Hoklo

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[This is the third in a series of four planned posts on Hokkien and related Southern Min / Minnan language issues.  The first was "Eurasian eureka" (9/12/16) and the second was "Hokkien in Singapore" (9/16/16).]

Some names for Taiwanese language in MSM:

Táiyǔ 台語 ("Taiwanese")

Táiwānhuà 台灣話 ("Taiwanese")

Fúlǎo 福佬 / Héluò 河洛 ("Hoklo")

Views from bilingual (Taiwanese and MSM) Taiwanese speaking informants:

1.
If the Taiwanese language is referring to the Southern Min Topolect (Mǐnnányǔ 闽南语) that people speak in Taiwan, I would use the term Táiyǔ 台语 or Táiwānhuà 台湾话. I consider Fúlǎohuà 福佬话 or Héluòhuà 河洛话 the same as Mǐnnányǔ 闽南语. It's the language used in Southern Min and not exactly the same as Táiyǔ 台语 as Táiyǔ 台语 has been influenced by the Japanese language. I think the two terms Táiyǔ 台语 and Táiwānhuà 台湾话 are basically the same though.

2.
I prefer to say Táiwānhuà 台灣話 when speaking Taiwanese. It is more common to say Taiwanese -Tai5 oan5-oe5 in POJ (peh-oe-ji 白话字).

I would usually call it Táiyǔ 台語 Taiwanese in Mandarin.

3.
I am not sure how you think about the difference between Hokkien and Hoklo. When I visited Hong Kong Museum of History in 2014, I discovered that Cantonese quite often use the term "Hoklo".  So I did some small research at that time.

If my knowledge is correct, Hoklo is a product of Cantonese chauvinism, a term created by the Cantonese to identify a group of minority people who are not considered part of them, particularly in the 19th to early 20th centuries, as Cantonese were the dominant ones overseas so foreigners just took what was common to Cantonese as common for all Chinese.

Hoklo 福佬 is a Cantonese term derived from the fact that the first syllable of Hokkien sounds, in the relevant topolects, like Hok.  On the other hand, "lo" 佬 in Cantonese is vulgar and derogatory. Just like Taiwanese 仔 (à). For example, sai 師 = master, sai-à 師仔 = apprentice.

It seems to me the term "Hoklo" is rarely used in Taiwan nowadays. In fact, we translate Hoklo as Héluò 河洛 (lit., "river falls") rather than Fúlǎo 福佬. During my fieldwork, I met some elders speaking classic Taiwanese-Hokkien identifying the topolect as Hô-ló-ōe 河洛話.

However, in reality the situation is still more complicated. When I Google "Hokkien people," I am directed to the page "Hoklo people."  In 1989, the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) introduced a new concept to defuse tensions among the "Four Great Ethnic Groups" Sì dà zúqún 四大族群 (Hoklo, Hakka, Mainlanders, and aborigines), which became a dominant frame of reference for dealing with Taiwanese ethnic and national issues. In academia, the expression "Han people/community" is used to refer to Hoklo or Hokkien people.

After the Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, Taiwanese young people have more diverse concerns about their development and identity than they did in the past. They no longer distinguish their identity as běnshěngrén 本省人 ("locals; people from this province"), wàishěngrén 外省人 ("mainlanders; people from other provinces"), Hakka, or New immigrants. As President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to promote transitional justice and to set up a truth and reconciliation commission (for the conflicts between Taiwan's local people and the KMT government since 1945), and offered an official apology to aborigines for centuries of injustice (Aug. 1, 2016), I personally hope that one day we could use "Taiwanese" instead of Hoklo, Hokkien or whatever confusing words.

The term "Hoklo" is widely used to refer to Taiwanese, even by Taiwanese speakers themselves, especially those who are older.  After reading the comments of informant #3, in future I will try, as much as possible, to avoid using it myself.

[Thanks to Chia-hui Lu, Grace Wu, Melvin Lee, and Sophie Wei]



31 Comments

  1. Gene Anderson said,

    September 18, 2016 @ 11:17 am

    From what I know, commentator 3 is right. The "Hoklou" (note the u or w off-glide) were the Hokkien-speaking boat people who used to live at Tai Po and around there; all the other boat people in Hong Kong were Cantonese-speaking. Other Hokkien-speaking groups had other names. The HK Museum of History does indeed have a wonderful exhibit on the Hoklou, who by the time the museum got to them had all moved on shore. They were still on boats when I was there in the 1960s. Anyway, "lou" is indeed the Cantonese equivalent of Hokkien "a"–guy, fellow–as in "faan guai lou," "foreign ghost guy," mistranslated "foreign devil" in the good old days, equivalent to Hokkien "huan a" "foreign guy." Or "barbarian guy" if you want to have a nice rude translation.

  2. hill gates said,

    September 18, 2016 @ 7:43 pm

    Something that many people–notably Cantonese–ignore. Fujian folk, mostly out of the Minnan area, had travelled, traded, and settled in southeast Asia long before the Cantonese began to do so. A wonderful source is THE AMOY NETWORK by Singapore scholar Ng Chin-keong; Wang Gungwu referred to that region as "Fujian's invisible empire. So I think the Hoklo post writer might rethink the rude meaning of Hoklo. They would have been in vigorous competition with them for regional business.

