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Thread: Chinese V5 Map Results- link between Cantonese speakers and Taiwan

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    Chinese V5 Map Results- link between Cantonese speakers and Taiwan

    I've noticed quite a few Cantonese-speaking Chinese Americans are matched to both Guangdong province and Taiwan- I've seen at least 2 unrelated Cantonese people score Taiwan as a Chinese ancestry map location.

    For those of you who don't know, Taiwan was mostly settled by South Chinese settlers from southern Fujian province (which is Hokkien/Minnan speaking), and eastern Guangdong province (which is Minnan and Hakka speaking). Cantonese speakers are from central and western Guangdong province and are noticeably more Dai-shifted than Minnan and Hakka speakers, both in China and among the diaspora. Taiwanese are probably slightly aborigine-mixed on average, but they score very similarly to Chinese nationals from Fujian, and tend to be more Northern Han-shifted than Cantonese speakers in general. So I'm not sure how/why some Cantonese speakers have a relatively strong connection with ethnically Hokkien and Hakka Taiwan.

    Has anyone else noticed interesting patterns with ethnic Chinese ancestry maps on 23andMe?

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    my mom and i get Guangdong for our ancestry comp sub-regions:



    from what i read on wikipedia, the chinese who readily assimilated and mixed into the native filipino population and became essentialy filipino during historical times were Cantonese, while the most recent arrivals who mostly maintained their original chinese identity and mostly kept to themselses were fujian:
    Cantonese people

    Chinese Filipinos who are classified as Cantonese people (廣府人; Yale Gwngfyhn) have ancestors who came from Guangdong province and speak one of the Cantonese dialects. They settled down in Metro Manila, as well as in major cities of Luzon such as Angeles, Naga, and Olongapo. Many also settled in the provinces of Northern Luzon (e.g., Benguet, Cagayan, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte).

    The Cantonese (Guangdongnese) people (Keńg-tang-lng, Guǎngdōngren) form roughly 1.2% of the unmixed ethnic Chinese population of the Philippines, with large numbers of descendants originally from the peasant villages of Taishan, Macau, and nearby areas. Many are not as economically prosperous as the Minnan (Hokkienese). Barred from owning land during the Spanish Colonial Period, most Cantonese were into the service industry, working as artisans, barbers, herbal physicians, porters (coulis), soap makers, and tailors. They also had no qualms in intermarrying with the local Filipinos and most of their descendants are now considered Filipinos, rather than Chinese or Chinese mestizos. During the early 1800s, Chinese migration from Cantonese-speaking areas in China to the Philippines trickled to almost zero, as migrants from Hokkienese-speaking areas gradually increased, explaining the gradual decrease of the Cantonese population. Presently, they are into small-scale entrepreneurship and in education.

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    I'm a Taiwanese American with grandparents from mainland China, and conversely I'm getting Guangdong as a highly likely match. The only link to there I can find is my grandmother, whose parents were both half-Hakka. However, Anhui doesn't show up as a likely match in my results at all despite my grandfather's family being definitively from there (shows in the family register). If there's any actual link, I wouldn't doubt it to be a Hakka connection, as it seems they had significant pre-modern populations in central Guangdong, particular in Guangzhou.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takawogi View Post
    I'm a Taiwanese American with grandparents from mainland China, and conversely I'm getting Guangdong as a highly likely match. The only link to there I can find is my grandmother, whose parents were both half-Hakka. However, Anhui doesn't show up as a likely match in my results at all despite my grandfather's family being definitively from there (shows in the family register). If there's any actual link, I wouldn't doubt it to be a Hakka connection, as it seems they had significant pre-modern populations in central Guangdong, particular in Guangzhou.
    Interesting, how many of your grandparents were born in mainland China? Were any of them from Tainan or Kaohsiung? I think that's where in Taiwan the Cantonese results I saw had the best match.

