Southern Min

Last updated
Southern Min
閩南語 / 闽南语
Bàn-lâm-gú
Ethnicity Hoklo people
Teochew people
Geographic
distribution
Fujian Province; the Chaozhou-Shantou (Chaoshan) area and Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong Province; extreme south of Zhejiang Province; much of Hainan Province (if Hainanese or Qiongwen is included) and most of Taiwan as well as Penang, Melaka, Singapore and Sumatra
Linguistic classification Sino-Tibetan
Subdivisions
ISO 639-3 nan
Linguasphere 79-AAA-j
Glottolog minn1241
Min dialect map.svg
  Southern Min in Mainland China and Taiwan
Banlamgu.svg
Subgroups of Southern Min in Mainland China and Taiwan
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 闽南语
Traditional Chinese 閩南語
Literal meaning"Language of Southern Min [Fujian]"

Southern Min (simplified Chinese : 闽南语 ; traditional Chinese : 閩南語 ; pinyin :Mǐnnán yǔ; lit. 'Southern Fujian language'), Minnan ( Mandarin pronunciation: [mìn.nǎn] ) or Banlam (Southern Min pronunciation:  [bàn.ɾám] ), is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages that form a branch of Min Chinese spoken in Fujian (especially the Minnan region), most of Taiwan (many citizens are descendants of settlers from Fujian), Eastern Guangdong, Hainan and Southern Zhejiang. [1] The Minnan dialects are also spoken by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora, most notably the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City. It is the most populous branch of Min Chinese, spoken by an estimated 48 million people in ca. 2017–2018. [2]

Contents

In common parlance and in the narrower sense, Southern Min refers to the Quanzhang or Hokkien-Taiwanese variety of Southern Min originating from Southern Fujian in Mainland China. This is spoken mainly in Fujian, Taiwan, as well as certain parts of Southeast Asia. The Quanzhang variety is often called simply "Minnan Proper" (simplified Chinese :闽南语; traditional Chinese :閩南語). It is considered the mainstream Southern Min Chinese Language.

In the wider scope, Southern Min also includes other Min Chinese varieties that are linguistically related to Minnan proper (Quanzhang). Most variants of Southern Min have significant differences from the Quanzhang variety, some having limited mutual intelligibility with it, others almost none. Teochew, Longyan, and Zhenan may be said to have limited mutual intelligibility with Minnan Proper, sharing similar phonology and vocabulary to a small extent. On the other hand, variants such as Datian, Zhongshan, and Qiong-Lei have historical linguistic roots with Minnan Proper, but are significantly divergent from it in terms of phonology and vocabulary, and thus have almost no mutual intelligibility with the Quanzhang variety. Linguists tend to classify them as separate Min languages.

Southern Min is not mutually intelligible with other branches of Min Chinese nor with non-Min varieties of Chinese, such as Mandarin, and the principal varieties of Southern Min are not intelligible with each other.

Geographic distribution

Mainland China

Southern Min dialects are spoken in Fujian, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang, the Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo in Zhejiang and the Chaoshan (Teo-swa) region in Guangdong. The variant spoken in Leizhou, Guangdong as well as Hainan is Hainanese and is not mutually intelligible with mainstream Southern Min or Teochew.[ citation needed ] Hainanese is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.[ example needed ][ citation needed ] Puxian Min was originally based on the Quanzhou dialect, but over time became heavily influenced by Eastern Min, eventually losing intelligibility with Minnan.

Taiwan

The Southern Min dialects spoken in Taiwan, collectively known as Taiwanese, is a first language for most of the Hoklo people, the main ethnicity of Taiwan. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo speak Southern Min fluently. [3]

Southeast Asia

There are many Southern Min speakers among overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Many ethnic Chinese immigrants to the region were Hoklo from southern Fujian and brought the language to what is now Burma, Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies) and present-day Malaysia and Singapore (formerly British Malaya and the Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia and is mostly mutually intelligible with Hokkien spoken elsewhere. Many Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong and speak Teochew language, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Philippine Hokkien is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the Chinese Filipino community in the Philippines, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang or Lán-lâng-oē (咱儂話), literally "our people's language".

Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore, with Hokkien being the largest group and the second largest being Teochew. Despite the similarities, the two groups are rarely seen as part of the same "Minnan" Chinese subgroups.

Classification

The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou. The variants spoken in Taiwan are similar to the three Fujian variants and are collectively known as Taiwanese.

Those Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien" in Southeast Asia also originate from these variants. The variants of Southern Min in the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province are collectively known as Teo-Swa or Chaoshan. Chaoshan Min is of great importance in the Southeast Asian Chinese diaspora, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sumatra, and West Kalimantan. The Philippines variant is mostly from the Quanzhou area as most of their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.

The Southern Min language variant spoken around Shanwei and Haifeng differs markedly from Teochew and may represent a later migration from Zhangzhou. Linguistically, it lies between Teochew and Amoy. In southwestern Fujian, the local variants in Longyan and Zhangping form a separate division of Minnan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese inhabitants of Penang, Malaysia and Medan, Indonesia, a distinct form based on the Zhangzhou dialect has developed. In Penang, it is called Penang Hokkien while across the Malacca Strait in Medan, an almost identical variant[ citation needed ] is known as Medan Hokkien.

Varieties

There are two or three divisions of Southern Min, depending on the criteria for Hainanese inclusion :

More recently, Kwok (2018: 157) [4] has classified the Southern Min dialects the Central and Southern branches grouped together, as well as a separate divergent Northern branch.

Southern Min

Quanzhang (Hokkien)

The group of mutually intelligible Quanzhang (泉漳片) dialects, spoken around the areas of Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou in Southern Fujian, collectively called Minnan Proper (闽南语/闽南话) or Hokkien-Taiwanese, is the mainstream form of Southern Min. It is also the widely spoken non-official regional language in Taiwan. There are two types of standard Minnan. They are classified as Traditional Standard Minnan and Modern Standard Minnan. Traditional Standard Minnan is based on the Quanzhou dialect. It is the dialect used in Liyuan Opera (梨园戏) and Nanying music (南音). The modern standard forms of Minnan Proper are based on Amoy dialect, spoken in the city of Xiamen, and Taiwanese dialect, spoken around the city of Tainan in Taiwan. Both modern standard forms of Minnan are a combination of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. Nowadays, Modern Standard Minnan is the dialect of Minnan that is popular in Minnan dialect television programming, radio programming and Minnan songs. Most Minnan language books and Minnan dictionaries are mostly based on the pronunciation of the Modern Standard Minnan. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan tends to be based on Quanzhou dialect, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Zhangzhou dialect. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, in Taiwanese Minnan, extensive contact with the Japanese language has left a legacy of Japanese loanwords. This language is also spoken in Singapore, as Singaporean Hokkien, which has English and Malay loanwords.

Chaoshan (Teo-Swa)

Teo-Swa or Chaoshan speech (潮汕片) is a closely related variant of Minnan that includes the Teochew and Swatow dialects. It has limited mutual intelligibility with Quanzhang speech, though they share some cognates with each other. Chaoshan Min is significantly different from Quanzhang in both pronunciation and vocabulary. It had its origins from the Proto-Putian dialect (闽南语古莆田话), a sub-dialect of Proto-Minnan, which is closely related to the Quanzhou dialect. As the Proto-Putian dialect speaking Chinese emigrants from Putian prefecture settled in the Chaoshan region, it later received influence from the Zhangzhou dialect. It follows the same grammar pattern as Minnan Proper. It is marginally understood by Minnan Proper speakers. [5]

Phonology

Southern Min has one of the most diverse phonologies of Chinese varieties, with more consonants than Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more-or-less similar to those of Mandarin. In general, Southern Min dialects have five to sixtones, and tone sandhi is extensive. There are minor variations within Hokkien, and the Teochew system differs somewhat more.

