What Makes Chinese so Vietnamese?
An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies
Table of Contents
V) The politics of Chinese-Vietnamese linguistic studies
While discussing affiliation of both V and C in terms of history, the subject of politics, as often being disguised as "nationalism", would unavoidably creep in our talk in an unpleasant way. Nobody wants to hear discussion on such topic in an academic paper, neither does the author; however, the fact that local people in the mainstream have been already submerged in it would spoil the validity of a purely academic matter. Unfortunately, V history, nationalism, and politics are intertwined together that one could talk about a related matter without the others.
Politics is bad for an academic subject, yet in the case under our investigation it has long interfered with, at least, this academic field. On the contrary, Western scholarship, in general, as known to the world, is academically separated from political interests, hence, seen as neutral, whether or not it is on political history or historical linguistics. In the meanwhile, for the same matter, in the mindset of C or V scholars, who have been trained as organs to serve the ruling regime they live in, the concept of unbiasedness in historical views basically exists only in virtuality. The term itself is just like another foreign loanword denoting another exotic idea from the west, no more no less.
What further implication political issues would bring about is another subject matter, yet, its influence has already smeared one's impartiality on what we are trying to ring up here. To upkeep linguistic matters in a state devoid of any political contaminants we should not avoid confronting the issues, but address them head-on altogether. The author believes that by means of perpetuating historical facts we would be able to substantiate a better state of impeccability in the etymological matters involved. That is the reason why we need to know respective history in depth to better identify sources of related etymologies accordingly.
For a historian of Vietnamese history one should constantly be aware that works on Chinese history, such as that of Sima Qian's Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) (司馬遷《史記》) or Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian (Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government) (司馬光《資治通鑑》), are important sources that s/he could get to draw a picture about ancient 'Vietnam' in the making from the early days through specific periods under the total rule of the imperial China for nearly 1000 years and as vassal states at intervals from then on until now. The author does not know how Vietnam's history could be written without them and her national history is surely related to her language. The main point is how V historians use the information recorded therein for the C colonial periods.
Early history of Vietnam (VN) found in C history had been recorded in C during the period hundreds of years before the 10th century with nearly 1000 years during which she had been a part of the imperial China. There is no need to say, China has been and is still a formidable threat to her sovereignty. Deeply inside their heart the V cherish the national pride that has in effect governed their interpretation of academic subjects. For such reason, local V scholars could not objectively talk about V historical linguistics without talking about their national history, politically.
Unfortunately, historically, V history in any period has been in effect revised at least once every time a king or head of state is enthroned. As far as related academic subjects are concerned, historical facts of what happened 2000 years ago could be distorted with respect to what is related to anything C, so are episodes of the origin of her people and language. China's history until 1911 is in better shape and position, easier to handle for C historians. Their viewpoints on the past therefore were least influenced by both changing dynasties and foreign issues where history of the Yuan and the Qing dynasties were equally treated on the continuum from the Han and and the Tang, etc., to make up the complete Middle Kingdom. This may not be true with its modern history, though, but its past will shed light on that of VN.
History of VN before the 10th century, in effect, has been compiled from that of China for the reason that there had existed no V history written in "Vietnamese" (V) ealier than that period, which is to be discussed in a different perspective next. In summary, before her independence in 939 AD, what is known as today's VN was formerly called Jiaozhi 交阯 (or 交趾, 111 BC–39 AD) and Jiaozhou 交州 (299 AD) in the Han Dynasty and later Annam Đôhộphủ 安南督護府 ("Protectorate General to Pacify the South", 679 - 866) in the Tang Dynasty. So, linguistically, what has emerged out of her history as a vassal state of China are popular usages of massive C loanwords that have found their way into V, which is an inevitable consequence after such a long C rule.
Map of the NamViet Kingdom
Historical records have indeed helped the author build theoretical theses in historical linguistics. Imagine what 'China' would have become by now if subjects of the Chu State (楚國) had won in the contention against Liu Bei 劉備 and his generals (also of Chu's sujects, who dounded the Han Empire 漢朝) after the fall of the Qin Dynasty (秦朝 221-207 BC) from 206 BC to 202 BC for total domination over the Middle Kingdom? What if NamViet Kingdom (南越王國 NánYuè Wángguó) had won in the resistance war against the Han that ended in 111 BC? From the supposition that more than 3000 years ago the Yue precursors were indigenous inhabitants of the vast land of today's China South (華南 Huanan) -- the subjects of the ancient Chu State presumed mostly consisting of the Yue aboriginal origin -- we could see that the core matter is in the substance, not the name. Hence, we could say "what makes Chinese so Vietnamese", instead of the other way around -- given that 'Vietnamese' are survivors of the Southern Yue people who established the nation of Vietnam in the south which still exists -- based on archaeological finds -- such as similar Yue bronze drums that scattered throughout the southern region -- in addition to recorded history -- that there first had existed the ancient Yue pollens and only then flowered the Sinitic ones because historical threads of the Yue roots have fabricated the whole piece of fabric that makes up Middle Kingdom map. Here we go again the core matter is in the substance, not the name. (日)
With regard to the V language, at the initial look, it appears that after one thousand years under the rule of China, its cultural impact has taken a heavy toll on the V language with a great number of ancient forms that virtually had given way to common sinitic elements in different usages, e.g., 車 chē (car) "xe" instead of "cộ", 房 fáng (room) "phòng" v. "buồng", etc., along with those plausibly rare original aboriginal ones, e.g., 'mới' 萌 méng (new) vs. '*t1miʔ' (A) (cf. 新 xīn, SV tân, VS xịn), 'lưỡi' 脷 lì (tongue) (L), etc., which are also late C cognates. For the two latter forms in V, like the names of those of animals in the V zodiac table as cited below, they could have made a complete cycle from the Yue to the C and back to V, a survival descendant of the Yue, again. That phenomenon could be explained that strong C cultural influence on V is accounted for linguistic dominance, especially from dialects brought into the country by new C immigrants since the ancient times.
In fact, the Yue elements had also left inerasable marks in C. In the heartland of the Middle Kingdom there had existed the proto-Yue of Taic origin before "China" ever came into existence as we all see it now, back in time prior to the eras of the "Han" 漢朝, the "Qin" 秦朝, the "Chu" 楚國, the "Yue" 越國, the "Wu" 吳國, etc.. In cultural and linguistic terms, for example, original Yue elements definitely had evolved into those of Chinese, say, 子、丑、寅、卯、辰、巳、午、未、申、酉、戌、亥, for instance, now that the C say '鼠年' (nămchuột)、'牛年' (nămtrâu), etc, in place of '子年' (nămTý)、'丑年' (nămSửu), or 'Year of the Rat', 'Year of the Ox', whereas 鼠=子 and 牛=丑, respectively. Note the discrepancy of the Chinese 兔年 'Year of the Hare' and the original one of the Yue as 'Year of the Cat' (卯年 nămMèo) and 卯 măo certainly must be "mèo". It is no-brainer for a smart academician to catch what is the implication here. In this specific example, in ancient times the "Chinese" might have considered, superstitiously, that cats were "sacred animal" (靈動物 língdòngwù) and replaced it with '兔 tù' or 'thỏ' (hare).
In other words, what the early 'Chinese' -- while no Chinese had ever existed then yet -- had absorbed from the Yue and then in turn passed them down to the Han, who later re-introduced them along with many other etyma of the same characteristics, e.g., 'đôiđũa' 箸子 zhúzi (chopsticks) vs. 筷子 kuàizi, V 'chanh' 橙 chéng (lemon= C 檸檬 níngméng) vs. V 'cam(sành)' (橙)柑 gān (orange), etc., back to the early 'Annamese' whose ancestors had been descedants of the Yue. That is, all 'mixed items' of as late as the Han Dynasty had transcended to become what the academics now call "sinitic", arbitrarily, so to speak.
