What Makes Chinese so Vietnamese?
An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies
Table of Contents
VI) The Chinese connection
China? Chinese? What is it? Who are they? How is the V language related to those of C? How invasive is it about their cultural exertion on such strongly identity-conscious Vietnamese (V) people? We are talking about the history of the Chinese (C) connection here, about which the AA-MK theorists have nothing to say since they do not have a history to build a case.(W) There certainly still exist many other issues that could damp down one's impartiality very much depending on where one stands. If we all pretend the historical issue does not exist, the novices in the field will follow their predecessor's footsteps again.
In this chapter the author will discuss about (1) the core C linguistic elements in V that are actually the other form of transcendence beyond the biological mutation of the V with that of the C immigrants, mostly via cross-marriage that has been carried on for the last 2200 years over their social intercourses, (2) main historical factors that cause the denial of the above fact caused by historical antagonism from both sides in the first place which causes poor judgment on the origin of VS etymology, and (3) the reasons why it matters so much that V etymology could only be discriminately weighed on the sinitic scale as the most decisive factor in the V linguistic development in the postulation, that is, the C connection.
A) Is it Chinese or Vietnamese?
Is it Chinese or Vietnamese? Is it a loanword or an aboriginal form? We are talking about the plausibility of an etymon which is plausibly cognate to each other, for example, 'sông' for *krong that gives rise to 江 jiāng (river), an irreplaceable lexicon in C, just like a member its sinitized national of Yue descents. On this pecific phonetic shell under the form [C+V+C] which represents a majority of all existing lexicons in both V and C vocabulary), a morphemic attribute -- such as its tonality -- of a V lexeme /sowŋ/ is characteristically of the same nature of the ancient root /*krowŋ/. Such a linguistic build is parallel to that of genetic stock that has formed the same biological physique, e.g. 'Is she C or V?'. Metaphorically, what counts is not the mechanics of bio-engineering that grafts C branches onto the trunk of the V tree but the bio-genomes that bear similar fruits, branches, leaves, flowers like other trees.
Vietnamese, specifically, is a language that has populated all sinitic elements on top of its common base of ancient aboriginal strata known as that of some indigenous Yue mother language. However, the case of the V development has been different from some other 'postulated hybrid', but not creolized, languages, such as Albanese of which vocabularies are totally comprised of loanwords from several other prominent languages with a few hundred native words of its own (Bloomfield. 1933). Even though V etyma largely consist of a greater amount of C loanwords in both SV and VS categories, a small number of the latter had actually evolved from ancient Yue roots which had also been shared by several C dialects, i.e., those variants from Cant., Fukienese, in China South (see illustrations in sections after the next). It is interesting to note that some of the basic Yue-based lexicons might have already existed in V prior to their doublets finding their way back again into the V fundamental stock by way of other routes, e.g., 'heo' 亥 hài SV 'hợi' (pig), 'ngựa' 午 wǔ SV 'ngọ' (horse), etc., including those postulated as of AA family such as Mon-Khmer languages. The whole process is similar to that of how Japanese words of modern western concepts of the early 20th century such as 'dânchủ' 民主 mínzhǔ (democracy) or 'cộnghoà' 共和 gònghé (republic), that were built with C materials, have found their way back into the C language.
The people of VN are of racial mixture of earlier natives in the regions, including those of the ancient China's mainland and Annam northern parts of territories, with those racially-mixed Han soldiers from the northern part of the Han Empire and the later C immigrants who kept coming throughout periods of C colonization since 111 BC and beyond. We have made a round trip back to the history of the most related countries, China and Vietnam, that is how their languages are related. It is said that VN did have her own written works -- scribed in C, though -- prior to her becoming an independent state in 939 AD, but when the Chinese colonists left the country, they had destroyed or taken home with them all available books. That is why there existed no paper records in the country to be found before then in order to investigate earlier records on the ancient Annamese language. Remember that the ancient VN had been about 1000 years until then having continued to be a prefecture under Tang's rule. In other word, her own history had been an extended continuation of China after that period. China's history is, hence, an indispensable part of that of Vietnam.
In summary, historically, compositon of the populace of China in ancient times had encompassed all the subjects of other six states previously conquered and unified by the Qin Dynasty, including all those peoples of Yue origin from the earlier the Western Zhou periods following the Shang and Xia dynasties. In the V language, Subjects of the previous Qin Dynasty were then known as 'Tàu' in the V language, or 'Tần' (秦 Qin) to other states during the Warring States and Eastern Zhou periods. In a later development the short-lived Qin Empire collapsed and the defiant Chu State was totally defeated by the empowered Han Empire. The Han Dynasty rose to a prominent superpower, unprecedented since the Western Zhou Dynasty, and its empire had been populated with a larger number of the Chu subjects, biologically and linguistically of the Yue natives, to be exact, including those Viets of the later NamViet State of the China South. New unified entity called Han as an empire and those who had been sinitized under the umbrella of the new Han Empire and its people born since then were called the Han people. (See Bo Yang. 1983-1993. Ibid.) In other words, the formation of the Han populace had been in reality of another mixture of the ancient Yue people, who previously had already made up a part of the populace of the Zhou Dynasty, with a larger population of the Chu state, and those of the Qin and the Han empires. That is to say, the Yue and the Han elements had already blended well long before Annam as a prefecture broke way from the Middle Kingdom by the end of the Tang Dynasty to become an independent country that has become known as Vietnam internationally today.
Map of the Zhou Dynasty
As said, altogether, such mixed Han elements had infiltrated into such VN's native sphere for a total of more than two thousand years since the first waves of the Han expansionists advanced southward beyond China South region further into their newly acquired territories and annexed parts of them into their newly unified empire. Many of BaiYue (百越 or BachViet) natives, as a result, were displaced from their ancient northern base, as perceived by a V, originally in Lake Dongtinghu region of China's Hunan Province, to other places in VN's Red River Delta's perimeters at present time.
As many of the long-marched Han soldiers finally selltled down and made their home in their newly occupied territories, later known as Annam Đôhộphủ' (安南督護府 or 'Annam Protectorate Prefecture'), those new resettlers further encroached onto lower level cultivated land of southeastern basin in Vinhphuc and Hoabinh provinces of today's VN. Their presence had pushed those uncooperative native Annamese -- technically known as Vietmuong -- further to remote mountainous regions, who are now of the Muong ethnic group, one among the other 54 national minority groups displaced in their own ancestral land. For those cooperative populace who had chosen to stay behind, many newcomers married aborigine women and the end result was the emergence of children of the next generations who were born into racially-mixed family of the ancient Annamese natives and the Han resettlers from the north during their southern expeditions. In other words, the ancient 'Annamites' (安南居民) were earlier ancestors of VN's majority Kinh today, or the V people, of whom 99.9 percent bear Chinese family surnames.
Map of the Han Dynasty
To understand the matter better, one can compare such postulation of the V origin with some other similar national developments that had taken on the same path establishing a new nation, multi-racially, regardless of specific ethnicity origin, that was how Annamese entity emerged 2200 years ago. For example, our contemporary history has witnessed the three consecutive prime ministers of Singapore and all Taiwan's presidents, like their fellow countrymen, are all of C origin, and they take pride in themselves as Singaporean and Taiwanese, respectively, in a proud manner that goes hand in hand with one's national identity. The Viets today feel the same way, even much more understandably arrogant for their gung ho attitude throughout their long history, succeeding in acquisition of stretches of lands, one by one, that used to belong to the now extinct Kingdom of Champa and, partly, of the Khmer Kingdom (Cambodia), in the context that it actually does not matter much what their actual origin is genetically; it is their country of birth that counts, for which they have fought more than 1000 years one generation after another to throw off the yokes of colonialzation put on by the much bigger bullies from the north, internationally known as China. Like today's Taiwanese for Taiwan, they are holding tight on the precious status-quo, their national independence, for which the Tibetan people have been still struggling for since the 10th century.
Of the 23 million people in Taiwan, 98% are descendants of ethnic Han Chinese immigrants who migrated from China from the 17th to the 20th century. Of these, around 70% are descended from immigrants from Fujian and identify themselves as Hoklo whilst 15% are Hakka from Guangdong (Canton) and also Fujian. The ancestors of these people were laborers that crossed the Taiwan Strait to work on plantations for the Dutch. It is believed that these male laborers married local aborigine women, creating a new ethnic group of mixed Chinese and aborigine people. It is these descendants who identify themselves as Taiwanese and increasingly reject their identity as Chinese. The reason for this lies to a great extent with the authoritarian rule of the foreign Kuomintang (KMT) which fled mainland China during the Chinese Civil War and set up government in Taiwan. There was martial law that lasted four decades and was discriminatory against the existing inhabitants of Taiwan. Mandarin, a foreign language, was imposed as the national language (國語) and all other languages were made illegal. The harsh rule over Taiwan was lifted in 1988 and began a new era in Taiwanese history when Lee Tenghui, a Taiwanese, became president. The first transition of power from the China-centric KMT occurred in 2000 when Taiwanese Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party won the presidential elections. He made efforts to push for Taiwan independence with statements that there are two nations across the Taiwan Strait; a push for plebiscite on independence; and the abolishment of the National Unification Council. Taiwanese opinion on independence is split between the northern and southern half of Taiwan which interestingly also divides the "mainlander" (外省人) in the north from the "Taiwanese" (本省人) in the south.