Southern Min's nasal finals consist of /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, and /~/.

Writing systems

Both Hokkien and Chaoshan (Teochew and Shantou dialects) have romanized writing systems. Hokkien is also written in modified Chinese characters.

History

The Min homeland of Fujian was opened to Han Chinese settlement by the defeat of the Minyue state by the armies of Emperor Wu of Han in 110 BC. [6] The area features rugged mountainous terrain, with short rivers that flow into the South China Sea. Most subsequent migration from north to south China passed through the valleys of the Xiang and Gan rivers to the west, so that Min varieties have experienced less northern influence than other southern groups. [7] As a result, whereas most varieties of Chinese can be treated as derived from Middle Chinese, the language described by rhyme dictionaries such as the Qieyun (601 AD), Min varieties contain traces of older distinctions. [8] Linguists estimate that the oldest layers of Min dialects diverged from the rest of Chinese around the time of the Han dynasty. [9] [10] However, significant waves of migration from the North China Plain occurred. [11] These include:

Jerry Norman identifies four main layers in the vocabulary of modern Min varieties:

  1. A non-Chinese substratum from the original languages of Minyue, which Norman and Mei Tsu-lin believe were Austroasiatic. [12] [13]
  2. The earliest Chinese layer, brought to Fujian by settlers from Zhejiang to the north during the Han dynasty. [14]
  3. A layer from the Northern and Southern Dynasties period, which is largely consistent with the phonology of the Qieyun dictionary. [15]
  4. A literary layer based on the koiné of Chang'an, the capital of the Tang dynasty. [16]

Comparisons with Sino-Xenic character pronunciations

Minnan (or Hokkien) can trace its origins through the Tang Dynasty, and it also has roots from earlier periods. Minnan (Hokkien) people call themselves "Tang people", ( 唐人 , pronounced as "唐儂" Tn̂g-lâng) which is synonymous to "Chinese people". Because of the widespread influence of the Tang culture during the great Tang dynasty, there are today still many Minnan pronunciations of words shared by the Sino-xenic pronunciations of Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese languages.

EnglishHan charactersMandarin ChineseMinnan [17] TeochewCantoneseKoreanVietnameseJapanese
BookChhek/Chhehcêh4caak3Chaek ()SáchSaku/Satsu/Shaku
BridgeqiáoKiâu/Kiôgiê5/gio5kiu4Gyo ()CầuKyō
Dangerous危險wēixiǎn/wéixiǎnGuî-hiámguîn5/nguín5 hiem2ngai4 him2Wiheom (위험)Nguy hiểmKiken
Embassy大使館DàshǐguǎnTāi-sài-koándai6 sái2 guêng2daai6 si3 gun2Daesagwan (대사관)Đại Sứ QuánTaishikan
Flagkî5kei4Gi ()CờKi
Insurance保險BǎoxiǎnPó-hiámBó2-hiémbou2 him2Boheom (보험)Bảo hiểmHoken
News新聞XīnwénSin-bûnsing1 bhung6san1 man4Shinmun (신문)Tin tứcShinbun
Student學生XuéshēngHa̍k-sengHak8 sêng1hok6 saang1Haksaeng (학생)Học sinhGakusei
University大學DàxuéTāi-ha̍k/Tōa-o̍hdai6 hag8/dua7 oh8daai6 hok6Daehak (대학)Đại họcDaigaku

See also

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    Taiwanese Hokkien Variety of a language dialect

    Taiwanese, also known as Taigi, Taiwanese Minnan, Holo, Taiwanese Hokkien, is a variety of the Hokkien language spoken natively by about 70% of the population of Taiwan. It is spoken by the Taiwanese Hoklo people, who descended from immigrants from southern Fujian during the Qing dynasty. The Pe̍h-ōe-jī (POJ) romanization is a popular orthography for Taiwanese.

