Gan Chinese
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Gan Chinese
Gan
Gann
/
Gon ua
Ganyu.png
Gan ua (Gan) written in Chinese characters
Native toChina
Regioncentral and northern Jiangxi, eastern Hunan, eastern Hubei, southern Anhui, northwest Fujian
EthnicityGan people
Native speakers
22 million (2018)[1]
Early forms
Chinese character
Pha?k-oa-chhi
Language codes
gan
Glottologganc1239[2]
Linguasphere79-AAA-f
Idioma gan.png
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
GanGon ua
Jiangxi dialect
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
GanKongsi ua
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Gan or Gann[3] is a group of Sinitic languages spoken natively by many people in the Jiangxi province of China, as well as significant populations in surrounding regions such as Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, and Fujian. Gan is a member of the Sinitic languages of the Sino-Tibetan language family, and Hakka is the closest Chinese variety to Gan in terms of phonetics.

Different dialects of Gan exist; the Nanchang dialect is usually taken as representative.

Classification

Like all other varieties of Chinese, there is a large amount of mutual unintelligibility between Gan Chinese and other varieties. Within the variation of Chinese dialects, Gan has more similarities with Mandarin than with Yue or Min. However, Gan clusters more with Xiang than Mandarin.

Name

  • Gan: the most common name. Also spelled Gann to reflect the falling tone of the name in Mandarin. Scholars in mainland China use Gan or Gan dialect.
  • Ji?ngx? huà ("Jiangxi language") is commonly used in Chinese, but since the borders of the language do not follow the borders of the province, this name is not geographically exact.
  • Xi ("right-river language"): an ancient name, now seldom used, arising from the fact that most Gan speakers live south of the Yangtze River, beyond the right-hand bank when traveling downstream.

Region

The area coloured in light yellow shows the Gan-speaking region in the PRC.

Most Gan speakers live in the middle and lower reaches of the Gan River, the drainage area of the Fu River, and the region of Poyang Lake. There are also many Gan speakers living in eastern Hunan, eastern Hubei, southern Anhui, northwest Fujian, etc.

According to the Diagram of Divisions in the People's Republic of China,[4] Gan is spoken by approximately 48,000,000 people: 29,000,000 in Jiangxi,[5] 4,500,000 in Anhui,[6] 5,300,000 in Hubei,[7] 9,000,000 in Hunan,[8] and 270,000 in Fujian.[9]

History

Antiquity

During the Qin Dynasty (221 BC), a large number of troops were sent to southern China in order to conquer the Baiyue territories in Fujian and Guangdong, as a result, numerous Han Chinese emigrated to Jiangxi in the years following. In the early years of the Han Dynasty (202 BC), Nanchang was established as the capital of the Yuzhang Commandery () (this name stems from the original name of Gan River), along with the 18 counties (?) of Jiangxi Province. The population of the Yuzhang Commandery increased from 350,000 (in AD 2) to 1,670,000 (by AD 140); it ranked fourth in population among the more than 100 contemporary commanderies of China. As the largest commandery of Yangzhou, Yuzhang accounted for two fifths of the population and Gan gradually took shape during this period.

Middle ages

As a result of continuous warfare in the region of central China, the first large-scale emigration in the history of China took place. Large numbers of people in central China relocated to southern China in order to escape the bloodshed and at this time, Jiangxi played a role as a transfer station. Also, during this period, ancient Gan began to be exposed to the northern Mandarin dialects. After centuries of rule by the Southern Dynasties, Gan still retained many original characteristics despite having absorbed some elements of Mandarin. Up until the Tang Dynasty, there was little difference between old Gan and the contemporary Gan of that era. Beginning in the Five Dynasties period, however, inhabitants in the central and northern parts of Jiangxi Province began to migrate to eastern Hunan, eastern Hubei, southern Anhui and northwest Fujian. During this period, following hundreds of years of migration, Gan spread to its current areas of distribution.

Late traditional period

Mandarin Chinese evolved into a standard language based on Beijing Mandarin, owing largely to political factors. At the same time, the differences between Gan and Mandarin continued to become more pronounced. However, because Jiangxi borders on Jianghuai, a Guanhua, Xiang, and Hakka speaking region, Gan proper has also been influenced by these surrounding varieties, especially in its border regions.

Modern times

After 1949, as a "dialect" in Mainland China, Gan faced a critical period. The impact of Mandarin is quite evident today as a result of official governmental language campaigns. Currently, many youths are unable to master Gan expressions, and some are no longer able to speak Gan at all.

Recently, however, as a result of increased interest in protecting the local language, Gan now has begun to appear in various regional media, and there are also newscasts and television programs broadcast in Gan Chinese.

Languages and dialects

There are significant differences within the Gan-speaking region, and Gan constitutes more languages than listed here. For example, in Anfu county, which was categorized as Ji-Cha, there are two main varieties, called Nanxiang Hua (Southern region) and Baixiang Hua (Northern region). People from one region cannot even understand people from the other region if they were not well educated or exposed to the other.

The main areas of Gan languages in Mainland China.

