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Author: Mark Alves

Abstract

Syntactic data on several Vietic languages, combined with comparative Austroasiatic data and the history of language contact and typological convergence in Mainland Southeast Asia, lead to working hypotheses about early Vietic morphosyntax during initial contact with Sinitic around 2,200 years ago. Like other Austroasiatic languages and modern Minor Vietic languages, the non-tonal, polysyllabic, agglutinative Vietic was probably topic-prominent and verb-medial and utilized the middle voice, lacking both lexical and morphological means of marking passive voice. As for noun phrase structure, early Vietic likely lacked classifiers and had quantifiers after nouns, comparable to textual evidence of Old Khmer. While modifiers and determiners follow nouns in all described Vietic languages, quantification occurs either before or after head nouns in noun phrases, most likely as a result of language contact.

In: Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective
Author: Mark Alves

Abstract

Syntactic data on several Vietic languages, combined with comparative Austroasiatic data and the history of language contact and typological convergence in Mainland Southeast Asia, lead to working hypotheses about early Vietic morphosyntax during initial contact with Sinitic around 2,200 years ago. Like other Austroasiatic languages and modern Minor Vietic languages, the non-tonal, polysyllabic, agglutinative Vietic was probably topic-prominent and verb-medial and utilized the middle voice, lacking both lexical and morphological means of marking passive voice. As for noun phrase structure, early Vietic likely lacked classifiers and had quantifiers after nouns, comparable to textual evidence of Old Khmer. While modifiers and determiners follow nouns in all described Vietic languages, quantification occurs either before or after head nouns in noun phrases, most likely as a result of language contact.

In: Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective
Author: Mark J. Alves

The Vietnamese word for ‘rake/harrow’ has been determined to be from the colloquial layer of pre-Tang Dynasty Early Sino-Vietnamese loanwords. Phonological, comparative, and historical data is provided to support this claim. The discussion addresses Vietnamese, Chinese, and Tai historical phonology and the language contact among these three groups.


Dans cet article, nous montrons que le mot vietnamien pour ‘râteau/herse’ appartient à la couche parlée des emprunts sino-vietnamiens anciens datant d’avant la dynastie des Tang. Des données phonologiques, comparatives et historiques corroborent cette hypothèse. La discussion aborde la phonogie historique du vietnamien, du chinois et du kradai, ainsi que le contact entre ces trois groupes de langues.


In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Mark J. ALVES

Specialists in Chinese historical phonology have claimed that some Vietnamese words with final /-j/ come from Old Chinese words with final *-r. This is reasonable to speculate as Proto-Austroasiatic finals *-r and *-l became final /-j/ in Vietnamese, parallel to the case in Sinitic. However, these Vietnamese words offer little evidence for OC *-r. Vietnamese did borrow a number of Late Old Chinese or Early Middle Chinese words reconstructed with final *-r after *-r merged with *-n in Eastern Han or later, and thus these words also have /-n/ in Vietnamese. Several other Vietnamese words with final /-j/ which are possibly from Old Chinese words having *-r were borrowed earlier in the BCE period, likely before large migrations of Sinitic speakers arrived. Those words include verbs and an adjective, words less likely than nouns to be borrowed without large bilingual communities. The small number of words and general uncertainty suggests some Vietnamese words with /-j/ purportedly from Old Chinese words with *-r may be chance similarities. Few are probable Chinese loanwords from that period.

Full Access
In: Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Author: Mark J. Alves

Vietnamese has numerous early-era Chinese loanwords with ngang and huyền tones, which in Middle Chinese loanwords correspond to the pingsheng level tone category, for words that should have sắc or nặng tones, corresponding to the Middle Chinese non-level qusheng departing tone category. It is proposed that this layer of Early Sino-Vietnamese represents borrowing of Chinese words in the period after which Old Chinese had lost final *-s and prior to tonogenesis in Viet-Muong, thus leading to words with the level-tone category when tones emerged in Viet-Muong. This paper provides 60 items of Early Sino-Vietnamese that exemplify this phenomenon of ngang/huyền tones in qusheng words, but also 120 items exemplifying the previously noted reversal of sắc/nặng and hỏi/ngã tones between Early Sino-Vietnamese and later Sino-Vietnamese (the formalized readings of Chinese characters). Altogether, this allows for an overall relative chronology of the development of tones in both Sinitic and Vietic.

Open Access
In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

In this study, over 60 Chinese loanwords in Vietnamese are claimed to have been borrowed during the East Han or West Jin Dynasties. These Early Sino-Vietnamese (esv) words are identified via a combination of linguistic, historical, archaeological, and ethnological data sources and frameworks. Such an interdisciplinary method helps to confirm or refute these words’ status as loanwords and as belonging to this specific historical period. The combined linguistic and extralinguistic data also leads to hypotheses about possible phonological changes in Chinese from the Old Chinese (oc) to Middle Chinese (mc) periods. In particular, while Sino-Vietnamese words from the mc period have expected qusheng tones for Chinese qusheng loanwords, oc-era esv words have either shangsheng or, unexpectedly, pingsheng tones. It is hypothesized that esv words with shangsheng tones for oc qusheng words were borrowed earliest, while esv items with pingsheng represent a later stage in oc in which final *-s was in the process of being lost in the first few centuries ce.

本文重點討論東漢或西晉時代借自漢語的60多個早期漢越語詞,通過語言學、歷史學、考古學、民族學等多個學科,綜合使用各種資料加以論證。這種跨學科的方法可用來解答它們是否屬於外來詞、這些詞是否屬於此一歷史時期的問題。此外,語言學材料和非語言學材料的結合還使我們能夠就上古到中古可能存在的語音變化提出假設;具體說來,源自中古的漢越語借詞本該以去聲對應漢語去聲,然而在源自上古時代的早期漢越語中卻可以是上聲甚至是出人意料的平聲。我們因此可以假設:對應古音去聲的早期漢越語上聲出現得比較早,而對應上古音去聲的早期漢越語平聲,應該出自*-s逐漸消亡的晚期上古音階段,即剬元紀年的頭幾個世紀。(This article is in English.)

In: Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics
In: The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages (2 vols)

Abstract

Proto-AA function words are grouped by category (e.g. pronouns, locative terms, etc.) and evaluated for likelihood of proto-AA status. Statements are also provided for affixal and reduplicative morphology. The editors of this volume collaborated to create this Austroasiatic grammatical lexicon as a resource for the investigation of the history of PAA syntax. It began as a simple compilation of grammatical and grammaticalised items extracted from Shorto’s (2006) reconstruction of Proto-Austroasiatic/Mon-Khmer, and was then augmented with data from the SEAlang Mon-Khmer and Munda Languages Projects. Later, special sections on pronouns and morphology were added, extending beyond Shorto’s work with other published sources.

In: Austroasiatic Syntax in Areal and Diachronic Perspective