  3. AntC said,

    September 18, 2016 @ 8:09 pm

    Thank you Victor, I know you have a soft spot for Taiwan.

    If you avoid the term Hoklu (for understandable reasons, per informant 3), I'm not seeing "Taiwanese" (unqualified) is any improvement. You are thereby favouring a Southern Min-derived topolect over Hakka and over the language spoken by the majority on the island.

    I find it strange to still be using a term "mainlanders". The KMT takeover (and Establishment of the PRC) was more than two generations ago. The official language of Taiwan is MSM. There are plenty of people who were born on Taiwan and speak only MSM (with perhaps a smattering of Hokkien). Do they not count as Taiwanese, or count as somehow less authentically Taiwanese?

    If Hokkien in Taiwan has been influenced by Japanese (per informant 1), then calling that "Taiwanese" is merely giving precedence to the overlords of the prior two~three generations.

    Is MSM as spoken on Taiwan not acquiring local variations as compared with mainland MSM? (And of course it's written with traditional script.) Doesn't that equally qualify it to be called "Taiwanese"?

  4. John said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 12:24 am

    @AntC, using the term "mainlanders" is akin to people from Boston calling themselves "Irish" when they have absolutely nothing to do with Ireland except that an ancestor came from there 100-200 years ago.

    I disagree that '"lo" 佬 in Cantonese is vulgar and derogatory." It is about as vulgar and derogatory as using the words guy, bloke, fellow, instead of person in English.

  5. KIRINPUTRA said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 3:20 am

    The HOKLO complex of terms has an intriguing past. Most of what's written about it today is wrong — all guesswork and face plays.

    Earlier on it was probably a word that a "Proto-Hakka-Sanhak" non-Sino tribe or group of tribes used to refer to a Sino tribe ("Proto-Hokkien-Teochew speakers", perhaps) or even to all Sinos, or even to a non-Sino tribe that assimilated to the Proto-Hokkien-Teochew speakers. Quoting myself in a comment to a Language Hat post (http://languagehat.com/saving-hakka/):

    # BEGIN QUOTE

    What we know is this. The Hakka are related to a "non-Han" tribe called the Shē (畲) by modern officials, or Sanhak by themselves. They're also neighbors to a "Han" super-tribe called the Hoklo in the English literature. The "Hokkiens" and the "Teochews" are the major branches of the Hoklo super-tribe.

    The modern Sanhak live in scattered pockets, mostly in places where no Hakka live. Yet, nearly all Sanhak speak Hakka as a first language. The few who don't, speak a Hmong-Mien language known in English as "She". They speak Hakka as a 2nd or 3rd language.

    The name "Sanhak" alternates with "Sanha", probably dialectically. This is part of a trend in Hmong-Mien — and some dialects of Hakka, and Hoklo to some extent — for -k endings to "fall off".

    "San" is always written using the kanji 山 (MOUNTAIN). Hakka folk music is known as "san" music, wherever You find it. Coincidence?

    The Hoklo tend to only have awareness of themselves as "Hoklo" in places where there's Hakkas, such as in Taiwan. In Taiwan, they call themselves "Holo" while the Hakka word for them is "Hoklo". The Hoklos of the Hoiliuk area (on the coast between Swatow and Hong Kong) call themselves "Haklau".

    There's a word that shows up in the Chinese literature mostly as 半山客. In Hakka, it'd be "pan-Sanhak". "Pan" means HALF. The Sanhak use this term to refer to the Hakka, pretty much calling them "half Sanhak". The Hakka of Moiyen (梅縣) and around there, though, use this term to refer to the Hakka that live near the Hoklo-Hakka line. And the Hoklo use this term to refer to that same group of Hakka. In this application, the phrase breaks down as "Hakka halfway up the mountain". That about sums up where the Hoklo-Hakka line runs.

    To thicken the plot, "pan-Sanhak" is sometimes written as 半山學, with a possible (but not firmly attested by me) pronunciation "pan-Sanhok". That last kanji is the kanji typically used to write the first syllable in "Hoklo".

    The word "Hakka" doesn't seem to show up till the late 19th century. Hakka began migrating to Taiwan in the 17th or early 18th century, yet the idea that they belonged to a tribe called the Hakka was apparently imported in the 20th. What seems to have happened is that the kanji 客 (GUEST) was attached to the ethnonym "Hak" b/c the phonology fits. The rest is history.

    As for "Hoklo / Haklau", there's also at least a half dozen theories out there on the etymology of that. None of the well-known ones make much sense. Looking at the history of the region, it seems safe to say that Hakka, Sanhak, and Hoklo grew up together — sisters from different fathers, so to speak.

    # END QUOTE

    HOK in all likelihood and possibly LO too have no "original Hanji" (original Kanji), "forcing" native scholarship into an endless loop of trying to find the original Hanji. ANG Uijin (洪惟仁) and a PRC scholar surnamed 鍾 (maybe somebody else here remembers his full name) arrived at the same conclusion separately, most likely because they started with the same assumptions. They reached the state of the art within that paradigm.

