Zhuang languages

Last updated
Zhuang
Vahcuengh (za), Hauqcuengh (zyb)
Kauqnuangz, Kauqnoangz (zhn)
Hoedyaej (zgn), Hauƽyəiч (zqe)
Hauqraeuz, Gangjdoj (zyb, zhn, zqe)
Kauqraeuz, Gangjtoj (zhn, zyg, zhd)
Native to China
Native speakers
16 million, all Northern Zhuang languages (2007) [1]
Standard forms
Zhuang, Old Zhuang, Sawndip, Sawgoek
Language codes
ISO 639-1 za
ISO 639-2 zha
ISO 639-3 zha – inclusive 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
Glottolog None
daic1237  = Daic; Zhuang is not a valid group
Zhuang-dialects-map.png
Geographic distribution of Zhuang dialects in Guangxi and related languages in Northern Vietnam and Guizhou
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Books of Zhuang language Zhuang books.jpg
Books of Zhuang language

The Zhuang languages ( /ˈwæŋ,ˈwɒŋ/ ; [2] 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 monophyletic linguistic unit, as 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 Northern Tai varieties across the provincial border in Guizhou, which are designated as Bouyei, whereas Southern Zhuang languages form another dialect continuum with Central Tai varieties such as Nung, Tay and Caolan in Vietnam. [3] Standard Zhuang is based on the Northern Zhuang dialect of Wuming.

Contents

The Tai languages are believed to have been originally spoken in what is now southern China, with speakers of the Southwestern Tai languages (which include Thai, Lao and Shan) having emigrated in the face of Chinese expansion. Noting that both the Zhuang and Thai peoples have the same exonym for the Vietnamese, kɛɛuA1, [4] from the Chinese commandery of Jiaozhi in northern Vietnam, Jerold A. Edmondson posited that the split between Zhuang and the Southwestern Tai languages happened no earlier than the founding of Jiaozhi in 112 BC. He also argues that the departure of the Thai from southern China must predate the 5th century AD, when the Tai who remained in China began to take family names. [5]

Surveys

Sites surveyed in Zhang (1999), subgrouped according to Pittayaporn (2009):    N,    M,    I,    C,    B,    F,    H,    L,    P Zhuang survey sites.svg
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) [6] (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" (fāng yán 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). [7] 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. Although Southern Zhuang varieties have aspirated stops, Northern Zhuang varieties lack them. [8] 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. [9] [10]

Northern Zhuang

Northern Zhuang comprises dialects north of the Yong River, with 8,572,200 speakers [7] [11] (ISO 639 ccx prior to 2007):

Southern Zhuang

Southern Zhuang dialects are spoken south of the Yong River, with 4,232,000 speakers [7] [11] (ISO 639 ccy prior to 2007):

Tày-Nùng language in Vietnam is also considered one of the varieties of Central Tai and shares a high mutual intelligibility with Wenshan Dai and other Southern Zhuang dialects in Guangxi. The Nùng An language has a mixture of Northern and Central Tai features.

Recently described varieties

Johnson (2011) distinguishes four distinct Zhuang languages in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan: Nong Zhuang, Yei Zhuang, Dai Zhuang, and Min Zhuang. [14] 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 and Myang Zhuang are recently described Central Tai languages spoken in Debao County, Guangxi, China. [15] [16]

Writing systems

Zhuang Sawndip manuscript Manuscripts in the Yunnan Nationalities Museum - DSC03931.JPG
Zhuang Sawndip manuscript
the 81 symbols of the Poya Po Ya Song Book used by Zhuang women in Funing County, Yunnan, China. Manuscripts in the Yunnan Nationalities Museum - DSC03934.JPG
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 ancient Zhuang script, Sawndip , for over a thousand years, and possibly Sawgoek previous to that. Sawndip is a Chinese character-based system of writing, similar to Vietnamese chữ nôm ; some sawndip logograms were borrowed directly from Han characters, whereas others were original characters created 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 a number of other scripts including pictographics proto-writing, such as in the example at right.