For a linguist, on the one hand, sole elaboration on the political, cultural, and historical aspects of a language under survey is considered sufficient if the matters under discussion are irrelevant to one another like those of Mon-Khmer and V. That is not the case between V and C at at all. In the field of VS etymology study it is more of the norms than not, s/he still needs a more comprehensive approach to cover all of the above plus other elements, all relevant and interrelated intimately. Those are the undermined genomes that characterize peculiarities that exist only in genetically affiliated languages, especially, those linguistic intrinsic commonalities that underwrite across all different dialects and sub-dialectal variants, that is, shared features that could not be found in languages of different linguistic family.
On the other hand, it is such uniqueness that has also masked the true appearance of the same etyma that possesses so many similarities that could be either used to posit as word of the same root, including aborigine words from the Yueor discarded outright as loanwords for their closeness, e.g., 'đường' 糖 táng (sugar) vs. 'đàng' or 'đường' 唐 táng (path), respectively. You will see more of the same kind later, however, we cannot solely depend on lexical aspects to determine linguistic family affililation of a language.
Let's put it this way, suppose that V were "English", as opposed to those of Germanic, Roman, Latin, Greek, etc., it should be treated in the same manner like any other languages in the framework of Indo-European languistic family. That analogy is another way to substantiate the interrelationship of V with all C dialects on the TB linguistic tree. That is another way to suppose that if China were not a unified nation like those of European Union now, then each dialect in Guangdong and Fujian provinces could have not been called dialects but languages themselves actually (cf. Danish, German, English, or Italian, Spanish, French, etc.) Reversely, for the same rationalization, if VN had not become an independent country from that one greater imperial China since 939 AD, there is no doubt that her language would have been classed as one of C dialects by now in China as well.
Methodologically, one could not, at the same time, shy away from concepts of Indo-European methology in historical linguistics because of one's privately hold sentiment on irreconcilably nationalistic issues as what we are witnessing now. Balancing compromises is the main step to achieve fairly the same degree of objectivity that was rendered by those French pioneer linguists in the early decades of the previous century, i.e., Maspero and Haudricourt, who might neither give a thought about influential factor of nationalism nor feel the heat of C influence by taking side with sinitic scholars such as Wang Li 王力 or Chao Yuen-Ren (趙元任).
While most of renown sinologists in the West had been trained with modern methological tools found common in Indo-European linguistic application, it is noted that their approach did not do justice to VS linguistic studies and their western linguistic principles would yield little help in understanding a 'strange language' (Bloomfield, 1933, p. 93), for example, syntactic concepts of inflective cases, i.e., accusative, nominative, dative, etc. as in Latin, German, or Russian, are vitually non-existent in all sinitic languages, except for what appears so in reconstructed OC roots *-s as verb function (Bloomfield, 1933. p. 17). In the earlier period of French colonialism in VN French linguists had even mocked the Annamese language to the effect of "primitively having no grammar" and had all those of V syntactics put all under the umbrella of French gammatical framework, e.g., different concepts such as parts of speech tenses aggregately altogether being absent in C and V languages.
Not until recently V home-grown scholars have finally sorted out and modified the whole system based on previous work done by those pioneers. But all that belongs to methodology, not of substance and nature of the V language (See Cao Xuan Hao, 2009). Overall, in any case, we all agree that it is those early linguists who have solidly set up a monumental groundwork, or at least a movable springboard, for us to seriously to continue the work in this linguistic field started with the same western methodology and spirit. It is too bad, though, that those revered veterans are no longer with us in our time to disagree more with the author so that the new historical, implicitly including both geographical and cultural as well, framework on which the modified sinitic theorization of VS etymology initiated in this research is based could be further strengthened.
By identifying shortcomings of previous work by pioneers the author strongly believes that this paper would fill in some vacant exotic categories lacking from them – which mainly focus on lexemes framed into western syntactic flexible form, for instance – concept of tonemes in tones that make up glossemes and exist largely in both C and V, that function as primary phonenes to differentiate lexical meanings, e.g., ma1, ma2, ma3, ma4, ma5, ma6, ma7, and ma8, etc., while variant intonation of a similar lexeme /ma/ in English does not change the core meaning of it, at all, if any. In other words concepts of such feature perceived as pitch register phonemics, or tones, does not exist on the other side of equation, namely, the Indo-European languages.
Lexically, in another separate development, on the one hand, it is noted that many VS compounds have evolved fom individually solid C ideograms for which 'Annamite scholars' (NhàNho 安南儒家) had absorbed before they passed down to their children those learned concepts along with other dissyllablic formation, that has been hundreds of years prior to the introduction of the current and modern romanized V orthography. Of course, pronunciation of those 'words' would have easily deviated from those phoneticized etyma originated from romanized writing systems, for example, 'rác' < 'rácrưới' < lāji, lēse 垃圾 (garbage). On the other hand, one may recall that most of SV vocabularies are literary forms so their usages are always associated with written C characters, which are in effect of a high level ideograph-phoneticization system on which many characters have been based to be coined or created, and then discarded or saved. What is left in our current repository of characters are at our disposal now. That is to say, any V root that originally appear in C character bank could have distanced itself a bit differently from ther forms of colloquial speech depending on who sold their new vocabularies in marketplaces even if they were derived from the same ideographic concepts, all due to dialectal and historical factors thorougout the history of its development. Many exotic characters might exist only in the V domain after the 10th century onward. You may want to refer to the Kangxi Dictionary 康熙字典 to see thousands of one concept with several variants of characters.
As a result, justification of Sinitic to VS transformation seems to belong to a separate field of expertise. Western linguistic mechanics are just like the machine codes running behind modern computer operating systems in which language-specific applications, i.e., V and C languages in this case, are not western programmer's expertise but they belong to those of localizers. Phonetically, common "laws" in sound change applicable in western linguistics therefore could not be used to explain phenomena of irregular sound patterns that operate sporadically on syllabic values with words that carry similar phonemic forms at all in staging scenarios of C and V. For example, Grimm's laws of sound changes such as the theory of great shift that works well with German seem to have their limits in supporting etymological evidences that solidly purport much of the claims of ST and V genetic affiliation with applicable Sinitic data – not to mention SV loanwords which characterize sound change patterns from C to V forms – because V etyma of C origin could be probably extracted and collected from textual quotes buried deeply in C classics, say, notatation of 車 chē (carriage) in 後漢書 HòuHànshū reads 居 jū (SV cư) as */ku/ as indicated by 古 */ku/ which is equivalent to 'cộ' /ko6/ in modern V, including estranged and orphaned dialectal items or alternative lexical forms as recorded in the Kangxi Dictionary. In fact, many plausible instances VS etyma as such could probably be discovered by chance, not by "Grimms laws" or any laws at all, simply because their uniqueness does not fit well into the whole picture, or at least, cross-referenced patterns with those of high frequencies.
You need not to fall for my ST theorization on VS yet but, for the time being, at least be preprared to defend your stand when new historical etymological supporting proofs come up in this paper. Only then could you appreciate what is being elaborated here. Do the same with contrast views, i.e., from the AA theorists, and let it not be swept away amidst commotions by the enraging AA waves once their riders react to what is incited by new discoveries herein that you will have eventually learnt in the end that some are fundamental in others but not in V and vice versa as amusingly argued otherwise by some specialists simply because they are mirrors of one another, undeniably.
In any case, deep Sinitic impresses in VS vocabulary all seemingly point to etyma of the same origin. Readers are to see illustrations of some hard-to-find VS etyma in this work along with those etymologies long cited by pioneers in the VS field such as Maspero and Haudricourt in the early days. However, for some of their cited etyma there had still existed numerous irreconcilable issues left regarding their roots until they were plausibly posited by the Austroasitic roots, though. Eventually theorists in either camp would come to terms reckoning they are actually etyma of the same root that could have not only penetrated deeply not only in V but also distributed widely accross different linguistic families and sub-families such as the case of /mat/ (eye), for instance, the etymon uniformly appearing in those of the MK languages versus 目 mù (SV mục) in C. New students should be able to determine that shared basic words in both C and V centrally lexical stocks are caputs in many languages not in the same family, of which their linguistic peculiarities may shed light on their ancestral roots.
The idea that issues of something V having to do with anything C are controversial and always a matter of delicacy is not new as mentioned in the previous section of politics. At all times for a larger majority of V populace facts regarding certain C influences on their life would be always downplayed and overwritten with depiction undoubtedly dampened by nationalistic sentiment. Thanks to current climate in the diplomatic relation between China and VN, political absurdity would once again play critical role putting innocent students of VS linguistics in the hot seat. To be honest nobody could argue with V militant nationalists because they believe only in what fits into their mindset.
