What Makes Chinese so Vietnamese?
An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies
(Ýthức mới về nguồngốc tiếngViệt)
Table of Contents
(Chapter Nine [IX] continued)
There is definitely no doubt that there had existed indigenous languages in ancient China before the Chinese ever emerged. In the region south of Yellow River they are identified by historical linguists as linguistic sub-families Taic-Shan, Taic-Daic, Mon-Taic, Mon-Paluang, variants of Taic, Daic, Yue, Austroasiatic, Mon-Khmer, Vietmuong, Vietic, Viet., etc. This section is to discuss about those pre-Chinese languages in order to follow the thread that the Yue had preceded the Chinese in China, its people and their mixed and hybridized descendant languages now considered as C dialects.
In historical linguistics, for those languages without clear linguistic affiliation, it is of no surprise if any South-East Asian linguists have ever come up with the terms "mixed" and "hybrid" language, or even "generic" language. However, it is believed that there exists no such thing as a "generic" language on earth, including Afrikaan, Albanian, Haitian French, "Esperanto", etc., neither is the case of V, though, mainly because with those available basic words already found cognate to those MK languages per se, V has been already classed as an Austroasiatic language by the AA-MK camp on the other side of an equation.
In terms of genetic affiliation, however, in many a case, there exists a situation that, typologically, a language A shares a certain percentage of its basic words with its neighbor B and portions of those of B with C, and C in turn shares some of its other basic ones with D, and so on so forth. In the picture down the line, overall, the remote language Z has some of basic etyma that scatter unequally in A, B, C, and among others. Yet, some of what appear in Z on the other end may be cognate to those words in A, B, C... but they might not be genetically related at all. Here is a similar presumption for those linguistic vestiges of some distant Asian languages seemingly existing in certain American Indian languages, say, California's Lake "Tahoe" vs. China's Wuxi's 'Tàihú' or 太湖 SV Tháihồ (Big Lake), both meaning closely to the definition of the former indigenous word as "larger body of water".
Let's vision an anthropologically linguistic scenario that could be the resultant case – the end results, or the 'mutated mix', so to speak – of those existing MK factors in the V (see Fig. 8 "Visual view of linked kinship of Vietnamese" in the beginning of Chapter 8). Let's posit V (for ancient Annamese or Vietic language) as a descendant of an ancestral Y (for Yue) of T (to be assigned for Taic) that had been also an ancestral language of X (for Zhuang; hence, an ancestral cousin of V), all having had remote relationship with Z (for Zhou). Z was later overridden by Q (for Qin) and they all were mutated to have become ascendants XYZ (see chapters 2 and 6 on genetic lingusitic components of C and V) that had given rise to H (for national populaces, or mutated Han) and S (as in 'Sino-', 'Sinico-', 'Sinitic-' for historical C languages). Given A, B, C, D, etc., as their neighboring unknown and already extinct languages in ancient times. Recall that ancestors of T, i.e., proto Taic, gave birth to all the Yue aboriginals had inhabitated in vast regions of pre-China in areas further up to the northern basin of the Yangtze River to the eastern proximity of today's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces of China. The hypothesis of how V words might have inherited directly from T, Z, and S, and, in turn, its vocabularies spread to distant southern neighbors, e.g., AA-MK languages, as a result of both "intermingling" and "ripling" contacts, e.g. submission, emigration, interaction, trading and bartering, invasion, annexation and integration, etc., as its speakers advance southwards. It is noted that even though V and S might not be not genetically affiliated, they are having linked kinship from its cousin ancestors brought about some intermediate P, R, and Q carriers, e.g., through wars and domination, etc. As all throughout long period and vast space, the mutated K (Kinh) emerged and they are the modern V as we see them now.
