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Zhou adopted the East Asian lingua franca of Shang

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Forum Name: East Asia
Forum Description: The Far East: China, Korea, Japan and other nearby civilizations
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Topic: Zhou adopted the East Asian lingua franca of Shang
Posted By: literaryClarity
Subject: Zhou adopted the East Asian lingua franca of Shang
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 15:46

Taken from the last pages of Scott DeLancey's paper "The Origins of Sinitic"

Focusing on the highlighted parts, the Zhou were Tibeto-Burmans whom were culturally Sinicized by the Shang demographic before they went on to Tibeto-Burmanize the lingua franca the Shang had used.  The Zhou were using a typologically alien language to which they fused to Shang's lingua franca with genetic components such as pronouns and relict lexical morphologies.

There is a disagreement that Tibeto-Burmans were the original Sinitic and did not accrue cultural knowledge from Shang.  If Tibeto-Burman had been in control of the Sinitic and the Shang had already been Tibeto-Burman what need was there to Tibeto-Burmanize the Shang's lingua franca?


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 16:16
Literary Clarity:
Apart from your dishonest, ad hominem attacks on Easy772, this thread has to do with what?
When discussing the Shang, you may wish to research the Xia, who were the Dynasty before the Shang, and who introduced civilisation to China, albeit in the Central North.

From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.(Chief Joseph)

Posted By: literaryClarity
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2014 at 18:54
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His rationale (not mine) that Cishan-Peiligang farmers were highly unlikely to have produced linguistic imprint.

Wherever Sinitic originates within Sino‑Tibetan, there is a broad consensus that its main spread has  been north–south, from the millet‑growing to the rice‑growing areas and that it has assimilated or overwhelmed a diverse in situ population (e.g. Fitzgerald 1972; Lee 1978; LaPolla 2001). It is therefore unlikely that Sinitic can be identiied with the earliest Neolithic communities in north China such as the Péilígăng or Císhān (6500 BP onwards) and it is more helpful to think of Sinitic as one of Barnes’s (1993: 108) ‘Late Neolithic Elites’ emerging between 3500 and 2000 BC. The notable feature of the end of this period is the appearance of bronze vessels in the archaeological record and it easy  to imagine the inception of the Shang as marking the take‑off of Sinitic. Presumably, a major element in the in situ population was Hmong‑Mien‑speaking, but unless these groups were considerably north of their present location, the agriculturists of Císhān were not Hmong‑Mien either. Van Driem (1998) has canvassed Sichuān as the likely original homeland of Sino‑Tibetan (Tibeto‑Burman in his terms). A  comparable view is supported in a study of Y chromosome haplotypes reported in Su et al. (2000) who argue that proto‑Sino‑Tibetan was spoken in northern Sichuān and dispersed westwards to the Himalayas and east and south to create the Chinese dialects. However, they also argue that this nucleus was the lineal descendant of early Neolithic millet‑growers, which seems highly unlikely. There is no obvious candidate for the ethnolinguistic identity of the millet‑growers of Péilígăng and it may be that they have no linguistic descendants.

It does not matter what subclades were coalescing in great concentration in that area if they didn't immediately evolve Sinitic linguistics, which undoubtedly transformed into lingua franca used during Shang.  Chinese civilization's urheimat, not the whole Sino-Tibetan affiliation was designed around the premise that culture could be spread by civilization, through language and writing just as any other civilization had.  Without linguistic descendants how would we even begin to talk about culture, or the records of that culture?  I don't think I have to belabor the point so many linguistic scholars have already made which distinguish Sinitics apart from Tibeto-Burmans.  Tibeto-Burman like the Austronesian which it split from was agglutinated speech, moreover it is SOV syntax.  Sinitic is monosyllabic and SVO syntax.  How do you expect to write Shang oracle while using agglutinated speech?

Sinicization took place as early as 3000 BC, by the people of Liangzhu.


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