文章摘要
许巧云,李 彬.20世纪80年代以来藏缅语《白狼歌》研究述评[J].民族学刊,2019,10(2):87-95, 125-128
20世纪80年代以来藏缅语《白狼歌》研究述评
A Review of Studies since the 1980’s on the Tibeto-Burman Song of the White Wolf
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.02.09
中文关键词: 白狼歌  语言系属  语词解读  族属称谓
英文关键词: the Song of the White Wolf  language classification  word interpretation  ethnic attribution
基金项目:
作者单位
许巧云 南京师范大学文学院西南民族大学彝学学院 
李 彬 云南师范大学文学院 
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中文摘要:
      自20世纪20年代至80年代,众多学者分别从不同角度对《白狼歌》进行了研究,但因“远夷之语,辞意难正”,“方言转译难明,声读今古有异”,至今《白狼歌》的诸多问题(语言性质、民族归属等)还未取得一致性的意见。80年代以来,一些学者在前人的研究基础上,利用古音学研究的最新成果,又对《白狼歌》作了一番深入的探讨。现对几家有代表性的研究成果作一述评,以期发现研究中的问题,为以后的进一步研究提供参考。
英文摘要:
      From the 1920s to the 1980s, many scholars analyzed the “Song of the White Wolf” (Bai Lang Ge) from different perspectives. However, it is not easy to interpret it because “it is written in the language of one of the ethnic minorities from a long time ago, and “the words and meanings are difficult to clarify; in addition, the dialects are difficult to understand, and the pronunciations of the characters have changed from ancient to present times”. Therefore, up to now, there has been no consensus with regard to many issues, for example, the classification of the language, or the ethnic identity of the people, etc. Since the 1980s, a group of scholars, on the basis of previous studies, and by making use of the latest achievements in the study of historical phonology, have conducted in-depth research on the “Song of the White Wolf”. This article reviews the results of several representative investigations, in order to identify the issues in the research, and provide a reference for the next steps of research. The latest research on the Song of the White Wolf can be seen from three perspectives: 1) Identifying the ethnic attribution of the Song of the White Wolf; 2) classifying the language of the Song of the White Wolf -which also happens to be the focus of most of the research, and 3. focusing on the semantic interpretation of the Song of the White Wolf. 1. Identifying the ethnic attribution of the Song of the White Wolf. There have been long debates on the ethnic attribution of the Song of the White Wolf. Among them, Wang Jingru’s research has been the most influential. Wang (1932) believed that the Chinese characters lou rang (偻让) used in the “White Wolf” language was the self-designated name used by the “White Wolf” people for their clan. He also found some examples of the ancient “Yi language” (夷语, or language of the Yi Barbarians) in the zhongguo fei hanyu yuyan huibian (Chinese non-Chinese Language Compilation). He then compared them with 18 characters from characters in the Song of the White Wolf, and found that they were roughly the same, which seems to establish that characters read as “klou sou” is the term for “White Wolf”. Subsequently, Chen Zongxiang and Deng Wenfeng (1979) agreed that Wang’s comparative study was very promising. Ma Xueliang (1981) lent further confirmation to Wang Jingru’s view based upon the pronunciation of what the Yi ethnic group calls itself today in the yi language, which is “tru-su” and “klou-sou” (彝族). Yan Hua (1983) put forward an opinion opposite to that of Wang Jingru and Ma Xueliang. He made his rebuttal based upon four aspects: terms of self-designation, phonetics, semantics and modern location. Yan Hua believes that the language found in the Song of the White Wolf belongs to the Pumi sub-group. However, we consider it somewhat arbitrary to draw conclusions based only on a phonetic comparison of individual words. It is impossible to determine the specific branch to which the White Wolf language belongs by a phonetic comparison of only one or several words. In addition, Yan Hua used the area in which the White Wolf tribe was supposed to be active as evidence to determine the branch of the language they spoke. However, he neglected such factors as migration and language integration. One of the results of a migration process was the integration of different languages among the different groups, and different linguistic communities absorbed language elements from each other. Therefore, it is inappropriate to judge the area of activity of the White Wolf tribe as that which coincides with the area of today’s Pumi language speakers. Liu Yaohan and Chen Jiujin (1985) discussed the ethnicity of the “White Wolf” tribe from the perspective of their customs, tribal names, and geographical movement. Using this in combination with historical records and documents, and extensive field investigations with today’s ethnic minorities, they confirmed the translated name “White Wolf”. They believed that the “Xifan” were the direct descendants of the “White Wolf” of the Han dynasty. However, this research does not take into account the problem of errors in the transmission of literary records, a common phenomenon in historical communication. It is impossible to get reliable conclusions only by relying on literary evidence. As such, these documents can only be regarded as an auxiliary tool, and we must ultimately rely on linguistic arguments. Ma Xueliang (1986) considered “lou rang” (偻让) to be the self-designation of the Yi (彝族). This is based on the names for the Yi since ancient times. Similarly, Yang Fengjiang (1987) believes that “White Wolf” in the Yi language means “mountain tiger”. The Yi take the “tiger” as their totem, so, the White Wolf is the ancestor of the Yi, and then the White Wolf belongs to the Yi language branch. However, as we have discussed above, there are still some risks in determining a generic appellation by using only one or two words. 