Figure 9B. On the Pre-Chinese Aboriginal Taic Linguistic Family
The Taic linguistic family discussed in this paper is what is considered as Mon-Taic dialects by Terrien de Lacouperie in The Language of China Before the Chinese (London: 1887, Taiwan:1966). Per Lacouperie, they were the Pre-Chinese aboriginal Mon-Taic dialects spoken in ancient China. The author followed the lines of history that includes legends to build the case of Taic-Chinese and Taic-Yue affiliations as follows.
The Pong 彭 or PAN HU 盤瓠 race was pre-dominant in Central China, i.e., south of the Yellow River, when the original Chinese or Bak tribes migrated into the country. Their leader name Pong, about whom various legends cropped up afterwards, was established in the N.E. of Szetchuen and in W. Honan, and was friendly with the Chinese from the outset. In fact he helped them against the Jungs and Naga race coming continuously from the N.W. Many tribes claim to be descended from him, and not a few worship and venerate his memory. Their generic name was Ngao 'powerful', now degenerated into Yao
The Pan-hu race was a branch of the Mon race, from the south-west, which had occupied a larger part of China before the arrival of the Chinese, consequently before the twenty-third century B.C. It is from this branch, and as a result oftheir intermingling with Northern, otherwise Kuenlunic tribes, that the Taic or Shan-Siamese populations have evolved, some of which, migrating southwards in the course of time under the Chinese pressure, spread into Indo-China, and developed into several states.
The Pan-hu language is only known through the interference to be derived from the dialects of the tribes which have sprung from it. Its main characteristic was its ideology, nearly opposite to that of the Kuenlunic languages. The oldest relics of their speech are those which were preserved by the Chinese writers of the Han dynasty, notably in the Annals of the Eastern Han. Some older traces exist in former works, and we have been enabled to point out more than one in the previous part of this paper, but they are quoted only with a geographical indication, and we have to draw our own conclusion as to the race from whose speech they were quoted: whilst in the present instance the words are quoted with precision as those employed by the Yao of the Pan-hu race, and this makes all the difference.[...]
(Lacouperie. ibid. pp. 38-39)
Ethnologically, besides what was discussed by the same author quoted in Chapter 6 regarding the Pre-Chinese and the Chinese, per Lacouperie (ibid, pp. 116-119), on the ancestral Bak of the early Chinese as opposed to the pre-Chinese, he demonstrated that"[...] the chief characteristic of these affinities between the early civilization of the Chinese 4000 years ago and the much older focus of culture of South-West Asia is that they are obvious imitations and borrowings. They have nothing original in themselves, and bear in the face that they do not come from common descent. They present the usual imperfectness unequally combined with a complete identity on some points and others which are always the accompaniment of acquisitions obtained through a social intercourse of protracted length, and not from a casual teaching and learning from books and scholars.
The name Bak [百] (now Peh), of the original Chinese immigrants, meant 'flourishing, many, all,' and also 'hundred.' But it has not the last meaning in such expressions as Peh sing 'all the surnames,' Peh kuan 'all the officials,' Peh Liao, same meaning, Peh Yueh [百越 BáchViệt] 'all the outside-borders,' etc., where no possible reference can be made to any precise number, since these various items comprise several hundreds, as in the case of the first three, or only a few, as in the last case. All through the Shu-King [書經] or Canon Book of History, it is employed as a whole though undetermined number. And as a matter of fact, the well-known expression Peh sing, above quoted, which appears from the beginning of Chinese history, and about which so many baseless speculations have been set forth, has never meant the hundred surnames, as was wrongly presumed, and this for several reasons. The supposition that Peh sing meant 'the hundred surnames ' (or families) was based on the fact that the Peh Jia sing or 'the hundred (?) family names,' which includes some 460 names, was only compiled under the Sung dynasty, i.e. after A.D. 960, when the number had increased largely and much beyond its original figure. But this admitted, the regular use of the family names does not go back much beyond the time of Confucius (B.C. 551-479), and when this list of surnames is carefully sifted, we do not find more than about sixteen surnames dating as far back as the beginnings of the Chinese in China; this small number, however, being only reached if we include a few family names quoted in the early traditions, and disappearing afterwards. Therefore, as the term Peh sing, 1 i.e. the 'Bak Surnames,' existed among the Chinese from the outset as an appellative for themselves, the word Peh, old Bak, could have, not the meaning of 'hundred,' but perhaps that of 'all, numerous, flourishing,' as stated above, should it have been still understood. And the meaning 'hundred,' which originally was apparently said bar, was only a homonymous sound in the limited phonetic orthoepy of the Chinese, expressed by the same symbol because of the similarity of sound, real only for them.