    Min Chinese Primary branch of Chinese spoken in southern China and Taiwan

    Min is a broad group of Sinitic languages spoken by about 30 million people in Fujian province as well as by the descendants of Min speaking colonists on Leizhou peninsula and Hainan, or assimilated natives of Chaoshan, parts of Zhongshan, three counties in southern Wenzhou, Zhoushan archipelago, and Taiwan. The name is derived from the Min River in Fujian, which is also the abbreviated name of Fujian Province. Min varieties are not mutually intelligible with one another nor with any other variety of Chinese.

    Hoklo people

    The Hoklo people are descendants of Han Chinese people whose traditional ancestral homes are in southern part of Fujian, China. They are speakers of Hokkien, a prestige Southern Min language on the basis of preponderance of their Bamboo network billionaires, in the Southern Min language family, and known by various endonyms, or other related terms such as Banlam (Minnan) people or Hokkien people. There are significant populations in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

    The subgroups of the Han Chinese people, Chinese dialect groups or just dialect groups, are defined based on linguistic, cultural, ethnic, genetic and regional features. The terminology used in Mandarin to describe the groups is: "minxi", used in Mainland China or "zuqun", used in Taiwan. No Han subgroup is recognized as one of People's Republic of China's 56 official minority ethnic groups. Scholars like James W. Hayes have described the Han Chinese subgroups as "ethnic group" outright, at least in the context of Hong Kong society.

    The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is frequently proposed that there is a primary split between the Sinitic languages and the rest of the family, but this view is rejected by an increasing number of researchers. The Bai languages, whose classification is difficult, may be an offshoot of Old Chinese and thus Sinitic; otherwise Sinitic is defined only by the many varieties of Chinese, and usage of the term "Sinitic" may reflect the linguistic view that Chinese constitutes a family of distinct languages, rather than variants of a single language.

    Amoy dialect

    The Amoy dialect or Xiamen dialect, also known as Amoynese, Amoy Hokkien, Xiamenese or Xiamen Hokkien, is a dialect of Hokkien spoken in the city of Xiamen and its surrounding metropolitan area, in the southern part of Fujian province. Currently, it is one of the most widely researched and studied varieties of Southern Min. It has historically come to be one of the more standardized varieties. Most present-day publications in Southern Min are mostly based on this dialect.

    Pu-Xian Min

    Puxian, also known as Pu-Xian Chinese, Puxian Min, Xinghua, Henghwa or Hinghwa, is a Sinitic language that forms a branch of Min Chinese.

    Singaporean Hokkien is a local variant of the Hokkien language spoken in Singapore. In Chinese academic circles, this dialect is known as Singaporean Ban-lam Gu. It is closely related to the Southern Malaysian Hokkien (南馬福建話) spoken in Southern Malaysia, as well as to Riau Hokkien (廖內福建話) spoken in the Indonesian province of Riau. It also closely resembles Amoy spoken in Amoy, People's Republic of China, and Taiwanese Hokkien which is spoken in Taiwan, Republic of China.

    Hokkien Language spoken in East Asia

    Hokkien or Minnan, known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min language originating from the Minnan region in the south-eastern part of Fujian Province in Southeastern China and spoken widely there. It is also spoken widely in Taiwan and by the Chinese diaspora in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia and by other overseas Chinese all over the world.

    Zhenan Min

    Zhenan Min, is a Min Nan Chinese language spoken in the vicinity of Wenzhou, in the southeast of Zhejiang province.

