Tripti Joshi

Waxiang Chinese

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Region  Hunan

Languages spoken  Sino-Tibetan, Chinese

Map of Waxiang Chinese

Waxiang (simplified Chinese: 瓦乡话; traditional Chinese: 瓦鄉話; pinyin: wǎxiānghuà) is a divergent variety of Chinese, spoken by the Waxiang people, an unrecognized ethnic minority group in the northwestern part of Hunan province, China. Waxiang is a distinct language, very different from its surrounding Southwestern Mandarin, Xiang and Qo Xiong languages.

Contents

Waxiang may share some lexical innovations with Bai, suggesting a possible Macro-Bai substratum. It has also been suggested that perhaps Waxiang is a mixed language of Xiang and Miao.

Distribution

Waxianghua is found in Luxi, Guzhang and Yongshun counties in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Zhangjiajie prefecture-level city (in Dayong 大庸), and Chenxi, Xupu and Yuanling counties in Huaihua prefecture-level city. Neighboring languages include Southwestern Mandarin, Xiang Chinese, Tujia, Qo Xiong, and Hm Nai.

  • "hua" means speech in Mandarin Chinese,
  • "xiang" means rural in Mandarin Chinese
  • "wa" means speech in Southern Chinese dialects.
  • The word Wa 瓦 is only a phonetic transcription.

    Wu & Shen (2010) report Waxianghua to be spoken in the following villages.

  • Yuanling County: Qingshuiping 清水坪, Maxipu 麻溪铺, Taichang 太常, Wusu 乌宿, Liangshuijing 凉水井
  • Luxi County: Basheping 八什坪, Shangbao 上堡, Liangjiatan 梁家谭, Baisha 白沙镇
  • Guzhang County: Linchang 林场 of Gaowangjie 高望界, Gaofeng 高峰 (in Taojin 淘金村, Beishuiping 北水坪, etc.), Yantouzhai 岩头寨, Shanzao 山枣, Yezhu 野竹, Hepeng 河蓬, Caotan 草潭
  • Chenxi County: Tianwan 田湾, Banqiao 板桥, Chuanxiyi 船溪驿, Tanjiafang 谭家坊
  • Xupu County: Rangjiaxi 让家溪, Daweixi 大渭溪, Muxi 木溪
  • Yongshun County: Limin 里明村, Zhenxi 镇溪, Xiaoxi 小溪 of Wangcun Township 王村镇
  • Liubaohua 六保话, a dialect closely related to Waxianghua, is spoken in several villages in southeastern Guazhang County (including in Shaojitian Village 筲箕田村, Shanzao Township 山枣乡) and parts of Luxi County. Liubaohua is spoken in the following locations (Zou 2013).

  • Guzhang County
  • Shanzao Township 山枣乡: Huoma 火麻村, Gaozhai 高寨村, Shaojitian 筲箕田村, Modao 磨刀村
  • Yantouzhai Township 岩头寨乡: Yinping 银坪村, Zimuping 梓木坪村, Wangouxi 碗沟溪村, etc.
  • Luxi County: Basheping Township 八什坪乡
  • Yuanling County: Maxipu Town 麻溪铺镇 and Shaojiwan Town 筲箕湾镇
  • Conservative features

    Waxiang preserves a number of features of Old Chinese not found in most modern varieties of Chinese, such as the initial *l- (which became a voiced dental stop in Middle Chinese):

  • Guzhang li6, MC 地 dijH > "earth, ground"
  • Guzhang lu6, MC 大 dajH > "big"
  • Guzhang li2, MC 遲 drij > chí "slow"
  • Guzhang luʔ8, MC 讀 duwk > "read"
  • Waxiang also has some cases of /z/ for Old Chinese *r- (which became l- in Middle Chinese):

  • Guzhang za2, MC 棃 lij > "pear tree, pear"
  • Guzhang zɛ2, MC 來 loj > lái "come"
  • Like Proto-Min, it has affricate initials in a number of words where Middle Chinese has sy-:

  • Guzhang tsu3, pMin *tšyiB, MC 水 sywijX > shuǐ "water"
  • Guzhang tɕiəu1, pMin *tšyA, MC 書 syo > shū "writing"
  • References

    Waxiang Chinese Wikipedia


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