Bak was an ethnic and nothing else. We may refer as a proof to the similar name, rendered however by different symbols, which they gave to several of their early capitals, PUK, POK, PAK, all names known to us after ages, and of which the similarity with Pak, Bak, cannot be denied. In the region from where they had come, Bak was a well-known ethnic, for instance, Bakh in Bakhdhi (Bactra), Bagistan, Bagdada, etc. etc., and is explained as meaning 'fortunate, flourishing.'
Another ethnical name no less important is that which is now read 夏 Hia, also sha, in several ideo-phonetic compounds, and which was the proper appellative of one of the leading tribes of the immigrants when settled in 'a little bit of territory in the N.W.' It became the name of the Chinese people. The Ku-wen spellings tell us that its original full form was something like Ketchi, Ketsu, Ketsi, Kiitche, Kotchi, etc., which are all graphical attempts at rendering the exact name with the clumsy acrologic and syllabic system of the time being. We may take Kütche as an average of all these variants. Now this name is so much like that of the Kashshi on the north-east of Mesopotamia that, without suggesting in any way a relationship of some kind between the two peoples, there may have been an affinity of names from a common meaning suitable to both.
An analysis of the aforesaid book of the family surnames, the Peh kia sing, shows their number to be made up, besides the original names, of native appellatives brought in sometimes by the entrance of native tribes into the Chinese community, but principally from the native names of regions bestowed upon Chinese subjects as fiefs and territorial grants. Even the princely names taken by the early Chinese leaders in the Flowery Land were borrowed from those of native regions, as they conquered them. But an examination of all these proper names, tribal and geographical, would carry us much beyond the limits of the present work.
We have little to say here of the early language of the Chinese Bak tribes, and its subsequent evolution and development into several important dialects, as the matter is somewhat precluded by the object of the present work. We allude elsewhere to some of its characteristics and to the formation of its ideology (§§ 20-26) and tones (§§ 117, 230). The explanation of the gap now existing between the book-language 2 and the vernaculars requires some long explanations and demonstration much beyond our scope here. The following scheme, however, gives the list of the most important languages, dialects, and subdialects, with an indication of the probable dates of their branching off. It is the first attempt which has hitherto been made at classifying them, and thus far must be looked upon with regard to the relative position of several dialects and subdialects as provisional. A great deal of work and investigation remains to be done before such a classification can be completed. The total number of dialects and subdialects, hiang fan or local patois, etc., has been roughly estimated to be somewhat similar to that of the days of the year (360), and though they are not likely to affect the general lines of the classification below, it may be useful not to forget that the total 'figure of the names entered therein is only one-ninth of the general number."
General Historical Scheme of the Chinese Family of Languages
1 Pak was written in Ku-wen with the old form of 貝 Pei with 下 Ke (mod. hia placed over, or 弓 Kao [sic] placed below and read P-k. In Ta-tchuen [大篆] style Pak sing were written sometimes as a single word 生 sing over and 目 Buk or Muk, or an old form of 百 Pak under. In modern writing 百姓.