The postulation above may also further explain why sinitic cultural items are customarily accepted by the V naturally for their intrinsic Yue values. For instance, 端午節 TếtĐoanngọ (the Dragon Boat Festival, commemorating the death of the Chu's patriotic poet named Khuất Nguyên 屈原 Qu Yuan) (K) or zodiac items as discussed previously, they both have been cited as of "sinitic" to the effect that VN was even referred to as "Little China" in the book by the same title by Brodrick (1942), all for a good reason.
Magnitude of the whole sinitizing process from the Han through the Tang Dynasty in all areas, is enormous, which is comparable to that of the widespread of the so-called American language and culture around the world in our modern time. On becoming contemporary VN, her model finds parallels of sovereign statehood in development in line with numerous countries around the world, anthropologically, even with those of historically lesser time span – a fraction of nearly 4900 years that has made history out of VN – such as Taiwan and Singapore of which a majority of the populace can communicate in Chinese, Latin nations in South America in Spanish, or those republics separated from the old Soviet Union in Russian, etc.
In the VN's case, specifically, despite the fact that her culture as well as national language are deeply sinicized that the V and the C all share seemingly to have harmoniously sprung off from the same roots, both countries hardly appear to co-exist in peace with one another. VN's 1000 years after separation from China was more than enough to build her own a new and unique national identity. However, a millennium under the C domination proved to be too much for VN for China would not loosen its stance on any instance that VN shows strong nationalism of her own and it keeps bullying VN for her indocility. When their unequivocal animosity has maxed out to the next level of tolerance at times when crises arise.
The sign on the front door of a restaurant name 'Beijing Snacks' near Prince Gong's Mansion in Beijing – photo by Rose Tang 2013
For nationalistic reason, the V hate the hegemonic China so much that they would reject anything bearing the C marks. Linguistic identity justification, therefore, is subject to historical interpretation and much depending on current diplomatic climate between VN and China that is oftentimes rough and uneasy due to mutual distrust between the two archenemies. Contemptuous and bad feelings between the two countries are reciprocal, currently hidden under disguised comradeship on both sides.
On everage a major war between the two countries breaks out every 90 years or so, of course, always VN's resistance struggle against C invasions, one after another. Normally VN has tried her best to swallow national humiliation for the sake of not fighting another war against her warlike and aggressive neighbor. Since the independence time onward, endurance that VN shows with her having been carefully taking catwalks with shadows of the long imperial colonial past hung over with spells of sporadic invasions by the restless northern eternal enemy.
Even though for the last 1100 years China lost all the wars to VN. History has repeated itself again and there are signs that VN will have no choice but go to war. For instance, as China's current display of its navy force exercising its claim of sovereignty over all islets of Spratlys in the VN's Eastern Sea and as it has started to move oil rigs into the regions, exchanges of sea clashes in concordance with street demonstrations that turned violence against hundreds of C factories in VN.
On such existing antagonism between the two countries that connects both throughout their history, the author will try to shed light on some underlining causes and background history and that will consumate much space in this chapter. It is about the transformational process of making an ancient aboriginal Yue habitat to sinicized statehood of an independent Annam since her breakaway from the rule of China in 939 AD. We could see how such important event had happened in the wake of total collapse of the Tang Dynasty after its last 107 years of upheavals from 800 to 907 AD. Note that prior to that period ancient VN had gone through a long imperial colonial period that had lasted for 1000 years. No ancient country in the world could be able to substain the same original state without changing during such long period under a powerful foreign domination. That important detail somehow was neglected when V historians were discussing about history of their nation but forgot about the sinicization that the imperial China has imposed on the ancient VN. That is the result of overall patriotic sentiment called "nationalism" which would continue on governing many aspects of academic fields as noted.
Firstly, to account for the underlining policy that China has always treated VN as a renegade prefecture that broke away from a greater union, we need to view the relationship between the V and C with current political issues under a V nationalistic perspective because this paper is about V. Throughout its history whenever China becomes strong, militarily, its immediate focus will be building its domineering pressure on the little poor neighbor in the south with its everlasting quest for reinstatement of domination on VN as a vassal state. To make sure that VN will remain in its orbit until it would pose total domination of the "Little China", the history repeated again with China waging war against VN. For its hegemony China has paid a hefty price for the contemporary C rulers. For example, Deng Xiaoping's troops suffered heavy losses for waging boder war against VN in 1979, who must have digested bitter lessons from the case of VN in our modern epoch.
As the world has already stepped far into the thresthold of the 21st century, modern China is still living its halo of bygone imperial eras. Historically it is noted that until the last decades of the 9th century, a half of the today's China's territories to the west still belonged to those two powerful western states of Tibet and Xinjiang then, not to mention the Nanzhao Kingdom (南詔王國) to its southeastwern region, all had gone against the Tang Empire. At present we can see that the magnitude of thrusting force from China's enormous military powerhouse posing ready to crush down on any signs that suggest independent resistance movement without mercy as it has displayed with iron-handed policies on those two "autonomous regions" in the 21st century.
To make the matters easy to relate to, let's consider parallel development of Taiwan, an island nation in our modern time that has shared similar experence in its national development comparative to that of early VN hundreds of years ago, with today's VN's, of course, having been through a much longer time span. Path to full national independence of Taiwan from 1949 in the historical perspective that reflects on a series of contemporary events, tough and bumpy, but still one step short in officially declaring full independence. Due to a series of diplomatic setbacks Taiwan suffered a major loss in diplomatic recognition as a full independent nation from the US in 1973, China wasted no time proactively pursuing a policy of aggressiveness on the island state immediately. There is no guarantee that the historical model of VN would reduplicate in Taiwan anytime soon should the sleeping Kuomingtang giant rise up and seize power in participation in a possible democratic process to take place in the mainland someday 30-50 years from now, which would then only make Taiwan officially a province of China though.
As we can see, the pressure resulted from such China's national policy towards present Taiwan and Vietnam has never stopped before and after their breakaway from the Middle Kingdom. Deeply in the back of their mind China's rulers always want to take them all back. In the VN's case in the mid-20th century after the Maoist communists took power in 1949, they expanded their grips of hegemony on VN by sending aids and their troops to assist the V communists of North VN to start the Vietnam War not long after the French withrawal from the country in 1954 until they won the war in the end of April, 1975. In the very words stated by Le Duan in the start of border war in 1979, the then General Secretary of the ruling V Communist Party in the 70-80s stated, "The last war that the V people fought against the US was one that we were fighting on the behalf of China and the Soviet Union." (every V knows this infamous statement by heart.)
Unlike Inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, Guangxi, which are currently still enjoying their status for an autonomous region, in the past, the way that the imperial China actually treated the ancient independent VN and, later on, Taiwan with their status like its provinces. In modern times, nevertheless, it is just a matter of time before the next one in its list, Guangxi, will completely fall for full governance by the central goverment and everything will become things of the past, just another Guangdong province. For the latter, historically, like their Zhuang minority cousins in Guangxi, with mixed Han populace who are now known as the Cantonese speakers. That is to say, China has fully exerted its rule on Guangdong after it has successfully sinicized virtually all descendants of the Yue natives.
Such a long process started with Tang's subjects moving en masse further southward into the Lingnan (嶺南) region, with portions spilling over its neighbors, including ancient Annam(T). That was how China has expanded, by encroaching territorial pieces of its neighbor until it securely established firm grips on each of them. Note that the area of the Tang's territory was only half of the size of today's China.
