnamese is a dissyllabic language, (2) it should be written in the natural way of combining associated syllables to form a word. This in return will help them understand why a Chinese dissyllabic word when changing into Vietnamese equivalents, it might not follow the same old pattern as monosyllabic words do, (3) make sense of elaborations on other credible findings by other authors that support the postulation of genetic affiliation of those Vietnamese basic words that are cognate to both Sino-Tibetan and Chinese etymologies, (4) analyze supplementary materials as useful tools to approach Vietnamese and Chinese historical phonologies.
I) Composite words:
Ngáoộp, yếuxìu, ủdột, giómáy, lộnxàngầu, liềntùtì, bủnxỉn, rửngmỡ, lậtđật, bệurệu, mốckhính, thúiình, bệrạc, bêtha, chìnhình, đẩyđà, thắcmắc, trịchthượng, trịchbồlương, ởtruồngnhồngnhộng, trầntruồng, tòmò, tấtbật, bứcxúc, bứcrức, nóngtánh, nóngmáy, nónglòng, mongngóng, táymáy, tấtbật, bângkhuâng, bộpchộp, bồihồi, hữnghờ, phảngphất, mơhồ, chạngvạng, chậtvật, khúcmắc, ngờvực, bạttai, tuyệtcúmèo, háchxìxằng, hộtxíngầu, tứđỗtường, sạchbách, yêuđương, thươnghại, ấmcúng, làmbiếng, tộinghiệp, mồcôi, goábụa, híhửng, thấpthỏm... càphê, càrem, càpháo, càlăm, càkêdêngỗng, lacà, càgiựt, càgật, càrá, càrà, càrỡn, càrờ, Càná, càna, càtàng, càchớncàcháo, càtrậtcàduột, càrăng, càdựt, càràng, càlắc, càrịchcàtang, càtàng, càtửng... cùlần, cùlao, cùlét, cầncù, lùcù, cùrũ... hoasoan, hoavôngvang, hoacứtlợn, hoamắt, tàihoa, hoatay, hoaliễu, đàohoa, hoahoèhoasói, bahoa, bahoachíchchoè ... bagai, batrợn, tàiba, ađồngbảyđổi, chúangôiba, hộtxíngầu, caochótvót, baphải, bahồi, bồhòn, bồcâu, baquân... táhoảtamtinh, cứuhoả, hoảlò, hoảdiệmsơn, nhảydù, bếpmúc, baola, thừamứa, đằmthắm, nhạtthếch, chánphèo, ếẩm... châuchấu, bươmbướm, đuđủ, chuồnchuồn, lạcđà, sưtử... dưahấu, dưagan, bíđao, khổqua... trảđủa, chénđũa, bùlubùloa, sàbát, viếtlách, xấcbấcxangbang, tầmbậytầmbạ, tầmphào, bảvơbảláp, trớtquớt, tầmgửi, contầm, bánhtầm, bánhít, bánhdây, bánhdày, bánhxe, coicọp, bắtcóc, đánhcá, cábóng, cháphi, cátô, cáhồng, cáthu, cáẻm, cáchẻm, cáchép, cángừ, cáđộ, đánhđáo, độcđáo, laỏmtỏi, chầndần, càmràm, cằnnhằn, phànnàn, nhõngnhẽo, tiềnnong, ruồngrẫy, obế, tângbốc, bặmtrợn, tréocẳngngỗng, baquexỏlá, thảgiàn, diệuvợi, xaxăm, xaxôi, xalắcxalơ, sạchbách, bângkhuâng, mônglung, ngỡngàng, ngơngác, tọcmạch, heomay, cùichỏ, chânmày, bảvai, chómực, chómá, chóđẻ, nhàquê, nhàvăn, nhàngủ, nhàmát, nhàtu, nhàlao, laocông, laophổi, mộttay, taychơi, tàytrời, tayvợt, chẫmrãi, gấprút, lẹlàng, tệlậu, cửasổ, maymắn, hấphối, dốtnát, thơngây, ủmtỏi, đắngngắt, giàusụ, nghèonàn, chậmrì, lềmề, nhẹhẫng, bãithama, gạocội, ngáoộp, biểnlận, sinhnhai, etc.
NOTE: "Composite" used here is to convey the meaning of something closely affixed to a radical which can not be broken into separate syllables and used independently for either one or both is a bound morpheme even though in the Chinese original form each character can stand alone as a word that may convey a certain meaning. In the category the same etymon appears as a sole syllable in Vietnamese that cannot function by itself that is merely a morpheme and may not mean anything semantically but it needs to appear in combined forms that go with other syllable to make a complete word. This kind of composite words are found numerous in the Vietnamese language that are commonly used in daily life.
To have more clear picture of what it actually means, compare words in English of the same nature: windy, courious, vague, pitiful, lovely, creamy, marvelous, tomato, salmon, unique, vocano, butterfly, kitchen, handy, camel, melon, excited, handsome, etc. Can you break syllables in each of these words into separate units and still use each of them independently with its original meaning? Of course you cannot.
II) Dissyllabic compound words:
Mồhôi, nướcmắt, nhanhchóng, nóngnực, nổigoá, nhàthờ, trườnghọc, giấybút, sinhđẻ, vợchồng, chamẹ, anhem, nhàcửa, trờiđất, đồngruộng, tiềnbạc, bànghế, chuacay, maquỷ, thầnthánh, trờiphật, bảngđen, sôngnúi, nhànước, máybay, sânbay, nhàmáy, ghếngồi, bànviết, giườngngủ, phòngăn, quẹtlửa, máylạnh, tủlạnh, máyhát, lýlẽ, chờđợi, ănuống, rượuchè, cờbạc, cấmkỵ, cẩthả, etc.
NOTE:Just like compound words in English, e.g. blackboard, therefore, airplane, moreover, billboard, airport, bookworm, football, baseball, notebook, software, harddisk, honeymoon, plywood, handicraft, aircraft, shipyard, graveyard, grapefruit, jackfruit, pineapple, etc., Vietnamese compound words are in great numbers. Each word-syllable in a word can be used independently as a word.
III) Reduplicative polysyllabic and dissyllabic compound words or binomes:
Lễlạc, tếtnhất, chắcchắn, lạnhlẽo, mấpmé, nướcnôi, nóngnẩy, nựcnội, caucó, cầukỳ, buồnbã, laođao, lậnđận, lếtthết, lúclắc, làulàu, vấtvả, tấttả, vậtvã, văngvẳng, lacà, dỡẹt, dỡình, ỡmờ, vờvĩnh, hữnghờ, chắcchiu, chătchíu, mằnmặn, ngọtngào, ngánngẫm, khờkhạo, giàgiặn, xaxôi, nặngnề, nhẹnhàng, tươmtất, rấmrớ, rầmrộ, rưngrưng, rộnràng, rùrì, rúrí, rờrẫm, rậmrực, tùtúng, phâyphây, phephẩy, phăngphăng, mêmẫn, chămchỉ, lolắng, mắcmỏ, rẻrúng, ấmức, viễnvông, mơmàng, sâusắc, đenđuá, hồnghào, hoahoè, dạidột, sờsoạn, mòmẫm, hẹphòi, rộngrãi, ấmức, thẳngthừng, quạuquọ, chắcchắn, vắngvẻ, côicút, lỗlã, dưdã, đauđớn, luônluôn, mêmãi, nhanhnhẩu, runrẩy, lắclư, lườilĩnh, liềnliền, nhạtnhẽo, nhạtnhoà, nhútnhát, dạndĩ, mạnhmẽ, nhẹnhàng, nặngnề, thấplètè, sạchsànhsanh, đồngxuteng, liềntùtì, lấplalấplững, bùlubùloa, híhahíhửng, xíxaxíxọn, lúngtalúngtúng, càrịchcàtang, lấplalấplững, bùlubùloa, híhahíhửng, tấtatấtửng, xấcbấcxangbang, lấplalấplửng, etc.
