Sino-Tibetan Languages

Sep 2014
110
Singapore


Spoken all across China, Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Western Thailand, Ladakh and Nagaland - the Sino-Tibetan language family is generally regarded as the second largest linguistic family in the world with more than 400 different languages, after the Indo-European language family.

There are two branches in the Sino-Tibetan language family (汉藏语系); the Sinitic branch (汉语支) and the Tibeto-Burman branch (藏缅语支). These languages are spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese (汉族), Tibetans (藏族), Qiang (羌族), Tangut (党项族), Bamar / Myanmar (缅族), Nakhi (纳西族), Tujia (土家族), Derung (独龙族), Kachin / Jingphaw (克钦族 / 景颇族) and the Bai (白族), amongst many others.

Some features found in Sino-Tibetan languages includes:
- Inflections (except Chinese, but Old Chinese also used to carry inflections)
- Subject-Object-Verb Sentence Structure (SVO also accepted in Chinese)
- Contrasting aspirated & unaspirated stops / affricates (/p/ VS /pʰ/)
- Mostly Tonal (Originally non-tonal)
- Glottal Stops



Eastern Qinghai (青海省东部) is said to be the urheimat of the Sino-Tibetan speaking people who split apart from one another more than 7000 years ago. However, there are still many similarities in terms of vocabulary to be found between the Sino-Tibetan languages.

"Bitter" in Old Chinese -> 苦 *kʰˁaʔ
"Bitter" in Tibetan -> kha
"Bitter" in Tangut -> khie

"Black" in Old Chinese -> 黑 *smək
"Black" in Tibetan -> smag

Other similarities, cognates and specific description of Sino-Tibetan languages: http://bartos.web.elte.hu/sinotib/thur-lapolla-ST.pdf
 
Dec 2013
331
Beijing China
Ancitent Tibet and Ancient Xia,Zhou people were all from Qiang :



Qiang ([ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language"]Chinese[/ame]: 羌; [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin"]pinyin[/ame]: Qiāng; Wade–Giles: Ch'iang) was a name given to various groups of people at different periods in ancient China. The Qiang people were thought to be of Tibetan-Burmese origin, and the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangut_people"]Tangut people[/ame] of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_dynasty"]Tang[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sung_dynasty"]Sung[/ame] and [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuan_dynasty"]Yuan[/ame] Dynasties may be of a people of Qiang descent.[1]


The term "Qiang" appears in the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi_Jing"]Shi Jing[/ame] in reference to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_of_Shang"]Tang of Shang[/ame] (trad. 1675–1646 BC).[4] They seem to have lived in a diagonal band from northern [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi"]Shaanxi[/ame] to northern [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henan"]Henan[/ame], somewhat to the south of the later [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beidi"]Beidi[/ame]. They were enemy of the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shang_Dynasty"]Shang Dynasty[/ame], who mounted expeditions against them, capturing slaves and victims for [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice"]human sacrifice[/ame]. The Qiang prisoners were skilled in making oracle bones.[5]
According to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuowen"]Shuowen[/ame], they were shepherds, part of the Xirong people.[6] They had a close relation to [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhou_dynasty"]Zhou[/ame], and were mentioned in [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shujing"]Shujing[/ame] and [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiji"]Shiji[/ame] as one of the allies of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Wu_of_Zhou"]King Wu of Zhou[/ame] who defeated the Shang.[7] The Zhou themselves may also have a [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rong_people"]Rong[/ame] origin.[1] Some of these groups were called the "Horse-Qiang" or "Many-Horse-Qiang" (Ma Qiang or Duo Ma Qiang), suggesting they may have been horse breeders.[5] Not until the rise of the state of Qin under Duke Mu was the Qiang expansion effectively halted.


During the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Dynasty"]Han Dynasty[/ame], a group of nomads to the southwest of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunhuang"]Dunhuang[/ame] were known as the Chuo Qiang (婼羌). They were described in [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanshu"]Hanshu[/ame] as a people who moved with their livestock in search of water and pasture, made military weapons themselves using iron from the mountains, and possessed bows, lances, short knives, swords and armour.[8] In Weilüe other Qiang tribes named were Congzi (Brown Onions Qiang), Baima (White Horse Qiang), and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang).[9] The various tribes of the Qiangs formed a confederation against the Han but were defeated.[10]
Later in the Han Dynasty, groups of people in the western part of [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan"]Sichuan[/ame] were mentioned [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hou_Hanshu"]Hou Hanshu[/ame] as separate branches of the Qiangs. A song from one of these groups, the "White Wolf" people, was transcribed in Chinese characters together with Chinese translation, and the language has since been identified as Tibetan-Burman.[1]
A Qiang leader, [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yao_Chang"]Yao Chang[/ame], founded the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Later_Qin"]Later Qin[/ame] kingdom (384–417 AD) during the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Kingdoms"]Sixteen Kingdoms[/ame] period of Chinese history.
 