Since China always regards VN as an integral part missing from its political map, as the last century was drawing near, it still made many attempts to intimidate its little neighbor in the south with explicit threats of an upcoming invasion. (平). Even when the whole world has already stepped far beyond the threshold of the 21st centtury, it is of no wonder that China continues bullying and encroaching its southern borderlines -- inceasingly after China submitted a map in 2009 showing a huge U to the Commission on The Limit of the Continental Shelf to mark its claims of all regions in the South China Sea -- now expanding to all islands in the seas around to the south, practicing harrassing, sinking, capturing V fishing boats that have been following their ancestral sea routes to within VN's coastal waters to the east. The V fishermen have beeing doing so for hundreds of years.
China has been an archenemy in the V history. When it becomes too much for VN to withstand the heat from the sino-sphere, her endurance would be thinned out. The harder China presses on, the stronger nationalism would become of born-to-fight V men who will come to the defense of their nation and another resistance war could inevitably break out as a result at a much fiercer degree the next round. As history has it, for over the last 1300 years V men's only job having been doing is to fight in wars, one after another, always with the imperial China's involvement, with the last one just ended in 1989 after 10 years fighting against the China-backed Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea (Cambodia), in essence, always against China.
As their hate-love relationship would, hence, remain status quo until China will have truly learnt something from the past by its next defeat probably within the next 10 years. In fact, history has it that VN had always scored time and time again with numerable victories against China's invasions since her independence in 939, for example, notably her 3 times of having successfully defeated the Mongolian-ruled China's Yuan Dynasty's invasions throughout the 13th century while half of Europe on the other side of the world had been trampled under the feet of those Mongolian warriors.
With such historical reasons VN would in kind bluntly reject any claims of affiliation with China, even in a field of academic subject, including their linguistic relationship, regardless of their racial affiliation under an anthropological perspective. That is the reason why novice learners of VS historical linguistics are frequently misled by misinformation about C affiliation in V academic subjects such as history or linguistics. What is being discussed in this chapter is to address some misconceptions with a purpose to set the record straigth before we go on the C core matter of the VS etymology.
All in all, the main point for readers to keep in mind here is that after the C conquered the whole region of what is now called China South, VN is the last independent battalion of the later Viets (交) whose Yue ancestors had been inhabiting in their native southern part of today's China with statehood as recorded not only in oral legends but also in written history, for more than 2200 years ago that started with the the Yue-unified NamViet Kingdom (南越王國) located in today's Guangzhou's Fanyu District (廣州番禺) in 200 BC, only that it had been under auspices of a Qin's general named Zhao Tuo (趙佗) who later became its first king when the Qin Empire collapsed. Subjects of the kingdom living within perimeters of it's borders were naturally of Yue origin. They had been originally descendants of the pro-Taic people, the one accounted for rise to the Chu State (楚國) that was later defeated by Liu Bei 劉備, the first king of the Han Dynasty, who has been also a subject of Chu, so were his generals. After the Han conquered the NamViet Kingdom in 111 BC that established ancient Annam as a prefecture of the Middle Kingdom that last until the end of the Tang Dynasty in 907 AD, which paved the road for the ancient VN to have emerged as an independent country in 939 AD.
By now our general readers have already learnt a bit about history of both nations and the becoming of C and V and their relations, that is, Yue and Han and then Han and Viets, i.e., the Yue had made up parts of the Han and later the Han would make up parts of Viets. Viets are descendants of a branch of the Yue, in any case. They will be able to understand why the V linguistic matters have not been dealt with effectively in the absence of a resolution on outstanding anthropological and archaeological issues of regarding ancient Yue aboriginals and their descendants who had later on emigrated to regions further away from their ancient habitat in China South.
The Yue had many tribal branches, to be exact. Besides the Zhung, the Nung, etc., they had been also ancestors of early Daic emigrants from China South region who had put up the Thailand nation on the Southeast Asia's map in a much later periods. That would explain why the AA theory has crept into the Southeast Asian arena in a series of events that had roots from the north along the Yangtze River basin. From that home base their migratory movement could also account for other people designated as descendants of both AA and Austronesian origin in the southern sphere. As previously pointed out, recent archaeological finds support theories of human movement in this part of Asia to be more likely to have started from the north.
It is true for not only the modern V but also many other ethnic groups living inside China as its nationals, characteristically typical southerners inhabiting the vast southern provinces. For most of them, in all probability their aboriginal ancestors were the ancient Yue. In addition, similar to racial composition of the V after one thousand years under C domination, all those natives still living in China South are definitely of mixed race stock as of now, portions of them having been 'sinicized', and as defined in every aspects of the term, be it 'Qin-ized' (of Chinese charaterization), 'Tang-ized' (Cant. /tong2jajn2/ 唐人), or whatever 'Han-ized' being called, such as VS 'ngườiTàu' (or 'the Chin' 秦 Qin) as opposed to the Han or the Chu, etc., regardless of their self-declared affiliation of nationality nowadays.
So depending on either patriarchal or matriarchal side in genetic strains that they are contemplating to take side with, V students in C and V historical linguistics, who might have hardly been enlightened by the AA camp with similar revelation with this type of genetic matters beside the sole academic mechanics of the V linguistics as initiated by those western AA theorists, would certainly have something novel to learn herein through the V history.
Parallel to those southern anthropological entities, for the northern C, we understand that they speak a variation of northern dialect known as Mandarin, that is so deviated from other southern dialects even though they all are also derived from the same source of ancient C. It is a product of the speaking habit of northerners who were from China's northern regions known as Huabei 華北, or China North. They are also China's sinicized nationals, such as those of Manchurian or Korean origin, with distinctively biological and physical traits. They are apparently descendants of those natives used to reside in areas of northern China crossing beyond borders or China's northern territories, from Mongolia's grasslands to Siberia's taiga forests, descents of Mongolian, Tartarian, and Altaic races as best known in C history as the Jin and the Qing subjects.
In fact, the northern C populace composition has been also a consequence of mixed races. The racial transformation started approximately from the 1st century and lasted until the founding of the Republic of China in 1911, a total of over 900 years during which the Middle Kingdom had been under the dynasties of the Jin 金 (Aisin or Jurchen Jin dynasty), Yuan 元 (Mongolians), Qing 清 (Qīng, Later Jin or Manchurians) (see 伯楊 Bó Yáng's edition of Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian 司馬光《資治通鑑》, 72 volumes, 1983-1993), not to mention ancestors of those highly hypothetically-Altaic Hakka 客家 minority groups having fled from northern war-ravaged places not only to to every corner of the Middle Kingdom, but also further out of its southern region to other countries in Southeast Asia, including today's VN. In other words, ethnically, the northern C were of totally biologically mixed race of Altaic origin in addition to what had been mutated from those sinicized southerners from the Han Dynasty onward.
Similar to common terms such as 'American', 'European', 'Hispanic' or 'Latino', we can now see that the concept of 'Chinese' – or 'Han' for the same matter – is used to designate China's nationals living inside borders of its political map. Altogether the Han people do not constitute a race called 'the Chinese race' as the term 'race' denotes. That is, there exists no such a designated class for the Han (漢族) as opposed to those of Causacian, Negro, Mongoloid, Asian, Austronesian, etc.
In fact, the term 'Chinese' is not about race. C is a culture and whoever is affiliated with it can be called 'Chinese'. In such aspect it is similar to the concept of 'Jewish'. In the meanwhile a C national is a person of C origin, who is a descendant of members originally or currently living within territorial limits of the People's Republic of China (read 'Union of the Peoples of China', that is what 'Middle Kingdom', or 中國 Zhongguo).