NOTE: Reduplicative compound words are made of a one-syllable word plus a variation of that with a little change in sound. This type of words renders a subtle change in meaning of the radical. An affix to the original word is usually a reduplicative element that has a different tone and initial or ending comes before of after a radical. Comparable structures of this type of words are those of English "childish", "slowly", "talkative", "handy", "continuous", "fashionable", "horrendous", "fabulous", exited", exciting", "initial", "vital", "likewise", "shaking", "shaky", "lonesome", "troublesome", "mimicry", etc. An affixed syllable or add-on component, just like those similarly structured words in English, cannot be used independently.
IV) Polysyllabic "Vietnamized" neigboring Mon-Khmer and Daic words:
They are words that were made up with the combined elements of all SInitic Vietnamese, Sino-VIetnamese, and other indigenous words indiscriminately.
Bơsữa, sữatuơi, sữachua, dưachua, tráibơ, tráisu, súbắp, diễnsô, bầusô, bánhbìtquy, bánhít, bánhchưng, bánhxèo, nămhợi, nămgà, tuổidậu, tuổihợi, làmthịt, làmcao, làmtàng, làmlẻ, làmăn, mầnăn, nângcao, lênmặt, lêngiọng, xuốnggiọng, xuốngnước, câucú, thathiết, thêthảm, tủithân, mồcôi, đầunậu, băngđảng, xốngáo, súngống, daobúa, hồhỡi, tụctằn, cánúc, hầubao, đầuđuôi, đóikhát, sấmsét, tàylay, tèmlem, xegắnmáy, câulạcbộ, hầmbàlần, tạppílù, nồiniuêusoongchả, đaotobúlớn, nởmàynởmặt, bàconchòmxóm, đếnhẹnlạolên, bèogiạtmâytrôi, anhemcộtchèo, anhemcôcậu, anhemthúcba, mẹchồngcondâu, đèocaogióhút, tiềnrừngbạcbể, trànggiangđạihải, vòngvotamquốc, hốilộđútlót, etc.
V) Polysyllabic Vietnamized English and French words:
It is no doubt that writng foreign words such as 'Xan Phờ-ran-xít-cô' instead of 'San Francisco' is the most stupid way to do so by the uneducated people; therefore, readers will not find such wierd spellings in this survey but only the commonly accepted forms as reasonably natural as possible.
Càphê, càrem, xecamnhông, côngtennơ, đầukéocôngtennơ, phíchnước, sônước, canô, thùngphuy, lôcanh, origin, gin, gen, building, oánhtùtì, bíttết, lagu, sàlách, nướcsốt, xàbông, sôcôla, suwinggum, sabôchê, dămbông, phôma, yaua, vôlăng, mêgabai, internet, website, software, mashup, interview, rôbô, radiô, lade, photocópy, cọppi, ốcxygen, cạtbônát, đềphô, dốpdiếc, vốtka, virút, cờlê, mỏlết, tivi, video, dĩacompact, galăng, đôla, vila, tắcxi, xebuýt, phẹcmatuya, gạcmănggiê, cômpa, tráibôm, bômhơi, dăngxê, câulạcbộ, vacăng, ôtô, nhàga, ôten, dầuxăng, bùlon, cáisoong, chơigem, mànhìnhled, trượtpaten, chạymaratông, menbo, hợpgu, hợprơ, hămbơgơ, mesừ, mađam, xinêma, tuydô, kílômét, centimét, milimét, xebuýt, xemôtô, môtơ, đènmăngxông, xyláp, phạcmaxi, đốctờ, đìaréctơ, áoghilê, bộcomplê, ôpạclơ, micờrô, phắctuya, trảbiu, ốcxíthoá, sida, aid, căngxe, buyarô, rờmọt, móocchê, súngcanhnông, tủbuýpphê, chạyápphe, nhàbăng, trảcheck, sờnáchba, mìncơlaymo, bốtdờsô, aláchsô, ạctisô, căngtin, míttinh, Ácănđình, Hoathịnhđốn, Balê, Ănglê, Vaticăn, sôviết, bônxêvích, gạcđờco, gácgian, trứngốplết, hộtgàốpla, áobànhtô, áomăngtô, bugi, épphê, ácxít, átpirin, kýninh, đờmi, đờmigạcxông, đíplôm, đíplôma, găngtơ, ápphích, táplô, bancông, salông, khănmùxoa, lêmônát, rượurum, rượuvan, đườngrầy, xetăng, tănglều, miniduýp, carô, súngrulô, xerulô, mọtphin, xìphé, pháctuya, côngtắc, côngtơ, rôbinê, marisến, phôngten, bôlêrô, tănggo, rumba, phăngtadi, phuộcxét, xìcăngđan, sanđan, bigiăngtin, phúlít, batong, măngsông, đènpin, rờmọt, rờmoọc, boongtàu, tíchkê, bánsôn, đitua, vãira, đítcô, đăngxe, lăngxê, pianô, viôlông, honđa, trumpét, càtômát, xúchxích, patê, tráibơ, đắcco, xêrum, xiarô, xêry, băngrôn, băngnhạc, đồlen, rumba, bếpga, môđen, môđẹc, xilô, nồixúpde, pađờxuy, sơmi, balô, búpbê, tắcxi, buộcboa, côngtra, dềpô, áopull, quầngin, jắtkết, zêrô, sốpphơ, xếplớn, pátpo, vida, bida, côcacôla, pépsi, vôlăng, ămpiya, ampe, kílôoát, tăngdơ, xuỵtvôntơ, cátsét, ghisê, nhàbăng, tivi, gàrôti, chơisộp, kháchsộp, compiutơ, còmmăng, tíchkê, díppô, san-phơ-ran-xit-cô, etc.
NOTE: These variants of words of French and English origins are spelled in Vietnamese orthography. Even though words in this classification are in limited numbers, they are best representive of polysyllabic combining formation. They are loanwords of "foreign" origin. Their syllables are an integrated parts attached the others and cannot certainly be used as independent words even though the Vietnamese syllable itself may mean something else unrelated. How many that can you recognize besides the stupid san-phơ-ran-xít-cô?
The implication of these examples is that if dissyllabic Sino-Vietnamese words are seen as "foreign" loanwords in the Vietnamese language, then their nature and characteristics are virtually the same, not to be separated.