2 A misconception as to the real character of the Chinese language, at first known in its fictitious book form written with ideographic symbols, now syllabic, and supposed to be genuine and spoken; combined with another misconception as to the non-historical and mnemonic value of the 1720 pseudo-roots of the Hindu Brahmans analysing their Sanskrit; both misconceptions — understood as justifying a theory of an early period of monosyllabic roots, while, as a matter of fact, these are generally late in the history of language, — have misguided the greater number of philologists until the present time, and have for long hindered the progress of the science of language. Our predecessors have erroneously built a logical monosyllabism from the monosyllabisms of writing, of decay, and of elocution, the only ones which have ever existed.
Linguistically, in terms of data availability as of the late 19th century, Lacouperie (ibid. pp. 3-5) noted that
"the languages mentioned in these pages are not all of them those, or the representatives of those, which were spoken in the Flowery Land when the Chinese made their appearance in that fertile country some four thousand years ago. The Chinese have only occupied it, slowly and gradually, and their progressive occupation was only achieved nominally during the last century [i.e., the 18th century]. Some portions of the S. and S.W. provinces of Kueitchon [sic], Szetchuen, Yunnan, Kuangsi and Kuangtung are still inhabited by broken and non-broken tribes, representatives, generally cross-bred, mixed and degenerated, of some former races who were once in possession of the country. Therefore the expression pre-Chinese languages of China implies an enormous length of time, which still continues, and which would require an immense study should the materials be available.
Unhappily the data are of the most scanty description. They consist of occasional references given reluctantly and contemptuously during their history by the Chinese themselves, who were little disposed to acknowledge the existence of independent and non-Chinese populations in the very midst of their dominion. Though they cannot conceal the fact that they are themselves intruders in China proper, they have always tried the use of big words and large geographical denominations, which blind the unwary readers, to shield their comparatively small beginnings. Such indications can be obtained only by a close examination of their ancient documents, such as their histories, annals, and the local topographies, where, in the case of the annals, they have to be sought for in the sections concerning foreign countries; an arrangement somewhat startling, though not unnatural when we consider the real state of the case from a standpoint other than the views entertained by the ancient sinologists on the permanence and the ever-great importance of the Chinese nation. But the Chinese, though careful to inscribe in one or another part of their records all that occurred between themselves and the aboriginal tribes, and all that they could learn about them, were not enabled to know anything as to the events, linguistical and ethnological, which took place beyond their reach. So that displacements of the old races, as well as the arrival of new ones, have taken place in the regions non-Chinese, now part of China proper. Foreign linguistic influences have also been at work, and of these we have no other knowledge than that deduced from the traces they have left behind them which enable us to disentangle their peculiar characteristics."
Syntactically, to say the least, as to the Southern linguistic influence on the Chinese language, per Lacouperie (ibid, pp. 16-17),
"the postposition of the genitive to its noun, which occurs not unfrequently in the popular songs of the Book of Poetry, where it cannot possibly be looked upon as poetic licence, belongs to an influence of different origin, and is common to the Mon and Taic languages." [...] "And for the position of the object to the verb, and the syntactical order of [ Subject+Verb+Object ] standard, in contradistinction with the unadulterated indices of the Ural-Altaic, which it formerly possessed, there is no doubt that the Chinese language was indebted to the native languages of the Mon, and subsequently to the Taic-Shan formation." [..]
"The phonesis, morphology, and sematology of the language bear, also, their testimony to the great influence of the native languages. The phonetic impoverishment and the introduction and growth of the tones as an equilibrium to make up deficiencies from wear and tear, are results of the same influence. In the process of word-making, the usual system of the postplacing particles for specifying conditions in space and time common to the Ugro-Altaic linguistic alliance has been distirbed in Chinese, and most frequently a system of preplacing has been substitute for the older one. And finally, in the department of sematology, we have to indicate, also, as a native influence on the language of the Chinese, the habit of using numeral auxiliaries, or segregative particles, otherwise classifers, which, if it has not been altogether foreign to the older state of the language, would not have taken the important place it occupies in the modern dialects."
"The vocabularies which, contrary the the usual habit, have not been the first considered, here come at one pace with the preceding alternations. The loan of words have been intensivie on both sides, native and Chinese, and reached to a considerable amount."