Zoopiter

Ad Honorem
Apr 2012
2,027
Not just Zhou,but also Shang as well.

The Zhou, however are a later wave of the same or a more or less closely related group.Moreover,Shang dynasty Chinese at least in its syntax and lexicon seems not to differ basically from that of the Zhou dynasty whose language is amply attested in the inscriptions on bronze vessels and which was transmitted in the early classical literature.
Contributions to Historical Linguistics: Issues and Materials - Google Books
 
Sep 2014
110
Singapore
Ancitent Tibet and Ancient Xia,Zhou people were all from Qiang :



Qiang (Chinese: 羌; pinyin: Qiāng; Wade–Giles: Ch'iang) was a name given to various groups of people at different periods in ancient China. The Qiang people were thought to be of Tibetan-Burmese origin, and the Tangut people of Tang, Sung and Yuan Dynasties may be of a people of Qiang descent.[1]


The term "Qiang" appears in the Shi Jing in reference to Tang of Shang (trad. 1675–1646 BC).[4] They seem to have lived in a diagonal band from northern Shaanxi to northern Henan, somewhat to the south of the later Beidi. They were enemy of the Shang Dynasty, who mounted expeditions against them, capturing slaves and victims for human sacrifice. The Qiang prisoners were skilled in making oracle bones.[5]
According to Shuowen, they were shepherds, part of the Xirong people.[6] They had a close relation to Zhou, and were mentioned in Shujing and Shiji as one of the allies of King Wu of Zhou who defeated the Shang.[7] The Zhou themselves may also have a Rong origin.[1] Some of these groups were called the "Horse-Qiang" or "Many-Horse-Qiang" (Ma Qiang or Duo Ma Qiang), suggesting they may have been horse breeders.[5] Not until the rise of the state of Qin under Duke Mu was the Qiang expansion effectively halted.


During the Han Dynasty, a group of nomads to the southwest of Dunhuang were known as the Chuo Qiang (婼羌). They were described in Hanshu as a people who moved with their livestock in search of water and pasture, made military weapons themselves using iron from the mountains, and possessed bows, lances, short knives, swords and armour.[8] In Weilüe other Qiang tribes named were Congzi (Brown Onions Qiang), Baima (White Horse Qiang), and Huangniu Qiang (Yellow Ox Qiang).[9] The various tribes of the Qiangs formed a confederation against the Han but were defeated.[10]
Later in the Han Dynasty, groups of people in the western part of Sichuan were mentioned Hou Hanshu as separate branches of the Qiangs. A song from one of these groups, the "White Wolf" people, was transcribed in Chinese characters together with Chinese translation, and the language has since been identified as Tibetan-Burman.[1]
A Qiang leader, Yao Chang, founded the Later Qin kingdom (384–417 AD) during the Sixteen Kingdoms period of Chinese history.
To be specific, they were descended from the 'Ancient Qiang' (古羌人) who were nomads that roamed the border area straddling between modern-day Qinghai and Gansu. After the different Sino-Tibetan speakers fanned out from that area towards the Tibetan Plateau and the Central Plains, the remaining Qiang people of the area were conquered by the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei (鮮卑族).

Village heads of the Qiang people intermixed with the royalty of the Xianbei to form the Tuyuhun Xianbei kingdom (吐谷渾鮮卑王國). The remaining Qiang people who did not mix with the Xianbei people migrated south to Aba of Northern Sichuan (四川省北部阿霸市) and became known as the ethnic Qiang (羌族).

Sinitic languages have mainly received influences from Hmong-Mien languages and vice-versa; most of which are agricultural terms since the Hmong-Mien people had already established a strong agricultural tradition in Southern China prior to Chinese domination.

Hence, there was some debate if the Hmong-Mien (苗瑤語系) languages branched out from the Sino-Tibetan language family due to some of its similarities with the Chinese language. Further investigation later proved otherwise.
 

heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,511
China
To be specific, they were descended from the 'Ancient Qiang' (古羌人) who were nomads that roamed the border area straddling between modern-day Qinghai and Gansu. After the different Sino-Tibetan speakers fanned out from that area towards the Tibetan Plateau and the Central Plains, the remaining Qiang people of the area were conquered by the Mongolic-speaking Xianbei (鮮卑族).

Village heads of the Qiang people intermixed with the royalty of the Xianbei to form the Tuyuhun Xianbei kingdom (吐谷渾鮮卑王國). The remaining Qiang people who did not mix with the Xianbei people migrated south to Aba of Northern Sichuan (四川省北部阿霸市) and became known as the ethnic Qiang (羌族).