In 1957 Standard Zhuang using a mixed Latin-Cyrillic script was introduced, and in 1982 this was changed to Latin script; these are referred to as the old Zhuang and new Zhuang, respectively. Bouyei is written in Latin script.

See also

Related Research Articles

Bouyei language Northern Tai language of Southern China

The Bouyei language is a language spoken by the Bouyei ethnic group of Southern Guizhou Province, China. Classified as a member of the Northern Tai group in the Tai language branch of the Tai–Kadai language family, the language has over 2.5 million native speakers and is also used by the Giay people in some parts of Vietnam. There are native speakers living in France or the United States as well, which emigrated from China or Vietnam. About 98% of the native speakers are in China.

Gelao is a cluster of Kra languages in the Kra–Dai language family. It is spoken by the Gelao people in southern China and northern Vietnam. Despite an ethnic population of 580,000, only a few thousand still speak Gelao in China. Estimates run from 3,000 in China by Li in 1999, of which 500 are monolinguals, to 7,900 by Edmondson in 2008. Edmondson (2002) estimates that the three Gelao varieties of Vietnam have only about 350 speakers altogether.

Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture Autonomous prefecture in Yunnan, Peoples Republic of China

Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture is an autonomous prefecture in Southeastern Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China and the easternmost prefecture-level division of the province. It borders Baise, Guangxi to the east, Vietnam's Hà Giang Province to the south for 438 kilometres (272 mi), Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture to the west and Qujing to the north.

Buyang is a Kra language spoken in Guangnan and Funing counties, Yunnan Province, China by the Buyang people. It is important to the reconstruction of the hypothetical macrofamily Austro-Tai as it retains the disyllabic roots characteristic of Austronesian languages. Examples are "to die", "eye", "head", and "eight".

The Kam–Sui languages are a branch of the Kra–Dai languages spoken by the Kam–Sui peoples. They are spoken mainly in eastern Guizhou, western Hunan, and northern Guangxi in southern China. Small pockets of Kam–Sui speakers are also found in northern Vietnam and Laos.

The Kra languages are a branch of the Kra–Dai language family spoken in southern China and in northern Vietnam.

Dai Zhuang language

Dai Zhuang or Thu Lao is a Tai language spoken in Yunnan, China and northern Vietnam. In China is it spoken in Yanshan, Wenshan, Maguan, Malipo, Guangnan counties of Wenshan Prefecture. It is also spoken in Honghe Prefecture. The largest concentrations are in Wenshan and Yanshan counties.

Nong Zhuang language

Nong Zhuang is a Tai language spoken mainly in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, China. In Wenshan Prefecture, it is spoken in Yanshan, Guangnan, Wenshan, Maguan, Funing, Xichou, and Malipo counties, and also in Honghe Prefecture and Vietnam. The heaviest concentrations relative to other Zhuang groups are in Xichou and Malipo counties.

Paha or Baha is a Kra language spoken in northern Guangnan County, Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan. The two villages are located near the border with Longlin County, Guangxi. Paha is often considered to be part of the Buyang dialect cluster and is the most divergent form. Although listed in Ethnologue as Baha Buyang, Thai linguist Weera Ostapirat considers Paha to be a separate language.

The Mulam language is a Kam–Sui language spoken mainly in Luocheng County, Hechi, Northern Guangxi by the Mulao people. The greatest concentrations are in Dongmen and Siba communes. Their autonym is mu6 lam1. The Mulam also call themselves kjam1, which is probably cognate with lam1 and the Dong people's autonym "Kam".

Mienic languages

The Mienic or Yao languages are spoken by the Yao people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

The Bolyu language is an Austroasiatic language of the Pakanic branch. The Bolyu are among the unrecognized ethnic groups of China. In 1984, Bolyu was first studied by Liang Min of the Nationalities Research Institute in Beijing. Liang was the first to suggest the Mon–Khmer affiliation of Bolyu, which was later confirmed by Western linguists such as Paul K. Benedict, Paul Sidwell, and Jerold A. Edmondson.

