The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  The
ancestors of the people speaking it emigrated many years ago from
Fuh-kien, and are still distinguished there by - Page 474
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The Ancestors Of The People Speaking It Emigrated Many Years Ago From Fuh-Kien, And Are Still Distinguished There By The Appellation Hok-Lo, I.E. People From Hok-Kien (Or Fuh-Kien).

This language differs from the Amoy, much as Dutch differs from German, or Portuguese from Spanish.

"In the Island of Hai-nan (Hai-lam), again (setting aside the central aborigines), a language is spoken which differs from Amoy more than that of Swatow, but is more nearly related to these two than to any other of the languages of China.

"In Fuh-chau fu we have another language which is largely spoken in the centre and north of Fuh-kien. This has many points of resemblance to the Amoy, but is quite unintelligible to the Amoy people, with the exception of an occasional word or phrase.

"Hing-hwa fu (Heng-hoa), between Fuh-chau and Chinchew, has also a language of its own, though containing only two Hien districts. It is alleged to be unintelligible both at Amoy and at Fuhchau.

"To the other languages of China that of Amoy is less closely related; yet all evidently spring from one common stock. But that common stock is not the modern Mandarin dialect, but the ancient form of the Chinese language as spoken some 3000 years ago. The so-called Mandarin, far from being the original form, is usually more changed than any. It is in the ancient form of the language (naturally) that the relation of Chinese to other languages can best be traced; and as the Amoy vernacular, which very generally retains the final consonants in their original shape, has been one of the chief sources from which the ancient form of Chinese has been recovered, the study of that vernacular is of considerable importance."

NOTE 7.

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