The linguistic charactistics as described above is in the Chinese standpoint as those have been put in the historical perspective. During the period of the Zhou Dynasty (1050-255 B.C.) the State of Chu was one of the great power of all, of a non-Chinese civilization, of which its territory covered from Anhui, Hebei, to Honan provinces, and a waving and ill-defined territory all around. On the east of Chu were the states of Wu and Yue, non-Chinese, covering the modern provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang in about 584 B.C. and the Wu was later conquered by the Yue in 473 B..C. Towards the end of the 4th century B.C., philosopher Mengzi (Mencius), took note that the Chu 'barbarians' spoke a shreaked language different from those people of the Qi State in today's Shandong Province. Note that the names of the kings of the Wu and the Yue have decidedly a non-Chinese appearance; therefore, it and all other states were in need of interpreters in the machinery of the Chinese government. (Lacouperie. Ibid, pp. 20-21).
In our time, we had at hand the Erya (爾雅), containing thousands of local vocabularies, having been used as a common tool for communication among ancient states in ancient China, on the one hand. It was believed that it had been an interstate diplomatic language, on the other hand. As a matter of fact, Erya was a dictionary issued by the Zhou Dynasty that collected common words, including non-Chinese languages, with explanations and many double-words arranged in pairs, which is a characteristic feature of the Taic-Shan languages, commonly found in Shijing (詩經) or Classic of Poetry. In fact, "it contains many words which do not seem to have ever been used in any Chinese text properly so called. They are regional words borrowed from other stocks on vocables, and they could be expressed in Chinese writing only by the use of homonyms as phonetic exponents. [..] There are no less than 928 words or about one-fifth of general stock, which do not appear anywhere alse than in the Erh-ya (Lacouperie. Ibid, pp. 23).
Lacouperie, nevertheless, found that the most important work was Fangyan (方言 'Dialects') by Yang Xiong (楊雄 53 B.C.-18 A.D.) and much of the attention was paid to local words about the time of this author. Before Yang Xiong, other scholars had labored on the subject with collections of thousands of local words that had been utitlized and adapted into Yang Xiong's work up to 9000 words arranged by subjects from 40 regions, many of which were only C in name, and others not C at all such as Hebei, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, etc., within the modern proper of China. All in all, later generations added more items and brought them up to 12,000 words. Note that words in this remarkable work represent the collection of several centuries in which many names of states did not exist prior to his time, e.g., 南越 NanYue, 貴州 Guizhou, 湘 Xiang, and even the Qin State 秦國 Qin that was destroyed and partitioned in 436 BC by the states of Han 韓, Wei 衛, Zhao 趙, etc. (Lacouperie. Ibid, pp. 25, 29).
So, being such a case, the C symbols attached to the recorded character-words were pronounced differently in each era, that is a serious matter to consider.
"This is made apparent by this fact, that differences of pronunciation are often indicated by symbols whose sounds have for long been homonymous. However, the best means to start with, and subjected to the least proportion of ulterior modifications, are the sounds preserved in the Sinoco-Annamite, the most archaic of the Chinese dialects. The only preservation to be made, is that the hardening and strengthening which this dialectal pronunciation indication goes perhaps beyond the mark, and that half of its strength might be due to local peculiarity of the dialect."
(Lacouperie. Ibid, p. 29)
By mentioning "Sinico-Annamite", termed as "Sino-Vietnamese" (SV) in this paper, Lacouperie not only meant "Sinico-Annamite" vocabulary but also an academic language considiered as a dialect like those of Cantonese or Fukiense.
"Two languages are used in Annam. One employed by the literari only is pure literary Chinese, with the old sounds of the Ts'in [秦 Tần ]period attached to the written characters. It is the Sinico-Annamite, this very dialect, which, with necessary allowance for decay and self divergence, rightly deserves the qualifications of the most archaic of the Chinese dialects.