Sinitic languages have mainly received influences from Hmong-Mien languages and vice-versa; most of which are agricultural terms since the Hmong-Mien people had already established a strong agricultural tradition in Southern China prior to Chinese domination.

Hence, there was some debate if the Hmong-Mien (苗瑤語系) languages branched out from the Sino-Tibetan language family due to some of its similarities with the Chinese language. Further investigation later proved otherwise.
a small correction it is 阿坝 not 阿霸, 坝 means a flat area, 霸 does not make sense here. and it is Aba/Ngawa Autonomous Prefecture (Tibetan and Qiang)州, not a City/市, it might be a little complex for people outside PRC
and it is not so simple that current Qiang are "The remaining Qiang people who did not mix with the Xianbei people migrated south". the migration may happen much ealier, i guess that's the reason i saw no articles on Qiang-Xianbei language connections.
 
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Sep 2014
110
Singapore
a small correction it is 阿坝 not 阿霸, 坝 means a flat area, 霸 does not make sense here. and it is Aba/Ngawa Autonomous Prefecture (Tibetan and Qiang)州, not a City/市, it might be a little complex for people outside PRC
and it is not so simple that current Qiang are "The remaining Qiang people who did not mix with the Xianbei people migrated south". the migration may happen much ealier, i guess that's the reason i saw no articles on Qiang-Xianbei language connections.
Sorry.. My mistake :p
 
Sep 2014
110
Singapore
Most brilliant post made by my friend toyomotor

Sinitic linguistics discussion down the drain - History Forum ~ WorldHistoria

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
Look - my username elsewhere on CHF is YummYakitori and I am from Singapore. Clearly you are trying to sabotage me by creating another account of the same username and location here on Historum so that you can make me look like a double-faced schizo.

As a matter of fact, you are not doing it very successfully either considering how you've missed out the second capital 'Y' for Yakitori.

Stop trying to pass off as someone that you are not.
 
Jul 2014
94
Melbourne
As far as I know, Sino-Tibetan language family is a debate. Especially Tibetan language may not belong to this group. I'm not sure about this.

Does anyone know about this??
 
Dec 2011
3,492
Mountains and Jungles of Southern China
I agree. There have been far too many strawman connections for Qiang and the like to be connected with the Sinitic. Just because all around China are the shared myths of Pan Gu or Fuxi Nuwa these could be myths which were commonly shared folklore. Each particular region may keep one upping the myths so that the myths became representative of god and the creation mythos and could be associated with everyone.

Just because Sinitics spoke a form even Tibeto-Burmans could have understood during the period of Zhou rule doesn't mean the Sinitics during the age of Shang and earlier hadn't been a separate form acquired apart from Tibeto-Burman/Austronesians. Details can be found in Sagart's paper "The expansion of Setaria Farmers in east Asia" and in DeLancey's paper, "The origins of Sinitic". Sinitics were the rice kings of Asia, and did not worship millet. Blench's Paper "Stratification in the Peopling of China: How far does the linguistic evidence match genetics and archaeology" shows us that while there is a bottlenecking of languages during the imperial periods of China it could never have revealed the distinctly separate natures of people during the neolithic. Some neolithic people were elites and acquired population sizes which required cities while others were still dotted villages in their landscape unknowingly in the wake of Sinitic's rise and spread.
You sound like the banned member wingerman. Is this your duplicate account?

Rice cultivation started in the Yangtse Valley around 10,000 years ago. There's no way to prove that those rice cultivators spoke a Sinitic language. I think they most likely spoke a Austroasiatic/Hmong-Mien/Tai-Kadai language. The word for rice in Chinese "dao" (稻) is thought to have been borrowed from the Hmong-Mien word "mblau".

Sinitics originated from the northwest of China. This is proven in numerous Sinitic folklores as well as Hmong-Mien folklores which suggest that their ancestor Chi You once lived in Shandong but they were driven south by the Sinitic invaders coming from the northwest.

Moreover, Shang & Zhou's territory was mostly limited to the Yellow River Valley in northern China. Shang's capital Anyang is actually located to the north of the Yellow River. Shang and Zhou frequently had wars with the native tribes inhabiting the Yangtse River Valley.

The sinicization of southern China only started after the Qin dynasty, and large-scale northern immigration to southern China is even later, starting during the Jin dynasty.

I don't understand why some people always want to associate the Sinitic people with Southeast Asians and Australoids, even in face of so many counter evidences which point to a northern origin. It seems like there's a political agenda behind their claims. Mongolian and Korean nationalists are the ones who like to claim those nonsense about Sinitic origin.