Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Discussions on the Cantonese language.

Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby yue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:02 am

If you look at the map of "Warring States" in ancient China, people who lived below the Yangtze river were considered as barbarians aka non-Han Chinese; these people did not speak Mandarin! The modern day provinces of Kwantung and Kwang Si were actually inhabited by the modern day Vietnamese people but the Qin dynasty sent their armies and totally annihilated this kingdom and pushed the Vietnamese further down. If Cantonese people are considered to be Chinese, are they the descendent of a mixed race of the Vietnamese and the Qin soldiers? The reason that i said Kwantung and Kwangsi were inhabited by the Vietnamese because i'm a Viet and i'm really sure about this. In the Viet history book, we stated really clear that the Vietnamese should never forget where they came from!
yue
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:18 am

nobody speaks mandarin before 1400, and every state in warring states china speak a different dialect 2200yrs ago. even modern 'south vietnamese' are not 'authentic' vietnamese, cos the state of annam conquered the indian/cham state of champa in 1472, which made up southern vietnam, and the chams were probably from indonesia. so wads your point?
ppk
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby yue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 9:28 am

my point is that authentic chinese were the ones who lived above the Yangtze river!
yue
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Wed Jul 17, 2002 11:39 am

sorry my fren, the term 'chinese' came only after qin/han dynasty, as u can see, 'chin' is the western translation for qin dynasty, not anything before that. and by then guangdong and guangxi are already part of the chinese administration. so 'authentic chinese' includes population of guangdong and guangxi, thou they are newly acquired at that time. before that, there is no 'chinese' people, only different states by different tribes. and if u are vietnamese, why not u look at your historical records? where did the vietnamese came from? who was the great grandfather of the 'dragon king'?
ppk
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby yue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:40 pm

my friend, i quoted the word "authentic" because i meant the people of the united warring states of china in the year 221 b.c . the new tribes and states that were annexed after 221 b.c were the "new" chinese!
yue
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby Thomas Chan » Wed Jul 17, 2002 6:34 pm

yue wrote:
>
> If you look at the map of "Warring States" in ancient China,
> people who lived below the Yangtze river were considered as
> barbarians aka non-Han Chinese;

And if you look at a map of Zhou 周 era China, everyone living beyond
the original tiny Zhou territory is a non-Chinese barbarian. You selected
the Warring States 戰國 map arbitrarily because it supported your
argument. If one uses a latter Qin 秦 map, then regions including where
present-day Guangzhou 廣州 is located would be part of the Qin empire,
and hence, Chinese. And if one selects an early Zhou map, then very
little territory is under Zhou control, including most of what is now
northern China.

BTW, in actuality, the Warring States kingdoms Chu 楚 and Yue 越 lie
partially north of and south of the Yangtze river, yet they were not
Chinese.


> these people did not speak
> Mandarin!

Nope, and neither did the people who lived in the Warring States
kingdoms. See ppk's post.

You seem to be under the illusion that northern Chinese are somehow
more "authentic". Have you considered all the non-Chinese barbarians
that live in the north, like the Huns, Khitans, Jurchens, Mongolians,
Manchus, etc? And that what is now northern China has been invaded
and conquered by these non-Chinese barbarians numerous times? And
that the chance of intermarriage is just as likely? And that the "Chinese"
who lived in northern China often fled to what is now southern China,
often setting up resistance movements?


> The modern day provinces of Kwantung and Kwang Si
> were actually inhabited by the modern day Vietnamese people
> but the Qin dynasty sent their armies and totally annihilated
> this kingdom and pushed the Vietnamese further down.

The predecessors of the Vietnamese were not the only non-Chinese
who were living in what is now Guangdong and Guangxi. (Why do
you spell Guangdong as "Kwantung", anyway, with the "g" missing
from the first syllable? Even in Vietnamese, it is "Quang Dong".)


> If
> Cantonese people are considered to be Chinese, are they the
> descendent of a mixed race of the Vietnamese and the Qin
> soldiers?

No "ifs". Cantonese are already considered Chinese and no one
disputes that. Whether they have non-Han ancestors (and surely,
there are--including mixes between Chinese settlers and the aborginal
Vietnamese-- but most likely of Tai background, like the Zhuang 壯) is
no longer relevant.