    The 河洛 (Hôlók?) theory (not Ang's, BTW) comes from the same ideological space as the "Hakka Guest People" theory, only the Hakka theory probably has a grain of truth to it. Lost tribe of Northern nobles and courtiers flees South, preserves True Chinese Culture. These kind of theories spread easily under ROC or PRC rule because they lend legitimacy to the ruling elite while seeming to give major face to a local tribe suspected of being Not Truly Chinese. There is no factual evidence backing up the 河洛 (Hôlók?) theory, and boocoo evidence against it, but many people rely on it as a source of group face, hence the guys in their early 60s (high water mark of ROC brainwashing, BTW) that love to re-tell the 河洛 theory at wedding banquets. To challenge it in real-time is to insult both group face and personal face.

    A lot of the remaining pieces of the real HOKLO puzzle probably lie in Sanhak (She) ethnography and linguistics, as well as in non-textual historical inquiry centered on the Hoklo-Hakka homeland…

  6. 艾力·黑膠(Eric) said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 8:27 am

    @AntC:
    Indeed.

  7. languagehat said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 9:25 am

    I find it strange to still be using a term "mainlanders". The KMT takeover (and Establishment of the PRC) was more than two generations ago. The official language of Taiwan is MSM. There are plenty of people who were born on Taiwan and speak only MSM (with perhaps a smattering of Hokkien). Do they not count as Taiwanese, or count as somehow less authentically Taiwanese?

    Telling people they should ignore longstanding divisions rarely does much good ("Can't we all just get along?"). There was a very, very strong divide between "mainlanders" and "native Taiwanese" (whatever term you prefer to use for the latter) when I was there, and I presume it hasn't gone away even if it's less bitter. To just call everyone "Taiwanese" would be pious nonsense (if we close our eyes, maybe the divisions won't exist!).

  8. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 9:41 am

    FWIW, my wife (whose parents are Taiwanese and from the Hokkienophone majority – they also speak MSM perfectly fluently but I'm pretty sure it was a language they first learned at school) calls the relevant Southern-Min topolect "Taiwanese" in English, at least in contexts where it needs to be contrasted with "Mandarin." I asked her what she would call it in Taiwanese, and she first said: a) Taiyu; then b) no wait, Taiyu is what I'd call it in Mandarin; and then c) it should probably be something else in Taiwanese but I'm drawing a blank. Like a lot of "heritage speakers" who've grown up in the U.S. and do not consistently use their heritage languages other than when talking to their parents (or e.g. going out for dim sum) she has various gaps in her lexicon and sometimes (especially because Mandarin and Taiwanese are associated with different registers and social contexts-of-use, which affects where those lexical gaps are likely to fall) she can recall the lexeme equivalent to a given English word in one topolect but not the other.

  9. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    It seems to me that if the children and grandchildren of the mainlanders had fully assimilated into Taiwanese society, by now (65+ years after their forefathers arrived) they would all be reasonably fluent in Taiwanese. If they're not, they haven't. If there have been insufficient natural incentives to learn Taiwanese because it is possible to do perfectly well economically and socially without it, that's presumably largely a historical legacy of decades of illiberal and undemocratic rule by and for the mainlander minority, isn't it? Which is not to say that young people with shaky Taiwanese are responsible for the political sins of their ancestors, but if e.g. you've been born and raised as a Russophone in Latvia and you don't understand why many people resent your apparent unwillingness to master Latvian, you are perhaps lacking in an important dimension of historical awareness. (Obv difference is that no one has been brainwashed into thinking Latvian is merely a low-prestige rustic dialect of Russian!)

  10. JS said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 1:53 pm

    @J.W. Brewer, Surely concern about "shaky Taiwanese" is directed primarily if not exclusively towards young "native Taiwanese," rather than towards the descendants of mainlanders (who don't generally make it to "shaky")?

  11. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 2:33 pm

    I was being polite/euphemistic and don't really know the facts on the ground. I would be mildly surprised if the mainlander-descended kids didn't have even little bits of Taiwanese, perhaps picked up on playground rather than in classroom, even if they're not at all fluent. There's another Taiwanese-American woman I know in our NYC suburb whose parents were mainlanders and who I think has heritage-speaker command of Mandarin but knows essentially no Taiwanese. But I have assumed that's because she mostly picked up her heritage-speaker Mandarin growing up in California, not in Taiwan.

    FWIW I think there's a difference (at least in English?) between using "Taiwanese" as an ethnic-group name that excludes the descendants of "mainlanders" (and also Hakka-speakers) born and raised on the island, and using "Taiwanese" as the name for the topolect spoken natively by most but not all of those born and raised on the island. The case for using a name for the "Hoklo people" or whatever you want to call them that doesn't sound like the other ethnic-Han parts of the population don't belong on Taiwan seems significantly stronger. If people were already mostly in the habit of calling the topolect "Hokkien" or something like that rather than Taiwanese/Taiyu, I wouldn't encourage them to change (other than in specific contexts where it's actually useful/relevant to specify the on-island variety that has Japanese loanwords and the like which would not be understood by the people across the water who otherwise speak something mutually intelligible). But if they're not already in that habit I'm not going to encourage them to change in the other direction.