2. Classifying the language found in the Song of the White Wolf Seen from many studies, the White Wolf language should belong to the Tibeto-Burman language group. However, the distribution of Tibeto-Burman speakers is quite wide, and there are many branches within Tibeto-Burman language family. There were some discussions of this issue in academic discourse before the 1980s. Ma Xueliang, and Dai Qingxia (1982) selected 26 words from the White Wolf Song which have a homologous relationship with Tibeto-Burman speaking ethnic groups, and when they compared them with Tibetan, Burmese and 19 other Tibeto-Burman languages, they discovered that the White Wolf language is closer to the Yi and Burmese language sub-branches (including Burmese, Achang, etc.). Furthermore, judging from the reconstruction of pronunciation, the White Wolf language seems to be closer to the Burmese language. Ma Xueliang’s research has some limitations; for example, besides these 26 words, he cannot explain the origin and differences of other words. In addition, although, judging from its phonetic reconstruction, the pronunciation of the White Wolf language is closer to Burmese, the article does not further interpret to which sub-language it belongs. Later, Zhengzhang Shangfang (1993) interpreted the full text of the Song of the White Wolf by virtue of the latest results of historical phonetic research, and compared the Chinese phonetic records of the White Wolf language, word by word, with both the Burmese and Tibetan languages. He concluded that the White Wolf language should be a proto Burmese language, which, to some extent, is very close to the Burmese language. Zhengzhang Shangfang and Ma Xueliang basically hold the same view, but that of Zhengzhang Shangfang is more comprehensive in its investigation. He abandons the “characteristic word” approach, and chooses to compare the full text. As a result, he provides more detailed conclusions and a clearer scope for the language classification of White Wolf language. Huang Yilu (2001) puts forward another opinion. Huang believes that the Song of the White Wolf belongs to Zhuang language. He compared the phonetics, vocabulary, grammar and semantics of White Wolf language with today’s Zhuang language, and believes that the Song of the White Wolf is a song from the ancient Yue people. However, the shortcoming of Huang’s phonetic reconstruction seriously affects the reliability of his conclusion. In order to avoid the drawbacks of Huang’s phonetic reconstruction, Wu Anqi (2007) reconstructed the phonetic system of the Chinese spoken in the Eastern Han dynasty, and then used it to make a phonetic reconstruction of the Chinese characters in the Song of the White Wolf. According to the results of the reconstruction and some grammatical rules of Proto Yi-Burmese language, he believes that the Song of the White Wolf was a Proto- Yi-Burmese language two thousand years ago, and it is an ancestor language or a related language of present day Yi-Burmese languages. 3. The problem of deciphering the meaning of the words in the Song of the White Wolf. Liu Yaohan and Chen Jiujin (1985), based on the phonetic system of the Pumi lanauge, reached a conclusion that the author of the Song of the White Wolf, i. e. the “White Wolf King”, was not satisfied with the ruler of Han dynasty. This explanation is contrary to the records found in the hou han shu (the Book of the Later Han Dynasty). These contradictory statements are confusing. The crux of the problem lies in his interpretation of the content of the Song of the White Wolf found in Pumi language, which is similar to that of Yang Zhaohui. Yang (1987) compared the existing Pumi language found in northwestern Yunnan and southwestern Sichuan with ancient “Yi words” (夷言) in the Song of the White Wolf by combining historical documents and field investigation. Yang believes that the transliterations of the Chinese characters are phonetically ancient Pumi. Yang’s approach exposed the problem of identifying the sub-branch of the language of the White Wolf in advance, and then matching today’s Pumi with so-called ancient or Proto-Pumi. As we have said above, it more than 2, 000 years have passed since the Han dynasty. No matter whether if it is the “Chinese language” or “Yi language”, their phonetic systems have undergone many changes, so, it is impossible to pursue a complete translation (although this method is more rigorous). Chen Zongxiang and Deng Wenfeng (1987) when they interpreted the sentence “lou rang long dong” (偻让龙洞), they believed that “rang” meant “black tribal group”. Chen’s perspective is very unique, exiting from some of the limitations of previous studies, and gives people a sense of something refreshing. However, Chen’s argument also needs to solve the problem of the relationship between “lou rang” and “White Wolf”. Huang Zhenhua (1998), based on the research of Wang Jingru, continued to interpret the White Wolf language as the Xixia language. Luo Qijun (2005) further uncovered some pure phonetic characters amidst the transliterated characters. However, it is regrettable that Huang used the phonetic transcription of kangxi zidian (Kangxi Dictionary) or shiyong da cidian (Practical Dictionary) to reconstruct the phonetic transcription of the Chinese characters in the White Wolf language. Wu Anqi (2007) interpreted the Song of the White Wolf verbatim, but this explanation is not verbatim of the meaning, it centered on a theme. He thinks that the translator of the poem put together various ballads and nursery rhymes. Although Wu’s interpretation is not consistent with the Book of Later Han Dynasty, this method is relatively novel, and it provides a good angle for the study of the Song of the White Wolf. It has been nearly 2000 years since the Song of the White Wolf came into being, but the research on it is uninterrupted. From the original collation of songs and lyrics to the discussion of ethnicity, the characteristics of the poetry, language features, language classification and so on, various scholars have conducted multi-pronged research on it by combining ethnology, history, linguistics, archaeology and so on. With the progress of research and the latest achievements of relevant disciplines, the interpretation of the Song of the white Wolf Song will become more and more clear.
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