In a restrict sense of a properly designated race, the becoming of the C has been a long process of genetic mutation of different ethnic stocks from native habitats of both axes of east to west and north to south, more or less, with many of over identified 56 minority groups having been inhabiting the mainland of China since the ancient times. Again, compare it with the concept of 'American' and we will see many similarities; hence, that is how 'Chinese', or 'Sinitic' for the same matter, is so termed linguistically, even though the "Yue entity" had long existed prior to the very dynasty that lead tho the naming of China, i.e., the "Qin", hence, "Sino" or "Sintitic". The whole process of "racial breeding" had taken place not only to the C nationals who were offsprings of those minority groups still living in China South since the ancient times, especially population of the 20 million plus strong of the Zhuang nationality, and those 'sinicized' Shaanxians, Shandongese, Beijingers, Cantonese ("Yueht"), Tchiewchow, Fukienese, etc., whatever multiplied thereof.
Another very similar racial transformation like that of China had actually repeated for what is known today as the V people, who escaped the grips of the imperial China's long arms and built their country called V further down in the south. While 'Vietnamese' means exactly "the Viets of 'the South'", their early ancestors were descendants of those ancient Yue who had emigated out of China South. As they advanced further to the south, the ancient'Annamese', already of mixed racial stocks, would become more engaged in interracial marriages with local people, e.g., the Chams, the Mons, the Khmer, etc., in new places where they resettled. That is, they would have become a mixed race by then as compared to those Yue tribes who stayed behind, e.g, ancestors of 'the ancient Cantonese' or 'the ancient Fukiense' (cf. 'the ancient Annamese'), etc. Like those of other minorities in China South, 'the Cantonese' and 'the Fukiense' are now China's nationals who already called themselves Chinese. If the ancient Annamese had not seized the opportunity for their national independence, they could likely have followed the former two groups.
In the VN's case after 1000 years of under the C rule, everything V had become much more sinicized when her people were again racially remixed with massive C migrants from the north, e.g., foot soldiers or war refugees, etc., being partly sinicized Yue descents. Those later arrivals had also carried geographical names -- e.g., Tỉnh Hàđông vs. Hedong 河東 Province, etc. -- and dialectal lexicons and expressions -- e.g., 'sưtửHàđông' vs. 河東獅子, etc. -- from their old homeland with them to their new resettlements adding on to the already existing sinicized lexical items in V, not to mention other forms of cultural items such as traditional (Chinese) opera performance arts, i.e., 'hátbộ' (red-, white-, black-face opera), that re-play all Chinese classic, plus V storied, operas in 'Vietnamese' that any scholars could think of, e.g., '梁山伯和祝英台', '送酒單雄信', etc. Note that when he was a kid, the author himself saw some 'hátbộ' shows and never understood a word from the V versioned lyrics that were sung. Similarly, it is likely that common mass must experienced the same difficullties but they enjoy them anyway. (H)
However, unlike the pride taken by 'the Americans' for their old world's heritage, the issue of the national identity for the V is a much more sensitive and complex than just an annoying inconvenience to deal with in an unpleasant academic topic. That could be the result of their strong nationalism that weighs heavily over the soul and heart of the V at all times as long as they still consider China is the archenemy of their country. Could that be the reason to explain why their country still exists as an independent nation?
For the V, nationalism is a patriotric ideology that is permanently embedded inside their strong sentiment on national issues such as sovereignty and it has been damped with politics of diplomacy. Contemporary heads of state seem to enjoy playing to manipulate foreign policies with the C counterparts. Changeable decks of political cards would again be shuttled in the hands of their country's leaders at their advantage. For example, their disguised tolerance allowed a short period of time to allow series of unprecedented demonstrations by VN's nationals against China's expansion, e.g., China National Offshore Oil Corporation moved its Haiyang Shiyou HD-981 oil rig to within 120 miles of VN's coast southeast of the Paracel Islands, in her eastern seas that had taken place from June to August 2011 and deadly riots against Chinese workers in hundreds of Chinese factories in the country in May 2014, etc. Such incidents were their bargaining chips in its diplomatic agenda with China. Some demonstrators ended up in jails, some exiled to the West, not long after such events had been declared over for fear of their acts got out of hand. (V).
For each occurrence of such nationalistic outburst, even only to protest the common enemy of the nation, for contemporary everage citizens, it was a really big deal. In a bigger picture of V history, yet, it would rather be viewed it as a tempest in a teapot, boiling up and then cooling down, every breakout comparable to next to nothing in her long and constant struggle against their collossal aggressor from the north. Her on-going outbursts of national sentimentality as such are understandable; however, they will affect one's ability to judge historical facts of other related matters academically. People in the western world may never be able to comprehend this minute detail. That is what we have been discussing here in this chapter.
Let's put it this way, one would see that for those nationalistic activists aforementioned, once they got out of jails for daring to demonstrate against China, you bet that no one among them would ever appreciate and acknowledge the cultural heritage their country has actually inherited from the 'old world'. Anything that is related to China is bad. They even view those so-called Confucus institutes that have sprung up around the country in recent years are parts of China's expansionist schemes. Dumped are those who mind. Let sleeping dogs lie. Just be alert for dying dogs that could likely blast out their last outcries noisily with all their might. That is how V nationalistic militants normally react and their upcoming attacks would be emotionally overwhelming.
Could we then by any chance ignore all the noises about matters of nationalism and go our own way doing our research on linguistic, academically only, please? Should even political neutrality be brought up in our academic discussion? It appears to be fashionable to talk about Austroasiatic (AA) theories on V in our era. Some naive minds simply detour national politics by joining the crowd and end up talking about the same thing. It is on the safe side to do that, though. The followers of such shool believe that they are always correct when anything could twisted a bit in their national favor, say, their overall embracement of all adopted southern Austronesian cultures such as Sahuynh and Oc-Eo as their own. For us, we may be better off to keep our tongue-in-cheek attitude and adopt our 'so what' shudders from now on while fending off assaults from those trendy uniformed AA militants all behind the nationalist frontline. (See APPENDIX L)
Unfortunately, the matter seems not to be simple and straightforward once politics and nationalism are mixed with related academic matters. On the political arena, in our modern time as of 2013 there still exist policing states; they are remnants of Soviet-style regimes as abandoned ordnances left from the era of Cold War but still being fondled by both V and C hardliners who are top elites in each respective poliburo. History is the history of the ruling parties, for example, official version on V history has been re-written over and over again by each ruling class of every dynasty until present day.
The C and V rulers still have to hold onto their rigid ideology because it legitimizes their grips of power despite of the fact that their economic reforms make them appear a bit smarter than those holding powers in Cuba and North Korea. To a certain extent, communism in VN, and in China as well for that matter, is simply a continuity of 2013 upgraded version of a variant of feudalism existing in, arbitrarily say, 1013, but laxly adopted to seat one to multiple 'kings' called 'politburo members' onto a 'royal throne', who share the same power. Young readers born and living in the West might have heard of, yet they would never know how heavily iron hands that rule those communist nations with their overwhelming police force (see The Gulag Archipelago by Alecksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1973) on which survival of the ruling parties are much depending. Beside police and army along the lines of the ruling hierarchy are those privileged of the same kind, that is, they are those ideological theorists who oversee all servants of the regime, who have long and deeply interfered with academics. That is why we are discussing here all these political as well as historical issues which have affected one's handling the linguistic matters objectively.
In such rigidly state-controlled system we all know too well in any scholarly issues, including, especially, C-related linguistics like Sinitic-Vietnamese (VS), it is no need to say what flavor it is coated with partisan ideology would turn out to be from its stick and carrot policies. While in the open, of course, no hidden political agenda has ever been admitted by any governmental body. Propaganda organs of the systems have taken a good care of all scholars' well-being matters, so to speak. That is how deeply the impacts have left on academics. In fact, in both VN and China alike, as a scholar, if you do not say something right, that is , politically correct, you are done with your career. In fact, as of 2013-24 in VN, a series of arrests and jail terms were bestowed on journalists, bloggers, musicians, students, etc., simply they have taken part in demonstrations or voiced their protests against the China's aggressive expansion in the East Vietnam Sea. How scary it is their politics!