  12. A-gu said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 3:38 pm

    When Professor Robert Cheng chaired the National Languages Committee in 2000, he was conscious of how the labels Táiyǔ 台語 ("Taiwanese") or Táiwānhuà 台灣話 ("Taiwanese") would be perceived in the light of "Hoklo chauvinism." He didn't want any one language being labeled as "Taiwanese" any more than he wanted one labeled the "National Language" 國語. I know this because I was working for him at that time and translated a draft of the Language Equality Law 《語言平等法》 back then. That law is revived again now as the National Languages Development Bill 《國家語言發展法草案》.

    This is why the Committee opted for what it perceived at the time as the most descriptive and non-political term they could manage — Taiwan Southern Min 台灣閩南語. This was later roundly criticized by pan-Green press as subsuming Taiwan culture within a China framework (these criticisms mostly surfaced after Ma's election in 2008), but it's safe to say Robert Cheng and the committee had no such intention. For them Southern Min was a descriptive term encompassing all dialects of a mutually intelligible topolect, and 'Taiwan Southern Min' described the variety prevalent in Taiwan.

    The bill also intended to protect the language rights of new immigrants to Taiwan and those military villages that had come with the KMT.

  13. A-gu said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 3:44 pm

    Since some comments are also mentioned ethnic labels and terminology, I'll mention something interesting: I noticed that my wife (who speaks Southern Min as her first language) would seemingly identify herself as "Taiwan-ren" in Taipei but "Ban-lam–lang" (Southern Min person) when she was in Pingtung. This may have to do with the differently diverse languagescape in Pingtung – Holo Taiwanese, Hakka and Paiwan were the first three languages there say, 30-40 years ago, and the Hakka nearly all spoke Holo Taiwanese fluently as well.

  14. AntC said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

    Thank you @the A-gu, interesting.

    Professor Robert Cheng … didn't want any one language being labeled as "Taiwanese" any more than he wanted one labeled "The National Language". seems entirely reasonable. Of course it's not the naming in English that matters but the naming in each language of each other. And I expect the whole process is politically/culturally freighted. I'm not ignoring @languagehat's longstanding divisions.

    Equivalents of "Taiwan(ese) Southern Min", "Taiwan(ese) Mandarin", "Taiwan(ese) Hakka" would work?

    No @Hat I wasn't advocating calling everyone "Taiwanese" (unqualified). I was questioning calling one particular group/language "Taiwanese" unqualified — as giving precedence to one wave of invaders/settlers over later invaders/settlers or over earlier 'natives' (invaders/settlers).

    @John it would be as if people born/raised in Boston of Irish descent could not call themselves "Bostonians" (as well as "Irish" or "Boston Irish"). Ie those of English Puritan descent monopolised "Bostonian" unqualified.

    (And I believe the whole name "Taiwan" is one bunch of settlers' mis-hearing/mis-interpretation of some other language's name. Language history is just one darn thing after another.)

  15. languagehat said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

    No @Hat I wasn't advocating calling everyone "Taiwanese" (unqualified). I was questioning calling one particular group/language "Taiwanese" unqualified — as giving precedence to one wave of invaders/settlers over later invaders/settlers or over earlier 'natives' (invaders/settlers).

    That makes sense, thanks for clarifying. And I second your praise for A-gu's extremely interesting and informative comments.

  16. Eidolon said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 7:51 pm

    Hoklo standing for 福佬 looks accurate to me. It surprised me to learn, a while ago, that there was a controversy surrounding the etymology of Hoklo, as the link between Hoklo and Hokkien 福建 looked very straight forward. But I guess I was not aware of the fact that Hoklo was mainly used by the Cantonese. It is not rare, however, for exonyms to become endonyms in contact interaction situations. When such names are then supported by official political channels, they readily replace previous endonyms.

    @KIRINPUTRA "The 河洛 (Hôlók?) theory (not Ang's, BTW) comes from the same ideological space as the "Hakka Guest People" theory, only the Hakka theory probably has a grain of truth to it. Lost tribe of Northern nobles and courtiers flees South, preserves True Chinese Culture. These kind of theories spread easily under ROC or PRC rule because they lend legitimacy to the ruling elite while seeming to give major face to a local tribe suspected of being Not Truly Chinese. There is no factual evidence backing up the 河洛 (Hôlók?) theory, and boocoo evidence against it, but many people rely on it as a source of group face, hence the guys in their early 60s (high water mark of ROC brainwashing, BTW) that love to re-tell the 河洛 theory at wedding banquets. To challenge it in real-time is to insult both group face and personal face."

    I think in both the Hakka and Hokkien cases there is a degree of actual fact to the idea. Northern Chinese families *did* colonize the south in multiple waves, and they *did* transform the region on a wide scale, most obviously in the establishment of the southern Sinitic languages as the prestige & later primary languages of southern China, as opposed to the earlier Tai-Kradai, Austronesian, Austro-Asiatic, and Hmong-Mien languages still spoken by "aboriginals." That this process happened in Fujian – as it did elsewhere in southern China – can be supported by various historical documents detailing the migrants and their communities, and by the history of Chinese dynasties specifically centered in southern China.

