Listen to Guangxi 5, a 20-year-old woman from Yulin, Guangxi, China. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
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DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/10/1993
PLACE OF BIRTH: Yulin, 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 on her pronunciation of English.
The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.
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 Yulin city of Guangxi. Now, I tell you something about when I first began to learn English. I remembered that the summer vacation before I stepped into middle school I took the English tutorial, and it’s the first time I had begun to learn English. At first, there were so many strange letters which were different from Chinese pinyin in the English book. I felt very nervous and found it’s difficult because I had never know su- about such a new language. But my teacher gave me great encouragement and, little by little, I found it’s interesting to learn English.
[The subject now goes on to read abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Yulinhua dialect. (See the detailed commentary below.) She has also provided 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): 18/11/2013
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 :- di ya he er xi da zhi ,ba ye lo hu .
D: 1-1:- The Master said: Is it not pleasure to learn, and practise 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.
C: yī-èr:- ou pang zi yuan fang lai ,bu ye le hu .
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.
C: yī-sān: ren bu zhi er bu wen ,bu ye jun zi hu .
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.
C: èr-èr:- zi ya : shi san ba ,yi yan yi bi zhi , ya: le fu die .
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:- zi you wen hao .zi ya : jiang zhi hao zhe ,shi wai neng ya .zhi yu yun mo ,guai neng you yang; bu gei,he yi bie hu .
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 :- zi ya : shi qi suo yi ,guan qi suo you ,chua ,qi suo an ren yin sou zai ?ren ren yin sou zai ?
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 which is rich in the substitution of the /S/ phone for /s/, and which appears to be quite common in Guangxi. In this sample the /z/ phone also occasionally replaced by /S/ and /T/ sometimes becomes/s/.
The subject’s local dialect is Yulinhua, a member of the Goulou group of Yue sub-dialects. The people of Yulin itself refer to it as Yulin Baihun as it is also spoken in nearby Bobai.
Yue dialects are among the most conservative of Chinese dialects regarding the final consonants and tonal categories of Middle Chinese. Some Chinese linguists have suggested that the Yulin dialect is the best surviving example of what ancient spoken Chinese would have sounded like. Yue pronunciation is thought to be closer to that of older forms of Chinese, particularly that of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), than Mandarin, as is some of its grammar. For example, many old poems that do rhyme when read with Yue pronunciation do not rhyme in Mandarin pronunciation. However they have lost several distinctions in the initial and medial consonants that other dialects have retained. It is thought that officials, and others, who were exiled or migrated to southern China during the Tang Dynasty brought their variety of Chinese with them. Because of the region’s relative remoteness and the lack of efficient communications and transport, the Tang variety survived relatively unchanged.
The subject’s hometown Yulin (the name literally means “Jade Forest”), a prefecture-level city in. It has a population of approximately 6.7 million (2010 census) the majority of which is Han, but Zhuang, Miao, and other ethnic minorities are also present. It is located in south eastern Guangxi along the border with Guangdong.
Archaeological studies suggest that the area was settled before the Qin Dynasty (221 -206 BCE) but it does not appear, as Yulin, in the historical records until the early Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 9CE). It became a “zhou” (city) in 996 during the Song Dynasty (960-1127 CE). Since ancient times, Yulin has been important for trade and communications between central China and the south, especially the coast of the Gulf of Tonkin. It is also home to the Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Meat Festival. This year, 2013, more than 10,000 dogs were consumed at the festival.
China’s oldest and most famous tower, Shiyi Tower, is located in the Shek Nanzhen mountains here. Built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) using the local Nanzhen stone, it is an octagonal Miyan pagoda, seven stories and 22 metres (72 feet) high.
COMMENTARY BY: Bill McCann
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/11/2013
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