On Voice Initials in Huizhou Dialects

Vol. 26 No. 3   12/1996  


Narrating a political Tutelage for china, 1905-0935


Jinlin Hwang









Key words

Huizhou dialects, voiced initials, (non) aspirates


      The voiced initials in Huizhou dialects are devoiced completely just like most of other Chinese dialects. There seem to be two different strata found in Huizhou dialects: aspirates and non-aspirates.In this paper we have stated the majority of the reflexs of the voiced stops and affricates in most Huizhou dialects are aspirates. However, we find both in Xiuning (休寧) and Tunxi (屯溪), which are said to be the core of Huizhou region, without clear conditions. This division into aspirates and non-aspirates does not correlate with any known distinction in Ancient or Archaic Chinese. It is caused by respective contact of two different types of dialects in different periods: Wu dialects, and Hakka-Gan dialects.

    We assume the non-aspirates to be the earlier stage in Huizhou dialects, basing our argument on the descriptions we found in the literature three hundred years ago. The Hakka-Gan immigrations into southern China brought aspirates down and exerted an influence on many southern dialects such as Xiang, and Wu. That Huizhou dialects originate from Wu dialects is proposed in this paper. That is to say, Huizhou dialects and Wu dialects were of the same type before Hakka-Gan immigrants came to southern China. This is why the majority of the reflexs of the voiced stops and affricates in most Huizhou dialects are aspirates and both types can be found unpredictably in屯溪and休寧 dialects.

    The behavior of voiced stops and affricates in Jiangwan(江灣) is quite different from that in Wu, Hakka-Gan or other Huizhou dialects, having aspirates as reflexs in most entering (or ju-) tone and non-aspirates in other tones (從母and邪母are exceptions). That the distributions of aspirates and non-aspirates can be roughly divided by tones indicates that this might be a conditioned-change at the first sight, which is a sharp contrast to other Huizhou dialects discussed above. That the non-aspirates in non-entering tones are treated as the earlier stage in this dialect is obviously true, just like in other Huizhou dialects; which is the story about those aspirates in entering tone? We view the non-aspirates as the earlier, this hypothesis coincides with that we made for other Huizhou dialects: the non-aspirates are earlier that aspirates.



Author: Shi-ning Ma s
Genre: Article