    But the idea that *every* southern Chinese family was one of these migrant families, and just so it happens an elite one, has always struck me as being impractical. Southern China was already populated before the migrants arrived, and there was no issue of Old World diseases nearly wiping out native populations, as was the case in the Americas, or of wide scale killing of locals. As such, we have no reason to believe that the people who were there before the northern Chinese migrants came left no descendants. Rather, they must have mixed with the incoming migrants, creating new Sinitic speaking communities that became the ancestors of groups such as the Hakka, Hokkien, and Cantonese today.

    Once we accept the above model, it makes much more sense why southern Chinese culture have certain practices found only in "aboriginal" culture, why they appear physically similar to "aboriginals" to a certain degree, and for the purpose of linguistics, why Chinese varieties in southern China share certain syntactical and lexical similarities with "aboriginal" languages.

  17. J.W. Brewer said,

    September 19, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

    There's a somewhat parallel issue in many parts of Eastern Europe where due to the people actually living there being more varied and heterogenous than certain theories of the nation-state might assume, you often have the same word used for the nation-state applying to the majority (but not 100%) L1 and majority (but not 100%) ethnicity. But regardless of how much one might decry language-or-ethnicity-based petty nationalism and want to be sensitive to minority rights, wouldn't it seem a bit bizarre to say "the problem in Slovakia is that the numerically dominant L1 is just called 'Slovakian' (unqualified), so we need a committee to suggest a different name for that language so as to avoid symbolic unfairness to the Magyar-speaking minority, who are after all equally citizens of Slovakia"?

    台灣閩南語 strikes me as usefully precise for discourse in an academic setting, but perhaps too polysyllabic and technical to reasonably expect ordinary people to adopt it for ordinary contexts. Compare "African-American Vernacular English," which it's rather implausible to expect would be widely adopted as the default self-descriptor of the language variety by its actual native speakers.

  18. KIRINPUTRA said,

    September 20, 2016 @ 1:14 am

    Applying TAIWAN terms to the Hokkien-speaking majority is not solely (or arguably, not at all) justified by the numbers argument, BTW. TAIWAN may have been applied to the Hokkien-speaking tribe before it was applied to the island as a whole.

    @ A-gu

    I wonder how long your wife or her family has been self-identifying as «Bân-lâm-lâng» when in Pintong? I'm guessing this would've been unheard of in the 70s? (I have nothing against the "Banlam" set of terms personally.)

    @ J.W. Brewer

    There's been a lot of assimilation — mostly in the direction of «Huárén» (華人)-ization. A related concept is "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" as articulated by U.S. Mexicans. You could say the 1949 ROC immigrants are assimilating everybody else, although to some degree the 49ers have also been ROC assimilatees. This is even true on a micro level. In "mixed" marriages, no matter who wears the dress, the non-49er spouse tends to assimilate to ROC culture, Mandarin, etc. and the kids are raised that way.

    Whether 49er offspring can speak Taiwanese is determined by generation, where they grew up, where their family came from, and class — and whether they have a "native" parent (so obvious I'll leave it out). "Baby Boomer" 49ers tend to speak decent Taiwanese — often at a native level — unless they grew up in Taibei or Hakka Country or in a socially isolated military village. The 3rd gen. in North Taiwan rarely speak Taiwanese functionally, but South Taiwan 3rd gen. 49ers are typically borderline fluent or better. All bets are off if the family is from Teochew (Chaozhou), Hokchiu (Fuzhou) or any place in between. The Boomer 2nd gen. will speak Taiwanese at a native level and the 3rd gen. will be functional even in Taibei.

    Also: Hakka 49ers who settled in Hakka Country and assimilated like Brits in North America.

    For "hardcore assimilation": see the Vietnamese wives. I think the average South Taiwan Vietnamese wife speaks better Taiwanese than the average urban North or Middle Taiwan female of Taiwanese-speaking heritage of the same age.

    Just my observations over time. I could be off on some of this. ROC cultural colonization is the key factor, that's for sure.

    @ Eidolon

    The HOKLO terms apparently come from or through Hakka, not Cantonese. There is one group that self-identifies actively as «Hákláu», AFAIK, although many Taiwanese kind of passively self-identify as «Hōló».

    *福佬 for HOKLO is probably wrong b/c the HOK element is 下入 tone in every language, most significantly in Hakka, while 福 is 上入. Also, the H is /h/ in every language. If it was really *福佬, the form in Hakka should be FUKLO or FUKLAU — this is not the case. The *福佬 theory is not impossible, but it's a stretch — the only way it "works" is if we somehow believe that the Hakka or Sanhak adopted the Hoklo pronunciation of the first syllable of 'their province" (unwarranted assumption alert right there) and cobbled it into a new ethnonym… A trail of unproven and far-fetched assumptions is the only way to that cabin.

    The scientist must say "We still don't know." The landlord-scholars (士大夫) were incapable of saying this. And most of the pseudo-scholarship on this theme started with them.

