This is absolutely nonsense ! Unless you have solid evidence that this occur, we shall ignore this possibility.
I read that there are some so-called "越人" in some mountains near Fuzhou, in Fujian or Zhejiang. The females always bringing knife on the headdress, as if they would have revenge (e.g. for dead male relatives) or something.
I lost the link of this; it's in Chinese; I encountered when I tried to search for "蠻話" or something.
Don't take my words yet, as I have yet to find the link again.
Just look at Annam (North Vietnam) which was under Chinese rule longer than Fujian province counting to the end of Tang dynasty.
Was all the male in North Vietnam slaughtered during the Tang dynasty ?
Would you really think that conquerors repeat their doings for every conquered land?
For example, Genghis Khan slaughtered Tartar males but not the same thing for other conquered Mongolian-steppe tribes.
simply said, it is a case of using some similar sounding characters to represent a fully colloquial word and then in later times fitted with a logical sounding etymology to explain the word.
Those are indeed a subset of "folk etymology" [taking a definition according to wikipedia], though it "stands out" in Chinese because of the usage of characters.
Whether ' 唐部' or '打捕' it is the same, I feel the min word for man (dapo or similar sounding words) will not be satisfactorily explaining as well the word for woman 'cabo' which i believe are ultimately from the same root. I am interested though on how Fuzhou for man is pronounced is the nasal ending for 唐 really there.
Fuzhou having the nasal ending will weaken the claim that word for "man" and "woman" are from the same root.
My theory on the origin of the claim of relatedness of "male" and "female" is that Taiwan people (not mainland Hokkien) changed the male one due to influence of the word of female.
Anyway, this is pretty similar to how e.g. the "s" in English "island" got there because Englishmen thought it was related to Old French "isle", or how "cockroach" got its English reading from "cucaracha" because people thought the name was related to names of 2 other animals. So it's also likely just folk etymology.
[It's interesting to see how the word "female" in English was influenced by "male" which was actually not etymologically related: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/female
. After "masle" (from Latin masculus) became "malle" (-s- sound gone) and went into English vocabulary, it started to influence the other word "femelle" (from Latin femella)
Now suppose the Minnan word for male was originally with nasalization "ta~po", then when the "~" is gone became close enough to interact with the word of "female".]
by the way, teochew (which is a minnan dialect) has the same word for woman as Fuzhou against Hokkien so 'bo' isn't exactly universal in minnan too
So in this case only the "Ca" is cognate throughout Minnan.
One would wonder if "Ca" should be a house (so that it's comparable to English "housewife") or farm or something if male were 打捕.
Except that, was 打 actually pronounced as 'Ting' in old Hokkien ? Why was the sound changed to 'Ta' instead ?
"Ting" is definitely literary reading and therefore Middle or post-Middle Chinese.
In a database I found a 丁 which is ta~ (tann) which is only one nasalization away from plain ta, though I have a lack of context.
I will just quote literary-colloquial pair of this rhyme correspondence.
丁 ting1 tann1 侹 thing2 thann2 咑 ting2 tann2 娗 ting7 tann7 娗 ting7 thann7 打 ting2 tann2 挺 thing2 thann2 明 bing5 hann5 訂 ting3 tann3
I searched Twblg dictionary, and indeed the "打" there has nasalization.
Nasalization in colloquial Minnan usually corresponds to "lost" nasal consonant endings e.g.:
[previous -ng] 驚 kia~, 行 kia~
[previous -m] 三 sa~,
[previous -n] 滿 mua~.
The nasalizations are still pronounced even though many non-native speakers can't really hear them http://en.wikipedia....iki/Nasal_vowel
Edited by qrasy, 13 October 2011 - 10:34 AM.