For such reasons, it is of no surprise their own people simply distrust authority for their information. For those who do, they are the organs, the tools, the police, who must depend on the system to survive. In modern time for the majority of the common people to form their own critical views of a politicized subjects as mentioned above, such as history, they change to pseudonyms in their blogs or forums on the internet. The government itself has also joined in under other pseudonyms to launch attacks on their political opponents for the same reason.
The whole matter still may not be comprehendible to new scholars in any ways from outside world even with the repetitious but elaborate explanations herein. Everything seems illogical and incomprehensible beyond one's wildest imagination. Every once in a while in our modern time, when there was an international renown defecting author from "the other side" s/he was usually invited to appear in the western world's forum to explain their deep motive for her or his exile. Western students should listen to them and they will learn something beyond their collegiate curricula. The type of freedom that people are enjoying in the West is out of reach to those in China or VN.
To add complication to that old matter, on the bottom of the hearts of home-grown scholars hatred and distrust of China appear to cloud their views as well whether or not they belong to its regime's elite theorist class but their influence is not as less powerful. It is they who are actually interfering other people's, such as those of students, cognitive view on national identity. Therefore, Western scholars need to think hard to rationalize contradictary messages conveyed underneath the plain language contained in those academic papers prepared by their prestigious scholars. (See APPENDIX I)
Fortunately not all academics share the same political view under a historical perspective on national issues such as anthropology or linguistics for the same matter. It ought not to be so. To be on par with western academic principles of impartiality, independent scholars should recognize that they need to recondition their mindset and set their outlook beyond their national horizons. Only nationalistic fanatics would ever like to deprive themselves of the bestowment of truthfulness and to go after what only exists in virtual reality, i.e., out of imagination with no written history, say, it could be strong belief in oral history of their forefathers, such as story of 18 heirs to King Hung, through legends. Such behaviors just simply show one's shallowness with poorly unmasked nationalistic sentiment and for that their mentors are partly to blame. Such perception on nationalism is wrong in very sense of it. In other words, they are gung-ho nationalists but poor logical thinkers, commonplace with those brain cells ideological syndrome.
In fact, hard-core nationalists are simply racists, in other words. They have never set their eyesight beyond national borders with understanding and appreciation to appreciate what benefits multicultural diversities would bring about to their country. For example, for the fact that old western imperialist powers such as Great Britain, France, Holland, or Germany, all after World War II, each paid a hefty price for their ambitious expansionism after centuried-long periods of pursuing colonialism in backward countries since the mid-19th century. The old colonist 'motherlands' now are all instead steadily becoming multi-racial nations with immigrants from their old colonies. Such ethnic characteristic has increasingly aligned each of them in line with what the USA truly represents now in our modern time. The most powerful country on earth that has attained culturally and economically rich as a result of having attracted the best and brightest from around the world, the latest new batches freshly off from boats including those Chinese elites who chose to resettle. Even from the wretched V boatpeople of the early '80's had brought flavorable bowls of 'phở' plus the innovative invention of smart bombs that were used in the Iraq War in 2003.
Let's appeal to the new generation of nationalists of VN to open wide their mind for reason -- on seeing their comments in blogs and YouTube postings on the internet we all know that it might never occur to them there exist principles of impartiality in academics, just like those of checks and balances in separation of powers of western political democratic systems -- to approach historical linguistic issues to be discussed here in their true essence whether they are called by a technical name as 'Sinitic' or whatever actually involves therein such as Yue or Taic. For V adults, recall that in our childhood we all had ever treated our C neighbors the same way as our grandparents and parents all have done in most circumstances throughout their all lives, e.g., kindness at work, appreciation of one's achievements either in business or artistic performance, etc., that is what this message sustains.
We all will benefit and be free with such an act of altruism in dealing with C entities, able to distinguish C goverment and C people. VN does not want to alienate or agitate the big brother in the north. Her government is playing 'history on demand', pretending the country was still in the past as a vassal state. At the same time to please their people the ruling class then reverses from time to time playing the song of nationalism in the face of China's southward advancement for a simple reason that the last thing 'the Viets of the South' want to lose is to let go of their grips on VN's independence at any price.
While nationalists in Taiwan, Tibet, or Xinjiang, are anxious to replicate the VN's experience, the V rulers do not want to risk a war with China after the country had been engaged in war after war in the last 300 years until the last one of her defeating the China-backed Khmer Rouge regime in Kampuchea just barely ended in 1989. The will of each V national that syncs with the quests for keeping their nation's sovereignty should not cut off one's ancestral return path to get back to where our earlier ancestors have come from and it was they who fought and won all resistance war against imperialist China.
It is, therefore, of no surprise that in a bid to eradicate historical facts from the mainstream of mystic C theories regarding the VN's past, her people appear to be firm and determined, sticking to nationalistic trends that shift their sentitive cultural complex to other focus, e.g., either Austroasiatic or Austronesian, with backups from western theorists. Well, they look like smart enough in their own game.
However, as nations are entering the brave new world's order as of now in the second decade of the 21st century, China is now becoming an increasingly capable powerhouse as it has successfully recaptured all its past imperial glory of the Tang and the Han dynasties in their first 100 years. It, in any cases, hence, is still in command much of attention of specialists in the VS linguistics, even with conflicts of the nationalistic interests. For any breakthrough in Sinitic theorization to gain popular acceptance from inside academic circles of the Kinh majority, i.e., the V, sinitic theorists are literally tiptoeing prudently in order to keep themselves in balance.
Such assumption is drawn from that fact that an anti-Chinese stand doubtless is firmly taken by nearly 90 million people of VN. On the level of collective consciousness on the issues of national sovereignty they simply follow the steps of their forefather warriors who had continually fought and finally won every single war against formidable C invaders at intervals throughout the length of her past 2300 years of national development.
The author has preemptively emphasized the fact that the V are the only ones among the descendants of the ancient Yue from China who are having an independent nation of their own. In other words, the V have taken pride in the fact that they may represent all peoples of the Yue origin, of whom portions are still inhabiting pockets of land in China South, e.g., 20 million plus people of the Zhuang minorities in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (廣西壯族自治區), loosely including those descents of ancient aboriginals who were completely sinicized in other provinces such as Guangdong, Hunan, Fujian, etc.
Similar to the process of VN's national development, regionally formation of the Singapore Republic took place in the other southern shores in 1965 with her first leaders, one after another, being of C origin, their stand being of sino-accentricity just like a majority of over 75% of her populace, but overall China-unrelated and sometime even with anti-China stand. Nobody could imagine the role of Singapore's former Premier Lee Kwan-Yew would be denied by future generations for his ethnicity originally being C. Another example is like that of the Federated Malay States, with its total population currently comprised of their C descendants up to a third of the total. And let our imagination run wild envisioning that the whole picture dotted with icons of 'what if' scenarios. What fate would have become of that nation with those federated states had fallen under the rule of VN when she had succeeded invading Malacca in 1471 or, alternatively, by China's Ming Dynasty in the 15th century?