    "Northern Chinese families *did* colonize the south in multiple waves, and they *did* transform the region on a wide scale," …

    Right. Let's look at the coast of "Fujian" specifically, though. Apparently the first Sino people (users of Chinese script) to settle the coast of Fujian came down pre-Tang from the mouths of the Yangtze or south of there, and they may've been kind of "not fully Sino" themselves. Direct migration from the North during the Tang was not as much of a factor here as it was in most of "South China" — then and now, Central/Northern Chinese were not into boats, and You could not reach the coast of Fujian over land, although You could reach the interior of Fujian, and they did. (The historical social split between inland and seaward Fujian is totally reflected in the linguistics, BTW.) There's a Tang-Song layer in Hokkien, but it sits on top of the language the same way it does in Vietnamese. It's not like in Hakka or Cantonese where it IS the language to a significant degree. And that Tang-Song layer is mostly missing in Teochew, which suggests that even in Fujian it was adopted pretty late. My guess would be during the Southern Song, one of the few periods in history where there was a powerful state taking a hands-on approach to southern Fujian.

    Re: Tan Goankong (陳元光), the general from the North who arrived in southern Fujian during the Tang to pacify the native non-Sino peoples… Research suggests that even if he was real, the fighting men he brought from the North made little to no demographic impact on Fujian. The part of Fujian they supposedly pacified and settled was still being "pacified" and Sinicized during Southern Song times and into Ming times! Tan Goankong's deification into Khaichiang Seng'ong (the Holy Founding King of Chiangchiu) also took place during the Southern Song under official sponsorship. It seems that Song authorities wanted mystic authority to help them subdue the Sanhak, so they reached back in history and emphasized Tan Goankong — the same way Chiang Kaishek would emphasize Koxinga when he got to Taiwan.

    References:
    Bielenstein, "The Chinese Colonization of Fukien"
    湯錦台《千年客家》

  19. Eidolon said,

    September 20, 2016 @ 2:21 pm

    @KIRINPUTRA the Min variety of Sinitic is generally believed to have broken off before Middle Chinese, the lingua franca of the Tang; therefore we should be attentive to earlier rather than later migrations, most likely during the Han when the state of Min Yue was destroyed. Han records state that the territories of Min Yue were emptied of people and then gradually recolonized, presumably by Sinitic speaking colonists from nearby areas. Whether this happened or not, Han administration was established to prevent further rebellions, leading to subsequent migrations of officials, soldiers, merchants, workers, and farmers.

    I'm sure that, as I said, the natives did actually survive and eventually merged with the migrants to form the Hokkien people. But migrations during the Tang, Southern Song, and Ming should be considered secondary to the initial formation of the Hokkien language since it is not a Middle Chinese split, but an Old Chinese split. Personally I believe that the main migrants might have arrived after the Han Dynasty rather than during it, as refugees from the nomadic invasions of northern China, during a time when records were scarce and incomplete. But they would've only been able to settle in Fujian due to the political control the Han had established centuries earlier.

    Regarding the term 福佬, Hoklo is the pronunciation in Hokkien/Minnan, not Hakka. As you said the pronunciation in Cantonese and Hakka would be closer to Fuklo. 福佬 is the written form in Chinese characters, and probably not a phonetic transcription, so it cannot be directly associated with a particular pronunciation. To this end, 河洛 looks more like a phonetic transcription, but in Mandarin, of the Hokkien pronunciation of 福佬, which is indeed Hoklo according to POJ. Of course we could be wrong about the etymology, but until more evidence surfaces, this seems the more plausible theory to me.

  20. Guy_H said,

    September 20, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

    If anyone is interested, the results of the Taiwanese census on language use are available online: http://ebas1.ebas.gov.tw/phc2010/english/rehome.htm

    The direct link to the report is here: http://ebas1.ebas.gov.tw/phc2010/english/51/310.pdf

    The results are interesting, with about 83.5% of the population using Mandarin at home and 81.9% using Taiwanese. The general trend is as expected – Taiwanese usage declines the younger the age cohort is, and Mandarin increases.

    One thing the survey doesn't capture is language proficiency. In my anecdotal experience, younger people who do happen to speak Taiwanese at home often speak it poorly (particularly in northern/central Taiwan – I'd say not much better than Chinese American heritage speakers) and don't have anywhere near the rapid fire fluency they have in Mandarin.

  21. Jean-Michel said,

    September 20, 2016 @ 3:24 pm

    On the whole Hoklo/Holo issue, I seem to remember that a key early document issued by the Democratic Progressive Party actually used the word "Holo"–in the Latin alphabet–to sidestep the problem of how to write the word in Chinese characters. Unfortunately I can't recall what that document was or turn it up in a cursory Google search.

  22. A-gu said,

    September 21, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

    @AntC:
    Equivalents of "Taiwan(ese) Southern Min", "Taiwan(ese) Mandarin", "Taiwan(ese) Hakka" would work?

    I believe that sounds about right.

  23. KIRINPUTRA said,

    September 22, 2016 @ 12:52 pm

    @Eidolon

    Not sure if You read my (long-winded) comments. The pronunciation of HOKLO in Mainstream Hakka is Hókló or Hókláu, though.

    https://www.moedict.tw/:%E5%AD%B8%E8%80%81
    http://minhakka.ling.sinica.edu.tw/bkg/hakyin/gm.php?fn=188

    Notice, the first syllable of HOKLO is 8th tone in Hakka (and Hoklo and Cantonese). «福» is 4th tone.