Tai Hongjin is a Tai language of southern China. Dialects may not be mutually intelligible.

Northern Tai languages

The Northern Tai languages are an established branch of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia. They include the northern Zhuang languages and Bouyei of China, Tai Mène of Laos and Yoy of Thailand.

Standard Zhuang Standard variety and register of the Zhuang Tai (Kra-Dai) language cluster

Standard Zhuang is the official standardized form of the Zhuang languages, which are a branch of the Northern Tai languages. Its pronunciation is based on that of the Yongbei Zhuang dialect of Shuangqiao Town in Wuming District, Guangxi with some influence from Fuliang, also in Wuming District, while its vocabulary is based mainly on northern dialects. The official standard covers both spoken and written Zhuang. It is the national standard of the Zhuang languages, though in Yunnan a local standard is used.

Yei Zhuang is a Northern Tai language complex spoken in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, China. Its speakers are also known as the Sha (沙族).

The Zhuang have a rich variety of customs and culture.

Youjiang Zhuang

Youjiang Zhuang, named after the Youjiang River in Guangxi, China, is a Northern Tai or Zhuang Language spoken in Tiandong County, Tianyang County, parts of the Youjiang District in Baise, Guangxi.

Sawndip Ideographic writing system of the Zhuang language

Zhuang characters or Sawndip, are logograms derived from Chinese characters and used by the Zhuang people of Guangxi and Yunnan, China to write the Zhuang languages for more than one thousand years. The script is not only used by the Zhuang but also by the closely related Bouyei in Guizhou, China and Tay in Vietnam and Nùng, in Yunnan, China and Vietnam. Sawndip is a Zhuang word that means "immature characters". The Zhuang word for Chinese characters used in the Chinese language is sawgun ; gun is the Zhuang term for the Han Chinese. Even now, in traditional and less formal domains, Sawndip is more often used than alphabetical scripts.

Wuming Mandarin or Wuming Guanhua, known locally as Wuminghua, is a dialect of Southwestern Mandarin spoken in urban Wuming District, specifically in the towns of Chengxiang and Fucheng. It is a variety that has been influenced substantially by Zhuang, which is the majority language of the district.

References

  1. Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. "Guangxi Zhuang". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  3. Bradley, David (2007). "East and Southeast Asia". In Moseley, Christopher (ed.). Encyclopedia of the World's Engangered Languages. Routledge. pp. 349–422. ISBN   978-1-135-79640-2. p. 370.
  4. A1 designates a tone.
  5. Edmondson, Jerold A. (2007). "The power of language over the past: Tai settlement and Tai linguistics in southern China and northern Vietnam" (PDF). In Jimmy G. Harris; Somsonge Burusphat; James E. Harris (eds.). Studies in Southeast Asian languages and linguistics. Bangkok, Thailand: Ek Phim Thai Co. pp. 39–63. (see p. 15 of preprint)
  6. Pittayaporn, Pittayawat (2009). The Phonology of Proto-Tai (Ph.D. thesis). Department of Linguistics, Cornell University. hdl:1813/13855.
  7. 1 2 3 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Johnson, Eric C. (2007). "ISO 639-3 Registration Authority, Change Request Number 2006-128" (PDF).
  10. Tan, Sharon (2007). "ISO 639-3 Registration Authority, Change Request Number 2007-027" (PDF).
  11. 1 2 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.
  12. Hansen, Bruce; Castro, Andy (2010). "Hongshui He Zhuang dialect intelligibility survey". SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2010-025.
  13. Jackson, Bruce; Jackson, Andy; Lau, Shuh Huey (2012). "A Sociolinguistic Survey of the Dejing Zhuang Dialect Area". SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-036..
  14. "SIL Electronic Survey Reports: A sociolinguistic introduction to the Central Taic languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China". SIL International. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  15. http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/numeral/Zhuang-Fuping.htm
  16. Liao Hanbo. 2016. Tonal development of Tai languages. M.A. dissertation. Chiang Mai: Payap University.

Bibliography