Besides hidden political agenda, since the remote past, have dearly affected the course of V linguistic development as a result. For example, after a recommendation made by a politburo member usage for more purely V selective syllables, frequency of VS "xelửa" (train) or "máybay" (airplane), or each individual word in within those two compounds for the same reason, has overtaken that of the forms of SV "hoảxa" or "phicơ" in modern V. Historically, however, such means of transportation were only introduced to VN by the French colonialists one after another in the early 20th century, so they not to be credited to a localized or translated word for such reason while both compound words are apparently derived from C 火車 huǒchē and 飛機 fēijī, respectively, and, interestingly enough, they are in turn of Japanese origin. Etymologically it is easy to recognize their cognateness in those obvious cases, though, while others are not that obvious since they could be of euphemism or taboo such as avoidance of word sounding more like names of kings, for example, "lợi" (利 'gain', name of King Lê Lợi) substituted by "lời".
Why should we care if V is C influential or not? Well, firstly, that is what V and the core of this paper are all about. Talking about which de facto C core has influenced the most on anything V is just like describing what the Romans, the Celts, the Anglos, or the Saxons had done to Britain in ancient times (Palmer, 1972. p. 356) (英). We could affirmatively state that C cultural and historical embeds are strikingly as impressive in all intimate facets in the life of the V as in their speech exquisitely down to earth in every minute detail of unmistakenly peculiar linguistic expressions, even hitting home in a very discreetly intimate spot of cupids' life in fundamental lexicons, that is, most of V words for not only straightforward sexual organs but also their depictive action, functions, and organism, etymologically, as well, all cognate to those equivalents in C cognates.
Let's quickly nail each C factor in several areas with some analytical critics. There are seven major C dialectal groups and each is mostly unintelligible to the others for most of the times, neither is it to another sub-dialect within its own dialect, e.g., Amoy vs. Hainanese or Tchiewchow in the same Minnan linguistic sub-family. They are related to each other only in historical sense, though. In the meanwhile, on the surface, speakers of each dialect are often having a hard time to articulate properly the national standard Putonghua, aka Mandarin (M) for the same reason phonetically. Let's say, for example, older "Cantonese" generation would still probably be having difficulties to imitate those M phonemes correctly because marginally phonetic crossover interferes with positional pronunciation between the two major northern and southern dialects. Historically Cantonese-speakers are descendants of the later "Han" from the totally Tang-dominated subjects having moved in en masse into today's Guandong Province of China located in eastern part of the NanYue (NamViet) State and mixed with ancient natives (given the weight of X2Y3Z4H (交)) early in the 1st century. So, prior the 10th century their amassed Middle-Chinese (MC) sub-dialects had already formed out of a Tang Dynasty speech known collectively as Cantonese (Cant.) with today's Guangzhou dialect being picked as representative at the present time.
Similar historical events had concurrently occurred to the V language during the same period. There is no coincidence that the SV lexical stock is just another side of the same MC dice, with the five other facets are of Cant. sub-dialects. In the meanwhile much parallel, VS vocabulary is on par of the same class of those Minnan sub-dialects, all having previously formed earlier some time before the Han Dynasty. Remember that even though VN had successfully established herself as an independent nation and proved to be much stronger after her complete beakaway from the Middle Kingdom's protectorate umbrella as the Tang Dynasty faded away into history, the ancient VN had also submerged in the very same NamViet state like the other sinitized entities. Anthropological connections among all of the above were dated at least way back more than 2300 years, at least. In a very similar fashion as that of Cant. development which had happened to the V language, phonemic variants in C phonology in its diachronic loanwords can also be 'mispelled' and mispronounced within the realm of V neighboring allophones. So there is no surprise that those C morphs show up and become different phonemes in V phonology in return. Such fact is manifested by modern modification and overcorrection made by those of today's V learners of M.
In term of linguistic vintages, in a similar fashion like what Latin and Greek had impacted onto many other languages in the same Indo-European (IE) linguistic family such as English or French, the essence of phonology the Tang's speech, greatly in contrast with Latin's being scholarly but dead, its designated Middle Chinese (MC) is mostly still alive and in active use in a manner that is so much more vigorously than expected. Modern sound of each SV word has actually been well-preserved, funelled, and molded by strict sound change rules within an academic framework, i.e., SV pronunciation of C characters must follow Fanqie 反切 (spelling) rules, but interestingly, their literary SV vocabularies were not just limited to scholars, they have been popular and transmittable to the colloquial speech as well, positively indispensable in daily conversation of the common mass.
In fact, the SV usage exists in both speech and writing specifically in V to a degree that nobody could speak the language properly without utilizing the learned SV vocabulary set. For cases that are fluctuating in articulation, for instance, phonological nuclei tucked underneath almost every correspondent SV kernel would implicate its usage in the V spoken language. As we all are entering the revolutionary era of the multi-media internet, both spoken and literary SV forms are being spead quicker even in a much more uniform and consistent fashion than they were used to in comparison to what utilities of the feather brushes had brought to the V in the past where such writing tools in ancient times were made available to only to certain social circles that actually could afford them.
Syntactically, in a long and complex sentence one could possibly manage to make a complete V sentence with minimal words of SV or original C roots, via interpretation or translation from SV into VS of each word-concept, e.g., 'máybaylênthẳng' or 'máybaychuồnchuồn' (helicopter) instead of 'phicơtrựcthăng' 直升飛機 zhíshēngfēijī, and the longer it is the less frequent a C element would appear. Note that for the later grammatical feature, long, complex but coherent speech segment has now solidly taken roots in the V language thanks to contemporary development recently under new grammatical structural imitations, firstly, from French and then English, i.e., 1868 until present, and they have become de facto writing mechanics for building V sentences.
Nevertheles, virtually, if not all, all of V grammatical markers including particles and adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions, relative clauses, along with its classifiers, called 虛詞 xūcí (SV hưtự), are all virtually proven being derived from C, the actual links that connect words together coherently. That is the case that the author mentioned previously regarding the matter that cognates might be cross langusages but 'peculiarities' between the limited two languages of V and C could determine if they are derived from the same roots.
Specifically, in this 'peculiar' case of 'xuci' should one avoid using one or more of that grammatical word in a sentence or even a clause or phrase, basically a V speech structure would then become a composite C classical-styled phrase then, such that their common expression later usually appears in idiomatic phrases (文), so to speak to the effects of 文言文 Wényánwén (literary classical style) where a complete sentence is 'composed' and C 'word' changes 'cases' in a grammatical order of composite structure, i.e., combining isolate words. For the shortest V sentences which are mainly composed of one or two words, one could probably only build them with words mostly of C origin, for example,
- 'Chúa ơi!' 我主! Wǒ Zhǔ! (My Lord!),
- 'Đụmá!' 他媽 Tāmā! (F_k you!),
- 'Vâng.' 行 Xíng. (Agree.),
- 'Xong.' 成 Chéng ('Deal.'),
- 'Rồi.' 了 Liăo (Done.),
- 'Được!' 得 Dé (Okay.),
- 'Đi!' 走 Zǒu! (Let's go!), etc.
Beside what is described as a feature of "peculiarities", some other linguistic aspects are found common in both C and V in a way such that their similarities are characteristically of the same origin, for example, 'mắt' 目 M mù ('eye'), Hai. /mat7/, which marks it not of Malay origin then, so are other SV versions of the MC literary forms that coexist with VS derivatives of another C dialect persistently of all times, e.g.
- 'Được' 得 dé (ok), Hai. /dewk8/,
- 'Đi' 走 M Zǒu (go), Hai. /duj3/,
- 'Biết', Hai. /bat7/ (know),
- 'Xơi' 食 shí (eat), Hai. /ca1/,
- 'Đũa' 箸 zhú, H. /duo3/, etc.,
that is, they are not coincident at all.
Many VS vocabularies, still considered as different from those correspondences in the SV vocabulary set but each complementing the others though, are identified to belong to the older lexical layer of AC (OC) of an earlier period or, coloquially, of dialectal variants which vary a great deal as one moves away from a regional speech that was standardized with its metropolitan version representative of an isogloss, usually the "lightest" accented version of it.
Even though both of them, i.e., VS vs. SV, are actually products of the same historical linguistic development reflecting characteristics of either a certain particular era as dynasty changes or of regions where they were spoken, e.g., Minnan sub-dialects being derived from the OC of Han Dynasty while Yue (Cant.) sub-dialects being heavily influenced, if not almost totally replaced or 'sinitized' as of now, by popular speech of the Tang Dynasty spoken by late immigrants. Representatively each set of vocabularies of those two major strains had permanently and prominently imprinted in every aspect of V so profoundly that each etymon, for their being cognate to each other so apparently, is oftentimes postulated as a whole as a C loanword simply because it closely carries all the shapes and sounds of an original form in a related C dialectal source. Such a fact could be observed through their subtle phonetics that are so close morphemically that each could only be treated as etyma evolved from the same root, including those that belong to the basic group, for example, Hai. /mat7/ 目 M mù ('eye') SV 'mục' vs. VS 'mắt', Cant. /t'aj5/ 睇 M dì vs. VS 'thấy' ('see'), etc.
Unfortunately, that axiom, phonological closeness rendering postulation of lexical loaning, is not always true since one cannot say the same about words that are so native to southern region, e.g., gạo 稻 dào (rice), dừa 椰 yě (coconut), đường 糖 táng (sugar), sông 江 jiāng (river), etc. Of course they are cases that absolutely could not be treated as C loanwords at all; the other way around is true.