The Language Atlas of China (1987) divides Gan into nine groups:[10][11]

Subgroup Representative Provinces Cities
Changdu Nanchang dialect northwestern Jiangxi Nanchang City, Nangchang, Xinjian, Anyi, Yongxiu, Xiushui*, De'an, Xingzi, Duchang, Hukou, Gao'an*, Fengxin*, Jing'an*, Wuning*, Tonggu*
northeastern Hunan Pingjiang
Yiliu / Yichun dialect central and western Jiangxi Yichun City, Yichun, Yifeng*, Shanggao, Qingjiang, Xingan, Xinyu City, Fen yi, Pingxiang City, Fengcheng, Wanzai
eastern Hunan Liuyang*, Liling
Jicha Ji'an dialect central and southern Jiangxi Ji'an City, Ji'an*, Jishui, Xiajiang, Taihe*, Yongfeng*, Anfu, Lianhua, Yongxin*, Ninggang*, Jianggangshan* Wan'an, Suichuan*
eastern Hunan Youxian*, Chaling*, Linxian
Fuguang / Fuzhou dialect (, not to be confused with ) central and eastern Jiangxi Fuzhou City, Linchuan, Chongren, Yihuang, Le'an, Nancheng, Lichuan, Zixi, Jinxi, Dongxiang, Jinxian, Nanfeng, Guangchang*
southwestern Fujian Jianning, Taining
Yingyi Yingtan dialect northeastern Jiangxi Yingtan City, Guixi, Yujiang, Wannian, Leping, Jingdezhen*, Yugan, Poyang, Pengze, Hengfeng, Yiyang, Chuanshan
Datong Daye dialect southeastern Hubei Daye, Xianning City, Jiangyu, Puxin, Chongyang, Tongcheng, Tongshan, Yangxin, Jianli*
eastern Hunan Linxiang*, Yueyang*, Huarong
Leizi / Leiyang dialect eastern Hunan Leiyang, Changning, Anren, Yongxing, Zixing City
Dongsui / Dongkou dialect southwestern Hunan Dongkou*, Suining*, Longhui*
Huaiyue / Huaining dialect southwestern Anhui Huaining, Yuexi, Qianshan, Taihu, Wangjiang*, Susong*, Dongzhi*, Shitai*, Guichi*

Cities marked with * are partly Gan-speaking.

Phonology

Grammar

In Gan, there are nine principal grammatical aspects or "tenses" - initial (), progressive (), experimental (), durative (), processive (), continuative (), repeating (), perfect (), and complete ().

The grammar of Gan is similar to southern Chinese varieties. The sequence subject-verb-object is most typical, but subject-object-verb or the passive voice (with the sequence object-subject-verb) is possible with particles. Take a simple sentence for example: "I hold you". The words involved are: ngo ("I" or "me"), tsot dok ("to hold"), ? ("you").

  • Subject-verb-object (typical sequence): The sentence in the typical sequence would be: ngo tsot dok ?. ("I hold you.")
  • Subject-lat-object-verb: Another sentence of roughly equivalent meaning is ngo lat ? tsot dok, with the slight connotation of "I take you and hold" or "I get to you and hold."
  • Object-den-subject-verb (the passive voice): Then, ? den ngo tsot dok means the same thing but in the passive voice, with the connotation of "You allow yourself to be held by me" or "You make yourself available for my holding."

Vocabulary

In Gan, there are a number of archaic words and expressions originally found in ancient Chinese, and which are now seldom or no longer used in Mandarin. For example, the noun "clothes" in Gan is "" while "" in Mandarin, the verb "sleep" in Gan is "" while "" in Mandarin. Also, to describe something dirty, Gan speakers use "?", which is a reference to a song from the Chu region dating to China's Spring and Autumn period.

Additionally, there are numerous interjections in Gan (e.g. ), which can largely strengthen sentences, and better express different feelings.

Writing system

Gan is written with Chinese characters, though it does not have a strong written tradition. There are also some romanization schemes, but none are widely used. When writing, Gan speakers usually use written vernacular Chinese, which is used by all Chinese speakers.[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Gan Chinese at Ethnologue (23nd ed., 2020)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gan Chinese". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ The double nn represents the falling tone in Mandarin
  4. ^ (in Chinese). 2004.
  5. ^ . (in Chinese). 9 September 2005.
  6. ^ :14800. Xinhua (in Chinese). Shanghai. 7 January 2005. Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  7. ^ http://www.chinapop.gov.cn/rkkx/gdkx/t20040326_8746.htm Archived May 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ http://news.rednet.com.cn/Articles/2005/01/651873.HTM Archived August 29, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ http://www.chinapop.gov.cn/rkkx/gdkx/t20050107_18667.htm Archived April 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Yan, Margaret Mian (2006). Introduction to Chinese Dialectology. LINCOM Europa. p. 148. ISBN 978-3-89586-629-6.
  11. ^ Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the Prism of "The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects". Walter de Gruyter. p. 70. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2.
  12. ^ "Chinese, Gan". ethnologue.com. Retrieved 2018.
  • Chen Changyi. Summary of Gan.
  • Chen Changyi. Chorography of languages in Jiangxi.
  • Li Rulong. Investigation of Gan-Hakka.
  • Xiong Zhenghui. Dictionary of Nanchang Dialect.
  • Yan Sen. Division of languages in Jiangxi.
  • Yan Sen. Summary of modern Chinese·Gan.

Further reading

External links


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Gan_Chinese
 



 



 
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