Favourite Traditional Asian Clothes

Sephiroth

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
2,986
It is a Top Secret
Why are people talking so much about Asian languages(in general)?
..
And why is Korean an isolated language (or what does it even mean) and Japanese not? Is there any other group speaking Japanese, but are not Japanese?

Some questions rise here.
 
Jan 2015
433
Northern City
There's a theory that the Zhou language, the first true Sinitic langauge, was a creole that arose with heavy mixing of Sino-Tibetan and Austroasiatic (or some other southern) peoples on the Yellow River.

Who exactly were the Scytho-Siberians anyway? Does this refer to the north-central Asian nomadic culture sphere (which could be referred to as "Altaic")?

That's interesting about the river. I wonder if it has anything to do with the proto-Japonic people (according to one theory originating in what is now southern China) living there before the Koreans got there.
Why isn't it possible that Sinitic creolized with Scytho-Siberian. There is an adjacency between the Yellow River and the Steppes of Asia.

I have a very simple problem with the Turko-Mongolic (Altaic) nature of the Scytho-Siberians.That is, the Turko-Mongolics bear no relation to those to their west, the Indo-Europeans, and those to their east, the Koreans, and all the while Koreans and Indo-Europeans share many words.

If we look at the history of the Gok-Turks, we know they were initially a tribe that came from the north and did a hostile takeover against the ruling Rouran (Xianbei) Khaganate in the Steppes. This could have led to the change of the language of the Steppes. Or the change could have happened earlier. The only thing that appears certain is that the change did occur.
 
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Dec 2011
3,492
Mountains and Jungles of Southern China
There's a theory that the Zhou language, the first true Sinitic langauge, was a creole that arose with heavy mixing of Sino-Tibetan and Austroasiatic (or some other southern) peoples on the Yellow River.
I think Chinese is a creole language, but whether or not it had heavily mixed with southern languages still needs further evidences.

For now, the linguistic evidences show that Chinese seem to have borrowed from both southern and northern languages, while retaining their core Sino-Tibetan vocabulary. Recent anthropological/genetic studies have also shown that northern elements seem to have mixed into the Sinitic peoples quite early in history.

So the Sinitics were not really a southern language/people as you have assumed. They had significant northern elements. I don't understand why some people always have the urge to claim the Chinese as southern. Just take a look at the Qin and Han warrior figurines, they look quite similar to some Koreans and Mongols.

That's interesting about the river. I wonder if it has anything to do with the proto-Japonic people (according to one theory originating in what is now southern China) living there before the Koreans got there.
I don't think so. Koreans probably borrowed the word "江" (gang) from Medieval Chinese, not from proto-Japonic peoples.

The word "江" in Japanese is pronounced as "e", such as "江户" is pronounced as "Edo". It sounds completely different from the Sino-Korean "gang".
 
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Feb 2015
266
Singapore
Why are people talking so much about Asian languages(in general)?
..
And why is Korean an isolated language (or what does it even mean) and Japanese not? Is there any other group speaking Japanese, but are not Japanese?

Some questions rise here.
An isolate language such as Korean or Basque for example shares no similarities in terms of vocabulary to any other language found on Earth and nobody knows exactly where did these languages come from. All relatives of the Korean language or Basque language simply died out over time.

Language families are formed when the first humans living in the area begin to speak and interact with one another. As time passes, these people speaking the same language diversify and migrate out of their original homeland (Urheimat), eventually forming all the ethnic races you see across the world today. Over thousands of years, some of these languages retain a set of basic vocabulary back from that era, allowing linguists to identify which languages were of the same origin - although each of these languages might no longer be mutually intelligible.

The world's largest language family is the Indo-European language family, which in itself splits further into many other different sub-families. Namely:

- Germanic (English, German, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian etc.)
- Romance (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Latin etc.)
- Slavic (Russian, Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene etc.)
- Indo-Aryan (Hindi, Sanskrit etc.)

"Good day" in Russian: Добрый день Dobryi den
"Good day" in Belarusian: Добры дзень Dobry dzien
"Good day" in Ukrainian: Добрий день Dobrii den
"Good day" in Polish: Dobry dzień
"Good day" in Czech: Dobrý den
"Good day" in Slovak: Dobrý deň
"Good day" in Slovene: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Serbian: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Croatian: Dobar dan

English speakers may sometimes understand a few German words simply because the English language itself has a Germanic base, with many other influences from French and Latin thrown into the mix. The German car brand "Volkswagen" is actually cognate to English "Folks' Wagon"

Japanese is not considered an isolate language because the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is considered distinct enough from Standard Japanese for it to be a separate language. In the case of Korean, there is some debate as to whether this could be applicable to the Jeju dialect (제주방언 / 제주사투리) as well.

