Early Cantonese Colloquial Texts: A Database
As a by-product of Prof. Samuel Cheung’s research project “The Cantonese Language: Its Past as Reconstructed from Early Cantonese Texts” (RGC Project No. HKUST/CUHK 6055/02H), the “Early Cantonese Colloquial Texts: A Database” includes seven texts, from Robert Morrison’s Vocabulary of the Canton Dialect (1828) to D. Ball’s Cantonese Made Easy (1883, 1888, 1907 and 1924).  The texts themselves, searchable according to specified Chinese characters or segments in both Cantonese and Middle Chinese pronunciations, render the database an indispensible tool for research into early Cantonese.
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Early Cantonese Tagged Database
As a by-product of Prof. Carine Yiu’s research project “Directional Verbs in Early Cantonese Colloquial Texts: A Study of Metaphorical Extension and Word Order Change” (RGC Project No. 644608), the Early Cantonese Tagged Database includes ten texts, from the Cantonese translation of the St. Mark’s Gospel (1872) to A. Fulton’s Progressive and Idiomatic Sentences in Cantonese Colloquial (1931).  The database is another important tool in the study of early Cantonese, especially since the texts are searchable according to a set of syntactic categories in the tagging.
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A Bibliography of Electronic Texts of Early Cantonese
Libraries around the world have been producing e-books of rare or out-of-print items in their collections, including missionary and pedagogical texts written in major dialects of Chinese. A list of electronic texts of early Cantonese available on the internet is given here, starting from Robert Morrison's A Grammar of Chinese Language (1815), in which a chapter "Of the Provincial Dialect" (pp. 259-67) talks about Cantonese, and Volume III "Chinese Words and Phrases" of A Vocabulary of the Canton Dialect (1828), which glosses common sayings and expressions in Cantonese.

Year 1815
Author  Morrison, Robert
Title
A Grammar of Chinese Language
Chinese Title
通用漢言之法
Imprint Serampore: The Mission Press
Descript. vii + 280 pages
Link To view this book
Note The section “Of the Provincial Dialect” (pp. 259-267) gives information on Cantonese.

Year 1828
Author  Morrison, Robert
Title
A Vocabulary of the Canton Dialect
Additional Title Part III Chinese Words and Phrases
Chinese Title
廣東省土話字彙
Imprint Macao: East India Company’s Press
Descript. 3 volumes
Link To view this book
Note The section “Of the Provincial Dialect” (pp. 259-267) gives information on Cantonese.

Year 1831
Author  Klaproth, Heinrich Julius von
Title
Asia Polyglotta
Imprint Paris: Verlag von Heideloff & Campe
Edition 2nd edition
Descript. xvi + 384 pages
Link To view this book
Note Cantonese pronunciation for a list of words (pp. 368-378)

Year 1841
Author  [Anonymous]
Title
A Lexilogus of the English, Malay, and Chinese Languages
Additional Title Comprehending the Vernacular Idioms of the Last in the Hok-keen and Canton Dialects
Imprint Malacca: Anglo-Chinese College Press
Descript. 111 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1842
Author  Williams, S. Wells 衛三畏
Title
Easy Lessons in Chinese
Additional Title Or Progressive Exercises to Facilitate the Study of that Language, Especially Adapted to the Canton Dialect
Chinese Title
拾級大成
Imprint Macao: The Office of the Chinese Repository香山書院梓行
Descript. ix + 287 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1853
Author  Bonney, S. W.
Title
Phrases in the Canton Colloquial Dialect,
Additional Title Arranged According to the Number of Chinese Characters in a Phrase, with an English Translation
Imprint Canton: [s.n.]
Descript. 98 pages
Link To view this book
Note The scanned version from Stanford University Library has hand-written romanized transliteration and notes.

Year 1855
Author  [Anonymous]
Title
A Chinese Phonetic Vocabulary,
Additional Title Containing all the Most Common Characters, with Their Sounds in the Canton Dialect
Chinese Title
初學粵音切要
Imprint Hong Kong: London Missionary Society’s Press 香港英華書院活板
Descript. 63 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1856
Author  Williams, S. Wells 衛三畏廉士甫編譯
Title
A Tonic Dictionary of the Chinese Language in the Canton Dialect
Chinese Title
英華分韻撮要
Imprint Canton: Printed at the Office of the Chinese Repository 羊城中和行梓行
Descript. xxxvi + 832 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1891
Author  Chalmers, John
Title
An English and Cantonese Dictionary;
Additional Title For the Use of Those who Wish to Learn the Spoken Language of Canton Province
Chinese Title
英粵字典
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Edition 6th edition, with the changing tones marked
Descript. 296 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st ed., 1859