> The reason that i said Kwantung and Kwangsi were
> inhabited by the Vietnamese because i'm a Viet and i'm really
> sure about this. In the Viet history book, we stated really
> clear that the Vietnamese should never forget where they came
> from!

Why do the origins of Vietnamese have to do with the origins of
Cantonese? The Cantonese are Chinese because they speak
a Chinese language, they historically reside within the borders of
China, their culture is Chinese, and most importantly, they consider
their identity to be Chinese. I'm sure you claim are Vietnamese for
similar reasons.

Let me ask you something--you say you are Vietnamese, and it looks
like you reside somewhere in California. If you look at a map of Vietnam
from any time period, California was never a part of Vietnam. Therefore,
that means you must be a mix of Vietnamese and American Indian,
right?



Thomas Chan
tc31@cornell.edu
Thomas Chan
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby sheik » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:06 pm

Hmmm... this argument seems to be one that will run and run...

Yue, are you trying to beat the number of responses from the post below?!
http://chinalanguage.com/forum/read.php?f=1&i=400&t=400

/dam

[%sig%]
Learn how to read, write and speak Cantonese!
http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk
sheik
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby yue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 10:08 pm

to thomas chan

Iv'e never said that cantonese are not chinese, i only said that cantonese are not authentic chinese. The word china came after the qin state conquered other 6 states and established a unified country. From my opinion i think authentic chinese should be define as the people of all 7 states that were living in the year 221 b.c when the state of China was created and the word chinese come about!

If you say cantonese are chinese because they speak a chinese language; can you define what languages to be considered as chinese. I also disagree with ppk that no one speaks mandarin before 1400 because there are around 850 millions people speak mandarin today. This number is too huge! If mandarin was a language of such a small state in the classical time, how come mandarin becomes the most widely spoken language by the majority of today's population. I don't believe mandarin just pop out from somewhere and becomes the most dominant language. From my opinion, i think mandarin must have been a widely spoken language of many states in the classical time; anything other than that, i can't think of a reason why this language is so popular today.



...by the way, i brought in the vietnamese topic was because many chinese texts and critics always deny that vietnamese didn't live in modern day Kwangtung and Kwangsi provinces. I might sound like a Jew who wants to reclaim the "promised land" but the fact is that vietnamese did live in these provinces in the classical era!
yue
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby yue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 10:19 pm

btw, at one time i was reading an article and it said that the Chu state of the Warring States spoke Indonesian! I don't know if this is true or not?
yue
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:29 am

i was wondering, qin took guangdong and guangxi area probably around 214 bc, 7 yrs after conquering the other warring states, and 17yrs before that, there were 12 states in central china. so u mean the 7 yrs difference is the distinction btw 'authentic' and 'non-authentic' chinese? in this 17 yrs, the qin dynasty had never stopped waging war, and probably it was after conquering guangdong and chasing the huns away after this 17yrs, qin shi huang finally took a break, and thats when china is considered unified. i dun understand the reason in putting a fullstop halfway thru his career. we dont measure the roman empire b4 the romans finished their major campaign, neither do we measure the mongol empire that way.

the mandarin we speak today is a mixture of northern dialects, formulated only around 1400. the chinese had a fixed set of writing since qin shi huang ordered writing in the same 'fonts'('zhuanshu', actually 'xiaozhuan' in particular, said to be formulated by the prime minister li'si) and using the same standards of measurements. but the pronouciation to this consistant writing system is not constant. due to language habits there are changes in pronouciation. in qin era the pronounciation is more or less similiar to cantonese, then hakka/hokkien, teochew, then proto-mandarin, mandarin. maybe some will argue, like the cantonese say 'chatting' as 'keng'gai', not 'liaotiao' as in modern mandarin, but actually the term 'kenggai' can be found in 'book of zhuang tzu', and so can many cantonese terms be found in ancient chinese text, written b4 the qin dynasty, how can u say they speak a different language? its just that the terms they used are obselete in modern mandarin doesnt deny them of their relations with the chinese language.