In a way the development of VN's national language parallels with the history of those earlier Viets who fled from the crushing advances from their powerful enemies from the north, carrying a nation in exile with them, to be exact, giving up pieces of land up north and expanding to the south. After her independence starting from the 10th century they had become horrific aggressors themselves, ironically, having wiped off the Champa Kingdom from the map completely and annexed all of its occupied territories. Like many other ethnic groups like the Muong and the Mon-Khmer at a much later period, the Champic people had become a minority in VN ince then.
As they marched to the south, the Viets had carried with them their 'mother tongue' had been increasingly becoming as genetically formulated as (4Y6Z8H+CMK), added with touches of some 'local flavors'. The linguistically 'local' concept is what was described by Bloomfileld (1933, p. 51) as dialectal area where a dialectal difference is small and the differences accumulate only when one travels in one direction. We could draw lines between places called isoglosses. Bloomfield called such a larger area as dialectal geography that furnishes the key to tackle some unknown issues, for example, why MK numerals from 1 to 5 are so similar to those of V, as they have been gradually being solved in many cases of Indo-European languages so far.
How is it to compare V sub-dialects to those Sinitic dialects accross VN's northern border in terms of 'local flavor'? Amusingly enough, on the scale of from the "lightest" to "heaviest" glides that tonal phonemes register an accented pike, the V northern pitches sound to V southerners' ears are somewhat amounted to what a Cant. or Fukienese listener hears natives of Beijing speaking Mandarin, a northern dialect version of 'Beijinghua', which is a 'lightest' version, phomemically and phonologically, of a syllabically and tonally simplified 'language' as compared to those Mandarin original southwestern sub-dialects spoken by C in Liuzhou (Guangxi) or Yueyang (Hunan) in the China South. To some degree it is relatively not only that the southern accents are 'heavy' within the same dialect, but the northern Mandarin ones are also quite distinctive from its mirrored southwesthern variations spoken in the provinces of Sichuan, Jiangxi, Hunan, Yunnan, or Guangxi.
In the case of VN's sub-dialects, nonetheless, unlike those of of China's major dialects and their sub-dialects of each individually, thousands of them, any regional V speech as a whole is intelligible throughout the country, which is the direct result of people movement migrating from north to south thoughout the length of roughly 2200 kilometters long one year at a time, though, during the span of 2200 years and still going on (note the timeline is dramatized here for mnemonic reason). Analytically, with its gradual variation from one locality to the next one, and, reversely, to the previous one, each 'sub-dialect' could be easily understood by all, with registered pitches either softened and laxed ("lightness") or a bit or heavier concaved accents ("heaviness"), which is quite different from the unintelligibility within sub-dialects of Cant. or Amoy, that is, Guangzhouhua to Toishanese, or, Fukienese to Hainese, etc., but more like regional variants within a sub-diaclect, e.g., Haikou vs. Wenchang in Hainanese or Toishan vs. Guangzhou in Cantonese, etc.
So, what does racial factor play its role in the V linguistic matter here and what residual vintage of it could a historical linguist expect from a 'previously breakaway renegade prefecture' as always so regarded by all rulers of the Middle Kingdom since the ancient times? Recognition of such historical twists as discussed above is crucial to understand the affiliation of both V and C entities with all probabilities that there exists a continuation that interconnects the present V and C for both having originated from the earliest period when those proto-C horsemen conquered and would later become intermingled with the Yue aborigines, aka Nanman 南蠻, for over 3000 years (cf. the Kinh and other minorities such as Muong, Tay ethnic groups in VN). All habitants of the land would later become subjects of other powerful emerging states in the Eastern Zhou period scattering all over pre-Han's territories which couls have been called Chu Empire of the Yue instead of Han Empire also of the Yue. Therefore, again, 'Chinese' is a civilization, not a race and everything now appears to be that the differences are in the names.
For the better or worse the V are eagerly to continue pass down one generation after another, with no question asked, its feudal vaules such as observance of the hierarchical line that calls for absolute obedience of their rulers and then their teachers, aka, scholars (君師父). That is where our debating messiness has originated from.
Interestingly enough, by any standards, however demeaning such common C legacy is, those nationalists doubtless still accept and value their traditional legacy, or Confucianism, to be exact. Note that Confucius being a native Lu State, today's Shandong Province, ancient land of the Chu previously and her subjects were of the BaiYue (百越 BaiYue) people.
For a practical reason they would never question its spiritual values in respective family genealogy, for example, their mindset has been programmed genetically to favor more male descendants so that their heirs do not fail to carry down a family surname. In term of collective unconsciousness of the V people their family lineage then could be traced back to native ancestors not only in regions of northernmost VN and China South but also in those of the old northeast China.
Altogether they all in turn were racial components that have prominently made up the later Viets, among which the Han factors, including those of later historical periods such as the Tang, etc., had reflected not only in different family surnames of most V nationals but also, except for a few cases of name changes due to identity hideouts or being regarded as a taboo, setting in the tonaes for V personal proper names semantically very similar to those bearing C names in Tang eras, such as 'Lý Thế-Dân' 李世民 or Dương Ngọc-Hoàn 楊玉環 -- as apposed to what sounds today with those in Northern China, which always sound abruptly foreign to the V ears, such as 'Hồ Cẩm-Đào' 胡錦濤 or 'Tập Cận-Bình' 習近平.
Transformation of cultural tradition like that of adopting C names and the like had deeper roots in VN's ancient development history as said. Descendants of those northern settlers continued on with their own children who were born bearing C last names, a subset of an even larger ancestral pool from the melting pot Yue-Han in China South, part of which was included in the tally of population statistics under the Great Tang Empire totaled nearly 42 million people in 726 AD (Bo Yang. 1983-1993. Ibid. Vol. 51. 1991. p. 86). WIth regards to the latter matter, in 763 AD, unimaginably, however, the overall population had greatly decreaseded to 17 million after only a little more than 12 year war fighting against An Lu Shan (安祿山) Rebellion (Bo Yang. 1983-1993. Ibid. Vol. 53. 1991. p.214)
For the same matter, there had been no reports of changes in the Tang's population in its Annam Protectorate's portion. Not that the number of the Annam's population in the ancient times that started growing from the Han's Jiaozhou 交州 (Annam) prefecture was recorded a total 900 thousand in the first century. After 1000 years later Annam's new subjects must have been descents from those children who were fathered by those hundreds of thousands of C infantry who stationed there and immigrants who chose to resettle there permanently marrying local wives during 1000 year-long colonial period. The whole picture is easily seen by comparinhg the growth of the population with approximately 50,000 'Eurasian V' who were fathered by those American soldiers who had been sent across around half of the globe on their two-year mission to the country in the South VN to fight the VN War within the short 10 year period of 1965-1975 out of its population of about 22 million by that time.
Analogously, the same process is being currently taking place in Singapore and Taiwan of which their standing is where VN stood more than 1000 years ago. The difference in the time frame as of our modern era with advancement in communication such as the internet means that there will be not much noticeable changes in the modern Mandarin they are speaking now down the road. In other words, what happened to VN must have been more complicated than that, starting 2200 years ago.
Beside those historical illustrations cited throughout in this research to be coupled with other apparent C linguistic properties existing in V, anthropologists will still have to deal with much more complex changes and variations in all other cultural aspects with other sinitic entities aforementioned. For example, they need to investigate many other subtle dialectal peculiarities in order to posit words of kinship, including those used in calling close blood relatives, terms of endearment, and intimacy, etc., and postulate the C kinship and affiliation in the genealogical line that make up the racial balance of the V populace. All of which in no way is compatible with any cited AA languages as we will see later.
As it turn out now the matter is as simple and straightforward as it appears but turns complicated because it is an uneasy topic for those V scholars to handle impartially in a professional manner. Believe it or not, many of them had no idea that 'Chinese' is a civilization and not a 'race', that is, there had been no 'Chinese', at least conceptually, prior to the emergence of a unified Qin Dynasty (秦朝), the first unified empire of all Chinese entities (221 BC to 207 BC). Linguistically, the V refers to them as 'Tàu' for the SV term 'Tần' which there might have been existed mumerous similar pronunciations the archaic 秦 Qin, a degrading concept having been shared by those old states in the Eastern Zhou period that were later totally eradicated by it.
To sum up, today's V composite popuplace is the majority of the Kinh ethnicity, just like that of the Han in relations to other minorities in China. Those other ethnic groups include direct descendants of those Yue forefathers emigrating southward away from China South region along with those aboriginals who partly make up 52 other ethnic groups scattering in most VN's remote mountainous regions in those northern border areas currently shared by both countries. Specifically, the Kinh majority is not racially pure in terms of indigenity like theirs but they are actually of a mixture of all of the above plus the influx of immigrants of all walks of life from the north (4Y6Z8H+CMK), of whom many early aforesaid immigrants had already been of mixed race bearing their own C family surnames, who had been in turn of another blend of 'Hundreds of Yue' (百越民族) that had been also a part of the "Chu" or "Han" previously, and so on.