On the other hand, the Sino-Tibetan language family is the second largest in the world and it is separated into two different subfamilies - Sinitic (Chinese) and Tibeto-Burman. Most of the "dialects" in Southern China are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin (Putonghua) at all and therefore, might as well be considered separate languages, although the Chinese government doesnt recognise this due to political reasons.

There are a few defining factors to decide if a language belongs in a certain language family, such as the number of cognates where vocabulary is a decisive factor, as well as the phonology, grammar and sentence structure of the language.

Cultural loanwords brought into Korea, Japan and Vietnam from China are not taken into account since these "loanwords" are not native to the language in which it is spoken in. Korean is still an isolate language, Japanese is still Japonic and Vietnamese is still Austro-Asiatic.
 
Sep 2015
125
India
An isolate language such as Korean or Basque for example shares no similarities in terms of vocabulary to any other language found on Earth and nobody knows exactly where did these languages come from. All relatives of the Korean language or Basque language simply died out over time.

Language families are formed when the first humans living in the area begin to speak and interact with one another. As time passes, these people speaking the same language diversify and migrate out of their original homeland (Urheimat), eventually forming all the ethnic races you see across the world today. Over thousands of years, some of these languages retain a set of basic vocabulary back from that era, allowing linguists to identify which languages were of the same origin - although each of these languages might no longer be mutually intelligible.

The world's largest language family is the Indo-European language family, which in itself splits further into many other different sub-families. Namely:

- Germanic (English, German, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian etc.)
- Romance (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Latin etc.)
- Slavic (Russian, Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene etc.)
- Indo-Aryan (Hindi, Sanskrit etc.)

"Good day" in Russian: Добрый день Dobryi den
"Good day" in Belarusian: Добры дзень Dobry dzien
"Good day" in Ukrainian: Добрий день Dobrii den
"Good day" in Polish: Dobry dzień
"Good day" in Czech: Dobrý den
"Good day" in Slovak: Dobrý deň
"Good day" in Slovene: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Serbian: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Croatian: Dobar dan

English speakers may sometimes understand a few German words simply because the English language itself has a Germanic base, with many other influences from French and Latin thrown into the mix. The German car brand "Volkswagen" is actually cognate to English "Folks' Wagon"

Japanese is not considered an isolate language because the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is considered distinct enough from Standard Japanese for it to be a separate language. In the case of Korean, there is some debate as to whether this could be applicable to the Jeju dialect (제주방언 / 제주사투리) as well.

On the other hand, the Sino-Tibetan language family is the second largest in the world and it is separated into two different subfamilies - Sinitic (Chinese) and Tibeto-Burman. Most of the "dialects" in Southern China are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin (Putonghua) at all and therefore, might as well be considered separate languages, although the Chinese government doesnt recognise this due to political reasons.

There are a few defining factors to decide if a language belongs in a certain language family, such as the number of cognates where vocabulary is a decisive factor, as well as the phonology, grammar and sentence structure of the language.

Cultural loanwords brought into Korea, Japan and Vietnam from China are not taken into account since these "loanwords" are not native to the language in which it is spoken in. Korean is still an isolate language, Japanese is still Japonic and Vietnamese is still Austro-Asiatic.

A very well argued and informative post. You have potential to be a great teacher.:)
 

Sephiroth

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
2,986
It is a Top Secret
An isolate language such as Korean or Basque for example shares no similarities in terms of vocabulary to any other language found on Earth and nobody knows exactly where did these languages come from. All relatives of the Korean language or Basque language simply died out over time.

Language families are formed when the first humans living in the area begin to speak and interact with one another. As time passes, these people speaking the same language diversify and migrate out of their original homeland (Urheimat), eventually forming all the ethnic races you see across the world today. Over thousands of years, some of these languages retain a set of basic vocabulary back from that era, allowing linguists to identify which languages were of the same origin - although each of these languages might no longer be mutually intelligible.

The world's largest language family is the Indo-European language family, which in itself splits further into many other different sub-families. Namely:

- Germanic (English, German, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian etc.)
- Romance (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Latin etc.)
- Slavic (Russian, Czech, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene etc.)
- Indo-Aryan (Hindi, Sanskrit etc.)

"Good day" in Russian: Добрый день Dobryi den
"Good day" in Belarusian: Добры дзень Dobry dzien
"Good day" in Ukrainian: Добрий день Dobrii den
"Good day" in Polish: Dobry dzień
"Good day" in Czech: Dobrý den
"Good day" in Slovak: Dobrý deň
"Good day" in Slovene: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Serbian: Dobar dan
"Good day" in Croatian: Dobar dan

English speakers may sometimes understand a few German words simply because the English language itself has a Germanic base, with many other influences from French and Latin thrown into the mix. The German car brand "Volkswagen" is actually cognate to English "Folks' Wagon"

Japanese is not considered an isolate language because the Ryukyuan languages spoken in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is considered distinct enough from Standard Japanese for it to be a separate language. In the case of Korean, there is some debate as to whether this could be applicable to the Jeju dialect (제주방언 / 제주사투리) as well.