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    Quote Originally Posted by okarinaofsteiner View Post
    Interesting, how many of your grandparents were born in mainland China? Were any of them from Tainan or Kaohsiung? I think that's where in Taiwan the Cantonese results I saw had the best match.
    None of them were from Tainan or Kaohsiung, but that's the other weird thing going on with my results, since Tainan shows up as my strongest match in Taiwan. Only one of my grandmothers was born in Taiwan, and her family is all from Miaoli Prefecture, many of those lines tracing back to Meixian in NE Guangdong (aka the Hakka region). My other grandparents are all from mainland China, in particular from Anhui, Jiangsu, and Sichuan, which don't seem like regions where marriages to Cantonese people would have been all that common. I can't exclude any of my ancestors being from Guangdong, but I assume that the further back you go, the less likely that people travelled to difference provinces except for well-documented settlements/migrations/trade/etc, which seems like they would be important events in family history that we might have heard of.

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    When I lived in Taiwan I read a few articles discussing the probability that the Taiwanese are pretty much all descendants of the Aboriginals because the Aboriginals were essentially forced to take Chinese names and thus were from that point on declared as Chinese in the censuses. These articles (which were coming from a very pro-separation from China standpoint) made the claim that the historical censuses don't add up in the case of Taiwan, and the modern Taiwanese must be much more Aboriginal descended than previously thought. However, when I asked my Taiwanese friends and colleagues about their heritage they often claimed a Hakka (I was living in Hsinchu area) or a Fujian descent, occasionally someone claimed a tiny bit of Aborignal but it wasn't much, and when I looked into the DNA tests of the Taiwanese that I could find online it didn't appear that there was much Aboriginal admixture in the results I saw, if any. I still wonder about this - is it because they really aren't that Aboriginal or is it that the Aboriginal ethnicity is very similar coming from an overlapping ancient population and thus goes relatively undetected? I'd think it would appear in many cases as looking like DNA from the Philippines. One thing that I found interesting was that they told me about the similarity between the Cantonese and Taiwanese languages (I don't speak these or Chinese so I'm trying my best to Anglify) for example, happy new year being something like "Gong hay fat choy" in Cantonese and "Gong shi fat chai" in Taiwanese vs "Shee-nian-quai-le" in Chinese. My friends told me Canto and Taiwanese weren't that different so I suppose it's not totally strange seeing Taiwanese match the Cantonese references, especially considering that (I'm guessing given the locations of the major cities in the Canto areas) there are bound to be way more Guangdong reference samples available than say, Fujianese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    When I lived in Taiwan I read a few articles discussing the probability that the Taiwanese are pretty much all descendants of the Aboriginals because the Aboriginals were essentially forced to take Chinese names and thus were from that point on declared as Chinese in the censuses. These articles (which were coming from a very pro-separation from China standpoint) made the claim that the historical censuses don't add up in the case of Taiwan, and the modern Taiwanese must be much more Aboriginal descended than previously thought. However, when I asked my Taiwanese friends and colleagues about their heritage they often claimed a Hakka (I was living in Hsinchu area) or a Fujian descent, occasionally someone claimed a tiny bit of Aborignal but it wasn't much, and when I looked into the DNA tests of the Taiwanese that I could find online it didn't appear that there was much Aboriginal admixture in the results I saw, if any. I still wonder about this - is it because they really aren't that Aboriginal or is it that the Aboriginal ethnicity is very similar coming from an overlapping ancient population and thus goes relatively undetected? I'd think it would appear in many cases as looking like DNA from the Philippines. One thing that I found interesting was that they told me about the similarity between the Cantonese and Taiwanese languages (I don't speak these or Chinese so I'm trying my best to Anglify) for example, happy new year being something like "Gong hay fat choy" in Cantonese and "Gong shi fat chai" in Taiwanese vs "Shee-nian-quai-le" in Chinese. My friends told me Canto and Taiwanese weren't that different so I suppose it's not totally strange seeing Taiwanese match the Cantonese references, especially considering that (I'm guessing given the locations of the major cities in the Canto areas) there are bound to be way more Guangdong reference samples available than say, Fujianese.
    For what it's worth, my ancestry compositions from multiple sites don't seem to include any Formosan/Austronesian, but my mtDNA haplogroup still seems to more than likely reflect some Taiwanese aboriginal ancestry. It could be the case the reference sample for Taiwanese Aboriginals is not good enough to distinguish between them and "Han" Chinese and SE China minority groups. Keep in mind that the Austronesian population may only contain a subset of the genetic variations present among native Formosans, so it is possible that some groups have defining traits that contradict other Austronesian samples but are otherwise still close enough to the ethnic population of ancient south China. But this is of course speculative as well. Also, from a linguistic perspective, Cantonese and Mandarin are likely to be more closely related to one another than either is to any of the Min varieties, including Taiwanese Hokkien.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takawogi View Post
    For what it's worth, my ancestry compositions from multiple sites don't seem to include any Formosan/Austronesian, but my mtDNA haplogroup still seems to more than likely reflect some Taiwanese aboriginal ancestry. It could be the case the reference sample for Taiwanese Aboriginals is not good enough to distinguish between them and "Han" Chinese and SE China minority groups. Keep in mind that the Austronesian population may only contain a subset of the genetic variations present among native Formosans, so it is possible that some groups have defining traits that contradict other Austronesian samples but are otherwise still close enough to the ethnic population of ancient south China. But this is of course speculative as well. Also, from a linguistic perspective, Cantonese and Mandarin are likely to be more closely related to one another than either is to any of the Min varieties, including Taiwanese Hokkien.
    Not my area of expertise so I'll take your word for it. Would love to see a language tree or something showing the relationships of the many Chinese languages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takawogi View Post
    None of them were from Tainan or Kaohsiung, but that's the other weird thing going on with my results, since Tainan shows up as my strongest match in Taiwan. Only one of my grandmothers was born in Taiwan, and her family is all from Miaoli Prefecture, many of those lines tracing back to Meixian in NE Guangdong (aka the Hakka region). My other grandparents are all from mainland China, in particular from Anhui, Jiangsu, and Sichuan, which don't seem like regions where marriages to Cantonese people would have been all that common. I can't exclude any of my ancestors being from Guangdong, but I assume that the further back you go, the less likely that people travelled to difference provinces except for well-documented settlements/migrations/trade/etc, which seems like they would be important events in family history that we might have heard of.
    I suspect Guangdong is overrepresented in the 23andMe database, so most individuals of Chinese descent will probably get matched to Guangdong regardless of their actual ancestry. On 23andMe, I also matched many provinces that are farther south than where my on-paper ancestry is from. My 3 Han grandparents are from northern Jiangxi, southern Anhui, and Tianjin, while my other grandparent is an ethnic Manchu from Northeast China.

