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My familiarity is more with Mandarin characters from simplified Chinese. However, I've noticed that there are certain characters that are used for colloquial spoken Cantonese that I just never see as much in Mandarin, including the following examples:

唔好意思 - Here the 唔 is used a lot for negation in Cantonese, but I see it far less in Mandarin.

冇問題 - Again, the 冇 here is used more frequently in Cantonese than I've seen for Mandarin.

你食咗飯未呀 - 咗 is another that looks to be used more in Cantonese.

My question is...is there some historical, cultural, or other reason for why these characters exist more in Cantonese? From what I gather, its similar to how chu nom from Vietnam adopted Chinese character for certain sound/meaning shifts.

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粵語真的是有音無字嗎?

Cantonese retained a lot of ancient characters that modern people no longer recognize. We only know the sound-alike, simplified modern characters that sound like those ancient characters.

Some strange-looking Cantonese characters are created using Cantonese pronunciation to write words imported from other dialects

My speculation:

唔 is possibly a Cantonese pronunciation of 毋 (meaning 'not') in another dialect or ancient Chinese pronunciation

冇 is possibly a Cantonese pronunciation of 無 (meaning 'without') in another dialect or ancient Chinese pronunciation

咗 is possibly a Cantonese pronunciation of 就 (contains the meaning of 'finished') in another dialect or ancient Chinese pronunciation

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