Zhuang languages

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Zhuang
Vahcuengh
Native to China
Native speakers
16 million all Northern Zhuang languages  (2007)1
Standard forms
Sawndip
Language codes
ISO 639-1 za
ISO 639-2 zha
ISO 639-3 zhainclusive code
Individual codes:
zch – Central Hongshuihe Zhuang
zhd – Dai Zhuang (Wenma)
zeh – Eastern Hongshuihe Zhuang
zgb – Guibei Zhuang
zgn – Guibian Zhuang
zln – Lianshan Zhuang
zlj – Liujiang Zhuang
zlq – Liuqian Zhuang
zgm – Minz Zhuang
zhn – Nong Zhuang (Yanguang)
zqe – Qiubei Zhuang
zyg – Yang Zhuang (Dejing)
zyb – Yongbei Zhuang
zyn – Yongnan Zhuang
zyj – Youjiang Zhuang
zzj – Zuojiang Zhuang
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Books of Zhuang language

The Zhuang languages (autonym: Vahcuengh (pre-1982: Vaƅcueŋƅ, Sawndip: 話僮), from vah 'language' and Cuengh 'Zhuang'; simplified Chinese: 壮语; traditional Chinese: 壯語; pinyin: Zhuàngyǔ) are any of more than a dozen Tai languages spoken by the Zhuang people of southern China in the province of Guangxi and adjacent parts of Yunnan and Guangdong. The Zhuang languages do not form a linguistic unit: northern and southern Zhuang languages are more closely related to other Tai languages than to each other. Northern Zhuang languages form a dialect continuum with Tai varieties across the provincial border in Guizhou, which are designated as Bouyei, while Southern Zhuang languages form another dialect continuum with Nung, Tay and Caolan in Vietnam.2 Standard Zhuang is based on the northern Zhuang dialect of Wuming.

Citing the fact that both the Zhuang and Thai peoples have the same exonym for the Vietnamese, kɛɛuA1,3 Jerold A. Edmondson of the University of Texas, Arlington posited that the split between Zhuang and the Southwest Tai languages happened no earlier than the founding of Jiaozhi (交址) in Vietnam in 112 BC, but no later than the 5th–6th century AD.4

Surveys

Sites surveyed in Zhang (1999), subgrouped according to Pittayaporn (2009):      N,      M,      I,      C,      B,      F,      H,      L,      P

Zhāng Jūnrú's (张均如) Zhuàngyǔ Fāngyán Yánjiù (壮语方言研究 [A Study of Zhuang dialects]) is the most detailed study of Zhuang dialectology published to date. It reports survey work carried out in the 1950s, and includes a 1465-word list covering 36 varieties of Zhuang. For the list of the 36 Zhuang variants below from Zhang (1999), the name of the region (usually county) is given first, followed by the specific village. The phylogenetic position of each variant follows that of Pittayaporn (2009)5 (see Tai languages#Pittayaporn (2009)).

  1. Wuming – Shuāngqiáo 双桥 – Subgroup M
  2. Hengxian – Nàxù 那旭 – Subgroup N
  3. Yongning (North) – Wǔtáng 五塘 – Subgroup N
  4. Pingguo – Xīnxū 新圩 – Subgroup N
  5. Tiandong – Héhéng 合恒 – Subgroup N
  6. Tianlin – Lìzhōu 利周 – Subgroup N
  7. Lingyue – Sìchéng 泗城 – Subgroup N
  8. Guangnan (Shā people 沙族) – Zhěméng Township 者孟乡 – Subgroup N
  9. Qiubei – Gēhán Township 戈寒乡 – Subgroup N
  10. Liujiang – Bǎipéng 百朋 – Subgroup N
  11. Yishan – Luòdōng 洛东 – Subgroup N
  12. Huanjiang – Chéngguǎn 城管 – Subgroup N
  13. Rong'an – Ānzì 安治 – Subgroup N
  14. Longsheng – Rìxīn 日新 – Subgroup N
  15. Hechi – Sānqū 三区 – Subgroup N
  16. Nandan – Mémá 么麻 – Subgroup N
  17. Donglan – Chéngxiāng 城厢 – Subgroup N
  18. Du'an – Liùlǐ 六里 – Subgroup N
  19. Shanglin – Dàfēng 大丰 – Subgroup N
  20. Laibin – Sìjiǎo 寺脚 – Subgroup N
  21. Guigang – Shānběi 山北 – Subgroup N
  22. Lianshan – Xiǎosānjiāng 小三江 – Subgroup N
  23. Qinzhou – Nàhé Township 那河乡 – Subgroup I
  24. Yongning (South) – Xiàfāng Township 下枋乡 – Subgroup M
  25. Long'an – Xiǎolín Township 小林乡 – Subgroup M
  26. Fusui (Central) – Dàtáng Township 大塘乡 – Subgroup M
  27. Shangsi – Jiàodīng Township 叫丁乡 – Subgroup C
  28. Chongzuo – Fùlù Township 福鹿乡 – Subgroup C
  29. Ningming – Fēnghuáng Township 凤璜乡 – Subgroup B
  30. Longzhou – Bīnqiáo Township 彬桥乡 – Subgroup F
  31. Daxin – Hòuyì Township 后益乡 – Subgroup H
  32. Debao – Yuándì'èrqū 原第二区 – Subgroup L
  33. Jingxi – Xīnhé Township 新和乡 – Subgroup L
  34. Guangnan (Nóng people 侬族) – Xiǎoguǎngnán Township 小广南乡 – Subgroup L
  35. Yanshan (Nóng people 侬族) – Kuāxī Township 夸西乡 – Subgroup L
  36. Wenma (Tǔ people 土族) – Hēimò Township 黑末乡大寨, Dàzhài – Subgroup P