Year 1907
Author  Chalmers, John
Title
An English and Cantonese Dictionary
Chinese Title
英粵字典
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Edition 7th edition, revised and enlarged by T. K. Dealy
Descript. vii + 818 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1862
Author  Chalmers, John
Title
An English and Cantonese Pocket-Dictionary,
Additional Title For the Use of Those who Wish to Learn the Spoken Language of Canton Province
Chinese Title
英粵字典
Imprint Hong Kong: The London Missionary Society’s Press
Edition 2nd edition
Descript. 163 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st ed., 1859

Year 1870
Author  Chalmers, John
Title
An English and Cantonese Pocket-Dictionary,
Additional Title For the Use of Those who Wish to Learn the Spoken Language of Canton Province
Chinese Title
英粵字典
Imprint Hong Kong: The London Missionary Society’s Press
Edition 3rd edition
Descript. iv + 146 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st ed., 1859

Year 1864
Author  [Anonymous]
Title
The Tourists’ Guide and Merchants’ Manual
Additional Title Being an English-Chinese Vocabulary of Articles of Commerce and of Domestic Use; Also, all the Known Names Connected with the Sciences of Natural History, Chemistry, Pharmacy, &c. &c. &c.
Chinese Title
英華行篋便覽
Imprint Hong Kong: Office of the “Daily Press”
Descript. 148 pages
Link To view this book
Note In the Court and Punti Dialects

Year 1864
Author  Lobscheid, W.
Title
Select Phrases and Reading Lessons in the Canton Dialect
Imprint Hong Kong: Noronha’s Office
Descript. 71 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1866-1868
Author  Lobscheid, W.
Title
English and Chinese Dictionary,
Additional Title With the Punti and Mandarin Pronunciation
Chinese Title
英華字典
Imprint Hong Kong: The “Daily Press” Office
Note Part I [A-C, 1866]: Part II [D-H, 1867]: Part III [I-Q, 1868]:

Year 1867
Author  Lanctot, Benoni
Title
Chinese and English Phrase Book,
Additional Title With the Chinese Pronunciation Indicated in English, Specially Adapted for the Use of Merchants, Travelers and Families
Chinese Title
華英通語
Imprint San Francisco: A. Roman & Company
Edition 2nd ed., revised and enlarged
Descript. 88 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1870
Author  Bunyan, John
Chinese Title
續天路歷程土話
Imprint [廣州]: 羊城惠師禮堂鐫
Link To view this book
Note Pilgrim’s Progress, Part II, Christiana. “惠師禮堂” may be related to Wesleyan Missionary Society.

Year 1874
Author  Dennys, N. B.
Title
A Handbook of the Canton Vernacular of the Chinese Language
Additional Title Being a Series of Introductory Lessons, for Domestic and Business Purposes
Chinese Title
初學階
Imprint London: Trübner & Co.; Hong Kong: “China Mail” Office
Descript. Pages: ii + 195 (lessons) + 31 (appendix)
Link To view this book

Year 1877
Author  [Anonymous]
Chinese Title
散語四十章
Imprint 香港:聖保羅書院
Descript. 94 pages
Link To view this book
Note On the cover: “由自邇集繙譯羊城俗話”

Year 1888
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
Cantonese Made Easy:
Additional Title A book of simple sentences in the Cantonese dialect, with free and literal translations, and directions for the rendering of English grammatical forms in Chinese
Imprint Hong Kong: “China Mail” Office
Edition 2nd edition
Descript. 122 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st ed., 1883

Year 1907
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
Cantonese Made Easy
Additional Title A book of simple sentences in the Cantonese language, with free and literal translations, and directions for the rendering of English grammatical forms in Chinese
Imprint Singapore: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Edition 3rd edition
Descript. 153 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1924
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
Cantonese Made Easy
Additional Title A book of simple sentences in the Cantonese language, with free and literal translations, and directions for the rendering of English grammatical forms in Chinese
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly and Walsh
Edition 4th edition
Descript. 186 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1892
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
The Cantonese Made Easy Vocabulary:
Additional Title A small dictionary in English and Cantonese, containing only words and phrases used in the spoken language, with the classifiers indicated for each noun, and definitions of the different shades of meaning, as well as notes of the different uses of some of the words where ambiguity might otherwise arise
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Edition 2nd edition
Descript. 40 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st ed., 1886