    «Han records state that the territories of Min Yue were emptied of people»

    The Han scriptures said it happened, so it must've happened, because officials never lie or exaggerate? Did they check every valley, every cove? Sorry. Couldn't resist picking this cherry. :)

  24. Eidolon said,

    September 22, 2016 @ 6:34 pm

    @Kirinputra The same entry from your source on 福建 https://www.moedict.tw/:%E7%A6%8F%E5%BB%BA shows that 福 is pronounced fu/fug in Hakka. The f- sound is a general areal feature of the pronunciation of 福 in southern China, especially in the Guangdong/Guangxi region, which extends even into Vietnamese. Consequently I do not believe it should be exceptional in Hakka. By contrast, in both Hokkien and Teochew, the pronunciation of 福 is hok/hog, which to me shows that the h- sound should be the general pronunciation of 福 in Fujian, the home province of Hokkien.

    In this case, then, I think the hog/hok pronunciation in Taiwanese Hakka may well be a back loan from Taiwanese Hokkien into Taiwanese Hakka. It would be useful to examine the historical pronunciation of 福 in Hokkien and Hakka to verify/validate, but I can easily see how long time interaction between minority Taiwanese Hakka speakers and majority Taiwanese Hokkien speakers would result in the former taking up the pronunciation of the latter, especially when it concerns the latter's pronunciation of their own home province.

    "The Han scriptures said it happened, so it must've happened, because officials never lie or exaggerate? Did they check every valley, every cove? Sorry. Couldn't resist picking this cherry. :)"

    They most certainly did not. But it does indicate that the Han had such a policy in place, and that with such a policy in place, there must have been a significant amount of population movement both from and to Fujian during the Han. More likely they only took people from the major population centers of Min Yue, while people in the more remote villages & mountains were left alone. Even still this must have brought about many demographic and administrative changes, and is thus the best occasion for the beginning of cultural and linguistic change in Fujian.

  25. KIRINPUTRA said,

    September 22, 2016 @ 9:17 pm

    In case this helps: You're assuming beforehand that the HOK in HOKLO is 福. But the assumption doesn't fit.

  26. hansioux said,

    September 23, 2016 @ 4:20 am

    I prefer to refer to the Taiwanese Holo Language as tâi-gí in when I am speaking taigi.

    As pointed out in the article, some Taigi speakers would refer to themselves and their language as Holo, when not referring to themselves as Taiwanese. Referring to one's ethnicity by what others refer to the ethnicity isn't uncommon, especially in Taiwan.

    The Hakka means "guests" and they of course didn't refer to themselves as guests to begin with. The adaptation of Hakka to refer to the Hakka ethnicity took place in Qing dynasty China.

    Amis and Yami both came from the Austronesian root word for North. Amis and Yami people originally referred to themselves as Pangcah and Tao. The Japanese scholars simply took what people living South of these two groups referred to them as the official ethnicity name, and it stuck. Nowadays, some Amis and Yami would prefer to just be called Amis and Yami, instead of using Pangcah or Tao.

  27. Eidolon said,

    September 26, 2016 @ 6:52 pm

    @Kirinputra "In case this helps: You're assuming beforehand that the HOK in HOKLO is 福. But the assumption doesn't fit."

    I'm not assuming it. I'm arguing it. The argument for it being 福 is quite logical to me; maybe it isn't to you. But I've presented my case. I don't think there's any value to pushing it further unless you have more evidence to add?

  28. KIRINPUTRA said,

    September 26, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

    Exhibit A. «*Hok-ló» (上入 tone on 1st syll.) not existing in any dialect of Hoklo.

    Exhibit B. «Hók-láu» and «Hók-ló» (下入 tone on 1st syll.) listed in the 1905 McIver dictionary of Hakka (http://minhakka.ling.sinica.edu.tw/bkg/hakyin/gm.php?fn=188). McIver 1905 was based on 19th century "Mainland" Siyen (四縣) Hakka → no Taiwanese Hoklo influence (not that HOKLO could've come from there anyway). McIver et al also "jumped to the conclusion" that «hók» was «fuk» in disguise. Also note that «Fuk-láu» is not in the dictionary under «fuk» (pp. 122-23).

    Exhibit C. The best "argument" I've read in favor of the «福佬» hypothesis: http://taiwangok.blogspot.co.id/2011/06/03-hololanguage.html, by Taiwanese Statehood activist and Hakka-Holo bilingual 傅雲欽. (His argument hinges on HOKLO arising in a non-"Fujian" dialect of Hakka (once upon a time in China, not on Taiwan) as an exonym for a group of people from Hokkien who habitually introduced themselves as being from "Hok-kiàn" (Fujian). Doubtful though not impossible, since the "Hakka-Hoklo line" doesn't line up with the province line — it intersects it at a right angle and always has. The Hoklos (Teochews) and Hakkas of Guangdong both substantially came from Fujian, the former probably BEFORE the latter.)

  29. Eidolon said,

    September 29, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

    "Exhibit A. «*Hok-ló» (上入 tone on 1st syll.) not existing in any dialect of Hoklo."

    I'd question the assertion that it doesn't exist in "any" dialect of Hokkien, since most dialects of Hokkien do not have readily available dictionaries, given the rich dialectical diversity in Fujian.

