Listen to Guanxi 2, a 20-year-old woman from Cenxi, Guangxi, China. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 03/01/1993
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cenxi, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
ETHNICITY: Han Chinese
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS: N/A
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
The subject lists her native dialect as a major influence.
RECORDED BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 12/11/2013
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Hello. I am from Cenxi, a city, a small city in Guangxi. Now, I am telling, telling to you about my hometown. Even though my hometown is a small city; it’s warm and beautiful for me. The people in Cenxi are very honest and friendly, and they live a simple and happy life. At the same time there are many local foods. Compared with the other places’ foods, I think they are more delicious. When I am away from my hometown, I miss the foods in my hometown. I want to breathe the fresh air and look the sights around my home. I like my hometown very much. It’s my forever home.
[The subject now goes on to read abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Cenxi hua dialect. (See the detailed commentary below.) She has not been able to provide a pinyin transliteration. A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on the Hebei 1 sample.]
TRANSCRIBED BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/11/2013
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
SHORT READINGS FROM THE ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS
KEY: A = Mandarin (Simplified); B = Mandarin (Pinyin); C = Dialect (Pinyin); D = English.
孔子: 论语 – Kǒng zǐ : lún yǔ – Kon zi: len yu – Confucius: Lun Yu
學而第一 – xué ér dì yī – Xué ér dì yī – Chapter One
A: 1-1:- 子曰: 學而時習之、不亦說乎。
B: yī-yī :- zǐ yuē: xué ér shí xí zhī, bù yì yuè hū.
C: yī-yī :-
D: 1-1:- The Master said: Is it not pleasure to learn, and practice what is learned time and again?
A: 1-2:- 有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。
B: yī-èr:- yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái, bù yì lè hū.
D: 1-2:- Is it not happiness to have friends coming from distant places?
A: 1-3:- 人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。
B: yī-sān: rén bù zhī ér bù yùn, bù yì jūn zi hū.
D: 1-3:- Is it not virtue for a man to feel no discomposure when others take no note of him?
為政第二 – wéi zhèng dì èr – wéi zhèng dì ér – Chapter two
A: 2-2:- 子曰：「詩三百，一言以蔽之，曰：『思無邪』。
B: èr-èr:- zǐ yuē: shī sān bǎi, yī yán yǐ bì zhī , yuē: sī wú xié.
D: 2-2:- The Master said: In the Book of Odes there are three hundred poems, but they may be summarised in a single sentence: Think no evil.
A: 2-7:- 子游問孝。子曰：今之孝者，是謂能養。至於犬馬，皆能有養；不敬, 何 以別乎。
B: èr-qī:- zǐ yóu wèn xiào. zǐ yuē: jīn zhī xiào zhě, shì wèi néng yǎng. zhì wū quǎn mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.
C: : èr-qī:-
D: 2-7:- Zi You asked what filial piety was. The Master said: Nowadays, providing support for one’s parents is considered filial piety. But dogs and horses can also do this. If there is no respect, what is the difference?
A: 2-10:- 子曰：「視其所以，觀其所由，察其所安。人焉叟哉？人焉叟哉？
B: èr-shí :- zǐ yuē: shì qí suǒ yǐ , guān qí suǒ yóu, chá qí suǒ ān. rén yān sǒu zāi? rén yān sǒu zāi?
C: èr-shí :-
D: 2-10:- The Master said: Watch what a man does. Find out his motives. See how he takes his ease. How then can the man hide his true self? How can the man hide his true self?
This is a strong accent that has the notable characteristic of softening or even losing the final /d/ and /t/ phones. This appears to be quite common in Guangxi, and it will be interesting, as we gather more samples, to see whether it is a characteristic of speakers of English whose native dialect belongs to a particular linguistic group. (It was not observable in the Guangxi 1 sample, for instance.)
The native dialect of this subject is Cenxi hua, a sub-dialect of Yue (Cantonese). It is moderately related to the Yue dialect spoken in Guangzhou (Canton) in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and phonetics, and is largely mutually intelligible with other Cantonese varieties. It differs from standard Cantonese, however, in having an obvious nasal continuant. Cenxi hua continues to be the mother tongue of the majority of Cenxi inhabitants and is still widely spoken on a daily basis. Because of the city’s relatively isolated geography and a very low rate of immigration, Cenxi hua has survived the linguicide taking place in other parts of the region and even continues to slowly evolve.
See the Guangxi 1 sample for a general introduction to the history and culture of Guangxi. The subject’s hometown is the Limu district of Cenxi, itself under the administrative control of Wuzhou in Eastern Guangxi close to the border with Guangdong.
The first state that governed what is now Cenxi was the Nanyue Kingdom, which was established by Zhao Tao on the collapse of the Qin Dynasty in 204 BCE. In 196 BCE, Zhao made tributary obeisance to the Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 9 CE), but this collapsed in 183 BCE and Zhao declared himself “Emperor.” He secured the allegiance of a number of neighboring kingdoms, thereby greatly expanding the territory under Nanyue’s control. Zhao again made submission to the Han four years later, but he ensured Nanyue’s autonomy and continued to be referred to as “Emperor” until his death. The kingdom survived for 93 years and had five generations of kings. By the beginning of 111 BCE, it had been finally destroyed during the Han expansion southward.
Zhao and his senior colleagues were originally from the Chinese heartland and brought Chinese bureaucracy, more advanced agriculture and handicraft techniques, and the Chinese language and writing system to the southern regions. They also encouraged fellow Han Chinese to immigrate from their Yellow River homeland to the south but actively supported the mutual assimilation of the Han and indigenous Yue cultures. This policy of “Harmonizing and Gathering the Hundred Yue Tribes” (和集百越) ensured that many elements of original Yue culture were preserved. The Yue people were divided into numerous branches, tribes, and clans who occupied parts of Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam.
The Han Dynasty established Mengling County in what is now Cenxi. It underwent various transmogrifications during successive dynasties and, in 757 CE, finally became Cenxi County under the Tang (618-907 CE).
COMMENTARY BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/11/2013
The archive provides:
- Recordings of accent/dialect speakers from the region you select.
- Text of the speakers’ biographical details.
- Scholarly commentary and analysis in some cases.
- In most cases, an orthographic transcription of the speakers’ unscripted speech. In a small number of cases, you will also find a narrow phonetic transcription of the sample (see Phonetic Transcriptions for a complete list). The recordings average four minutes in length and feature both the reading of one of two standard passages, and some unscripted speech. The two passages are Comma Gets a Cure (currently our standard passage) and The Rainbow Passage (used in our earliest recordings).
For instructional materials or coaching in the accents and dialects represented here, please go to Other Dialect Services.