Language Study

I read this article today by author 許松勇:『阿』的語法 – 僅傳統河洛漢語有之.  It was quite interesting. Here are some highlights from Mr. Robert Hsu‘s website on the use of prefix “Ah-” in front of names of people, especially close relatives and acquaintances in the ancient Han and present day Holo language.  Examples include:


  • 殷商宰相伊尹的暱稱叫『阿衡』

  • 東漢末年, 天下3分, 其中曹操的別名叫『阿瞞』, 而劉備的兒子叫『阿斗』

  • 東晉王羲之的7th個兒子王獻之(西元344-386) 稱呼其母親的姊妹叫『阿姨』

  • 魏晉南北朝的北魏人花木蘭, 代父從軍12年回家時 「爺娘聞女來, 出郭相扶將; 阿姊聞妹來, 當戶理紅妝」 (木蘭辭).  花木蘭稱她姊姊叫『阿姊』o 辭句中『將』『妝』2字, 台語押ㄥ/ong韻: 『將』 ㄐ一ㄥ/jiong,『妝』ㄗㄥ/jong; 北京漢語(國語/普通話)押ㄤ/ang韻: 『將』 ㄐ一ㄤ/jiang, 『妝』ㄓㄨㄤ/juang.

  • 唐玄宗李隆基寵愛美女楊貴妃(楊玉環), 他稱她為『阿環』a kuang2.

  • 唐李商隱<驕兒詩>:  「欲爭蛺蝶輕, 未謝柳絮疾. 階前逢阿姊, 六甲頗輸失.」

  • 唐大文豪韓愈(韓昌黎)的女兒過世了, 他為文祭之, 自稱為『阿爹』

  • 史學家李延壽著<南史>和<北史>, 即南朝和北朝歷史, 書中稱老婦人 叫『阿婆』, 稱祖父(爺爺)叫『阿公』, 稱叔父(叔叔)叫『阿叔』

  • 北京話 將『阿姨』改稱『姨媽』,『阿姊』改成『姊姊』, 『阿爹』改稱 『爸爸』, 『阿婆』改稱『婆婆』, 『阿公』 改稱『爺爺』, 『阿叔』改稱『叔 叔』

I have one more example to add to the list of  words with “阿” prefix as in the case of “阿母”.  To this day “阿母” is still used very commonly in the Holo language to refer to one’s mother.  Let’s see some examples of this word in ancient texts.


《後漢書·虞詡列傳》

《玉台新詠·古詩為焦仲卿妻作》:「 府吏得聞之,堂上啟阿母。」

《晉書·潘岳傳》: 「 岳 將詣市,與母別曰:”負阿母”。 」

《臨川女》詩 :「 阿母送我出,阿兄抱我行。」


In the last sentence, we saw use of the word ”阿兄“ to mean brother.  Today, ”阿兄“ (ah hia) is another word used very commonly in the Holo language.  In the next example, the word “阿母” is used interchangeably with “奶媽” to mean mother.


程曰 :「 陛下急收防,無令從阿母求請 」Which translates into:

孫程說 :「 陛下,請馬上捉拿張防,不要讓他去向您的奶媽求請 」


Let’s listen to a song 「落雨聲」 by Taiwanese singer 江蕙.  Pay attention to the use of the word “阿母” in the lyric.


落雨聲 – 江蕙

 

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