It is the curious fact that its existence was not, in the minds of many scholars, separated from that of the other language, the vernacular Annamese or Cochin-Chinese, which belongs, as recognized by John Logan, and though full of Chinese idioms, to the same familly, as the Mon or Peguan[?]."
(Lacouperie. Ibid, p. 54)
And by the time of the publication of his book, 1886, Lacouperie (Ibid. p. 55) noted that there were used in Annam: (1) the chữNho (字儒), (2) chữNôm (字喃), (3) chữQuốcngữ (字國語), of which characteristics have been discussed previously in this paper and elsewhere by all Sinologists and V specialists, all similarly described.
All said, I just would like to bring to the attention that many of those Mon-Taic vocabularies as list "Mon-Taic" by Lacouperie barely find plausible cognates in modern V. Even though the author related only to non-Chinese ethnology of the country as Fairy Dragon's descendants (龍種) as those of the Mon-Taic races, starting with King of Kinhdương (京陽王 Jingyang Wang or SV 'Kinhdương Vương') whence Jingyang was a place name near the capital of Qin in Shaanxi. King Kinhdương was the son of Prince by a girl of of the race of the immortals (the race of Peng 彭 or Panhu 盤瓠, as previously mentioned as ancestors of the Taic race; hence, the phrase 'conrồngcháutiên' or 'children of the Dagon and Immortal race') in the V legends. King Kinhdương married a wife from Độngđình Lake (洞庭湖 Dongtinghu, in Hunan Prrovince), also belonging to the Dargon race.
"King Lak-Long [Lạclong Quân (雒龍君)], the issue of this union, was the first of a series of eighteen rulers, the last of whom ended in 207 B.C. At the rate of twenty-five years a reign, the highest average possible, these speculative data lead to circâ 800 B.C. as the probable date of these beginings, which therefore would have taken place when the state of Ts'u [楚 Chu (Sở) ] in Hupeh and Hunan S. was in full prosperity."
"The boundaries of the kingdom of these early Annamese rulers were, according to the tradition, on the east the sea, on the north, Tung ting lake, on the west Pa and Shuh, both names for Szetchuen, with one ruler whose reign of fifty years that ended in 202 B.C. when the third dynasty begins. The latter is no less than that founded by the successor of Jen Hiao [ 任囂 (Nhâm Ngao) ], Tchao T'o [趙佗 (Triệu Đà)], a rebel Chinese [秦 Qin (Tần)] general who established his sway all over the maritine provinces of the south, extending from Fuhkien to Tungking [東京 (Đôngkinh) or 'Tonkin', North VN ]; which lasted with 5 rulers until 112 B.C., when it submitted to the Chinese dominion, which, however, was merely nominal in some parts, and not at all established on the east. It was recognized from that date, with the exceptions of three years (39 - 42 A.D.), until 186 A.D., when a native king, Si-nhip [士攝 (Sĩ Nhiếp), known as the Han's viceroy in Vietnam's early history, though ], ruled for 40 years. It was this king who introduced the Chinese literature, and prohibited the of the use of phonetic writing [?] hitherto employed by the Annamite."
(Lacouperie. Ibid, pp. 53-54)
As we assigned the Chu populations as descendants from the Taic aboriginal peoples who gave birth to the Dai-Kadai (Taic-Shan, Mon-Shan, Mon-Taic by Lacouperie) and the Pre-Chinese Aboriginal Mon-Khmer (in this paper being termed as Taic-Yue, Yue, Austroasiatic, Mon-Khmer, etc.) languages, for the latter tribes, Lacouperie states that, "the ancestors of the language and civilization of the Annamites, and partially also of their race, must be sought for in Central and Eastern China. We hear from history that the former population of the south, between the Kwangtung and Tungking, both, inclusive, were generally displaced by, or intermingled with, half a millions of colonisists drawn chiefly from the region of modern Tchetkiang and its west, by Jen Hiao in 218 B.C." (Lacouperie. Ibid, p. 52)
As a matter of fact, with regard to Mon-Shan affiliation, the author cited a number of its aboriginal languages, especially that of the Paloungs (勃弄 Po-lung), a language of the Mon-Talainng family and its speakers were settled in northwest Yunnan, conquered by the Nanzhao (南詔) Kingdom of the Shan tribes in the 7th century.