Year 1908
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
The Cantonese Made Easy Vocabulary
Additional Title A small dictionary in English and Cantonese, containing words and phrases used in the spoken language, with the classifiers indicated for each noun, and definitions of the different shades of meaning, as well as notes of the different uses of some of the words where ambiguity might otherwise arise
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Edition 3rd edition
Descript. 294 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1888
Author  Stedman, T. L., and K. P. Lee
Title
A Chinese and English Phrase Book in the Canton Dialect;
Additional Title Or dialogues on ordinary and familiar subjects for the use of the Chinese resident in America, and of Americans desirous of learning the Chinese language; with the pronunciation of each word indicated in Chinese and Roman characters
Chinese Title
英語不求人
Imprint New York: William R. Jenkins
Descript. 187 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1910
Author  Stedman, T. L., and K. P. Lee
Title
A Chinese and English Phrase Book in the Canton Dialect;
Additional Title Or dialogues on ordinary and familiar subjects for the use of the Chinese resident in America, and of Americans desirous of learning the Chinese language; with the pronunciation of each word indicated in Chinese and Roman characters
Chinese Title
英語不求人
Imprint New York: William R. Jenkins Co.
Edition Reprint
Descript. 187 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1902
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
How to Speak Cantonese:
Additional Title Fifty conversations in Cantonese colloquial; with the Chinese character, free and literal English translations, and romanised spelling with tonic and diacritical marks, &c.
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Welsh
Edition 2nd edition
Descript. viii. + 229 pages
Link To view this book
Note 1st edition, 1889

Year 1894
Author  Ball, J. Dyer
Title
Readings in Cantonese Colloquial:
Additional Title Being Selections from Books in the Cantonese Vernacular with Free and Literal Translations of the Chinese Character and Romanized Spelling
Imprint Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, Limited
Descript. 171 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1902
Author  Stevens, Harry Jabez
Title
Cantonese Apothegms,
Additional Title Classified, translated, & commented upon
Imprint Canton: E-Shing怡盛
Descript. 155 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1904
Author  Brouner, Walter Brooks, and Fung, Yuet Mow 馮悅茂
Title
Chinese Made Easy
Chinese Title
你噲講唐話咩
Imprint New York: Macmillan; London: Macmillan
Edition 1st edition
Descript. 351 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1935
Author  Brouner, Walter Brooks, and Fung, Yuet Mow馮悅茂
Title
Chinese Made Easy
Chinese Title
你噲講唐話咩
Imprint Leiden: E. J. Brill
Descript. 351 pages
Link To view this book
Note Reprint

Year 1906
Author  Wisner, O. F.
Title
Beginning Cantonese
Chinese Title
教話指南
Imprint Canton: China Baptist Publication Society
Descript. Pages: 32 (introduction) + 135 (lessons)
Link To view this book

Year 1906
Title
Canton Colloquial New Testament
Chinese Title
新約全書
Imprint British and Foreign Bible Society聖書公會
Descript. 568 pages
Link To view this book
Note In the lower half of the book spine and on the title page is printed “廣東話”.

Year 1907
Title
Canton Colloquial Bible
Chinese Title
舊新約全書
Imprint British and Foreign Bible Society聖書公會
Descript. 400 pages
Link To view this book
Note In the lower half of the book spine and on the title page is printed “廣東話”.

Year 1912
Author  Jones, Daniel, and Kwing Tong Woo [胡烱堂]
Title
A Cantonese Phonetic Reader
Imprint London: University of London Press
Descript. xxii +95 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1921
Author  Bunyan, John (translated by George Piercy, Wesleyan Missionary Society, 1871)
Title
The Pilgrim’s Progress
Chinese Title
天路歷程(土話)
Imprint Canton: South China Religious Tract Society兩粵基督教書會
Descript. 141 pages
Link To view this book

Year 1922
Author  Whymant, A. Neville J.
Title
Colloquial Chinese (Northern)
Additional Title Expressly for the use of those who desire to acquire a rapid and sound colloquial knowledge of the Chinese language
Imprint London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.
Descript. 106 pages
Link To view this book
Note Both Pekingese and Cantonese pronunciations are given in “English and Chinese Vocabulary”, the last section of the book (pp. 61-106).

Year 1923
Author  何純葆
Title
Canton Language School Primer
Chinese Title
六百字粵語雜句
Imprint Canton: China Baptist Publication Society廣州:美華浸會印書局
Descript. 191 pages
Link To view this book

Year [1927]
Title
Cantonese New Testament (Revised)
Chinese Title
新約全書
Imprint 聖書公會、美華聖經會
The American Bible Society and the British & Foreign Bible Society
Descript. 614 pages
Link To view this book
Note In the lower half of the book spine and on the title page is printed “廣東話”. There is no publication year in the book, but “H. Davis / Nov. 1927” was hand-written on the blank page before the title page.

Year [1930]
Author  譚季強
Chinese Title
分類通行廣州話
Imprint 附百家姓同音字表
Descript. 74 pages
Link To view this book
Note There is no publication year in the book.  It was 1930 according to the online catalog of Harvard Library.