VI) Culturally-accented Vietnamese words of Chinese origin:
ănđòn (deserved punishment) 挨打: ăidă
ăntiền (win bet) 贏錢: yínqián
ănnhậu (have a drink) 應酬: yìngchóu
ănmày (beggar) 要飯: yàofàn
dêxồm (lecherous) 婬蟲: yínchóng
hẹnhò (dating) 約會: yèhuì
đánhcướp (rob) 打劫: dăjié
đánhbài (play cards) 打牌: dăpái
tầmbậy (tầmbạ, sàbát) 三八: sānbà
chánngán (sick of) 厭倦: yànjuān
bậtcười (laugh) 發笑: fáxiào
bậtkhóc (cry) 發哭: fákù
banngày (daytime) 白日: báirì
bồcâu (pigeon) 白鴿: báigē
chạngvạng (at dusk) 旁晚: bángwăn
cảgan (daring) 大膽: dàdăn
khờkhạo (foolish) 傻瓜: săguā
ấmcúng (cozy) 溫馨: wēnqìng
muárối (puppetry) 木偶戲: mù'ǒuxì
xinlỗi (apologize) 請罪: qǐngzuì
xinchào (hello) 見濄 jiànguò
chắcchắn (certainly) 確定: quèdìng
đưađón (see off and pick up) 接送: jiēsòng
chờđợi (expect) 期待: qídài
yêuđương (love) 愛戴: àidài
thươngyêu (affection) 疼愛: téng'ài
khôngdámđâu (it is not so) 不敢當: bùgăndàng
banngàybanmặt (in broad daylight) 青天白日: qīngtiānbáirì
đấttrờichứnggiám (Heaven and the Earth be the witnesses) 天地作證: tiāndìzuòzhèng
trờibấtdunggian (God punish bad people) 天不容姦: tiānbùróngjiān
langbạtkỳhồ (take on an adventure) 狼跋其胡: lángbáqíhú
nhưcágặpnước (like a fish back in water) 如魚得水: rúyúdéshuǐ
NOTE: The official Pinyin writing for the Chinese words above are always correctly written in combining formation because they are polysyllabic in nature, except for the diacritic marks that fall on the wrong vowel, e.g., 醉酒 zuìjiǔ VS 'sayrượu' (drunk), 真牛 zhēnniú VS 'chơingầu', 垂柳 chuíliǔ VS liễurũ (willow), 拜求 bàiqiǔ VS 'váicầu' (prayer), etc. The implication of these basic and not-so-basic words of the same roots between Chinese and Vietnamese, in addition to those Sino- and Sinitic-Vietnamese vocabularies which are indepensable in the Vietnamese language, is that Chinese is classified as a polysyllabic language, so is Vietnamese.
Examples of some variable sound changes
Thuận Nghịch Độc by Duc Tran
The author, a commentator and translator for Radio Free Asia (RFA) as of 2019, constructs an etymological analogy based a poem by Phạm Thái (1777-1813) which is written in "Thuận Nghịch Độc" form, that is, standard reading is for Sino-Vietnamese sound:
青春鎖柳冷蕭房 Thanh xuân khóa liễu lãnh tiêu phòng
錦軸停針礙點妝 Cẩm trục đình châm ngại điểm trang
清亮度蘚浮沸綠 Thanh lượng độ tiên phù phất lục
淡曦散菊彩疏黃 Đạm hy tán cúc thái sơ hoàng
情痴易訴簾邊月 Tình si dị tố liêm biên nguyệt
夢觸曾撩帳頂霜 Mộng xúc tằng liêu trướng đỉnh sương
箏曲強挑愁緒絆 Tranh khúc cưỡng khiêu sầu tự bạn
鶯歌雅詠閣蕭香 Oanh ca nhã vịnh các tiêu hương
while, as in old Chinese-based Nôm writing, Sintic-Vietnamese sounds can be also read in reverse (naturally some Sino-Vietnamese sounds, inseparatable part of Vietnamese vocabularies, are included also):
香蕭閣詠雅歌鶯 Hương tiêu gác vắng nhặt ca oanh
絆緒愁挑強曲箏 Bận mối sầu khêu gượng khúc tranh
霜頂帳撩曾觸夢 Sương đỉnh trướng gieo từng giục mộng
月邊簾訴易痴情 Nguyệt bên rèm, tỏ dễ si tình
黃疏彩菊散曦淡 Vàng tha thướt, cúc tan hơi đạm
綠沸浮蘚度亮清 Lục phất phơ, rêu đọ rạng thanh
妝點礙針停軸錦 Trang điểm ngại chăm, dừng trục gấm
房蕭冷柳鎖春青 Phòng tiêu lạnh lẽo khóa xuân xanh.
from these reading we can see clearly the relations between those Sino- and Sinitic-Vietnamese words:
- Các = Gác
- Cẩm = Gấm
- Cưỡng = Gượng
- Liêm = Rèm, etc.
with this onset, we can apply the same patterns to other words:
- Cận = Gần
- Can = Gan
- Cân = Gân
- Cấp = Gấp
- Cổn = Gợn
- Các = Gác
- Kê = Gà
- Ký = Gửi
- Kỵ = Ghét
- Ký = Ghi
- Tử = Chết
- Tự = Chùa
- Tự = Chữ (cái)
- Thanh = Xanh
- Vũ = Múa
- Vũ = Mưa
- Vân = Mây
- Vạn = Muôn
- Vọng = Mong
- Võng = Mạng
and so on.
NOTE: Specifically with the examples above, in the comments regarding Chinese ~ Vietnamese cognates, with no exceptions Duc Tran seems to see only the Sinitic-Vietnamese sound changes in comparison with those of Sino-Vietnamese on one-to-one correspondence within the monosyllabic words even though he did mention about the correlation of those Vietnamese sounds to those of Mandarin sounds: "Cái lạ ở chỗ các ví dụ trên phần theo chiếu theo tiếng Bắc Kinh hay Pinyin đều theo một luồng phụ âm đầu nhất định." (That means "the interesting thing about the words in the example is that all consonantal initials as said in Beijing dialect or Pinyin follow a certain pattern of correspondent initials.") This is how it has been done by most of specialists in the Chinese-Vietnamese etymological fields.
Excerpts below are APPENDICES A to G extracted from Prof. Tsu-lin Mei's The Austroasiatics in Ancient South China: Some Lexical Evidence to illustrate how the analytic methodology that the author utilizes in his etymological work can serve as good examples for us all to follow in our survey on SInitic-Vietnamese etymology. The Simplified Chinese scripts, however, used by the author are targeted for mainland's audience, hence we should put them under the periscope of Traditional characters that are closer to the original archaic forms, to say the least. You can refer to his complete work on the Austroasiatic origin of several words in the Chinese language in the archived link above. Additional comments inside squre brackets are inserts made by dchph.
The case of "sông"
by Tsu-lin Mei
(1) 江 **krong/kang/jiāng ‘Yangtze River’, ‘river’.
“river” in Mon-Khmer: VN sông [səwŋ˧˧]; Bahnar, Sedang krong; Katu karung; Bru klong; Gar, Koho rong; Laʔven dakhom; Biat n’hong; Hre khroang; Old Mon krung. Cf. Tib. Klu ‘river’; Thai khlɔ:ŋ ‘canal’.
jiāng has a Second Division final in MC, and according to the Yakhontov-Pulleyblank theory, this implies a model –r- or –l- in OC.** The OC reading for this word in Li Fang-kuei’s system is *krung.* * Further evidence for –r- consists of the fact that some words with as their phonetic have disyllabic doublets, whose first syllable has a velar initial and whose second syllable is lung: 空=窟窿 ‘hole, empty'. 項=喉嚨 ‘neck, throat,’ 鴻=屈龍 ‘wild goose.’ The final has been reconstructed as –ung by Karlgren and Tung T’ung-ho, -awng by Pulleyblank, and –ong by Yakhontov. In spite of these minor differences, it is clear that the final had a rounded back vowel in OC. [ Note that V /-əwŋ/fits well into/-awng/ as anylized by Pulleyblank, a bilabial closed /-wŋ/ ending. ]
It is immediately clear that the Mon-Khmer forms are related to the Chinese form and the Chinese borrowed this word from the AA’s. OC has four common words for names for rivers: 水 shuǐ, 川 chuān, 江 jiāng, 河 hé. The first two are general words; the last two are proper names, jiāng for 镸江 Chángjiāng and hé for 黄河 Huánghé ‘Yellow River.’ On the other hand, krong etc. is a general word for ‘river’ in AA. In borrowing, a general word for a descriptive term often becomes a proper name in the receiving language; witness Mississippi and Wisconsin, ‘big river’ and ‘big lake’ in Algonquin, which became proper names in American English.