Varieties

The Zhuang language (or language group) has been divided by Chinese linguists into northern and southern "dialects" (fangyan 方言 in Chinese) each of which has been divided into a number of vernacular varieties (known as Tǔyǔ 土语 in Chinese) by Chinese linguists (Zhang & Wei 1997; Zhang 1999:29-30).6 The Wuming dialect of Yongbei Zhuang, classified within the "Northern Zhuang dialect," is considered to be the "standard" or prestige dialect of Zhuang, developed by the government for certain official usages. While Southern Zhuang varieties have aspirated stops, Northern Zhuang varieties lack them.7 There are over 60 distinct tonal systems with 5–11 tones depending on the variety.

Zhang (1999) identified 13 Zhuang varieties. Later research by the Summer Institute of Linguistics has indicated that some of these are themselves multiple languages that are not mutually intelligible without previous exposure on the part of speakers, resulting in 16 separate ISO 639-3 codes.89

Northern Zhuang

Northern Zhuang comprises dialects north of the Yong River, with 8,572,200 speakers610 (ISO 639 ccx prior to 2007):

  • Guibei 桂北 (1,290,000 speakers): Luocheng, Huanjiang, Rongshui, Rong'an, Sanjiang, Yongfu, Longsheng, Hechi, Nandan, Tian'e, Donglan (ISO 639 zgb)
  • Liujiang 柳江 (1,297,000 speakers): Liujiang, Laibin North, Yishan, Liucheng, Xincheng (ISO 639 zlj)
  • Hongshui He 红水河 (2,823,000 speakers): Laibin South, Du'an, Mashan, Shilong, Guixian, Luzhai, Lipu, Yangshuo. Castro and Hansen (2010) distinguished three mutually unintelligible varieties: Central Hongshuihe (ISO 639 zch), Eastern Hongshuihe (ISO 639 zeh) and Liuqian (ISO 639 zlq).11
  • Yongbei 邕北 (1,448,000 speakers): Yongning North, Wuming (prestige dialect), Binyang, Hengxian, Pingguo (ISO 639 zyb)
  • Youjiang 右江 (732,000 speakers): Tiandong, Tianyang, Baise; Youjiang River basin area (ISO 639 zyj)
  • Guibian 桂边 (Yei; 827,000 speakers): Fengshan, Lingyun, Tianlin, Longlin, Yunnan Guangnan North (ISO 639 zgn)
  • Qiubei 丘北 (Yei; 122,000 speakers): Yunnan Qiubei area (ISO 639 zqe)
  • Lianshan 连山 (33,200 speakers): Guangdong Lianshan, Huaiji North (ISO 639 zln)

Southern Zhuang

Southern Zhuang dialects are spoken south of the Yong River, with 4,232,000 speakers610 (ISO 639 ccy prior to 2007):

  • Yongnan 邕南 (1,466,000 speakers): Yongning South, Fusui Central and North, Long'an, Jinzhou, Shangse, Chongzuo areas (ISO 639 zyn)
  • Zuojiang 左江 (1,384,000 speakers): Longzhou (Longjin), Daxin, Tiandeng, Ningming; Zuojiang River basin area (ISO 639 zzj)
  • Dejing 得靖 (979,000 speakers): Jingxi, Debao, Mubian, Napo. Jackson, Jackson and Lau (2012) distinguished two mutually unintelligible varieties: Yang (ISO 639 zyg) and Min (ISO 639 zgm)12
  • Yanguang 砚广 (Nong; 308,000 speakers): Yunnan Guangnan South, Yanshan area (ISO 639 zhn)
  • Wenma 文马 (Dai; 95,000 speakers): Yunnan Wenshan, Malipo, Guibian (ISO 639 zhd)

Johnson (2011) distinguishes four distinct Zhuang languages in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, China: Nong Zhuang, Yei Zhuang, Dai Zhuang, and Min Zhuang.13 Min Zhuang is a recently discovered variety that has never been described previous to Johnson (2011). (See also Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture#Ethnic groups)

Pyang Zhuang, or Fuping Zhuang, is an undescribed Central Tai language spoken in Fuping Township 扶平乡, Debao County, Guangxi, China.14

Writing systems

Zhuang Sawndip manuscript
the 81 symbols of the Poya 坡芽 Song Book used by Zhuang women in Funing County, Yunnan, China.