There are many ways to elaborate on mistakes in identifying true biological line and languages, especially among V and C, which might least occur with cases of Japanese or Korean nationals with other Asians. On affiliated C connection, in comparison to that of Taiwan as recently as mere 350 years ago in absorbing massive numbers of immigrants from mainland China, especially in 1949, but in much lesser magnitude, all comparable to none but that of VN to have long accomodated thousands of thousands of them since the time she was still a prefecture of China 1000 prior to and another 1000 years after the 10th century. They are actually an inseparate part of the V popuplace. Only those recent C immigrants freshly off the boats in less than a century ago, literally, are identided in the contemporary national statistics as "Hoa" ethnicity. In our modern time, on a practical note, descents of the third or fourth generation of the Hoa (華) ethnicity in VN mostly check 'Vietnamese' box in the census survey when asked of their nationality of origin. The author did the same thing for his household member in the last US census survey. For instance, beyond the purpose of filing the census survey forms, V family surnames identical to most naming covention and connotation, semantically in similar MC phonology and tonality, especially in Tang Dynasty -- cf. their names and those of V names as forementioned --in addition to those of the Han. Visually, a V national could be mistaken for a southern C person and vice versa, which is observable not only in China but in other places as well.
Racial issues, therefore, underlines much more than those of linguistic subtleties alone. Perceptionally anyone can miserably fail to recognize a V among those C youngsters at schools in US cities, mostly presumed as of C origin before positively identified otherwise. Personally I often incorrectly do so on a crowded public gatherings in San Francisco. In markets or restaurants in any cities in China, V lone travelers, unlike 'American caucasians' in Europe among other white Europeans, amidst those C locals are unavoidably mistakenly thought as of their own kind who might be assumed from other parts of China. Any V visitor to China might already have such a personal experience. I myself, having with a dark complexion and speaking non-native accented Mandarin, can also positively affirm such a fun guesswork game on many occasions on field studies in China. In other words, by a mere look, V and C youngsters who were born and raised the western countries are hard to be distinguished from each other.
Anthropologically, two phenomena could be easily observed on the behaviors by overseas C from VN living in western countries. In big cities in the US, overseas C from VN, firstly, like the way Koreans hate the Japanese imperialists who occupied their country the past but as in the back of their mind they are more often than not drawn to gather among Japanese settings, for example, they tend to establish their business presence in Japantown instead of Chinanatown, their shops have been mostly opened it in either Chinatown or Vietnamtown rather than in the former. Secondly, they enjoy to mingle with other fellowmen from VN, including overseas V, rather than with those from Hongkong or mainland China. The point is that of the 4 countries that were built on Confucian values, as opposed to capitalism or socialism, their people are still conciously attracted to those who seem to be compatible to each other in term of racial affiliation, so to speak..
Linguistically, sounds of a toneless foreign speech spoken by either a Japanese or Korean are undoubtedly peculiarly distinct even to the untrained ears of a C or V, with an interesting fact, even that both Japan and Korea historically had systematically imported C vocabularies en masse, having purposely borrowed a complete set of common C characters from the long identified past until recently. Differently, when hearing a C speak his or her dialect, a V firstly needs to listen and concentrate, hard, in order to tell if it is not another V sub-dialect, partly because the pitch levels of tonality of their languages sound so familar. Westerners oftentimes mistake Cant. for V. The author's wife, a 'Hainanese-Han' (海南人), did the same thing when she had first heard V.
In the meanwhile it is noted that races and languages of a people may not be related at all, like what is observable from those of people of different races such as those in the countries of Latin America or India, who adopt a complete set of a language, namely, Spanish or English, for the convenience of their unified national communication. In the latter case, for some Latinos or Indians, even those with Spanish origin or Indo-Eropeans, they are not completely up to the language they speak, say, there were reports that the earlier Apple's iPhone voice recognition apps tend to recognize easier English spoken by an Indian than American.
However, in the case of VN, in terms of ethnicity, for the majority Kinh, issues of unresolved mystically genetic affiliation with the historical C-Han mixture have still long been a matter of aforementioned argumentation. Could the race issue be finalized if scientific DNA maps come out? That may not be the case, though. If we look into the end results of scientific researches of DNA that have been done on the Taiwanese model, there have been always something else involved, a mixed result with human sentiment. It is assumably that those mutationally mixed genes carried inside the blood of V people are solidly compatible with what makes those racial compositions of the 'Han-Chinese' stock of those who are still living within the peripherals of all China's southern provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan, and Guangxi, which was prior to invasions and long occupation by people of Altaic, Mongolian, or Tartarian origin from the further north, which make up the composition of the northern C in today's China. Those Han nationals, as officially listed in a China's census survey, are actually all descendants of sinitized natives (herein perceptionally coded herein as X2Y3Z4H), that is, their genes had been mutated with the same ancestral Yue racial mixture, all having evolved from aborigines living in the habitat of the previous the NamViet Kingdom (南越王國). In any cases at present its highly sinitized populace still can not be mistaken with other 'Han' northerners like those natives from Beijing or Shaanxi.
1200 years after Tibet had been annexed to China, Tibet is still uniquely Tibetan. On the contrary, Taiwan has much less than 350 years starting having any connection with the mainland of China but the influx of immigrants from Fujian Province whose ancestors had been sinitized starting 2200 years ago still outnumbered the Taiwan's natives. Which one is analogous to the case of VN? Any answer must take into consideration the factor that, prior to one thousand years ago VN had been a prefecture of China for more than one thousand years for those are historical facts.
For illustrations, read the episode that follows. You may notice that the details described below are to elevate your understanding of cases of V émigrés out of their homeland across the vast Pacific Ocean in our modern time, analogous to stories about journeys over the rugged Lingnan mountainous ranges on foot by those Yue aboriginals out of their native China South land fleeing further to south of VN's Tonkin areas more than 2000 years ago. That was how the nation of VN had come into being after the NamViet nation was annexed into the greater Han territory in 111 BC. Similarly the V language affirmatively tells the same story regardless of what one would wish since there existed only one road leading to the becoming of it, there being no other path otherwise .
Let's take you to a place where mistaken identities frequently occur between a person of V or C origin. I am a regular customer of a thriving V cafe in Chinatown in a US city such as Oakland, California, recognize and have interacted with numerous employees there, eating the V food they cook, and talking to them for quite some time now. For those people working there I know for sure that, except for the cooks, prominently being V, a Mexican helper and an American son-in-law, the store's owner and the rest of employees are half and half ethnically in the sense that they are "Chinese" genetically, yet, having immigrated from VN since 1975. Historically it is known that, for many generations already, they are descendants of China's Ming's citizens fleeing the Qing's suppression and taking refuge in VN in the 17th century, many being C Tchiewchow speakers. In real life they have been heard talking in different C dialects with different local C customers. What actually identifies them with V nowadays is that they are in social intercourse with their V fellow countrymen, talk and behave like any natives of VN, such as idolizing V pop singers, for example. Figuratively all of the above represents a complete picture of ethnological components in V racial and cultural make-ups, hence, their dominant languages.For those Vietnamese of Chinese origin who could not speak V properly, they are indiscriminately classed as members of the C minority group living within the VN's perimeters. In a general sense, though, they are a portion of the VN's population but, once in a while in some TV sitcoms, they have been mocked by comedians who imitated, innocently, yet shamefully, a V mimicry spoken by those Chinese-Vietnamese. For those who are of the same camp living back there in the backward VN to learn something about the severity of such the matter that if such an incident happens in the US, even prominent public figure who does so could fall into eternal disgrace.
In this story, the existing VS words that we speak are living parts of nature just like the food we eat and the air we breathe in such a natural way that we react without even questioning the 'foreign sinitic' nature of them. Everything comes and goes so naturally and smoothly. Analogously, compared to what we might still remember how we had reacted when we had happened to notice and admired how fluently a young German salesperson in a store somewhere in Germary speaks English as fluently as a Britain's native. However, don't you realize that we as a civilized society have hardly done so with those V of C descents? It is because we expected them to speak V like a native as parts of the multilingual salespersons in the anecdote of the V cafe above. In actuality I observe that the employees switch back and forth with ease from V to other different C dialects, unconsciously and naturally.
In all probabilities, as a customer of that cafe you have never questioned the authenticity of the tasty food they cook, presumably V cuisine, some with obviously C-styled items but you eat them like any V dishes anyway, since mostly those plates are prepared with the same ingredients and cooking process as are being used in V culinary, with an exception that they are usually being seasoned with sprinkles of fish sauce, though. In all you appreciate their cooking with those tasty dishes you enjoy at the eatery. Is it what makes that restaurant stand out in comparison with those made by other C restaurants nearby not doing that good business?
You enjoy all those C-seasoned V dishes – or C food with V-accentuated seasonings, e.g., anchovy sauce, lemongrasses, or basils, etc., for that matter – as you do with those of southern-style dishes of Khmer origin, adding up a bit more of sweet and sour taste. All said, metaphorically, the whole picture is comparable to that of how VN has come into being, with all the racial and linguistical mixtures from north to south throughout the length of her history. The whole scenario above is depicted with those of a sinitic background who, themselves or their offsprings, have contributed to the racial composition of the V people as well as their language. In other words, Vietnam is just another cultural sub-domain of a larger sinitic domain in which we all already getting used to be called by somebody with the surname and given name undeniably all having C origin and we naturally respond, which has become a part of our nature, cultural and linguistic heritage.