The two general words for ‘water’ and ‘river’ in OC, 水 shuǐ [ that matches Old Vietic */dák/with Chinese cognate 淂 dé (MC dak) ] and 川 chuān [ interestingly, being a cognate of V /səwŋ˧˧/ as well ], occur in the oracle bones and can be traced to Sino-Tibetan: ‘water’ Tib. ch’u; Bara, Nago dui; Kuki-chin tui; Chinese 水 *siwər/świ/shuǐ, 川 *t’iwen/tś’iwän/chuān. The nasal final in chuān probably represents the vestigial form of a plural ending, and there is a phonological parallel in the sound gloss in the Shuowen 水，准也 (准 **ń*wən); 水 shuǐ and 川 chuān are therefore cognates. OC 河 ˠɑ/g’ɑ earlier *g’al or *g’ɑr from Altaic.
/jiāng/ is of relatively late origin. It did not occur in the oracle bones. The bronze inscriptions contain one occurrence of this word, and the Book of Odes, nine occurrences, in five poems. When the word jiāng acquired the general meaning of ‘river,’ its use as names of rivers was limited to south of the Yangtze. Both these facts again suggest that jiāng was a borrowed word.
Other etymologies for jiāng are less plausible. Tibetan had klu ‘river.’ But a Sino-Tibetan origin of klu/krong is ruled out because jiāng is a late word with a restricted geographic distribution, and because MC 2nd Division generally corresponds to Tib. –r- but not to –l-. Similarly, the basic word for ‘river’ and ‘water’ in Tai is na:m; khlɔ:ŋ is a secondary word restricted in its meaning to ‘canal’, with limited distribution in the Tai family; it is unlikely to be the source of Chinese *krong. The most plausible explanation is that both Tibetan and Thai also borrowed klu* and khlɔ:ŋ from AA.
We will now try to show that the Chinese first came into contact with the Yangtze in Hupei, anciently part of the Ch’u Kingdom. This must be region where the Chinese first came into contact with AA’s and borrowed jiāng from them.
The Han River has its source in Shensi whence it passes through Honan and joins the Yangtze in Hupei. As the Chinese came down from their homeland in the Yellow River valleys, it was natural for them to follow the course of the Han River. This general conclusion is also supported by textual evidence. The word jiāng ‘Yangtze River’ occurs in five poems in the Book of Odes. In Ode 9, 204, 262, and 263, jiāng occurs in conjunction with han ‘Han River', either in the compound jiāng-han or in an antithetical construction with han in the other part. The only poem containing jiāng but not han is Ode 22. But this poem belongs to the section Zhaonan 召南, and this term is also what the Zhou people used for the region which formerly belonged to Chu. Moreover, according to several authorities, the term 江南 (literally ‘south of the River’) as used during the Han dynasty refers to Changsha 镸沙 and Yuzhang 豫章, in present Hunan and Jiangxi. The implication is that jiāng in Jiangnan refers to the middle section of the Yangtze and not the entire river.
The notion that the Chinese met the AA’s in the Middle Yangtze region of course does not exclude their presence elsewhere; it just gives a precise indication of one of their habitats. It is perhaps pertinent to mention that the Vietnamese believed that their homeland once included the region around the Dongting Lake 洞庭湖 which is in that general area. Another Vietnamese legend states that their forefather married the daughter of the dragon king of Dongting Lake.
Textual and epigraphic evidence indicates that the word jiāng came into the Chinese language between 500 and 1000 B.C. Mao Heng’s Commentary to the Odes also assigned all poems celebrating the southern conquest to the reign of King Hsan (827-781 B.C.). The first half of the first millennium B.C. can therefore be taken as a tentative date for the AA presence in the Middle Yangtze region. Recently, however, archaeologists are increasingly inclined to the view that contact between North China and South China occurred as early as the Shang dynasty: artifacts showing strong Shang and early Chou influence have been discovered in the lower Yangtze region, and according to some scholars, also in the Han River region**.
**A mythical folk hero of Vietnam's history called '浮董天王 Fǔdǒng Tiānwáng (Phùđổng Thiênvương)', also called 「扶董天王」, or Saint Giong, who defeated the Ân (Yin) invaders from ancient China's Shang Dynasty. (根據 《嶺南 摭怪》 裡 的 越南 傳說，中國 殷代 時，雄王 因 「缺 朝覲 之 禮」，而 招來 殷王 率 來襲 （又稱 「殷寇」； 而 《大越史記全書·外紀·鴻厖紀》 則說 是 「雄王 六世」 時期 的 「國內有警」）。 正當 大軍 壓境 時，仙遊 縣 （或作 武寧縣）扶董鄉 的 一 位 三歲 童子 自動 請纓，帶領 雄王 軍隊 來到 殷軍 陣前，「揮劍 前進，官軍（雄王軍）後從。 殷王 死 陣前」，而 童子 亦 隨即 「脫衣 騎馬 升天」。 其後，雄王 尊 該名 童子 為 「扶董天王」，立祠拜祭。Cf. 董聖 Dǒng Shèng (Đổng Thánh) or 'Thánh Gióng' ].
[ The bottom line is, for our purpose they wre cognates and derived from from the same root, V 'sông'= AA krong = Thai khlɔ:ŋ = OC *krong=Tibetan klu < *ch'u without taking into consideration of the direction of borrowing, which is similar to the case of V 'chết' (to die) to be quoted in the appendix as follows. ]
The case of "chết"
by Tsu-lin Mei
(2) 札 **tsɛt 'to die’
In Cheng Hsüan’s commentary on the Chou-Li, the gloss 越人 謂 死 為 札 “The Yüe people call ‘to die’ 札” occurs.** Cheng Hsüan lived during the Eastern Han (127-200 A.D.) and there seems to be no grounds to doubt the authenticity of this gloss. According to Karlgren’s Grammata Serica Recensa the OC reading of the character was *tsă. This is Karlgren’s group II. There is good reason to believe that his reconstruction is erroneous. Tuan Yü-ts’ai assigns this character to his group twelve, which correspondsmost nearly to Karlgren’s group V. Chiang Yu-kao places it in his 脂 group which also corresponds most nearly to Karlgren’s group V. How do we explain this discrepancy? There are several ways to assign a given character to an OC rhyme group. It may be assigned on the basis of its occurrence in a rhymed text, but if it does not appear as a rhyme word, then there are only two alternative methods for determining its proper membership: a few Middle Chinese (hereafter MC) rhymes all go back to a single OC category; this is the case, for example, with the MC rhyme 唐 which derives from the OC 陽 group in its entirety. For such MC rhymes, the assignment to an OC rhyme category is mechanical. Frequently, however, a given MC rhyme has more than one OC origin. This, in fact, is true of the character in question. 札 belongs to the MC 黑吉 rhyme; this rhyme derives from three different OC rhyme categories: 祭，微，and 脂 corresponding roughly to Karlgren’s II, V, and X. The only way to determine which OC rhyme category such words as this belong to is to examine their xiesheng connections. In the Shuowen, is defined as follows: 札 牒 也，从 木 乙 聲. In GSR 505 a reading *•iɛt is given for; this is Karlgren’s group V. And in the Shih-ming, written by Liu Hsi, a younger contemporary of Cheng Hsan, the sound gloss is 札，木 節 也 (木節 *ts-，OC 脂 group). Clearly 札 should belong to the same group as 乙; the proper reconstructions is /tsɛ/t and not /tsă/t as given in GSR 280b. Dong Tonghe does not give this character in his Shangku Yinyün Piaokao, but it is simple enough to place it where it belongs — viz. on page 215 in Dong’s 微 group; the proper form in Dong’s system is *tsət.