The Zhuang languages have been written in the Old Zhuang script, Sawndip, for over a thousand years, and possibly Sawgoek previous to that. The Old Zhuang script, Sawndip, is a Chinese character–based system of writing, similar to Vietnamese chữ nôm: some sawndip logograms were borrowed directly from Han characters, while others were original characters made up from the components of Chinese characters. It is used for writing songs about every aspect of life, including in more recent times encouraging people to follow official family planning policy.

There has also been the occasional use of pictographic proto-writing, such as in the example at right.

In addition, Standard Zhuang and Bouyei are written in Latin script.

See also

References

  1. ^ Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. ^ Bradley, David (2007). "East and Southeast Asia". In Moseley, Christopher. Encyclopedia of the World's Engangered Languages. Routledge. pp. 349–422. ISBN 978-1-135-79640-2.  p. 370.
  3. ^ A1 designates a tone.
  4. ^ Edmondson, Jerold A. 2007. "The power of language over the past: Tai settlement and Tai linguistics in southern China and northern Vietnam". in Studies in Southeast Asian languages and linguistics, Jimmy G. Harris, Somsonge Burusphat and James E. Harris (eds.), Bangkok, Thailand: Ek Phim Thai Co. Ltd. (see page 15)
  5. ^ Pittayaporn, Pittayawat. 2009. The Phonology of Proto-Tai. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Linguistics, Cornell University.
  6. ^ a b c Zhang Yuansheng and Wei Xingyun. 1997. "Regional variants and vernaculars in Zhuang." In Jerold A. Edmondson and David B. Solnit (eds.), Comparative Kadai: The Tai branch, 77–96. Publications in Linguistics, 124. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington. ISBN 978-1-55671-005-6.
  7. ^ Luo Yongxian. 2008. "Zhuang". In Diller, Anthony, Jerold A. Edmondson, and Yongxian Luo eds. 2008. The Tai–Kadai Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-7007-1457-5.
  8. ^ Johnson, Eric C. (2007). "ISO 639-3 Registration Authority, Change Request Number 2006-128". 
  9. ^ Tan, Sharon (2007). "ISO 639-3 Registration Authority, Change Request Number 2007-027". 
  10. ^ a b 张均如 / Zhang Junru, et al. 壮语方言研究 / Zhuang yu fang yan yan jiu [A Study of Zhuang dialects]. Chengdu: 四川民族出版社 / Sichuan min zu chu ban she, 1999.
  11. ^ Hansen, Bruce; Castro, Andy (2010). "Hongshui He Zhuang dialect intelligibility survey". SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2010-025. 
  12. ^ Jackson, Bruce; Jackson, Andy; Lau, Shuh Huey (2012). "A Sociolinguistic Survey of the Dejing Zhuang Dialect Area". SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-036. .
  13. ^ "SIL Electronic Survey Reports: A sociolinguistic introduction to the Central Taic languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China". SIL International. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  14. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/numeral/Zhuang-Fuping.htm

Bibliography

  • Zhuàng-Hàn cíhuì 壮汉词汇 (Nanning, Guǎngxī mínzú chūbǎnshè 广西民族出版社 1984).
  • Edmondson, Jerold A. and David B. Solnit, ed. Comparative Kadai: The Tai Branch. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics; [Arlington]: University of Texas at Arlington, 1997.
  • Johnson, Eric C. 2010. "A sociolinguistic introduction to the Central Taic languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China." SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2010-027: 114 p. http://www.sil.org/silesr/abstract.asp?ref=2010-027.
  • Luo Liming, Qin Yaowu, Lu Zhenyu, Chen Fulong (editors) (2004). Zhuang–Chinese–English Dictionary / Cuengh Gun Yingh Swzdenj. Nationality Press, 1882 pp. ISBN 7-105-07001-3.
  • Tán Xiǎoháng 覃晓航: Xiàndài Zhuàngyǔ 现代壮语 (Beijing, Mínzú chūbǎnshè 民族出版社 1995).
  • Tán Guóshēng 覃国生: Zhuàngyǔ fāngyán gàilùn 壮语方言概论 (Nanning, Guǎngxī mínzú chūbǎnshè 广西民族出版社 1996).
  • Wang Mingfu, Eric Johnson (2008). Zhuang Cultural and Linguistic Heritage. The Nationalities Publishing House of Yunnan. ISBN 7-5367-4255-X.
  • Wéi Qìngwěn 韦庆稳, Tán Guóshēng 覃国生: Zhuàngyǔ jiǎnzhì 壮语简志 (Beijing, Mínzú chūbǎnshè 民族出版社 1980).
  • Zhang Junru 张均如, et al. 壮语方言研究 / Zhuang yu fang yan yan jiu [A Study of Zhuang dialects]. Chengdu: 四川民族出版社 / Sichuan min zu chu ban she, 1999.
  • Zhou, Minglang: Multilingualism in China: The Politics of Writing Reforms for Minority Languages, 1949–2002 (Walter de Gruyter 2003); ISBN 3-11-017896-6; pp. 251–258.

External links


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