Chinese language family tree?

Reading the Taiwanese Word of the Day thread got me wondering; does anyone know of any works that sort of trace the family tree of the various Chinese dialects, how they’re related, comparisons between them today, all that sort of stuff, maybe even to discussing the relationship between different dialects and Japanese kanji and Korean characters (as in not Hangul. Don’t remember the name.)?

i found this one interesting

post1.com/home/zhuangfu/dialects.htm

Yeah, I like that one Tempo. I’ve read that one before.

That chart is why I think it better to call ‘Taiwanese’ Hokkien, rather than Minnnan. (Or better yet, Taiwan Hokkien). Because if that chart is right, Minnan, also includes the Chaoshan/Teocheow dialect. ‘Taiwanese’ are overwhelmingly from Zhangzhou and Quanzhou.

I was trying ot find one of those linguistic trees with the worlds languages and the branches, but couldn’t find one.

Brian

Thanks Tempo, that was quite interesting. I’m kind of after a more linguistic analysis, but anything’s better than nothing eh :laughing:

It’d be interesting to see an analysis of the relationships between each of those subgroups, because they seem to share some similarities overall, particularly Hakka and Cantonese. Wonder if there’s ever been any hypothesis of an ancestral Southern Chinese language from which all those evolved…

well, south China was the ancient kingdom of Yueh which was populated by “barbarian” tribes and immigrants from north China. apparently the form of Chinese used there was the precursor of Minnan. later waves of Chinese gave Minnan the duel character it has today, many characters have older “colloquial” and newer “literary” pronunciations. probably the other dialects were influenced by whichever tribes immigrating Chinese melded with, as well as long periods of isolation when official China discouraged contact between regions.

[quote]
That chart is why I think it better to call ‘Taiwanese’ Hokkien, rather than Minnnan. (Or better yet, Taiwan Hokkien). Because if that chart is right, Minnan, also includes the Chaoshan/Teocheow dialect. ‘Taiwanese’ are overwhelmingly from Zhangzhou and Quanzhou. [/quote]

Actually, the Chaoshan/Teochew dialects strictly speaking should not come under the Minnan classification, as Minnan (閩南Min- Fujian Province, Nan - South) - refers to the dialect of South Fujian. Chaoshan is not in Fujian province, it is in Guangdong Province.

But we’re not talking about geographical provinces, we’re talking about culture and language.

Brian

And, come to think of it, I don’t think Min means Fujian at all.

Brian

  1. Min refers to the Min River, IIRC, not Fujian per se.
  2. Language families and political boundaries don’t necessarily coincide.

Sorry, I’ve always assumed that Minnan meant South “Min” (Yes - 閩 is the abbreviation of Fujian), as I’ve visited many cities/towns south of Minjiang (Min River) that speak something very different.

Language classifications are always confusing :S

[quote=“Bu Lai En”]And, come to think of it, I don’t think Min means Fujian at all.

Brian[/quote]

Actually, Min is an abbreviation for Fujian, analogous to the character “yue” used for Guangdong. Generally speaking Minnan refers to south Fujian. related dialects are spoken in other places, i.e. Hainan, and Minnan is not spoken everywhere in south fujian though.

There’s also a nice language chart in the Wikipedia article on Chinese, though I’m not sure how authoritative it is.

The “Image talk” link from that tree is interesting. I’m not sure how accurate the last section is, given what appears to be one fairly stupid repeated typo from someone claiming excellent knowledge of Chinese (“yue” for “yu”), but the history and so on sounds intriguing…