There can be no doubt that this word represents the AA word for ‘to die’: VN chết; Muong chít, chét; Chrau chu’t, Bahnar kˠcit; Katu chet; Gua test; Hre ko’chit; Bonam kachet; Brou kuchêit; Mon chət. More cognate forms can be found in Pinnow, p. 259, item K324f. The Proto-Mon-Khmer form has been reconstructed by Shorto as **kcət, which is extremely close to our OC form. There is even the possibility that Proto-MK **k- is reflected in the glottal initial of the phonetic 乙.
'To die' in other east and southeast Asian languages are: Chinese 死 *siər; Tib. * ‘chi-ba, šhi; Lolo-Burm *šei; Proto-Tai **tai; Proto-Miao **daih. Here Chinese goes together with Tibeto-Burman, and Proto-Tai goes together with Proto-Miao. None of these forms has any resemblance to *tsɛt. [ For our purpose, let us postulate the ending /-jət/ then. ]
The case of "ruồi"
by Tsu-lin Mei
(3) 維虫 ‘fly’**
‘fly’ in Mon-Khmer: VN ruồi; Camb. Ruy; Lawa rue; Mon rùy; Chaobon rùuy; Kuy ʔaruəy; Souei ʔɑrɔɔy; Brurùay; Ngeʔ, Alak, Tampuon rɔɔy; Loven, Brao, Stieng ruay; Chong r*ɔʔy; Pear roy.
Cf. Proto-AA * ruwaj (Pinnow, p. 268, item 356).
The word 維虫 wei ‘fly , gnat’ occurs in the Chuyü 楚語 section of the kuo-yü 國語: “It is as if horses and cattle were placed in extreme heat, with many gnats and flies (on them) 亡虫維虫之既多, and yet they are unable to swish their tails.” GSR 575 defines wei as ‘gnat’ and gives its OC value as *dwr. Karlgren’s definition ‘gnat’ (or our ‘fly’) fits the above passage, the locus classicus of this word. It is further substantiated by old dictionaries; the Kwang-ya 廣雅 defines 虫 as 虫羊, and the Fangyen 方言 states that 羊 (虫羊) is a dialect form of 蠅 ‘fly‘。 Karlgren’s OC value, however, requires revision.
The OC value of 維虫 can be ascertained via its phonetic 維 wei; the form of the character indicates that it is the name of an insect pronounced like 維. The initial of wei in MC is 喻四, the yü initial. Li Fang-kuei has argued convincingly that the OC value of yü IV is a flapped r- or l-, somewhat like the second consonant of ladder in American English; he writes it as *r-. ** 乌弋山离 ‘Alexandria,’ a Han dynasty transcription, has 弋 MC (with a yü IV initial) matching –lek (s)-. The word 酉, one of the twelve earth’s branches, has *r- in Proto- Tai, still attested in several modern dialects. Sino-Tibetan correspondences point to the same value, for example, ‘leaf’ Chinese 叶** rap/*äp/yeh; Tib. lob-ma, ldeb (*dl-).
The final of wei has been reconstructed as –d by Tung T’ung-ho and Li Fang-kuei, and as –r by Karlgren. These are values for the earlier stage of OC. By the time of the Kuo-yü, which is relatively late, -d or –r had probably already become –i.
The Mon-Khmer forms have a wide distribution. More cognate forms, including some in the Munda branch, can be found in Pinnow, p. 268, item 356. VN rui etc., then, is a very old word in AA: it is also he general word for ‘fly.’ The standard word for ‘fly’ in OC is 蝇* * riəng, which was already attested in the Odes. The word 維虫 wei ‘fly,’ on the other hand, is a hapax legomenon. Clearly, wei ‘fly’ was borrowed from the AA’s into the ancient Ch’u dialect.
In Li’s system, the distinction between ho-k’ou and k’ai-k’ou (with or without –u-/-w-) is non-phonemic in OC, and the OC value of 維 in his system is *rəd. In terms of our problem, there are two possibilities. Either OC had no –w- at all, phonemic or non-phonemic, in which case the best the Chinese could do to approximate the AA form (which has a rounded back vowel) is * rəi< * rəd; or else, OC had a non-phonemic –w-, in which case the OC form is * rwəi. We have chosen the latter alternative.
The two loanwords, jiāng ‘Yangtze River’ and wei ‘fly’, suggest the following sequence of events. The Chinese came to the middle Yangtze between 1000 and 500 B.C., and there met the AA’s. Subsequently, some of the AA’s migrated toward the south, and some were absorbed into the Ch’u population. That is why this word shows up in the Ch’u-yü section of the Kuo-yü and nowhere else.
It seems appropriate to mention in this connection that the Ch’u people clearly contained non-Chinese elements. King Wu of Ch’u acknowledged that he was a southern barbarian; the poet Ch’ Yan lamented, “I was sad that the southern tribesmen could not understand me”; and the Lü-shih ch’un-ch’iu stated that “Ch’u was derived from the barbarians.”** In view of what has just been said, we know that one of the ethnic groups constituting the Ch’u people was AA.
The case of "ngà"
by Tsu-lin Mei
(4) 牙** ngra/nga/ya ‘tooth, tusk, ivory’
AA: VN nga ‘ivory’; Proto-Mnong (Bahnar) *ngo’la ‘tusk’; **Proto-Tai *nga.
Chinese ya has a 2nd Division final in MC, which, according to the Yakhontov-Pulleyblank theory, calls for a medial –r- in OC. And it is our belief that OC *ngra was derived from an AA form similar to Proto-Mnong *ngo’la.
Our theory that Chinese ya was a loan is based upon the following considerations. (1) The oldest Chinese word for ‘tooth’ is ch’ih, which once had an unrestricted range of application, including ‘molar,’ ‘tusk,’ and ‘ivory.’ (2) Ya is of relatively late origin. When it first appeared, it was only used for ‘animal tooth’ and ‘tusk,’ which was and still is the meaning in AA. (3) While North China once had elephants, they became quite rare during the Shang and Chou dynasties, and ivory had to be imported from the middle and lower Yangtze region. Imported items not infrequently bear their original names, and by our previous argument, the Yangtze valley was inhabited by the AA’s during the first millennium B.C.
Ch’ih 齿 consists of a phonetic 止 and the remaining part as a signific.The latter is a pictograph showing the teeth in an open mouth. Ancestral forms of the pictograph occurred frequently in the oracle bones. Since adding a phonetic is a standard method for creating new graphs for old words, we can be reasonably certain the oracle bone forms cited represented ch’ih. The graph of ya, however, has no identifiable occurrence in the oracle bones and only one probable occurrence in the bronze inscriptions. This statement is based upon the fact that ya is listed neither in Li Hsiao-ting’s compendium of oracle bone graphs nor in Yung Keng’s dictionary of bronze graphs. ** Karlgren cited a bronze form for ya in GSR (37b). But Kuo Muo-jo marked this occurrence of ya as a proper name, which makes it impossible to ascertain the meaning further.**
There are reasons to believe that the absence of ya from early epigraphic records was not merely accidental. The oracle bones contained many records of prognosis concerning illness, and among them tooth-ache.** The graphs used were always ancestral forms of ch’ih. The oracle bones also contained a representative list of terms for parts of the body, including head, ear, eye, mouth, tongue, foot, and probably also elbow, heel, buttock, shank. ** The absence of ya under such circumstances is quite conspicuous.