    My WeGene results also suggest that my Han ancestry is relatively southern, since my Northern Han to Southern Han ratio is quite close to the southern Anhui average. However, my GEDmatch calculator results suggest that I'm autosomally shifted more towards the NE Asian end of the Chinese cline overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    I still wonder about this - is it because they really aren't that Aboriginal or is it that the Aboriginal ethnicity is very similar coming from an overlapping ancient population and thus goes relatively undetected?
    To be fair, you only need 1 aboriginal ancestor out of 10,000 from 10-15 generations ago to have aboriginal DNA. The initial descendants of the first Chinese settlers were probably of mixed descent, but their aboriginal ancestry was likely diluted by later waves of Chinese migration during the Qing Dynasty. Also, there's archaeological and historical evidence that at least some of the pre-Chinese inhabitants of Fujian province spoke Austronesian languages and/or had Austronesian affinities. Most Southern Chinese groups are somewhat shifted towards SE Asians relative to Northern Chinese, although this is more obvious with Cantonese and Taiwanese speakers.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    One thing that I found interesting was that they told me about the similarity between the Cantonese and Taiwanese languages (I don't speak these or Chinese so I'm trying my best to Anglify) for example, happy new year being something like "Gong hay fat choy" in Cantonese and "Gong shi fat chai" in Taiwanese vs "Shee-nian-quai-le" in Chinese. My friends told me Canto and Taiwanese weren't that different so I suppose it's not totally strange seeing Taiwanese match the Cantonese references, especially considering that (I'm guessing given the locations of the major cities in the Canto areas) there are bound to be way more Guangdong reference samples available than say, Fujianese.
    The Mandarin equivalent is "gong xi fa cai"

    Most of the similarities between Taiwanese and Cantonese are because they're preserved older sounds from ancient stages of Chinese and have a greater number of tones. To my ears Cantonese and Taiwanese sound just as different from each other as either does with Mandarin. Linguistically, Cantonese and Mandarin are probably more closely related to each other than to Taiwanese or any of the other Chinese varieties native to Fujian.
    Last edited by okarinaofsteiner; 09-28-2019 at 07:25 PM.

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