Let's peek into our social circles and you, of V origin, would see that many of your acquaintances in our close V social network happen also to be of C origin. That is a fact of life for many of us, if not all of us. We do have friends of C origin, absolutely having no discriminative hard feelings about them, and even some among them they are us ourselves. Many of us are have come out of such family background and become a national of VN as a result.
On forming of the national identity with a soul, as a society as a whole we have no control over what has become of history of one's country, just like our own nativity, yet prejudice could muddy our personal perception of our surroundings. We, in our contemporary era, including also those who have gone exile, all were born, have grown up, lived, socialized, associated with C substantiality in V cultural values that had taken deep roots in the V society after more than two millenia. Imagine we were back in time more than 1000 to 2200 years ago when portions of ancestral Viets were starting to move out of the China South to its southern geographical planks long after and independent of previously earlier movements toward the Southeast Asian rims which made up large portions of the later grouped AA. In a foreign land the early Viets kept moving southward accross 16th parallel into the newly acquired territories from the Kingdom of Champa in the 12th century and resettled there thereafter.
Along the way we have often come accross many of our own kind along the way – including those in exile, like in the case of the V cafe as dramatized above – with whom we usually communicate in V and have never discerned slight sinitic elements in everything interactive around us that we have been so accustomed to, notably the V language as a common bond for socialization. There is no reason for us to shed doubts about those we know and the authenticity of the mother tongue that they speak and our vocables we utter without the realization that those VS words have blended well like mixture of air and water, naturally.
The anecdote above and the inclusion of Taiwan into the whole picture for illustration we are discusssing here – by any measure, it even has experienced less with China than what VN had gone through, not to mention all other prehistoric contacts from ancient time throughout those recorded history as applicable to both locales – are intentionally prepared and tailored discreetly for both of those historically-conscious V diaspora and fellow citizens back home who, normally viewed as hard-cored nationalists, have been grown weary and would stubbornly refuse to buy any sinitic proposals.
To see how intense is the magnitude of nationalism inside V citizens, let's picture theirs also with those of Tibetans in the contemporary settings. The V have many a time gone through long struggles one after another against imperial China similar to the ones that are currently carried on by Tibetans who lost their independent state into the hands of the last Tang's emperors in the sunset of their dynasty. The hot-blooded V patriots are determined to be united on every front to fight against any encroachment initiated by China from the north, e.g., its recent delimitation of international borders in land and at seas.
To some degrees those nationalists, on the other hand, could compromise for what they prefer not to logically discriminate against other C cultural elements that are core elements of the V social norms for they were born from birth conditioned with rigidly intrinsic Confucian values, such as sovereignty and nationalism, the very same hold by Taiwanese nationals. So were any C rulers but their view of history of the two nations somehow is different from the V people as a whole, though.
For the V people as a whole, thanks to their mistrust of China's past and present, they feel strongly sentimental on nationalistic issues. In other words, they are sensitive and quick to respond unfavorably to any national argumentation that said of C origin, either linguistically or anthropologically, which partly helps explain why the V academics do not go with the sinitic scheme. On such divide issues those scholars inside the country are of the type that is not easy to submit themselves to any authority that appears to be an expert on any sinitic topic which would disaccord with their firm nationalist conviction. In this case they have become ignorant of history, which is to blame for their being afraid of their own nationalist belief to be uprooted by those possessing much more knowledge than theirs, viewed as real threats. Believe it or not, that is the stupid nature of the V intelligentsia on the ugly side. Generally speaking, they would never admit so and tend to refrain from acknowledging any author who has made some breakthoughs and is still alive. Contemporary history on the Vietnam War written by western historians as opposed to those by native V proves this viewpoint.
For academic purposes, no matter what, nationalistic or not, this paper is going to deal specifically with those undeniable sinitic elements existing in the V speech and make them available for all the academic world to see. The author will approach the true sinitic subject matter and pin down on some plausible aspects of it, linguistically, with no prejudice attitude against any C entities, attempting to treat those related matters in their whole totality anthropologically with plain and simple truth out of human second nature, intuitively, so to speak, towards the world around us regardless of how discriminatory a well learned V might become disoriented due to obvious layers of C substrates on top of what is left of the locals.
The code of conduct for the foregoing statement is based on core substance of a V proverb that loosely means 'let's better offend first then please each other later' ("Mấtlòng trước đượclòng sau") and that of C for 'we would have not recognized each other if we did not fight' ("不打不相識"). On the one hand I shall make enemies anyway among those who would read my paper and not accepted my theorization simply because they do not want to believe in history. It is no point for me to waste time beating around the bushes with those nationalists. In the past, as some among us might notice, I have virtually responded to nobody, namely, those critics against myself personally which have appeared on the internet in recent years.
As much as how they feel, the author also resents China's indoctrination of its people and its policy of expansionism handed down by its imperial rulers who have been bullying the little VN all along her one thousand years of colonial period until these days. Yet linguistics is linguistics. For the past 25 years I have made numerous filedtrips to China to do the dialectal surveys but I have stopped doing for the time being on seeing China's hegemony has been increasingly griping firmly VN and she appears to succumb at any time to the under her current rulers as its timid puppets. They, like those V submissive little kings of the decadent feudalist state, have to rely on those C rulers to exist. That is the reason why. They will lose their seats if they take side with the democratic side. As the organs of the regime the V academics have always been behaving exactly the same way working to that effect. Unlike us scholars in free western sphere, it is difficult for them to appreciate what it means to be free of politics in scholarship no matter what. Politics would eventually nullify the authenticity of any academic work
On the other hand, for certain reasons, I am also purposely writing this paper in English to seek understanding from learned readers on the V language, a bold venture in an uncleared land-mined field the author has been anxiously tiptoeing wishing for the best. I will fight and work hard on my belief. I already know the fate of all my efforts taking the ST path, for which the V linguistic circle would deplore revelation about the hereditary affiliation between the V and C languages but that prospect would not deter the author's determination to forge forward with an altruist heart. If any recognition is to be conferred upon the author's work at all, that would likely happen only long after his death.
Additionally, other purpose of being written in English is also for the sake of keeping certain people at bay, that is, not to let them to be fully engaged until somebody is crazy enough to translate this paper into V. At least for the time being I still do not want to hear dirty words from some fellow countrymen of lower, to be exact, uneducated classes. Their behavior is a product of socialism in modern VN which I hope that will change some time in my lifetime.
Surprisingly, however, the irony is that my true understanding allies, unexpectedly, happen to be those western specialists in the AA camp who are having an open mind and enough patience to hear what I have to say on subject matter of ST linguistic affiliation of the V language. Until now, nevertheless, those listeners are still not convinced enough with my sinitic hypothesis probably for a couple of reasons that I could think of, namely, (1) my reconstruction of ancient phonology may appear to be faulty, such as corespondences of multiple sound values assigned to have evolved a root without any further backup, for instance, (2) western linguists are still being so rigid in adjusting their western methodology to make their sound change rules work for tonal languages, oe simply, (3) I just do not know how to package and sell my ideas.
To be on the safe side for the above statement though, this discussion, to a lesser extent, actually is neither intended to draw a direct line of genetic linguistic affinity between V and C dialects, nor any of those of Tibetan languages for that matter, but only to show possibilities of their "linked kinship", or, metaphorically, "long lost relatives" either one of ST languages, as we either draw a straight line or family-tree branches connecting a ST language to V for their Sinitic roots of many linguistic commonalities. For example, with their intimate share in terms of endearment, the implications are not only for semantic conveyance, but also in all other linguistic traits such as tonality and conceptual connotation. Say, for the concepts of 'mater, maternal, mother, blood mother, step-mother', or 'mom', the V language has 'mẹ, mợ, má, u, nạ, mẹruột, mẹghẻ', etc. which are in paralellel with '母 mǔ, 媽 mà, 姆 mǔ, 娘兒 niár, 母親 mǔqīn, 親母 qīnmǔ, 繼母 jīmǔ', etc.
Overall, lexically, at first count, with more than 420 fundamental items from a variety of ST etymologies as listed by Shafer, they are coins for our thoughts (See Sino-Tibetan etyma). What makes them so close and how come nobody sees that in the first place? Even though the cognateness among the V and any of the listed ST etymologies is so obvious to any journeyman in this VS field of historical linguistics; nevertheless, it is needless to say the task of proving the genetic relationship between the two languages is still tantamount, that is awaiting another figure as big as Shafer to work on such colossal work.
This paper in a sense is original and the new finds of VS etyma would elevate you to the next level of intelligentsia. To save your sanity while reading this paper, try not to let personal sentiment cloud your judgment. For those readers who are so sensitive to anything C, this paper may not suit their taste at all and they would better quit reading now because what they are about to read is all about those V etyma of C origin, the ST approach. It is normal that their latent antagonism against any sino-centric interpretation is likely to be exhumed as long as each and every generation still faces real threats of invasion from the north so that it has never been a good idea to renew rgumentation, even in scholarly terms, on any controversial issue such as re-classification of the V language into the ST linguistic family.
The simmering sentiment could further boil up steam of "nationalism", or to be exact, "anti-Siniticism", historically, which had been hyterical and phenomenal. Such emotimally volcanic eruptions could turn into ugly destructive force capable of spoiling a new generation of school of thoughts on Sinitic theorization, for example, newcomers would rather choose to twist their career path out of such rugged road, consciously or not, rather than taking risks of being alienated from an unpopular field of studies.