On the other hand, the Sino-Tibetan language family is the second largest in the world and it is separated into two different subfamilies - Sinitic (Chinese) and Tibeto-Burman. Most of the "dialects" in Southern China are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin (Putonghua) at all and therefore, might as well be considered separate languages, although the Chinese government doesnt recognise this due to political reasons.

There are a few defining factors to decide if a language belongs in a certain language family, such as the number of cognates where vocabulary is a decisive factor, as well as the phonology, grammar and sentence structure of the language.

Cultural loanwords brought into Korea, Japan and Vietnam from China are not taken into account since these "loanwords" are not native to the language in which it is spoken in. Korean is still an isolate language, Japanese is still Japonic and Vietnamese is still Austro-Asiatic.
Thanks for the extensively reply. Japan and Korea are pretty similar in a way they are both pretty much the only existing languages in their 'family' and if Koreans are suspecting (if I understand it correctly) they and their language originated somewhere from elsewhere - what are the Japanese then suspecting? I am suspecting the Japanese language originated in ..Japan and I would have thought, Korean's in ..Korea. There needs to be no 'history' imo. But most other languages are probably linked.
 
Feb 2015
266
Singapore
A very well argued and informative post. You have potential to be a great teacher.:)
Thank you! :)

Thanks for the extensively reply. Japan and Korea are pretty similar in a way they are both pretty much the only existing languages in their 'family' and if Koreans are suspecting (if I understand it correctly) they and their language originated somewhere from elsewhere - what are the Japanese then suspecting? I am suspecting the Japanese language originated in ..Japan and I would have thought, Korean's in ..Korea. There needs to be no 'history' imo. But most other languages are probably linked.


In East Asia, Koreans are usually the ones who speculate that their people and language originated somewhere in Siberia, Mongolia or Central Asia despite repeated consensuses by linguists worldwide that the Korean language is a linguistic isolate. Genetic studies have also shown that more than 90% of the Korean paternal lineage is shared with people having strong agricultural traditions in places such as China (shall not delve deeper into genetics as this is forbidden on Historum)

Throughout its' history, Korea had also long been under the sway of China's linguistic, cultural and political influence. Like Vietnam, Korea was part of what is known as the Sinosphere (中华文化圈 / 중화문화권) as shown in the map above - which means that Korea was a tributary / vassal state of China. In recent years, however, especially with the severe crippling of China under the Qing Dynasty (清朝; 1644 AD - 1911 AD) and the Communist era, most Koreans influenced by much of the Western world, tend to look down on China.

This passage from the Dongmong Seonseup (童蒙先習 / 동몽선습) written during the Joseon Dynasty gives you a pretty good indication of how obsessed the Koreans were with the Chinese and the Ming Dynasty:

我國雖僻在海隅,壤地褊小,禮樂法度,衣冠文物,悉遵華制。人倫明於上,教化行於下,風俗之美 ,侔擬中華, 華人稱之曰小中華.

Translation: Although our country is located in the corner of the sea, with limited land, our rituals and legal system, dressing code and writing guidelines all follow the Chinese system. Human moral starting from the upper class and education extending to the lower society, such beautiful custom is so similar to China, so Chinese call us “Little China.”

During the 1950s and way into the 1970s and 1980s, newspapers published in South Korea were still written using an extensive mix of Chinese characters (汉字 / 한자):



In Japan on the other hand, it was speculated that the Yamato people (大和民族) were formed through two groups of people who had lived on the Japanese Archipelago - the Jomon (縄文人) and the Yayoi (弥生人). This has largely been confirmed by historians, geneticists and archaeologists alike. Prior to the arrival of the Yayoi people from China / Korea, the Jomon people had already inhabited Japan for thousands of years, back when Japan was still linked to mainland Asia by a land bridge.

Even today, direct descendants of the Jomon people, known as the Ainu (アイヌ人) who still inhabit the Japanese island of Hokkaido (北海道), the Russian islands of Sakhalin (サハリン) and Kuril (千島列島 / クリル列島) provides us with some insight on how the Jomon people would have looked like:





In general, I feel that Korean & Japanese prehistory is still largely shrouded in a layer of speculation - nobody knows for sure how did the Korean or Ainu languages come about since they are both isolate languages; and nobody knows for sure either how did the "Japonic" languages come about since the only non-Yamato people who speak a similar language are the Ryukyuans / Okinawans. A lot of work remains to be done in that part of East Asia.

At least it is certain that the Chinese people and their language did indeed stem from the same root as Tibeto-Burman speaking people to the west of China. This has been revised by multiple linguists in the field for more than 80 years and should be reliable as it is recognised by the United Nations Organization for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
 
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