To see the reason why empathetic factors in either nationalism, politics, or both, carry a much heavier weight in examining V affiliation with the C other than what normally is expected from the subject of history. For the latter one must see that underneath its surface a C-conscious identity, prohibitively a taboo being cleverly camourflaged from the plain view. Whatever arises from there will in turn become premises for other academic subjects like linguistics. In other words, the V nationalists have become more defensive and self-centric nowadays than in the past as retold by V history books. For instance, when debating the C roots of a V matter, youngsters are eager to bluntly deny parts of their national written history which are related to details involved with something 'Chinese', say, they started rebutting the role of a Qin ruler called Triệu Đà (趙佗 207-111 B.C., a Qin's general, of Hebei Province origin) (史) who started the Triệu Dynasty (207-111 BC) to be the King of NamViệt (南越王國). Due to revolutionary transformation of the writing system from C- to Latin-based orthography, modern V readers, possessing no absolutely knowledge of C scripts, which cut off their historical connections with the national past, mostly depend on the official state's version of history that was actually already rewritten time and time again each time the ruling class change hands.
In fact, throughout different dynasties of both China and VN the same process keeps repeating itself for every new dynasty, i.e., regime, emerged. Within the next few decades those make-up versions of history to fit new mindset would be doubtless accepted by the next younger generations. We are now talking about politics rewriting national history as it is occurring according to the political views hold by the ruling class which will be dictated to be the "truth" from now on. Below are a few examples to ilustrate the case.
In our modern time, for the communist revolutionaries the much notable locale of the Pac Po Cave which used to be located inside the territory of V, where President Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap used as a revolutionary staging base to launch their guerrilla warfare against the French occupational troops, or the undeniable fact that any school students learn in V history that the historical Namquan 南關 border pass gate, where the V troops had defeated the C invaders numerous times in history, for which its locality historically was located right at the border between VN and China, but now both revered places are now found several kilometers deep inside China's territory. Recent historical events such as the 6-month border war in 1979 and short detrimental clashes at sea between the two countries in 1974 and 1984 and head-on confrontations at sea in 2012-2014 that had taken place intermittently revealed that the two countries have been experiencing through the same harsh lifecycle and ill fates.
Specific examples as such are numerous. There they were and here they disappear, hopping in and out of schoolbook history as if such events had never occurred. In reality, they have been in effect weighed in a political scale all the times as new perspectives on diplomatic politics with China are being delicately on balance, especially for the last few decades or so since 1975 as the VN War ended, having constantly emerged from either left or right wings depending on who is ruling the country.
Diplomacy toward China hence has been a balanced act which could be found in a reconciliatory tone at the expense of compromising her national pride especially in recent diplomatic makeovers in 2011, 12, 14 when VN is at her best before the V government had brutally suppressed series of demonstrations against China by V activists for weeks in each of respective event. Among other funny notables there had come with another act of appeasing their C counterparts, this time, mysteriously staged spectacular shows in which raised the China's red flags with official six – not five (one extra being speculated wildly on the world wide web as the inclusion of VN as a new province of China) – yellow stars having appeared notably on two separate state visit occasions, highlighted with the latter incident showcasing flag waving formality by little V schoolgirls to welcome a visit by C high officials as mentioned previously.
Vietnam welcomed china's Genereral Secretary to be XI Jinping with TV newscasts of school children waving its national six-starred red flags.
For all such reasons, its being so called the politics of C-V linguistics all depends on the overall climate of diplomatic relation at a specific time tightly controlled by governmental organs. Historically such episodes have occurred from the past hundreds of years until now. Now one can see how impeccably the impacts nationalism has innocently played tricks on historical academic perceptions whenever specific subject matters are C-related.
Understandably, it is hard for those V hardcore nationalists to reconcile their nationalism with the historic role that King Triệu Đà had played in history of the Kingdom of NamViet, a unified state of the Yue peoples, so named for its inclusion of mostly the LacViet (雒越), AuViet (歐越), and ManViet (閩越), since the last Yue State (越國) dated back to the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋時代, 771 ~ 476 BC), but not to mention the Yue subjects the State of Chu (楚國 c. 1030–223 BC) (楚). The point to make here is to emphasize the facts that all the China South vast land had once belonged to those of the BaiYue people (百越族) which would later be conquered by nomadic warriors who conquered China's northwestern flanks of ancient land on horsebacks. Those earlier normadic people had been ancestors of the early proto-C, historically, who would later be mixed with native Yue people of the land who would later emerge as the Han C. Interestingly, the same process had been repeated again and again further down in the south of China's southernmost and VN's northernmost areas and the new Viets have emerged as the masters of today's VN.
Map of the State of Chu c. 260 BC
As truthful as it appears to the western world, VN has already been long regarded as a "Little China", a copycat of China (Alan Houghton, 1942), with a prior long colonial period under C rule that had lasted a little over 1000 years. Historically, having just recovered from devastations of wars from 1954 to 1989, VN has been always shy to react to external changes and, somehow, until now she still imitates China in every step of her national development. As VN has been continually dictated by real threats of C invasions resulted from seas disputes and clashes, more violent than the 1979 border war between them, her rulers has premeditatively managed to keep her conciliatory pose in check and tried not to annoy the bull neighbor in the upper north and, as a result, currently cowardly acted as a vasal state of China at the same time, no more no less, a prolonged tradition of the past 1000 years, so to speak.
As we have gone this far in elaborating VN's colonial past and her rejection of colonial heritage, our newcomer VS philologists hence might realize by now what they have missed is an important link in the early development of V and C relation dated back in time as far as 1000 years prior to the ancient Annam became a prefecture of 'the Middle Kingdom', which can help strengthen a theorization on their genetic affiliation.
Think of the case of China's Guangdong Province right now. What would 'Canton' have become 1000 years later if it were an independent state starting from today -- that time frame is the length of a series of historical events of what had happened to VN one thousand years ago in terms of C affiliation in all aspects of life for 'Canton'? That is why, similar to the case of Taiwan but with a shorter 350 year-plus time span, China's mentality is that it always treats VN as a renegade province. The remainder of 21st century will see how things will come out whether or not the Taiwan's Kuomingtang would rule China and the communist politburo of VN could survive after another war with her big brother.
In all probability, adoption of calmness and soft stand on the issues as discussed should hurt nobody in the process. Let's turn our focus on our linguistic aspects and be entertained with what would possibly enlighten our cognizance instead while reworking on our own Sino-Tibetan (ST) theory. Opponents of our school of thought would not listen to us in any way, so mind our own business then. Hopefully in our lifetime those V nationalists who turn academicians would rework our views seriously someday under the light of truthfulness.
On the other hand, for all the talk about nationalism and patriotism on the part of the V, a student newcomer in this specific VS field may not completely digest in an instant the implication of such concepts as related to sinitic-oriented theorization, academically, especially those who live and have been educated in western institutes free of governmental intervention. That is also specifically true for young students of an American institute.
To grasp the idea easily in terms of ethnicity, we can cite the case of Caucasian persons born and raised in the US. They are certainly sure descendants from those earlier white European immigrants from the Old World, who, after a few first generations, for the most parts, do not know where their forefathers were from. In a sense, like Europeans looking at Europe's related matters, it is not a big deal under western perspectives that comparative historical events as such are analogous to the birth of America where the early forefathers of America who fought against the Brits were of British descent.(美) Similarly, it 's not big deal for a V national to claim her or his C origin after many generations, but is importantly to bear in mind that they are descents of China's nationals who have been immigrating to VN then and now, mostly fleeing from hunger in their homeland.