    Longyan dialect

    Longyan dialect (龍巖話) or Longyan Minnan (龍巖閩南語), is a dialect of Hokkien spoken in the urban city area of Longyan in the province of Fujian while Hakka is spoken in rural villages of longyan by the peasantry. The Longyan Min people had settled in the region from southern part of Fujian Province as early as the Tang dynasty period (618–907). Although Longyan Min has some Hakka influence to a limited extent by the peasant Hakka Chinese language due to close distance of rural village Hakka peasants of the region, Longyan Min is a close dialect of the Minnan language and has more number of tones than Hakka. Longyan dialect has a high but limited intelligibility with Southern Min dialects such as Hokkien–Taiwanese. Today, Longyan Minnan is predominantly spoken in Longyan's urban district Xinluo District while Zhangzhou Minnan is spoken in Zhangping City. Hakka on the other hand is spoken in the non-urban rest of the rural areas of Longyan prefecture: Changting County, Yongding County, Shanghang County, Liancheng County and Wuping County.

    Quanzhou dialect

    The Quanzhou dialect, also known as the Chin-chew dialect, is a dialect of Hokkien that is spoken in southern Fujian, in the area centered on the city of Quanzhou. Due to migration, variations of the Quanzhou dialect are spoken outside of Quanzhou, notably in Taiwan and many Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

    Zhangzhou dialect

    The Zhangzhou dialect, also known as Changchew dialect or Changchow dialect, is a dialect of Hokkien spoken in southern Fujian province, centered on the city of Zhangzhou. It is the source of some former place names in English, including Amoy and Quemoy.

    Bbánlám pìngyīm

    Bbánlám Hōng'ggián Pìngyīm Hōng'àn, Bbánlám pìngyīm, Minnan pinyin or simply pingyim, is a romanization system for Hokkien Southern Min, in particular the Amoy (Xiamen) version of this language. This alphabet was developed by Xiamen University.

    Southern Peninsular Malaysian Hokkien

    Southern Malaysian Hokkien is a local variant of the Min Nan Chinese variety spoken in Central and Southern Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Riau and Riau Islands

    Minnan region Place in Fujian

    Minnan, Southern Fujian or Minnan Golden Triangle, refers to the coastal region in Southern Fujian Province, China, which includes the prefecture-level cities of Xiamen, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. The region accounts for 40 percent of the GDP of Fujian Province. It is the native homeland of the Hokkien people who speak the Hokkien language or Minnan language, a variety of Southern Min.

    Shehua is an unclassified Sinitic language spoken by the She people of Southeastern China. It is also called Shanha, 山哈 (San-hak) or Shanhahua, 山哈话. Shehua speakers are located mainly in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces of Southeastern China, with smaller numbers of speakers in a few locations of Jiangxi, Guangdong and Anhui provinces.

    Chaoshan Min

    Chaoshan is a Southern Min language spoken by the Teochew people of the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province, China, and by their diaspora around the world. It is closely related to Hokkien, with which it shares some cognates and phonology, though the two are largely mutually unintelligible.

    References

    1. CAI ZHU, HUANG GUO (1 October 2015). Chinese language. Xiamen: Fujian Education Publishing House. ISBN   978-7533469511.
    2. Southern Min at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020)
    3. "The politics of language names in Taiwan". www.ksc.kwansei.ac.jp. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
    4. Kwok, Bit-Chee (2018). Southern Min: comparative phonology and subgrouping. Routledge studies in East Asian linguistics. 2. New York: Routledge. ISBN   978-1-138-94365-0.
    5. Minnan/ Southern Min at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    6. Norman (1991), pp. 328.
    7. Norman (1988), pp. 210, 228.
    8. Norman (1988), pp. 228–229.
    9. Ting (1983), pp. 9–10.
    10. Baxter & Sagart (2014), pp. 33, 79.
    11. Yan (2006), p. 120.
    12. Norman & Mei (1976).
    13. Norman (1991), pp. 331–332.
    14. Norman (1991), pp. 334–336.
    15. Norman (1991), p. 336.
    16. Norman (1991), p. 337.
    17. Iûⁿ, Ún-giân. "Tâi-bûn/Hôa-bûn Sòaⁿ-téng Sû-tián" 台文/華文線頂辭典 [Taiwanese/Chinese Online Dictionary]. Retrieved 1 October 2014.

    Further reading