In additon to such unavoidable unpleasantness, it is expected that the same reactions from the old MK conservatives of the western linguistic world all will inevitably launch even more assaults, which could lead to blunt rejection of acceptance of the novelty of the author's elaborative efforts in addressing those existing C and V etymological issues.
The author certainly do not want to see all that promising approach turns sour due to negative aspects of the matter whether it is nationalist or not. What I am really seeking is measurable recognition in the linguistic world on the undeniable association with the ST etymologies as to be elaborate in the next chapter. The focal point is Sinitic that is to be reinforced with some prelimary ST evidences discussed and cited next, either directly or indirectly, e.g., 秦 Qín for 'Tầu', 水 shuǐ for both 'nước' (water) and 'sông' (river), etc., in addition to those conservatively preserved scarce resources currently available at our disposal so far from traditional approaches made by those sinitic oldtimers, e.g. 漢 for 'hắn' (that guy), 江 jiāng for 'sông' (river), etc.
On the other front, until now as it has been presented to us, the whole picture of the core matter from the start in the V historical linguistics, literally, is only repetitions of some conclusion passed down from one linguist after another, just like a chained re-post of a re-post of the same old material on the internet. In the end hits on such informational recurrences will make serious readers to adjust their thinking. To counter such negative effect, we, of the ST camp, will stage the same strategy. Metaphorically, our main task here is like that of the restoration job to retouch those faded spots on an old painting again and again until viewers see what the painting was meant.
As long as we persistently hold on to our own spots in the cyberspce, literally, every time old and new readers go searching the VS related subject the internet they will have choices among other old views of the AA camp. We are not playing games here, but building hyper indices one at a time to link the vast resources on the internet purposely being geared toward our specific sinitic resources and theorization. The mission of this paper is one of them, e.g., pieces of VS etyma posted here and there, specifially, which has been re-posted throughout the cyberspace.
Academically, steering this research towards that ST predetermined direction undoubtedly would burn the midnight oil while whatever resulted from it would not necessarily give a satisfactory answer in a well-defined manner significant enough to build a strong case to uproot the belief in the western AA hypothesis. It, in fact, has the advantage of possessing analytic tools over the ST of ours, a theory having been built on rather weak cognitive approach, comparatively.
By the norm, based on possible rate of change when plausibility for a new theorization is to successfully become materialized from an opposite viewpoint, it usually takes longer than another cycle of 60 years or so to shift an old consensus set by veterans in the field to another direction. By then they and I will have been all dead like those in the ST camp as well as all of the AA pioneers.
The cycle of 60 years has marked its time for some time now so the new ST circle should take off. We have just got new energy while the other AA resources still remain repetitive, that is, duplicative sources cited one following after another's. Therefore, possibility of a resurrection of the ST theory once again after recharges could then be absorbed and nourished by newcomers in historical linguistics whose untainted brains might be impartial and less bland. The next ST theorists would warm routine receptions from those oldtimers.
While this revised sinitic theorization has caught some attention and received some feedbacks since several dafts of its first versions of this paper appeared on the internet a decade ago, I would be glad that, in my lifetime, both the AA and ST camps will finally acknowlege my findings as meaningful. For such humble wish, they are open up to accept further refinement. We together would demystify those puzzling affiliation and entanglement with regard to theory of the "linked kinship" between V and C etyma on the premise that both of them had evolved from the Yue base.
B) Prelude on the Sinitic etyma
The meaning of prelude is, well, prelude, not of something substance, yet enough for readers to grasp a sense of what to expect next.
The objective of this chapter is to acquaint you with major sinitic elements in the V language as well as to answer some questions of why and how V and C coloquials are interchangeable in the absence of proactive intervention from knowledgeable hands, including those scholarly SV items in coloquial V, reversely. Also, the author will examine those underscored linguistic traits where the contemporary V speech carries most of the peculiarities that are common in different C dialects.
What appears below depicts most of those influential factors that have shaped the course of the development of VN in terms of her people and their speech. They are a result of a full integration of C immigrants into V society as ancient Annam was still a prefecture under the colonial rule of China throughout many dynasties for 1000 years since 111 BC. History of C immigration to VN is the major factor that will help explain why there exist so many C words in the V language, including some of unsuspected basic items previously classed into other MK cases but they later found to be Sinitic of common Yue origin.
That said, all in all the V language could very well be placed on par with other languages in the ST linguistic family for its ancestral form of Yue in the form of speeches spoken by the Chu subjects that had existed prior to the emergence of Sinitic entities, i.e., Zhu, Qin, Han, etc, given that the ancestral Yue languages gave rise to those languages spoken by the Zhuang or Dai minority groups in China South, including Cant. or Fukienese. For the latter two speeches prominent elements of the Tang and Han dynasties had virtually replaced nearly all of its ancestral forms native to those of aboriginal Yue speeches once spoken by the Yue people about 3000 years ago. (See Drake, F.S. ed. Symposium on Historical Archaeological and Linguistic Studies on Southern China, South-East Asia and the Hong Kong Region. 1967.) The whole scenario would later repeat with MC, i.e., linguistic changes, by northern Mandarin and this form of dialect continued to influence other speeches in the sino-sphere, including V.
In this research, however, the author is still shy of proposing that V is a sinitic language but loosely it could be described as a Sinitic 'graft' language – as opposed to that of 'an adoptive language', 'hybrid' one (as described by Bloomfield, 1933, of Albanese), or even creoles (such as French spoken in New Guinee or Haiti) – thanks to its systematic and scholarly transformation from an official C language called Mandarin used in imperial courts throught out the ages. In the meanwhile, in the past the V language used to be considered as a Sinitic branch in the ST linguistic family long before the emergence of MK of AA theorization of the origin of the V language came out in the 50's of the 20th century. For such matter novices in V linguistics do not need to discern much about ST etymologies but only posits of what is to be brought here in the chapter about them and VN's history as discussed so far.
You can visualize that such Sinitic 'graft' language is that of a linguistic tree with Sinitic plant tissues, branches, and leaves branching from a V trunk grafted onto the root of an aborigine Yue language. In other words, Sinitic linguistic elements exist on top of multiple layers of fundamental ancient Yue substrata, many of which apparently still leave traces in many AA languages such as those of Munda or MK as ancient aboriginal migrate to places, which would help explain why AA etymological forms exists in V. If it is to be proved truly such a case, terminologically, like that of the Sinitic term, AA would be another misnomer because those AA remnants existing in the V language thatcarry Sinitic substances suggest something from the north. In fact the sole apprearance of some AA elements have deceive many veterans in the other Sinitic fields.
As discussed earlier on some of such related issues with regard to the terminology "Sinitic' to signify an affiliation having something to do with modern "Chinese" when in reality the core substance of that concept had not come into existence. Nonetheless, genetically or not, for the Sinitic dominance existing in the 99 percent of VS etyma, which could only called by the name "Sinitic" which could only enhance the validity of those AA claims.
While the characteristics of the SV stock of the V language are more like those of MC, for those of the VS portion they are, surprisingly, more like that the northern Mandarin, especially the coloquial part of the official language of the court for more than 1000 years. In a sense it is a northern C dialect which had become of shape out of heavy influence by other Altaic languages after China had undergone the long period roughly 1000 years -- equal to that of the historically colonial VN -- of occupation and dominance of the rulers of Altaic and Tartarian origin, such as the Xiongnu from Siberia, the Yuan's Mongolians, the Kim in the Northern Song Dynasty (see Bo Yang. 1983-1993. ibid.), and, especially, the Manchurians in the last 300 years of the Qing Dynasty.
Most of the examples cited in this introductory work are brand-new listings, in a respect, which could be used as complementary work to other etymological works previously pioneered by veterans such as Sergei Anatolyevich Starostin (http://starling.rinet.ru/, 1998) or Lê Ngọc-Trụ for their proposed terms of C origin. For example, the author accept the new posit of VS 'khói' 氣 (汽) qì (smoke) for the already known SV 'khí' (air) and VS 'hơi' (vapor), or 役 yì for 'việc' (work) in addition to 活 huó, etc.
Whether they are accurate or not, old past etymological findings of C origin will still be salvaged and meticulously patched with new "paints", filtered, not to cover-up but to, metaphorically, reveal camouflaged fading spots of an old painting. Let's say, we have found 腚 dìng for VS 'đít' (buttocks) in addition to its doublet 屁 pì (SV tí) for the same concept of different roots denotes the same object,. In this case, specifically, we may need to treat them to be of the same origin, to explain the sound change pattern -zero and /-ng/ ~ /-t/ and /p-/ ~ /d-/, or, similarly, 犬 quán and 狗 gǒu both for 'dog' to explain /kh-/ and /k-/ changing to /c-/, etc.
A rescontructed work of such scholarly depth could be done in the same manner as we would like to try, like work being done in restoring and rebuilding subtle details from an old painting counterpart. In most of the cases etymological elaboration, i.e., explanation in detail of how sound change patterns have happened on both common and specific cases of cited etyma, on the words cited below and more in the next chapters could be omitted for simplicity, assuming readers already familiar with the sound change laws with what is going on.