In terms of languages, it is good to paint a depictive picture of today's official language by comparing it with 'Californian English'. The language is so called for its being spoken in a better known US state called California. Its racial composition across different ethnic groups distictively consist of a larger Mexican population for the reason that California was previously a Mexico's territory in the early 19th century and on-going process of more immigrants coming in from Mexico. Those Mexicans being noted here are singled out for their racial comparativeness with their cousins living in Baja California or other parts of Mexico. In this specific case, besides, all other significant ethnic groups, such as descents of Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and the late Vietnamese, etc., historically, have also played active parts making up the California's diversed population as shown in the last 2010 US census. Overall, their linguistic peculiarities, notably their heavy accents each has proportionally contributed certain roles in the composition of linguistically accented mixture, that is to say, thanks to their presence altogether they have made up new blend of strains that racks up the official English of the state with a touch of Californian accents that one could refer to as 'Californian English'. How does it sound like that 'accent'? Go to Youtube and google, readers will hear how 'California English' is spoken via those newcasters from California working for English TV stations in China.
Now we can compare it with other English spoken outside of Great Britain in those places such as India, the Philipines, South Africa, etc., each with a national touch of mildly-accented English. That is, analogously, what had happened to "ancient Annamese" outside of China after 1000 years under its rule and 1000 years more after Annam had gone her own way, not counting earlier period that both nations had been still on the stage of becoming.
We could go on to examie many other similar cases like those nations of Latin America in which novice readers could just plug in either 'Vietnamese' or 'Chinese' where they see appropriate as illustrated in the previous examples.
On my part, as soon as my draft paper first were posted on the internet more than a decade ago, some specialists in the field have already rediculed my VS views for my 'ignorance of linguistics', or to be exact, their 'western linguistics'. In effect, they are their own victims of imprisonment for their overly relying so much on their 'western tools' that were not measurable and applicable for use in every aspect of V linguistic circumstances. In the early days hardly anybody could have a slight idea of tonality, for example, it being an exotic morphemic creature that has entertained them in the years past and many more to come. Technically speaking, it is possible that linguistic principles with Indo-European linguistic features could be applied and experimented by framing lexical units into their inflective linguistic framework such as morphemes, stems, affixes, etc, whereas "tonality" unexpectedly fits well on a morphemic model. With exception of those half-backed researches prepared by those specialists of partial-engagement in related AA, including those that have only devoted only their summertime on similar subject matters, no one else would have fully made use of the data mine or exploited the matters with an adequate approach.
Native experts on Asian languages have their tools, too, of course. It is known that former ST linguistic veterans in the C historical linguistic field, normally armed with western methodology, have utilized traditional methodology extracted from ancient linguistic material, e.g., 'Guangyun' (廣韻) or 'Yuyun' (玉韻) rhyming books, and the likes, for instance, Nguyen Tai Can (1979), who had completed his work on the phonological origin of Sino-Vietnamese (SV) formation from Middle Chinese (MC). That is where this research comes in with some rectifications on the old interpretation of data with the old methodology enumerating on etynologies, of which the topic has already touched on a bit in the previous introductory chapter.
On the other hand, western methodology is in a much better position for possessing efficient analytic tools, especially in the etymological field of sinitic historical linguistics as pioneered by Bernard Kargren (1949) in his Old Chinese (OC) reconstruction work. Taking in his footsteps late researchers have further refined historical C linguistic work with which V specialists could make use of to postulate cases of genetic affiliation of the V language with any linguistic family. However, while western scholars proved to be skilful in manipulating the mechanics of their methodology in linguistic areas such as comparative analytics, local V scholars are so obsessed with so much nationalism, or to be exact, politics, that they tend to look at sinitic and occidental matters with deep suspicion.
In a perfect world by western standards the insiders such as native academicians ideally seek to be involved in the process of re-writing history, not the rulers or their servants. That is exactly the missing link of the western colonial legacy left by the French colonialists that already bears the mark of profound hatred of China by the V nationals. All that shows in the way that they would neither settle for any face values superimposed on them by whichever culture, even just for pure linguistic purposes nor even show any liking of the upper hand played by those western ideologists with neo-colonial intellectual forms as demonstrated in the case of Austroasiastic (AA) theorization. And AA would be their venting valve for the time being.
As a result, collective data on C of V issues provided by the inside sources, even being prepared by those self-claimed western-trained scholars, are found unreliable and primitively substandard. For example, those innocently disinteresting parties acting as neutral contributors for an encyclopedia regarding the linguistic sub-family of V subject matter, what they got was actually non-factual data prepared and circulated among those C-biased V academic circles, for which the insiders themselves all know too well what the problems really are while they themselves are cheating each other. That kind of misinformation is commonly widespread, deliberately funneled by politically special interests, mostly results of anti-China nationalism deeply rooted in every V scholar's subconsciousness which poses as a major hindrance of impartial judgment.
Why are all the fuss about those detailed tibits? It is a motion in kind to counter resistant forces per se. All is that said because for a layman in this specific field of study s/he would be likely misled by an official version prepared by a V or C bureaucrat of a governmental institute, usually under the disguise of better branded mark such as a Confucius institution or a quotation from a leading figure such as Presisent Ho Chii Minh, e.g., "mười năm trồng cây trăm năm trồng người" ( 語出《管子·權修》:“十年之計,莫如樹木;終之計,莫如樹人。” 'It takes ten years to nurture a tree but a hundred years to rear people.', an old C saying by Guanzi now beecoming an idiom having been wrongly credited to that political figure, and his subjects would never suspect. However, it is unavoidably that newcomers could encounter chaotic layers of nationalistic top-off with respect to related history. Therefore, right in the beginning, they have already disoriented from such makeups on historical details. That is a familiar pattern explaining the reason why VN becomes a nation with proud and stubborn people even in the face of on-going threats from her nothern giant neighbor in all times.
Since the course of V linguistic development has been tampered by such nationalistic twists as said, the author has to pound on some hidden political agenda to straighten out the historical records before putting together surveys on a fact finding journey having started more than a quarter of a century ago. There exist plenty of VS etyma of C origin that set base for V fundamental lexicons, which are to follow after the next chapters. In any cases they are the holding magnet for this chapter after all political devides.
For this research, during the course of sorting out VS etymological candidates with relative complexity, at length I opted for taking the weather-beaten path of Sino-Tibetan (ST). From beginning, like many other linguistic novices I had not laid much of my focus on ST theory of V origin and, in effect, it is not. I have come up with a view that V could only be counted as a grafted part on TB linguistic tree sprung up from its older trunk of the late Sino-Tibetan stage, which probably corresponds to the Yin Dynasty (殷朝 1900 to 1066 BC).
The implanted branch has its Yue root deep in the core, though, as a result of another 2200 years since the conquer of all China South region by the Han Dynasty in 111 AD. The more powerful C nutrients, linguistically, have outgrown its own natve leaves along with all those of other sinitic-linguistic branches, i.e., seven major classified groups of C dialects as we know them for today. The early V language has secured itself its position on par with that of the development of both Cantonese and Fukienese, except for the fact that the two latter dialects have actually evolved from and inside the sovereignty of China while V has gone its own way after a 1000 year period of sinicization. Sinitic Vietnamese etyma became an inseparatable part of its vocabulary stock. Try to throw something of fresh C ingredients back into the overbrimming V melting pot and one would see into it that they would boil down into leguminous porrridge without a slight trace of sinitization.
Spring and Autumn Period in 5th century BC
By now readers might already understand why they could not definitely get to the roots of the V etymological matter for partial view of it from V scholars are unavoidably biased. The old sinitic route then became not an option. Talking about C is like lecturing on political sciences, each lecturer having her or his own view and no one likes to hear the other. This first part of chapter is to address just that, an issue of which the author has tried to build the case.
In the next section after the following the author will attempt to bring up many of the V basic etyma, isolate them, and populate them with all possible derived meanings to put them on par with several ST etymologies. The implication is, at the same time, to have them juxtaposed along with those of AA, totally different words.