A graph must first exist before it can become a part of another graph, and the older a graph, the more chances it has to serve as part of other graphs. By this criterion, ch’ih is much older than ya. In the oracle bones, ch’ih occurs as the signific of three graphs. In the Shuo-wen, ch’ih occurs as the signific of forty-one graphs, all having something to do with tooth; ya, only two graphs, one of which has a variant form with ch’ih as the signific. The Shuo-wen also tells us that ya has a ku-wen form in which the graph for ch’ih appeared under the graph for ya. What this seems to indicate is that when 牙 first appeared, it was so unfamiliar that some scribes found ti necessary to add the graph for ch’ih in order to remind themselves what ya was supposed to mean. 牙 also occurs as the phonetic of eight graphs (six according to Karlgren). But none of these graphs is older than 牙, and our conclusion is not affected.
The meaning of ch’ih in he oracle bones is primarily ‘human tooth’, including ‘molar.’ On one shell, there occurred the statement……which has been interpreted , “Yn came to send a tribute of elephant’s tusks.”** But other interpretations are also possible. The use of ch’ih as ‘tusk, ivory’ in most clearly illustrated in Ode 299 憬彼淮夷，来献其琛，元龟象齿 “Far away are those Huai tribes, but they come to present their treasures, big tortoise, elephant’s tusks”; and not quite so clearly in two passages in the 禹贡 “Y kung,” both of which listed 齿，革，羽，毛 as items of tribute. Here ch’ih can mean either ‘ivory’ or ‘bones and tusks of animals,’ all used for carving. Lastly, ch’ih also applies to tooth of other animals, 相鼠有齿 “Look at the rat, it has its teeth” (Ode 52).
Beginning with the Book of Odes we have unambiguous evidence for the use of ya. But in the pre-Han texts ya still did not occur frequently, and an analysis of this small corpus reveals that ya was never used for human tooth. Hence the Shuo-wen’s definition of ya as 牡齿, usually interpreted as ‘molar,’ seems to reflect a later, probably post-Ch’in, development.** The most frequent occurrence of ya in the sense of ‘tooth’ is in the compound 爪牙‘claw and tooth,’ and there the reference to animal tooth is quite clear. The Yi-ching contains a line in which the meaning of ya was ‘tusk’: ##豕之牙吉 ‘the tusk of a castrated hog: [the sign is] propitious. ’The line in Ode 17 谁谓鼠无牙 probably means ‘who says the rat has no tusks?’ but some scholars prefer to interpret ya simply as ‘teeth (incisors).’
Elephants once existed in North China; remains of elephants have been unearthed in Neolithic sites as well as in An-yang. ** Ivory carving was also a highly developed craft during the Shang dynasty. ** These facts, however, should not mislead us into thinking that elephants had always been common in ancient North China. Yang Chung-chien and Liu Tung-sheng made an analysis of over six thousand mammalian remains from the An-yang site and reported the following finding: over 100 individuals, dog, pig, deer, lamb, cow, etc.; between 10 and 100 individuals, tiger, rabbit, horse, bear, badger (獾) etc.; under 10 individuals, elephant, monkey, whale, fox, rhinoceros, etc. ** The authors went on to say that rare species such as the whale, the rhinoceros, and the elephant were obviously imported from outside, and their uses were limited to that of display as items of curiosity. This view is also confirmed by literary sources. In the Han Fei-tzu, it is said that when King Chou of the Shang dynasty made ivory chopsticks, Chi Tzi, a loyal minister, became apprehensive – implying that when as rare an item as ivory was used for chopsticks, the king’s other extravagances could be easily imagined.** Importation of ivory in the form of tribute was also reported in Ode 299 and in the “Yü-kung,” both of which were cited above.
The history of ya and ch’ih can now be reconstructed as follows: The people of the Shang and Chou dynasties have always depended upon import for their supply of ivory. But during the early stage, ivory and other animal tusks and bones were designated by ch’ih, which was also the general word for ‘tooth.’ Items made of ivory were also indicated by adding a modifier 象 hsiang ‘elephant’ before the noun, for example 象##，象弭，象箸 ‘ivory comb-pin,’ ‘ivory bow tip,’ ‘ivory chopsticks.’ ** Then ya came into the Chinese language in the sense of ‘tusk’ because a tusk is larger than other types of teeth, ya gradually acquired the meaning of ‘big tooth, molar’ by extension, thus encroaching upon the former domain of ch’ih. When later lexicographers defined ya as ‘molar’ and ch’ih as ‘front tooth,’ they are describing, though without clear awareness, the usage of the Han dynasty and thereafter. By further extension, ya also became the general word for ‘tooth’ while retaining this special meaning of ‘ivory.’
Some Min dialects still employ 齿 in the sense of tooth. The common word for tooth in Amoy is simply k’i. Foochow has nai3 which is a fusion of ŋɑ plus k’i, i.e. 牙齿. This strongly suggests that in Min the real old word for ‘tooth’ is 齿 as in Amoy, the implication being that this was stil the colloquial word for ‘tooth’ well into Han when Fukien was first settled by the Chinese. The Japanese use 齿 as kanji to write ha ‘tooth’ in their language; 牙 rarely occurs. Both these facts provide supplementary evidence for the thesis that the use of ya as the general word for ‘tooth’ was a relatively late development.
In a note published in BSOAS, vol. 18, Walter Simon proposed that Tibetan so ‘tooth’ and Chinese ya 牙 (OC *ng*) are cognates, thus reviving a view once expressed by Sten Konow. Simon’s entire argument was based upon historical phonology; he tried to show
(a) OC had consonant clusters of the type sng- and C-, (b) by reconstructing 牙 as sng*>zng >nga and 邪 as zˠ*>z**, one can affirm Hs Shen’s view that 邪 has 牙 as its phonetic, and (c) Chinese sng* can then be related to a Proto-Tibetan *sngwa and Burmese swa:>θwa:. Our etymology for ya ‘tooth’ implies a rejection of Simon’s view; if ya is borrowed from AA, then the question of Sino-Tibetan comparison simply does not arise. And even if our theory is not accepted, there is no reason to adopt Simon’s analysis; ya is clearly a word of relatively late origin, and the fact that 邪 has 牙 as its phonetic can be explained by assuming that the z- of 邪 resulted from the palatalization of an earlier g-.**
AND SOME OTHER ETYMA:
(5) 虎 ‘tiger’ ** k’la(g)/χuo/hu
‘tiger’ in AA: * kalaʔ; Munda ki’rɔ, kul, kula, kilo, etc.; Old Mon kla; Mon kla; Bahnar, Sedang kla; Sue kala; Brou klo; Old Khmer, kl*; Khmer khla ‘felines’; Khasi khla; VN kh*i; Muong k’al, k’lal, kanh, etc.
Pinnow reconstructs the Proto-Munda form as * kala (Pinnow, p. 142, item 281), and we propose an alternate Proto-AA form, * kalaʔ. Let us now turn to the Chinese side.
