Tianjin dialect

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Tianjin dialect
天津话
Tiānjīn Huà
Native to People's Republic of China
RegionCity of Tianjin
Native speakers
Approx. 6 million est.[ citation needed ]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6 tjin
Glottolog tian1238 [1]
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Tianjin dialect (simplified Chinese :天津话; traditional Chinese :天津話; pinyin :Tiānjīn Huà) is a Mandarin dialect spoken in the city of Tianjin, China. It is comprehensible to speakers of other Mandarin dialects, though its greatest deviation from the others lies in its individual tones, and the lack of retroflex consonants. The regional characteristics make the dialect an important part of the Tianjin city identity, and sharply contrasts with the dialect of nearby Beijing, despite relatively similar phonology.

Simplified Chinese characters Standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.

Contents

Characteristics

The Tianjin dialect is classified under Jilu Mandarin, a subdivision of Mandarin Chinese dialects also spoken in Hebei and Shandong provinces. [2] Despite Tianjin being a neighbour of Beijing, its dialect sounds very different from Beijing dialect, which is the basis for Standard Chinese.

Jilu Mandarin

Jilu or Ji–Lu Mandarin, formerly known as Beifang Mandarin "Northern Mandarin", is a dialect of Mandarin Chinese spoken in the Chinese provinces of Hebei (Jì) and the western part of Shandong (Lǔ). Its name is a combination of the abbreviated names of the two provinces, which derive from ancient local provinces. The names are combined as Ji–Lu Mandarin.

Mandarin Chinese major branch of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China

Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of Standard Chinese or Standard Mandarin. Because Mandarin originated in North China and most Mandarin dialects are found in the north, the group is sometimes referred to as the Northern dialects. Many local Mandarin varieties are not mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, Mandarin is often placed first in lists of languages by number of native speakers.

Hebei Province

Hebei is a coastal province in Northern China. The modern province was established in 1911 as Chihli Province. Its capital and largest city is Shijiazhuang. Its one-character abbreviation is "冀" (Jì), named after Ji Province, a Han dynasty province (zhou) that included what is now southern Hebei. The name Hebei literally means "north of the river", referring to its location entirely to the north of the Yellow River.

The tones of Tianjin dialect correspond to those of Beijing dialect (and hence Standard Chinese) as follows:

Tone name1 Yin Ping2 Yang Ping3 Shang4 Qu
Tianjin˨˩ (21)˧˥ (35)˩˩˧ (113)˥˧ (53)
Beijing ˥ (55)˧˥ (35)˨˩˦ (214)˥˩ (51)

The differences are minor except for the first tone: Where it is high and level in Beijing, it is low and falling in Tianjin. All words with the first tone, including the name "Tianjin", are affected, giving the Tianjin dialect a downward feel to people from Beijing.

Tianjin dialect also includes four tone sandhi rules, more than the Beijing dialect. Here they are:

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes. It usually simplifies a bidirectional tone into a one-direction tone. It is a type of sandhi, or fusional change, from the Sanskrit word for "joining".

  1. Tone 1 + Tone 1 → Tone 3-Tone 1: 天津 tiān jīn is pronounced /tǐanjīn/ (using Pinyin tone diacritics)
  2. Tone 3 + Tone 3 → Tone 2-Tone 3: 水果 shuǐ guǒ is pronounced /shuíguǒ/ (as in Standard)
  3. Tone 4 + Tone 4 → Tone 1-Tone 4: 現在 xiàn zài is pronounced /xiānzài/
  4. Tone 4 + Tone 1 → Tone 2-Tone 1: 上班 shàng bān is pronounced /shángbān/ [3] [4]

There are some other patterns that differentiate Tianjin dialect from the Beijing dialect. One is the pronunciation of 饿 (餓) as (臥) instead of è.

Lastly, the Tianjin dialect lacks the retroflex consonants (捲舌音) prevalent in Beijing, not unlike Taiwanese Mandarin. Thus, zh (ㄓ) becomes z (ㄗ), sh (ㄕ) becomes s (ㄙ), ch (ㄔ) becomes c (ㄘ), and r (ㄖ) becomes y (一) — that is, is pronounced yěn instead of rén, and is pronounced yàng (樣) instead of ràng. However, the use of the -er (儿) diminutive is common in Tianjin dialect, as it is throughout the north and northeast. (See: Erhua.)

Taiwanese Mandarin Standard Chinese spoken in China in 1932~1949 and only spoken in Taiwan after 1949

Taiwanese Mandarin or national language of the Republic of China, is a variety of Mandarin Chinese and a national language of Taiwan. It is based on the phonology of the Beijing dialect together with the grammar of vernacular Chinese.

Erhua ; also called erization, rhotacization of syllable finals, refers to a phonological process that adds r-coloring or the "er" sound to syllables in spoken Mandarin Chinese. Erhuayin is the pronunciation of "er" after rhotacization of syllable finals.

Chinese speakers commonly stereotype the Tianjin dialect as aggressive- or confrontational-sounding, though it is not difficult for speakers of other Mandarin dialects to understand.

See also

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References

  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tianjin Mandarin". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Wurm, Stephen Adolphe; Li, Rong; Baumann, Theo; Lee, Mei W. (1987). Language Atlas of China . Longman. B2. ISBN   978-962-359-085-3.
  3. Chen, Matthew (2000). Tone Sandhi. UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 105–149. ISBN   0-521-652723.
  4. Bao, Zhiming (1999). The structure of Tone. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 59–61. ISBN   0-19-511880-4.