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徐 has initial 邪, which I don't immediate see the connection with [m]. 徐 has rhyme 鱼, which mostly developed into u(ü) and a. I cannot think of how the mo1 sound can be developed.

徐 is 形声字 (Phono-semantic), 从彳余声. 余 has multiple readings, one of them has initial 定 (https://zi.tools/zi/%E4%BD%99) in 集韻. The Vietnamese initial of 徐 is t.


BACKGROUND

I read somewhere that the first character of mo1so1 (Sichuan Mandarin, usually written as 摸索/摩梭) is originally(本字) 徐, which means slow. The meaning makes sense, and the whole word is 偏正 and roughly means slow, or more accurately 磨叽,磨蹭.

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    Do you have the reference that talks about it? The only spellings I've seen are: 摸梭 / 摸索 / 摸𢱢 / 摩挱.
    – Mou某
    Apr 13, 2023 at 10:18
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    There is a related lexeme in Cantonese, 嚤 mo1 in Jyutping and Yale. E.g. 佢行得好嚤 (= 他走得很慢).
    – Michaelyus
    Apr 13, 2023 at 11:00
  • @Mou某 Still looking.. I read it in some paper. Those are also they the spellings I've seen. I put 摩梭 as well because we connect it with the 摩梭 (same pronunciation) people and developed another figurative meaning.
    – lilysirius
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:51
  • @Michaelyus Thanks for the info. Sichuan Mandarin also has a similar usage, e.g. 他好嚤哦=他好慢啊. I think they're the same word.
    – lilysirius
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:56
  • @lilysirius Do you have a copy of the article? Oh, you said you're still looking for it?
    – Mou某
    Apr 13, 2023 at 20:32

1 Answer 1

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the standard is xú, and I don't even see any other alternate pronunciations listed in the dictionary-- there is always rooms for error, but generally even uncommon/outdated alternate pronunciations are listed if recognized. Therefore I would believe that if there is an alternate pronunciation based on a mo sound in sochuan area it is likely not mandarin based. perhaps it entered sichuan mandarin from a different language-- assuming it isn't sichuanese itself, as its important to note that sichuanese is a distinct language from standard mandarin: the same way portuguese and spanish are distinct languages while in the same family.

Also on a possible note, could it be that the character originally being 徐 does not mean it was originally pronounced mō? I could be missing information not in your post but I don't see why the older character version of the vocab would have the same pronunciation. It would make more sense to be different.

If it helps, both of the characters you listed as current ways to write it are mo in standard mandarin as well (with varying tones).

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  • I didn't tag Mandarin because I am looking for answers in the Chinese languages. Michaelyus provided a usage in Cantonese. Sichuan Mandarin also has that usage. They are likely the same word. I should have written that the claim is that 徐 is 本字. That's what I meant for 'originally:. Sorry for the confusion. It doesn't mean that 徐 is originally pronounced mo, but the sound mo is developed from its original sound.
    – lilysirius
    Apr 13, 2023 at 14:44

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