虎 hu belongs to the OC 鱼 yü group. According to Yakhontov, Pulleyblank, and Li, this group had –a as its main vowel. It may or may not have had a final voiced consonant of some sort in OC; Yakhontov has none, and Li would have –g. In Li’s system 虎 MC χuo would derive from an OC ** χag. Now, 虎 serves as the phonetic in some words with MC l-initial: 卢 MC luo, 虑 MC liwo, etc.** Therefore, in Li’s system, hu ‘tiger’ could be reconstructed as *χlag, since his OC medial –l- simply drops in MC; -r- on the other hand yields the second Division vowels. Further, certain Western Min dialects have an initial aspirated k’ in the word for tiger: Kienyang k’o, Shaowu k’u. This is not an isolated phenomenon in Min; for example, 许 Amoy k’ɔ, but MC x*wo; 火 Kienyang k’ui, MC χu*; ## Foochow k’auʔ, MC χu*t. From this we can see that MC x- (in some cases) may go back to a stop *k’-. Since 虎 is one of the words involved in this change, we are justified in reconstructing it as ** k’la(g). This form is very close to Pinnow’s Proto-Munda reconstruction *kala.
Our reconstruction of the Proto-AA form as *kalaʔ is motivated by the fact that – is present in the word for tiger in several Munda languages. The Chinese word hu ‘tiger’ is in the rising tone, and one of the present authors has argued elsewhere that the MC rising tone derives from a final glottal stop.** If so, the correspondence between Proto-AA * kala and OC ** k’la is even closer.
Two other considerations may be offered. There is no plausible Tibeto-Burman etymology for 虎 hu ‘tiger’; Tib. has stag ‘tiger,’ a totally unrelated word; Old Burmese has kla, but in all probability it was a loan from Mon. The present habitats of the tiger (Panthera tigris) in China are the Southwest, the Southeastern coastal area, the Yangtze valleys, and Manchuria, with South China as the area of highest concentration.** Appearances of the tiger in historical records coincide with he above, but also include northern Hopei and Shansi. Skeletal remains of the tiger were also found at the site of An-yang, in Honan.** The distribution of the tiger is noteworthy in two respects: the heaviest concentration is in South China, presumably the habitats of the AA’s, and the area of total absence includes the steppes and loessland of northwest China, the probably homeland of the Sino-Tibetan ancestors of the Chinese. From this perspective, it is easy to see why there is no word for tiger in Sino-Tibetan, or in the oldest stage of Chinese. To be sure, the word was attested as a pictograph in the oracle bones. What this means is that small bands of AA’s occupied parts of the Yellow River basin before the arrival of the Chinese. The AA’s had the word for tiger in their language and transmitted it to the Chinese.
It is possible that 虎 had a disyllabic doublet, derived from the same AA source. The Tso-chuan says 楚人 谓 乳谷，谓 虎 于## “The Ch’u people call ‘to nurse’ 谷, and ‘tiger ’于##”. The initial of 于 has the value – in MC, but here is some reason to believe that its OC value is k- or k’-. 于 is a variant of 于, and the latter was used to transcribe “khotan” in the Shih-chi: 于阗，于## also has a variant 狗窦; Kuo P’u’s 郭璞 commentary to the Fang-yen states under 于虎兔 ‘tiger’: 今 江南 山夷 呼 虎 为 虎兔，音 狗窦, “Nowadays the hill tribes in the south of the Yangtze call ‘tiger’ 虎兔, pronounced as 狗窦 (MC kəu-təu).” The OC form of the Ch’u word for ‘tiger’ was therefore something like ** kat’a.
The only difference between AA *kalaʔ and Chinese is –l- versus –t’- or –t-, which may conceivably be explained as follows. Some AA forms have a dental stop: Pinnow regards Khmer khla ‘felines’ as a cognate of dho (thom) ‘tiger royal,’ and according to Kuhn, Karia ki*ɔ ʔ<*kil-dɔʔ (Pinnow, p. 142). Kuiper has noted that there is a variation among Munda d, t, and l in initial position.** It may be that AA * kala had a dialect form kata, and the latter was represented by the Ch’u word for ‘tiger.’ The above two paragraphs were offered merely as a speculative conjecture, since much remains uncertain on both the Chinese and the AA side.
(6) 囝 FC kiaŋ/AM kiă ‘son, child’
This word like the preceding one is attested for all Min dialects. From the conservative dialects of northeastern Fukien, we can see that the word originally ended in –n: Fuan kiɛŋ, Ningteh kian. The Proto-Min form was probably something like *kian with the tone which corresponds ot the classical shang or rising tone. This word is attested textually quite early. The T’ang poet Ku K’uang 顾况 (? 725-? 816) composed a poem when he was serving in Fukien in which he used the word in question. In the poet’s own preface to the poem he explains the word 囝: “it is pronounced like the word 蹇 (MC k* ɒn-k* än-shang tone); in Fukien ‘son’ is called 囝 in the popular language.”** This word is clearly the same as the modern Min words for ‘son, child.’
We would like to suggest that the Min word is related to the AA etymon represented by VN con ‘child.’ This etymon is very widely distributed throughout Austroasiatic: Khmer koun, Spoken Mon kon, written Mon kon, kwen, Bru kɔɔn, Chong kheen, Wa kn, Khasi khu:n;** it is also well represented in Munda: Kharia knn ‘small,’ Santali ‘son, child,’ Hohon ‘child.’** The Min form agrees with the AA forms predominantly show low to mid unrounded vowels. The Min form of Kienyang kyeŋ, however, has a rounded medial which may indicate that the Min forms derive from some type of earlier rounded vowel.
(7) 弩 ** na/nuo/nu ‘crossbow’
‘crossbow’ in AA: VN no; Proto-Mnong * so’na; ** Proto-Tai * hnaa.
Cf. Mon, Old Mon tŋa; Palaung kaŋ, kaŋaʔ; Tibeto-Burman: Nung the-na; Mso ta-na.
The crossbow is at present widely used by the tribes in southwest China and Indo-China. The cover of Mon-Khmer Studies. II,** for example, shows a picture of the crossbow. Early references to the crossbow in Chinese texts also point to that general region as the place of origin. The Han-shu explicitly mentioned the crossbow as one of the weapons used by the tribes inhabiting Hainan Island, and implied that it was also used by other tribes farther south. ** The Shih-chi stated that the crossbow produced in the state of Han 韩 was called “His-tzu” 奚谷子, which is also the name of a southern tribe.** Szechuan was famous for its crossbow. Both the Hua-yang-kuo chih 华阳国志 and the Hou-han-shu reported that when a white tiger roamed the area of Ch’in and neighboring states, a man from Pa (巴郡阆中人) had to be called in, and he killed the tiger with a crossbow made of white bamboo. King An-yang, a prince from Szechuan, is said to have brought along the crossbow as he entered Vietnam when Chao T’o tried to conquer Vietnam at the end of the Ch’in dynasty; he was for a time stymied by King An-yang’s archers using crossbow.**
The fact that the crossbow has a southern distribution, past and present, suggests that it was acquired by the Chinese. Phonology provides another reason. The Tai and Vietnamese, because of their proximity to Chinese speaking peoples, were the most likely points of contact. The Tai form implies voiceless initial **-. VN n is in the sc tone, which comes from a voiceless initial. Proto-Mnong *so’na indicates that perhaps the Proto-AA form should be * s-na. Now, under the hypothesis that Chinese borrowed this word from AA, we only need to assume that *s- (or the voicelessness of the initial *n-) was lost in the process of borrowing. Under the contrary hypothesis that the loan was in the opposite direction, none of the AA or Thai forms can be easily explained.
The crossbow was widely used during the Han dynasty. The character ‘crossbow’ and the terms for the trigger of the crossbow (机栝，发机) appeared in texts written during the Warring States Period, but not earlier.** The third and fourth century B.C. seems to be the time when the crossbow and the term for it were introduced into China.
