|dc.description.abstract||The Hakka people in Hunan were immigrants from Eastern Guangdong and Western Fujian; they moved to Hunan in the Ming and Qing Dynasty through Southern Ganzhou. Separated from their native lands, most of these people now live in Eastern and Southeastern Hunan, which is the transitional language territory between Xiang and Gan Chinese. The exposure to these languages result in the unique phonology of their language. Based on the corpus developed by Li-Zhong Chen and Yi-Lin Dai, this study conducted a thorough examination of the phonological distinctions of Hakka dialect and attempted to reconstruct of its phonological transformation process.
This study was divided into 7 chapters. Chapter 1 (introduction) described the motivation, objective, methods, procedures, literature review, and discussion of this work. Chapter 2 provided an introduction to Hakka people in Hunan, the geology in Hunan, and source areas as well as distribution of Hakka people. In addition, a brief introduction to the phonology of Hakka dialect was also included in Chapter 2. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 examined the consonants, vowels, and tone of Hakka dialect by discussing the evolvement and development of Hakka dialect based on Middle Chinese. Chapter 6 compared the original Hakka Chinese with Xiang and Gan Chinese, trying to find the universal traits that distinguished Hakka dialect by differentiating the original Hakka Chinese from the influences of different dialects. Chapter 7 concluded the study with a summary of phonological characteristics before providing further reviews and suggestions.