"We have two vocabularies of their speech; one of 200 words collected in 1858 by Bishop P. A. Bigandet, which examined [sic] by John Logan, permitted this great scholar to recognize the Mōn-Annam relationship of the language. Another vocabulary was collected by Dr. Hohn Anderson at the time of his expedition in S.W. Yunnan. The latter list of words is less saturated with Shan words than the preceding. The indices of its ideology are 2 4 6 8 VI [ i.e., grammatically word order, e.g., adjectives and genitives follow nouns, etc., being like that of the French language (Lacouperie. ibid. p. 66) ], which confirm the glossarial evidence."
"As we have seen in our foregoing §§ 31-33 the language spoken in Ts'u was not a Chinese dialect. And the statement of Hung k'iü, ruler in Ts'u from 887-867 B.C., sayng, 'We are Man-y (i.e., aliens from the Chinese), and we do not bear Chinese names,' is an unnecessary confirmation. The words quoted from the Ts'u Fang yen are easily identified with the Mōn and Taic-Shan vocabularies in equal shares, when they are not simply altered Chinese. And the most frequent phonetic equivalent is that of k or h for a Chinese l, still existing in the modern language."
(Lacouperie. Ibid. pp. 55-56)
Regarding words from the Paloung language, a Mon-related language, in this paper I have cited them with "Palaung" from the list of 249 words in the table published by Luce, G. H. (1965) in the table above.
I found a couple of interesting similarities in some wordlists cited by Lacouperie given all other cognates I posited as loanwords from "Tai-Shan" and "Mon-Taic" aboriginal languages. The point to make here is that the relationship between V and the Pre-Chinese aboriginal Mon-Taic dialects are rather loose, including MK languages. Their cognateness is not solidly strengthened as those of C dialects such as Cant. or Fukienese for the apparent reasons as discussed extensively in previous chapters. In some wordlists as postulated by Lacouperie, there exist some notable cognates, though, for example, in the Pre-Chinese Tai-Shan aboriginal dialects, the 狆家子 Zhongjiazi, also "Tchung Miao", the duplicative word transcribed in C as 田丁田丁 "tien-ting tien-ting" finds its cognate as contracted "thằng" (appellation for servant) in V, 媚娘 "méinián"g ~ V 'vợlớn' (first legal wife); however, unlike what was being claimed by those pioneers authors in Mon-Annam linguistics research, that in the "Tchung Miao" language they found V cognates with MK words one third of 28 basic words, many which I found cognates only in C, for example, 阿妹 "a mi" ~ 'em' (SV 'a muội') (younger sister), 家奴 "jianu" ~ SV 'gianô' (servant), 家公 "ch'ia kung" ~ SV 'giacông' (mother's father), 家婆 "ch'ia pu" ~ SV 'giabà' (mother's mother), etc., (Lacouperie. Ibid. pp. 59-61). For such matter, therefore, for the claim that they were all from the same MK root is implausible as in recent works by local V linguists as they are found to belong to the rest of Dai-Kadai words known as Tày-Thái in V (see MK wordlist by Nguyen Ngoc San (1993. ibid. pp. 48-56, 59-61) in the next sections.
In any cases, it is useful for a layman to examine all those lists in detail to see how the related sound changes have deviated and diverged morphologically as they spread differently in each language over time, some becoming vocables regardless of their semantics. Languages have changed over the course of national history – especially that of ancient VN under the dominion of China for a millenium – while vocabularies mutate diachronically and synchronically in space and time and loanwords have served the borrowing language and its people as well. Their phonological appearance presented herein also poses a real challenge to any linguists attempting to sift loanwords from the glossarial store in order to establish a true indigenous layer for genetic classification, i.e., roots from which linguistic family each etymon has actually originated, especially among those C and V words that are so closely related.