The Japanese scholar Fujita Toyohchi believes that the Chinese crossbow came from India, on the strength of the Sanskrit word dhanu ‘bow’ and the fact that India already used the crossbow in warfare during the fourth century B.C.** The Sanskrit word may have something to do with Mon and Old Mon tŋa, Nung thə-na, Moso ta-na, but is unlikely to be the direct source of 弩; 弩 belongs to the MC 鱼 rhyme, and as Chou Fa-kao has shown, Sanskrit –o and –u were regularly transcribed before the Tang dynasty by words belonging to 尤，侯，虞，模 rhymes but seldom by words belonging to the 鱼 rhyme.** Whether the ultimate origin of the crossbow is to be sought in India or elsewhere is a question lying beyond the scope of this paper.
We would now like to consider the possibility of the survival of AA forms in some modern Chinese dialects spoken in areas occupied by the ancient Yeh peoples.
The Min dialects spoken in Fukien and northeastern Kwangtung represent the most aberrant group of dialects in China. While most of the vocabulary found in these dialects can be traced back to early Chinese sources, there remains a residue of forms which cannot be explained in this way. A possible explanation of such words would be to consider them relic forms from the non-Chinese language spoken in this region before the Chinese began to settle there in the Han dynasty. The pre-Han inhabitants of Fukien were the Min Yeh; they appear to have been a semi-civilized state which was finally destroyed by Han Wu in 110 B.C.**
(8) FC t*yŋ/AM t*ŋ ‘shaman, spirit healer, medium’
It is not entirely clear whether the word in question is basically a nominal or verbal root since it occurs in constructions of both types. Thus in FC dialect we have t*yŋ-tsi ‘shaman,’, t*yŋ-tsi ‘to shamanize,’ t*yŋ-siŋ’id.’phaʔ-t*yŋ ‘shaman’s assistant’; in Amoy we have ‘id.,’ ‘id., ’’to dance under the influence of spirits,’ ‘id.’ (note: both and mean ‘to leap, to dance’), the spirit leaves the shaman’, ‘to become possessed.’ In the Kienyang dialect (northwest Fukien) we have ‘shaman’ and ‘to become possessed.’ Yungan (Central Fukien) has ‘to shamanize’ (‘to jump, to dance’), ‘shaman.’ The common element in all these expressions is Foochow, Amoy, Kienyang, and Yungan; these forms point back to a Proto-Min * in the tonal category corresponding to the classical p’ing tone. All of the dialects show lower register (yang) tones indicating that the protoform had a voiced initial. The word in question is sometimes written with the character (MC d’ung) which means ‘boy, lad, child’; but it is hard to see what relationship the two words have, since a shaman is always an adult and never a young boy.
In Vietnamese we find a word which both semantically and phonologically corresponds to the unexplained Min etymon perfectly: ‘to shamanize, to communicate with spirits,’ ** **‘male, shamanistic spirit,’ ‘to shamanize, to communicated with spirits,’ ‘shameness,’ ‘female shamanistic spirit,’ ‘shaman, sorcerer.’** This word is not confined to Vietnamese within Austroasiatic. In written Mon the cognate is ‘to dance (as if) under daemonic possession', ‘dance of shaman.’** In Modern Mon the corresponding form is ‘to leap with the feet together, to proceed by leaps, to dance while under daemonic possession, to climb’; Shorto also lists a derived meaning ‘shaman(?).’** Further AA connections can be adduced: Shorto links the written Mon form with Khasi lyngdoh ‘priest’; to support this equation, one can cite similar examples of Mon final – corresponding to Khasi –h: spoken Mon, written Mon ‘belly,’ Khasi ‘id.’ On the Munda side, there are at least three good cognates: Santali ‘a kind of dance, drumming and singing connected with marriage’; Ho dong ‘a wedding song’; Sora toŋ ‘to dance.’**
(9) AM/Fuan tam ‘damp, wet, moist’
These forms which are attested in most eastern Min dialects except Foochow can be related to VN **, ‘wet, moist.’
(10) FC siŋ/AM tsim ‘a type of crab’
These forms may bear some relationship to VN sam ‘king crab.’ The VN form is probably further related to Mon-Khmer forms such as Bahnar, Written Mon khatham, etc.**
(11) FC paiʔ/AM bat ‘to know, to recognize’
AM b- generally corresponds to FC m-; the upper register tone with a voiced initial is also incongruours. Douglas gives a Tung-an form pat for Southern Min, so we regard the AM form as irregular. We can compare all these forms with VN biēt ‘to know, to recognize.’
(12) FC p’uoʔ/AM p’eʔ ., cf. Fuan p’ut ‘scum, froth’
Compare VN ‘scum, bubbles, froth.’
(13) FC p’iu /AM p’io ‘duckweed’
This word is recorded in Kuo P’u’s (AD 276-324) commentary to the Erh-ya where he states that p’iao was the chiang-tung (southeastern China south of the Yangtze) word for ‘duckweed.’** VN bčo‘duckweed’ is obviously related to all these forms. The VN form is probably further related to Spoken Mon pč, Written Mon bew ‘to ride low in the water.’
(14) FC kie/AM kue, cf. Kienyang ai ‘(small) salted fish’
Baldwin and Maclay define the Foochow word as follows: “a kind of salted seafish; it is small varying from one to four or five inches in length.” There is a VN word kč which is defined as a ‘type of fish; it is small and resembles the gecko.’ The primitive Yeh etymon probably meant a small fish of some sort, and the specialization of meaning took place in the various languages later.
[...]Above we have demonstrated that the language of the Nan Yeh was most likely Austroasiatic. Might we not go one step further and suppose that all the various Yüeh peoples of ancient southeastern China were AA speaking? In other words, we would propose that the term Yeh was essentially linguistic. If this supposition is correct, then the present day Min dialects have an AA substratum, and we should expect to find a certain number of relic words of AA origin in these dialects. We believe that this is indeed the case, and below we list and discuss such forms as we have been able to identify up until now.
It is noteworthy that the forms we discuss are best represented in Vietnamese. This is not surprising since the modern Vietnamese are the descendants of the ancient Yüeh and their present territory represents the AA-speaking region closest to Fukien and northeastern Kwangtung.
In discussing Min words we will give the forms in Foochow (FC hereafter) and Amoy (AM hereafter); other dialects will be cited where relevant. Dialect forms will be given in a broad IPA transcription; tones will be indicated by superscript numerals.**
THE NEW SINO-VIETNAMESE WAR
1979-90: Sino-Vietnamese conflicts 1979-1990
1979: Sino-Vietnamese War
1988: Johnson South Reef Skirmish
1974: Battle of the Paracel Islands
THE HISTORY OF OTHER SINO-VIETNAMESE WARS
1789: Tâysơn Dynasty -- Defeat of the Qing
1427: Battle of Chilăng
1407: Fourth Chinese domination (History of Vietnam)
1287: Battle of Bạchđằng River (1288)
1284: Trần Hưng Đạo (The Second Mongol Invasion)
1257: Trần Thái Tông
1075: Lý Dynasty -- War against the Song
981: Battle of Bạchđằng River (981)
938: Battle of Bạchđằng River (938)
602: Third Chinese domination (History of Vietnam)
544: Lý Nam Đế
43 AD: Second Chinese domination (History of Vietnam)
111 BC: First Chinese domination (History of Vietnam)
208 BC: Triệu Dynasty
218 BC: Triệu Đà
221 BC: An Dương Vương
258 BC: Văn Lang
Approximately between 22nd–21st century BC: The Legendary Hồng Bàng Dynasty