To what extent that you are inclined to believe in the truthfulness of the factual etymological evidences depends solely on your historical linguistics background as well as conviction about the Sinitic theorization being discussed in this paper. Except for those who have a grasp in many disciplines related to the subject matter, there will be in reality not many people who would really comprehend or appreciate it. In short, again, people tend to believe in what they have already believed to start with. For some people, they would never understand such self-evident and self-proofed etyma which are so obvious and simple such as 早 zăo for 'chào' (hello), let alone 屁股 pìgu for both VS 'phaocâu' (chicken butts as delicacy) and its contracted form 屁 pì (SV tí) for 'đít', both equivalent to the modern M for 'buttocks', and its extended meaning for 'địt' (fart).
A Vietnamese Folktale
For an overview of the history of V development in a nutshell, artistically depictive, let's first attempt, imaginatively, to sketch the whole picture of a painting depicting the VN's history based solely on revealing transient shades of diminishing colors overlapping each other. They, like folktales passed down by the V ancestors, try to convey to us a highly hypothetical but picturesque story of pseudo-historical bygones.
Linguistically, let's take some examples, 'sông' (river) 江 jiāng and 'suối' (creek) 泉 quán diverting our attention from 川 chuān (SV xuyên), 'cửa' (door) 戶 hù camourflaging 口 kǒu, 'hiểu' (understand) 曉 xiáo replacing 會 huì, 'hiền' (good nature) 賢 xián taking place of 善 shàn (SV thiện), etc., one etymon on top of the other, not to mention each morphemic syllable in dissyllabic forms could give rise to different doublets in V via associative rule of sound changes, for example, 安樂 ānlè (peaceful and happy) ~> 'anlành' / 樂 lè ~ 'lành' <~ 良 liáng (benign), etc, of which the whole new rule like that has never been spotted by any specialists in V at all. Hence the hidden ones could be exposed in doublets or of different shapes and sounds. Therefore there is no such thing called 'absolute' in terms of rigidity in historical linguistics as readers current see on other VS etymological works.
Metaphorically, for entertaining purposes, without being stressed out with all bombarding minute details of an academic subject so as to be easy to remember, V linguistic history might run with the lines as follows:
"More than 3000 years ago the mother proto-Taic had given birth to one hundred children, collectively known as the BáchViệt 百越 or BaiYue, with half of them married to the normadic Yin 殷 (or Ân) warriors of the formerly powerful Xia 廈 and Shang 商 dynasties that had long been separated from the Tibetan root and founded the Zhou Kingdom 周王朝. The newly mixed race had formed Sino-Tibetan linguistic branch.
Tracing down the evolutional line, among several vassal states was the Qin State 秦國 that had become increasingly powerful and then forced the Chu 楚國 to become its "concubine" with all of her adopted indigenous subjects. Well, when they were fighting against each other, the other half fled southward to join their long lost cousins, who were later called individually by the name of Yue 粵 (Việt), XiYue 西越 (TâyViệt), LuoYue 鵅越 (LạcViệt), OuYue 毆越 (ÂuViệt), MinYue 閩越 (MânViệt), YueChang 越常 (Việtthường), etc. all having well established within their rightful states.
All together they have evolved into ethnic groups at present day known us as the Dai 傣, the Zhuang 壯, the Yao 瑤, the Miao 苗, the Mon 猛 (毛南), etc., respectively. All is nowadays lumped together and named as the Austroasiatic stock by western anthropologists. They were actually descendants of the other fifty Yue children who had got there in earlier break-ups more than 2200 years ago. They, again, fought among themselves and only, in 208 BC, ended up to be ruled by a former Qin's general called Triệu Đà (趙佗 Zhào Tuó) who had established the NamViệt 南越國, or NanYue, State, which would later be trampled under the feet of the Han Dynasty after its long incursive march and, finally, were conquered and annexed to the greater unified China. As history has it, part of it located in today's VN's northern territory became the Annan Protectorate 安南都護府 (Annam Đôhộphủ).
In Annam the Viet-Muong groups, descendents of the LuoYue, further broke up and formed the Kinh group (京族 Jingzu), the speakers of the proto-Vietic speech who chose to stay behind living under the ruling umbrella of the Han rule and the Muong groups, who preserved the proto-Muong linguistic form while fleeing into remote mountainous areas. The former, having endured further the imposition of the Han's culture and language, had absorbed and blended itself with a Han dialectal form known as Ancient Chinese (AC), which, over time, diachronically and synchronically, gradually and continually penetrated deeply into the Vietic linguistic form, or early Annamese, which undoubtedly was the ancestral form of today's V. Linguistically the early V formation and development with all the AC elements paralleled to what had happened to ancestral Fukienese Amoy. "
Such affiliation among those of the V and C languages could be dated back to earlier periods of the Western Zhou Dynasty, of which proto-Taic remnants had scattered and diverged into all other speeches spoken by descendants of the BaiYue, i.e., the Yue, which might include those of the today's Austroasiatic stock, e.g., the MK languages. The linguistic splits continued on and further blossomed into a new linguistic form spoken by the Kinh (京族 Jingzu), meaning "the metropolitan people", the newly mixed race historically known as the Annamese since the Han time. Note the connotation of the word "京" for "Kinh", that how the "Chinese-mixed" Annamese called themselves since the ancient times.
So to speak, vestiges of the proto-Taic elements of the pre-Sinitic linguistic forms that made up OC is just like the blend of the Sintic elements of the post Western Han in the VS stock since 208 BC onward have permeated throughout the V language, which would explain why both V and C languages are considered linguistically affiliated via the key elements of the Yue aboriginal speeches even though the V language was not on genetically straight-lined Sino-Tibetan.
You will see more of those descriptive details again throughout this paper because it is an important link in V and C relationship from "linked kinship" to culturally-accented imposition and acquisition based on actual historical facts of more than 1000 year domination of the ancient land of VN by the Han Chinese.
(W)Journeymen in the field will understand why the ST hypothesis of linguistic wave-theory is being shunned by the new V nationalists, let alone the traditional family-tree one (Bloomfield, 1933. pp. 317, 18).
(英) That is metaphorically comparable to elaborating on China's Simplified C vs. Tradionial C, along with Pinyin vs. Zhuyin transcribing systems being in use in Hong Kong or Taiwan or, analogously, cf. 面 miàn (face, noodle, wheat) for 麵 miàn (noodle, wheat) vs. the derivatives in VS 'mặt' (SV 'diện') and 'mì' (SV 'miến'), respectively, a big difference, so to speak.
(文)A good examples is from "Bình Ngô Đạicáo Tânthời" written in classical language with a modern context by author. It is a modern slanted version of the 'Vietnamese proclamation of independence from China' in 1428, VN's Le Dynasty. You may want to read the full version of it in APPENDIX L or do a Google search to see how "nationalism" and "politics" can obscure some good judgment:
"凭吾丑告: 女丑讨华, 占有千秋, 婆权成性, 历载叶千, 巨大无双, 蝴蝶婆脷, 汉和岭蛮, 缩头乌龟, 中擦外伤, 坏而恋战, 南越百族, 湖广七雒, 独吾健在, 雄居南方, 旗花移到, 吾邦挚友, 好客有方, 来者良家, 流氓勿忘, 白藤江待, 南杀西杀, 旗中无敌, 维我独尊, 骑越虎也, 上之毋下, 入生出死, 大鱼气小, 急吃豆腐, 九死一生, 贪食疾身, 女等欺人, 甚不可忍, 君子报仇, 十年不晚, 咱走着瞧, 霸权破脷, 惹火焚身, 九泉归依!" (Trâu Ơi Bố Bảo: Trâu số đạo hoa, ngàn lẻ thu qua, hay thói quyền bà, sửxanh ghichép, cụ đại vôsong, baybướm lưỡibò, hánhởmulạnh, đầurùa lấpló, trong sứt ngoài thoa, lâm chiến bại hoài. HồQuảng dù mất, NamViệt vẫncòn, Hùng cứ phươngnam, kỳhoa dịthảo, hữuhảo chi bang, chuộngchìu hiếukhách, nhàlành kếtmối, lưumanh chớhòng, Bạchđằng BểĐông, Trườngsa Hoàngsa, duyngãđộctôn, kỳ trung vô địch, cởi cọp Việtnam, lênvoixuốngchó, vàosinhratử, ỷlớnhiếpbé, nuốtxương mắccổ, dỡsốngdỡchết, thamthựccựcthân, lũbay bốláo, đắcchí tiểunhân, nhịn cũng vừa thôi, quântử ratay, bàihọc ngànnăm, tổcha tụibay, báquyền bảláp, rướchoạvàothân, ngậmngùi chínsuối !)
ā ē ě ī ǐ ă ō ǒ ū ǔ ǖ ǘ ǚ ǜ ü û ɔ ɑ ɪ ɛ ɤ ə¯ ŋ ɯ ɪ ʔ ʃ ö ä ü ɐ ɒ æ χ ɓ ɗ ɖ ɱ ʿ ʾ θ ñ ŕ ţ ť tś ı ć ¢ ď Ā ź dź ƫ ć ń ç ď ş ŗ ż ſ ņ ʷ ɲ ʈ ɫ ɬ ʈ ƫ ʐ ɣ Ś ¯¯ ¯ ˉ