i dont think any respectable chinese history book, whether from mainland china or roc taiwan, will deny that ancient viets lived in guangdong or guangxi. history records as early as the 'hanshu' already said that the ppl living in the south are call yue, or luoyue, baiyue, etc. and 'luowang' (雒王), the title of the leader of the viets in guangxi(now the zhuang minority?!), is sometimes written as 'xiongwang'(雄王) due to similiarities in writing form, in ancient history book. they also have the records of the vietnamese 'dragon king'(貉龙君) myths, so i think ur sources are questionable. u can try the newest history text on vietnam, called 'yuenan tongshi' published by the renmin university of china recently, provided if u can read chinese. quite a detailed book on vietnam, thou with some obvious claims over territorial rights.

those theories saying ppl in indochina and southern china are from indonesia are probably some european(french, if i remember correctly) who discovered a couple of incomplete skeletons of indonesian origin in vietnam/cambodia region, and hastly made that claim, to detach vietnam from chinese control. but language wise, the indonesian language do have some influence in that region.
ppk
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:56 am

and yue, check how many speaks english before 1400 and how many speaks english now. u wont be surprised anymore.
ppk
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby KP » Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:14 am

To YUE,

hey man, I'm in the same boat as you. I seemed to have the same views about Chinese folks that you have. If you haven't read the previous thread mentioned by "sheik" above, you should really read it. I know its long, but there's alot of interesting stuff in there.

Heres how I thought before:

The Chinese of today, especially mainlanders, have that almost "korean" or "japanese" look to them: pale skin, smaller slanty eyes, single eyelids...etc, etc. Then theres the claim that ancient Chinese language was most similar to Cantonese, not Mandarin like I assumed. I didn't understand why these people, who tend to hold on to traditions and are very nationalistic....would give up Cantonese and take Mandarin as their "Chinese Language".

This is kind of the general idea I have now:

That "look" I refer to above was inherited by inter-marrying with the barbarian tribes that controlled parts of China on and off.

I guess the language part happened during those times(North-South Dyn?) as well? Slowly, those folks in the "North" started speaking more of "Mandarin" type of dialects while those in the "South" were able to hold on to their original, authentic Chinese language. I assume the Manchus played a part in the wide spread use of Mandarin as well?

Anyways, I'm sure someone has some corrections and things to add to my theory.
KP
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:52 am

to kp,

single eyelids were only prominent among ancient chinese, like those terra cotta warriors in xi'an. modern chinese have a larger portion with double eyelids, esp the northerners. cos thruout history they intermarried other minority races. the first double eyelid portrait is probably the statue of buddha, cos he's indian. u got it upside down.

first of all, u have to keep this in mind, cantonese and mandarin are different stages of a single language, it's not giving up one and picking up the other. certain methods of pronouciation change in the course of history plus additional accent from the mongols and manchus, and cantonese pronouciation gradually transformed into hakka/hokkien/teochew etc and finally into mandarin, it is an evolution within a single language. there is a constant pattern and complete trend to trace this transformation. mandarin already exist in the ming dynasty b4 the manchu came. the novels like 'romance of the 3 kingdoms' in ming dynasty and 'dreams of red chambers' in qing dynasty are written in mandarin, so mandarin is not a foreign language introduced by the manchus. they have their own manchurian tongue.
ppk
 

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby Mark » Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:19 am

PPK: exactly.

However, I must say that modern Chinese languages aren't varieties of the same language, they're as different as French is from Spanish.

But your viewpoint can still be used: Cantonese and Mandarin are BOTH ancestorial languages of the Chinese people, it's just that Mandarin has changed more from the old language than has Cantonese.

And the Manchus actually did spread Mandarin. When they ruled over a large part of China, they used Mandarin as their language of administration, if I recall correctly, and that's why it ended up spreading so far.

As for not seeing how Mandarin can have so many speakers today if it wasn't spoken before the 1400s: First, take a look at English in 1400, and then today. Second, Mandarin didn't just appear out of nowhere, Middle Chinese gradually evolved into Proto-Mandarin (as well as other sinitic protolanguages), which gradually evolved into Mandarin. The language was already spread before it became Mandarin.
Mark
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:53 pm

Re: Cantonese are not "authentic" Chinese

Postby ppk » Thu Jul 18, 2002 10:03 am

mark,

something like that. i wanted to use the indo european language as an example but they are not exactly identical cases. anyway the idea is more or less there...
ppk
 

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