Oct 14 2011, 05:08 PM
Wu Dialect and the Miao Language
The Miao language is extremely similar with the Wu dialect in Chinese language, for example: the existence of voiced aspiration among the voiced initial consonants, the advancement of the simple vowels, and the continuous modification of tones, etc. The author of this paper commences from the historical connections between the Miao nationality and the Wu dialect region to explain this kind of likeness. The author points out that in the Spring and Autumn Period there were still three tribes of Miao living there in addition to the Baiyue nationality. And the scopes of the living region of the Miao nationality include the south region of Jiangsu province today as well as part of Zhejiang province. Actually it is the area where the Wu dialect is still popular today. With the abolishment of Yue by Chu, the three tribes of Miao in the above-mentioned regions integrated with the Yue nationality and their language has become the bottom language of the Wu dialect. The reason why Wu dialect is quite different from the Yue dialect which is influenced by Zhuang and Dong languages lies in the fact that the Miao language is a very important component in addition to Baiyue language in the bottom language of Wu dialect. The Miao language influences the sound system most and that is why the sound system of Wu is very similar with that of the Miao language.http://cscanada.net/index.php/ccc/article/view/1733
Oct 14 2011, 08:07 PM
there was a time when scholars debated whether the 'sanmiao' or even the 'miao' recorded in ancient china had any connection to the present hmong/miao people today. with the advent of dna testing along with a growing and sophisticated linguistic database, there's strong scientific evidence to support the fact that they are the same people, especially hmong daw and hmong leng who's language and genetics tie everything together the best.
i know hmong daw and hmong leng dont like the term miao, but the chinese character for 'miao' in middle chinese was pronounced more like 'mao', without the 'e' sound and closer to hmong. 'miao' is from the mandarin phonology. coincidentally, 'mao' with the right tone can also mean rice in hmong and the chinese character for 'miao' denotes a sprout, hinting at agriculture.
Oct 14 2011, 10:11 PM
those "scholars" did not have any good "evidence" to support their claims. they failed to look into the cultures of today three large Miao groups + one large subgroup of the western Hmong (Hmao).
The name "Mao" appears from time to time in the records of the Zhou, Qin and Han dynasties. A group of people living independently in Shaanxi were known as the Mao-cheng but were known before the Qin era as the Mao-ting and the region where they lived was called Mao-Jung.
Under the Han dynasty another ancestral Hmong group in southern Sichuan was called Mao-Chou.
As the language of Chinese shift or for political purposes and other reasons, the name Mao turns into Miao.
I personally agree with you that "miao" is from the mandarin phonology.
Here are some interesting examples I notice
zos = zhai (village)
los = lai (come)
mov = mai (rice)
So, if we looked at this
Xiong (Mob) [hmong family's surname] = Xiong (Mi) [family's surname of Chu]