(A)The proto-form is listed in Shorto 2006, entry 144 *t1mi? ‘new’. Proto-Austroasiatic (-5000–-4000) Source: http://wold.livingsources.org/word/7215023854510378
(日)The matter is much easier to understand if we suppose that had Janpan won the war and occupied Chna with the name of the nation changed into something like "DaiDongA" (大東亞), the base substance still would remain the same, though, the "Middle Kingdom".
(L)The proto-Vietic form is identified in Ferlus ms. Possibly areal with cognates in some Mon-Khmer languages and Cantonese. Proto-Vietic (-1000) (Source: http://wold.livingsources.org/word/7215023784073043)
(K) The Duanwu Festival is believed to have originated in ancient Chu State. A number of theories exist about its origins as a number of folk traditions and explanatory myths are connected to its observance. Today the best known of these relates to the suicide in 278 BCE of Qu Yuan (屈原), poet and statesman of the Chu State (楚國) during the Warring States period. Qu Yuan descended from a branch of the Chu royal clan and served as an official under King Huai of Chu (reigned 328–289 BCE). Qu Yuan was said to have advocated a policy of alliance with the other states of the period against the hegemonic Qin State, which threatened to dominate them all. In 278 BCE, learning of the capture of his country's capital, Ying, by General Bai Qi of the state of Qin, Qu Yuan is said to have written the lengthy poem of lamentation called "Lament for Ying" and later committed ritual suicide at Miluo River as the consequence of his despair by the fall of his birthplace and misery of his fellow countrymen. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duanwu_Festival and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qu_Yuan )
(T)An interesting fact that specialists of VN might have missed is that, in contrast with the way it sounds odd in V with today's common northern C "hard-sounded" names such as Tập Cận-Bình (習近平) or Hồ Cẩm-Đào (胡錦濤), virtually most of the personal names in Tang Dynasty as recoded in C history sound "softer" like any of those familar V names, such as Lý Thế-Dân (李世民), Dương Ngọc-Hoàn (楊玉環), etc.
(平)US Ex President Jimmy Carter in his speech given at the Press Club invited by National Public Radio that re-broadcast on its FM station on Saturday March 2nd, 2013, mentioned that in the late 1978 when he met with China's Politburo's General Secretary Deng Xiaoping to sign the peace treaty with between the US and China, Deng revealed his plan to invade Vietnam to Carter for her betrayal to China only less than 4 years after the Vietnam War ended in April 30, 1975 with China-assisted VN troops fighting against the US troops. Carter had insisted Dang not to let his C foot soldiers to stay in VN too long because China had just signed a peace treaty wih the US, which in effect would make both countries look bad.
(交)Review of my XYZ racial formulary: symbolistically the proportion of racial transmutation could be a formulated for the Viets by assigning some weights to its properties as (4Y6Z8HCMK) based on historical records such as census data of population increasing from 400,000 to 980,000 people — Annamese (2Y3Z4H) — in Han's three prefectures of Jiaozhi 交趾 (Giaochỉ), Jiuzhen 九真 (Cửuchân), and Rinan 日南 (Nhậtnam), respectively, during 100 year period from 111 BC to 11 BC, and historical records showing that in Qin Danasty, NamViet's 15,000 to 30,000 unmarried women were forced to marry with Qin foot solders (Lu Shih-Peng, 1964, Eng. p. 11, Chin. p. 47). The composition of their racial transmutation is much more similar like that of Han-Chinese, that is, a process during which the early proto-Chinese (X) intermingled with the proto-Yue aboriginals (YY) — on the proportional scale of 2 to 1 — to become parts of ancient Yue indigenous populace represented by (ZZZ) in those ancient states of Wu, Yue, Chu, etc., who were later to be called the Han symbolized as (HHHH) — that is, 3 x Z, 4 x H, repectively — in a unified Middle Kingdom of the Han Dynasty, or a united states of China, analogously. Composition of the later Han-Chinese as (X2Y3Z4H), in effect, are results of mutated racial mixture of (X)(YY)(ZZZ)(HHHH), so to speak, while racial composition of the Viets is made of the proto-Yue (YY) and later Yue (ZZZ) to become the proto-Vietic Viets (YYZZZ), ancestors of the Vietic, or early Annamese (2Y3Z4H), who would later become Vietnamese (4Y6Z8H+CMK) of the modern VN where C is for Cham and MK Mon-Khmer, a componental double of (2Y3Z4H) plus (CK) taking place with a series of similar events that had brought about the same composition of the Fukienese or Cantonese populace, that is, they had the same racial transmutation as that of the Vietic mixture during the same period of Han Dynasty. If it was so, then symbolistic formula for AA could be assigned as (6YCMK) (See Chapter 2: B) Rainwash on the Austroasiatic Western front).
(H)'Hátbộ', or 'háttuồng' (also called 'hátbội', or simply 'tuồng') is a form of Vietnamese theater. 'Háttuồng' is often referred to as classical "Vietnamese opera" influenced by Chinese opera. In Southern dialect this is equivalent with hátbội.
'Tuồng' is distinct from the older 'hátchèo' genre of Vietnamese theater which combines dance, song and poetry, and the more modern 'cảilương' folk musical.
History: It is believed that 'tuồng' was imported from China around the 13th century when Vietnam was warring against the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. A famous actor named Lý Nguyên Cát (李元吉) was imprisoned by the Vietnamese. The imperial court asked him to spread his knowledge of Chinese theater to the children of the elite, thus explaining how 'tuồng' had first had its beginnings in Vietnam in the royal court. Later on, it was adapted to travelling troupes who entertained commoners and peasants. Along with 'hátchèo', 'tuồng' was one of the other highly popular art forms for commoners.
Storylines and makeup: Stories in the opera tend to be ostensibly historical and frequently focus on the rules of social decorum, and can include legends from either the history of China or Vietnam. 'Tuồng' employs the use of stock characters who are recognizable from their make-up and costumes, which are typically very elaborate and extravagant. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1t_tu%E1%BB%93ng
(V)Certainly Vietnam is suspicious of China as she has been for centuries, if not millennia. For hundreds of years at a stretch China's emperors ruled over parts of Vietnam; today the names of the country's biggest boulevards commemorate heroes who fought against foreign invaders, including the Chinese. Though hardliners within the Communist Party leadership might prefer to look to China for inspiration before turning to the America, especially when it comes to issues of internal security, post-revolutionary Vietnam is not always happy with its neighbor. Last year, 2011, 12 weeks of essentially government-sanctioned protests against China's actions in the South China Sea were a vivid demonstration of that. (Source: http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2012/06/vietnams-trade-china
(美) See author's "On the Origin of the Vietnamese People" in Vietnamese, Appendix L.
(史)Sima Qian, Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji) ,《史記。南越列傳》記載，趙佗是河北省正定縣人.
(楚)The State of Chu (c. 1030–223 BC) (Chinese: 楚國; pinyin: Chǔ Guó) was an ancient state in present-day central and southern China during the Zhou Dynasty. Originally Chu's rulers were of the noble rank of Zi (子), comparable to viscount, but starting from King Wu of Chu in the early 8th century BC the rulers of Chu declared themselves kings. Its ruling house had the ancestral name Nai (Zhou Chinese: 嬭), and clan name Yan (酓), later evolved to ancestral name Mi (芈), and clan name Xiong (熊) [ 'Hùng'?].
Originally known as Jing (荆) and then as Jingchu (荆楚), at the height of its power the Chu State occupied vast areas of land, including most of the present-day provinces of Hubei and Hunan, and parts of Chongqing, Guizhou, Henan, Anhui, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai. For more than 400 years the Chu capital Danyang was located at the junction region of Dan River and Xi River, near present-day Xichuan, Henan Province, but later moved to Ying. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_(state)]
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