Hence, acknowledgement that there existed the languages of China before the Chinese, the Sinitic Vietnamese hypothesis – for colossal C vocabulary in V – could be substantiated from the wordlist of only 245 items by Luce cited above – and by other authors in the next sections to follow – by filtering out indigenous elements that we can identify to classify all the V basic words at least into four groups: (1) the ones that probably have no connection with those of Chinese, i.e., indigenous words in ancient China before the pre-Chinese came in, (2) those that are confirmed cognates with Chinese but also concurrently related to those in Mon-Daic and Mon-Khmer languages due to direct contacts or proximity, (3) those that are more likely cognate to Chinese than to those in Daic-Kadai and Mon-Khmer languages, (4) words that are listed but appear to be plausibly cognate only in Chinese and Vietnamese, and lastly, (5) all others just like those in  but NOT found in the list of any Mon-Khmer basic word lists under examination which should be considered as fundamentally basic lexicons that any languages ought to possess before borrowings. Below are sampled words in those five categories:
- tai (ear), mũi (nose), miệng (mouth), ngón (finger), móng (nail), bốn (four), năm (five), bảy (seven), bướm (butterfly), etc.
- mắt 目 mù (eye), tay 手 shǒu (hand), vú 乳 rǔ (breast), thỏ 兔 tù (hare), dê 羊 yáng (goat), đực 特 tè (male), trứng 蛋 dàn (egg), chấy 虱 shī (lice), mô 巫 wū (shaman), bông 葩 pā (flower), gạo 稻 dào (rice), cám 糠 kāng (rice husk residual), sắt 鐵 tiě (iron), đồng 銅 tóng (bronze), sâu 深 shēn (deep), etc.
- tiếng 聲 shēng (sound), lửa 火 huǒ (fire), mưa 雨 yǔ (rain), mây 雲 yún (cloud), than 炭 tàn (coal), nhà 家 jiā (home), chổi 帚 zhǒu (broom), etc.
- goá 寡 guă (widowed), liềm 鐮 lián (sickle), cuốc 鋤 chú (hoe), cưa 鋸 jū (saw), mác 茅 máo (spear), thuyền 船 chuán (boat), sông 江 jiāng (river), trọc 禿 tù (bald), etc.
- uống 飲 (drink), xơi 食 shí (eat), khóc 哭 kù (sweep), cười 笑 xiào (laugh), bếp 庖 pào (kitchen), tấm 糝 săn, giếng 井 jǐng (wells), suối 泉 quán (stream), nắng 陽 yáng (sunny), etc.
Even though in the listings above the Vietnamese basic forms, by no means exhaustive, are dominantly in agreement with those of Chinese, many of them still appear to exist concurrently in different languages as well. Therefore we can assume that the shared portions of the Vietnamese basic words with the Mon-Khmerothers are results of typologically interpolated resettlement where the loanwords, not limited only to those in the basic realm, had infiltrated in different linguistic families as we have seen in Luce's list and those to follow. (I)
(I) The same phenomenon can also be observed in other languages of different roots, even though they are lumped together under the umbrella of Indo-European, such as English and French (not of "Gaulois" origin anyway): 'one' ~ 'un' or 'une', 'two' ~ 'deux', 'three' ~ 'trois', 'eye' ~ 'oeil', 'nose' ~ 'nez', 'tongue' ~ 'tongue', 'sun' ~ 'soleil', 'moon' ~ 'lune', 'fire' ~ 'feu', 'time' ~ 'temp', 'mountain' ~ 'montagne', 'wind' ~ 'vent', 'water' ~ 'eau', 'wine' ~ 'vin', etc.