    "Exhibit B. «Hók-láu» and «Hók-ló» (下入 tone on 1st syll.) listed in the 1905 McIver dictionary of Hakka (http://minhakka.ling.sinica.edu.tw/bkg/hakyin/gm.php?fn=188). McIver 1905 was based on 19th century "Mainland" Siyen (四縣) Hakka → no Taiwanese Hoklo influence (not that HOKLO could've come from there anyway). McIver et al also "jumped to the conclusion" that «hók» was «fuk» in disguise. Also note that «Fuk-láu» is not in the dictionary under «fuk» (pp. 122-23)."

    This still doesn't answer the question: if the word Hoklo is a Hakka exonym for ethnic Hoklo and did not mean "people from Fujian," then why would it be written as 福佬, when the Hakka standard pronunciation of 福 is not hok, but fuk?

    "Exhibit C. The best "argument" I've read in favor of the «福佬» hypothesis: http://taiwangok.blogspot.co.id/2011/06/03-hololanguage.html, by Taiwanese Statehood activist and Hakka-Holo bilingual 傅雲欽. (His argument hinges on HOKLO arising in a non-"Fujian" dialect of Hakka (once upon a time in China, not on Taiwan) as an exonym for a group of people from Hokkien who habitually introduced themselves as being from "Hok-kiàn" (Fujian). Doubtful though not impossible, since the "Hakka-Hoklo line" doesn't line up with the province line — it intersects it at a right angle and always has. The Hoklos (Teochews) and Hakkas of Guangdong both substantially came from Fujian, the former probably BEFORE the latter.)"

    I don't see why it is doubtful. You must be aware of the fact that Taiwanese Hokkien has changed significantly from continental Hokkien over the course of 300-400 years. Just because it doesn't match the tone of the dialect of Hokkien spoken in Taiwan, does not indicate it does not match the tone of one of the many Hokkien dialects spoken in Fujian. Unfortunately given the state of Hokkien research, this will probably involve field studies than just looking up material online.

  30. Eidolon said,

    September 29, 2016 @ 5:15 pm

    Let me add that the above post is not an argument for Hoklo being a Hokkien endonym borrowed into Hakka, only that we should not make strict assumptions about tonal accuracy based on *current* dictionaries of Taiwanese Hokkien when discussing the topic of words whose etymology go back centuries, and which did not arise in Taiwan. All known cognates of Hoklo: 福佬, 學佬, 鶴佬, 河洛, when filtered through the dialect in which they are used, are attempts, in my view, to pronounce a similar phonetic compound – Hoklo – and it just so happens that this Hok- is a close match to the prefix of Hokkien itself, standing for the Hokkien pronounciation of 福.

    Even in case the tones do not match exactly with modern Hokkien, the similarity cannot be simply dismissed. There are too many ways by which a sound shift could have been effected, and too much sense in the parallel between Hoklo and what Hokkien people would've called themselves. If the Hok- in Hokkien and the Hok- in Hoklo are indeed false cognates, and reflect completely different etymology, it'd be one of the most counter intuitive coincidences I've come across.

  31. KIRINPUTRA said,

    October 2, 2016 @ 12:11 am

    Edward Said used "Orientalism" to describe a mega-genre of patronizing views of "the East" from a Western angle. We could coin "Meridionalism" to describe the typical patronizing view of "the Chinese South" (esp. the seaboard) from a North/Central China angle. You don't need to be North Chinese to be a Meridionalist, far from it. Many South Chinese types are big-time Meridionalists. So too non-Asians, who may go that route out of respect for Chinese Meridionalists.

    Fundamental Meridionalist mindset: all Southern phenomena must conform to Northern/Central or Sinological theses; the lack of a better thesis proves a thesis; a thesis must be "Sinologically satisfying" to be valid; and we can't admit we don't know, since that would imply a lack of understanding or control of "the South".

    Most of the discussion on the "Hoklo" terms over the years has been steeped in Meridionalism. Typical: attempts to drown out all locally-centered, specifically-informed historical inquiry with the stock zoomed-out, Middle Kingdom-centric cliché-beliefs on "how the South was won"; or the assumption that Southern phenomena are (or the insistence that they must be) transparent to any Sinologist or Northerner.

    Other notes @Eidolon:

    # The burden's on You to show that «*Hok-ló» exists or existed in some language or dialect — not on others to show (although I think we have) that it doesn't or didn't.

    # The written forms «福佬» and «河洛» only appeared — on a limited basis — in the age of Chinese nationalism (and thus "institutionalized Meridionalism") in an attempt to "solve" the etymology of Hakka «Hók-ló», Hakka «Hók-láu», Hoklo «Hák-láu», Hoklo «Hóh-ló», etc., w/i a Meridionalist framework. Others having jumped to the same conclusion as You in the past, doesn't prove your collective conclusion. The (relatively uncommon) Meridionalist written forms «福佬» and «河洛» tell us nothing about the vernacular or historical reality.

    # Didn't nobody restrict this inquiry to Taiwan or Taiwanese Hokkien. #STRAWMAN

    # On "strict assumptions about tonal accuracy", see: THE REGULARITY OF SOUND CHANGE.

    # Coincidences are cheap, especially weak ones. There's not much of an association between the people called (in Hakka) Hók-ló and the province called (in Hoklo) Hok-kiàn. Hakkas entered Guangdong from Fujian too, remember? You need intuition before You can say something is "counter-intuitive".

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