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Standard Zhuang (
autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used ...
: (pre-1982: ;
Sawndip Zhuang characters or ''Sawndip'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to ch ...

Sawndip
: ); ) is the
official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/or employer, public or legally ...

official
standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standard A technical standard is an established norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task. It is usually a formal document that establishes un ...
form of the
Zhuang languages 220px, Books of Zhuang language The Zhuang languages (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym * Autonym (botany), an automatically created infrageneric ...
, which are a branch of the
Northern Tai languages The Northern Tai languages are an established branch of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the r ...
. Its pronunciation is based on that of the
Yongbei Zhuang Yongbei Zhuang is a Zhuang variety including the dialects of Yongning North, Binyang, Hengxian, and Pingguo dialects. 'Yongbei' 邕北 is Chinese and here means North of the Yongjiang river; in other contexts it can stand for the north of Yongning ...
dialect of Shuangqiao Town in
Wuming District Wuming District (; Standard Zhuang Standard Zhuang (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym * Autonym (botany), an automatically created infrageneri ...
,
Guangxi Guangxi (; alternately romanized as Kwanghsi; ; za, Gvangjsih), officially the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR), is an autonomous region An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, uni ...

Guangxi
with some influence from Fuliang, also in Wuming District, while its vocabulary is based mainly on northern dialects. The official standard covers both spoken and written Zhuang. It is the national standard of the Zhuang languages, though in
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Ku ...

Yunnan
a local standard is used.


Phonology

The following displays the phonological features of the Wuming and northern dialects of Zhuang:


Consonants

Among other northern dialects of Zhuang, may be heard as a or sound. Absent consonant produces .


Vowels

[] only occurs in diphthong or triphthong sounds. Among other northern Zhuang dialects, // have shortened allophones of [].


Tones

Standard Zhuang has six tones, reduced to two (numbered 3 and 6) in
checked syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of Phone (phonetics), speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants). Syllables are often consi ...
s: The sentence '' ()'' "Teach thee to climb on a horse to cross a river" is often used to help people remember the six tones. Tones for open syllables (not terminated by a closing consonant) are written at end of syllables.


Orthography


Classification

Standard Zhuang is an artificial mixture of several
Zhuang languages 220px, Books of Zhuang language The Zhuang languages (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym * Autonym (botany), an automatically created infrageneric ...
. The lexicon is based almost entirely on various
Northern Zhuang
Northern Zhuang
dialects. The phonology is essentially that of Shuangqiao, with the addition of ''ny, ei, ou'' from Fuliang, both located in
Wuming County Wuming District (; Standard Zhuang Standard Zhuang (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also k ...
. Zhang (1999), along with other Chinese scholars, classifies Shuangqiao dialect as
Northern Tai The Northern Tai languages are an established branch of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the r ...

Northern Tai
(Northern Zhuang). Shuangqiao was chosen for the standard pronunciation in the 1950s because it was considered to be Northern Zhuang but with characteristics of Southern Zhuang.


Domains of use

Standard Zhuang is used most frequently in domains where written Zhuang was previously seldom used, such as newspapers, translations of communist literature and prose. It is one of the official languages of China that appears on bank notes; all Chinese laws must be published in it, and it is used for bilingual signs. Whilst used for adult literacy programs, it is currently only taught in a very small percent of primary and secondary schools in Zhuang-speaking areas. In less formal domains the traditional writing system
Sawndip Zhuang characters or ''Sawndip'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to ch ...

Sawndip
is more often used and for folk songs Sawndip remains the predominant genre with most standard Zhuang versions being based on Sawndip versions.


Official examination

In 2012 the first Zhuang Proficiency Test took place which 328 people took and 58% passed.


Differences from Wuming Zhuang

While Standard Zhuang is largely pronounced as Shuangqiao Wuming dialect, there is a degree of purposeful dialect mixture in vocabulary:


Writing systems

In 1957, the People's Republic of China introduced an alphabetical script for the newly standardized Zhuang language. The alphabet was based on the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is an alphabetic An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequ ...

Latin script
, expanded with modified
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is ...
and
IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script Latin script, also ...
letters. A reform in 1982 replaced both the Cyrillic and IPA letters with Latin letters to facilitate printing and computer use. These alphabetical scripts are part of Standard Zhuang. The Old Zhuang script, ''
Sawndip Zhuang characters or ''Sawndip'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to ch ...

Sawndip
'', is a
Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Chinese character
–based writing system, similar to Vietnamese ''
chữ nôm Chữ Nôm (, , literally 'Southern characters') is a logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language by means of a writing system. Written language is an invention in that it mu ...
''. Some ''Sawndip'' logograms were borrowed directly from Chinese, while others were created from the existing components of Chinese characters. ''Sawndip'' has been used for over one thousand years for various Zhuang dialects. Unlike Chinese, ''Sawndip'' has never been standardized and authors may differ in their choices of characters or spelling and it is not currently part of the official writing system.


Example

First article of the 1948 United Nations'
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
:


References


Sources cited

*


External links


Sawcuengh People.com
Official Standard Zhuang version of the ''
People's Daily The ''People's Daily'' () is the largest newspaper group in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to ...
'' website {{Guangxi topics
Languages of China {{Commons cat, Languages of China Chinese culture Languages by country, China Languages of East Asia, China Languages of Asia by country, China ...
Tai languages