Different variants of minnan

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
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hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:38 pm

xng wrote:
hohomi wrote:
xng wrote:
I watched a lot of taiwanese shows which somebody told me is based on xiamen dialect.

They speak Kue for 過, Kay for 雞.

Cuan Ciu speak Ke for 過, Kue for 雞.

Look at the table here...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoy_dialect#Accents

The dictionary 台日大辭典 that you quoted uses funny romanisation. Anyway, it is more practical to listen to taiwanese speakers.


Now I am really confused who is right and who is wrong.
If you want to learn Taiwanese accent, it is more practical to listen to Taiwanese speaker.
If you want to learn standard Xiamen variant, I recommend you to look it up in that dictionary.
Taiwanese are just as confused as you, their Hokkien is a random mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.
過、雞 are the major differences between Xiamen and Taiwan. Xiamen only use 過[ke]、雞[kue]. Taiwanese are so confused that they sometimes use 過[kue]、雞[ke], while sometimes they use 過[ke]、雞[kue].
xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:08 pm

hohomi wrote: their Hokkien is a random mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.
過、雞 are the major differences between Xiamen and Taiwan. Xiamen only use 過[ke]、雞[kue]. Taiwanese are so confused that they sometimes use 過[kue]、雞[ke], while sometimes they use 過[ke]、雞[kue].
Do you watch Taiwanese shows or speak to Taiwanese people ?
hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:51 pm

xng wrote:Do you watch Taiwanese shows or speak to Taiwanese people ?
I had been in Xiamen for 4 years before I left there.
It seems like you don't believe what I said about Xiamen variant.
There are several kinds of Hokkien dictionary published in China. Some people on this forum also have a dictionary of Xiamen dialect. You can ask them.
xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:01 am

hohomi wrote:
xng wrote:Do you watch Taiwanese shows or speak to Taiwanese people ?
I had been in Xiamen for 4 years before I left there.
It seems like you don't believe what I said about Xiamen variant.
There are several kinds of Hokkien dictionary published in China. Some people on this forum also have a dictionary of Xiamen dialect. You can ask them.
I apologise for any offense and appreciate your help in helping me understand.

But in the past, a Taiwanese guy told me that taiwanese dialect is based on xiamen. But from the examples that you gave, this information is wrong.

Taiwanese say 雞細未 - Kay, Say, Bay etc while Cuan ciu say Kue, Sue, Bue etc. so I think Xiamen follows Cuan ciu then ?

So now there are 4 main variants - cuan ciu, ciang ciu, xiamen, taiwanese instead of 3.

I am also beginning to doubt the wiki entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoy_dialect#Accents

How does xiamen speak

皮 - Puei or Pay or Pe (Cuan Ciu) ?

鞋 - Uei or Ay ?

豬 - Tu or Ti (Taiwanese) or Te (Cuan Ciu) ?

Can you update the wiki entry ?
hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:31 am

xng wrote: I apologise for any offense and appreciate your help in helping me understand.
But in the past, a Taiwanese guy told me that taiwanese dialect is based on xiamen. But from the examples that you gave, this information is wrong.
Taiwanese say 雞細未 - Kay, Say, Bay etc while Cuan ciu say Kue, Sue, Bue etc. so I think Xiamen follows Cuan ciu then ?
So now there are 4 main variants - cuan ciu, ciang ciu, xiamen, taiwanese instead of 3.
I am also beginning to doubt the wiki entry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoy_dialect#Accents
How does xiamen speak
皮 - Puei or Pay or Pe (Cuan Ciu) ?
鞋 - Uei or Ay ?
豬 - Tu or Ti (Taiwanese) or Te (Cuan Ciu) ?
Can you update the wiki entry ?
The Taiwanese guy was right. Taiwanese is based on Xiamen. But, they are not completely the same.
Quanzhou/Xiamen:
雞 kue 細 sue 未 be 皮 phe 鞋 ue 豬 ti
Zhangzhou:
雞 ke 細 se 未 bue 皮 phue 鞋 e 豬 ti
Taiwanese: They just randomly choose either Quanzhou or Zhangzhou. If you have watched the recent moive "Monga", you can find that big brother "geta" uses Quanzhou variant; young people use Zhangzhou variant. But their tones are all Xiamen style.

The tone system of Quanzhou is different from Xiamen. But there is a nearly 1-1 correspondence.
Surprisingly, the tone system of Taiwanese is the same as that of Xiamen.
aokh1979
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by aokh1979 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:52 am

I think I have slightly different opinion here, maybe because I come in contact with people who do not really carry a typical accent anymore. Those people are not good in Hokkien though they speak it daily.

To me, Taiwanese are more easily understood than Xiamenese. I live in Xiamen for 7 years now, I visit Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, too. Sad to say, Xiamenese may be the "standard" for Minnan in China, but Xiamenese may also be the 1st Minnan variant to extinct if younger parents give up Xiamenese and speak to their children in Mandarin. I have seen so many of these people. Both husband and wife are local Xiamense grew up in Old Town area (where Xiamenese was most widely spoken), but speak to their children completely in Mandarin without any single word in Minnan. I observe my colleagues everyday, none of them can hold a comversation entirely in Xiamenese, at least 30% will be spoken in Mandarin very naturally. People say Xiamenese may die away in 20 years. With the growing speed like this today, I foresee it's going to be 10 years.
hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:13 am

aokh1979 wrote:I think I have slightly different opinion here, maybe because I come in contact with people who do not really carry a typical accent anymore. Those people are not good in Hokkien though they speak it daily.

To me, Taiwanese are more easily understood than Xiamenese. I live in Xiamen for 7 years now, I visit Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, too. Sad to say, Xiamenese may be the "standard" for Minnan in China, but Xiamenese may also be the 1st Minnan variant to extinct if younger parents give up Xiamenese and speak to their children in Mandarin. I have seen so many of these people. Both husband and wife are local Xiamense grew up in Old Town area (where Xiamenese was most widely spoken), but speak to their children completely in Mandarin without any single word in Minnan. I observe my colleagues everyday, none of them can hold a comversation entirely in Xiamenese, at least 30% will be spoken in Mandarin very naturally. People say Xiamenese may die away in 20 years. With the growing speed like this today, I foresee it's going to be 10 years.
In a bilingual environment, I don't usually expect people to hold a comversation entirely in one language. Code-switching is so common in any bilingual environment. That doesn't necessarily lead to the extinction of the weaker language.
Although what you said might be true, I don't worry about Xiamenese. All but one of my classmates from Xiamen can speak Xiamenese fluently. The one who cannot speak Xiamenese lived in Zhangzhou when he was very young and then moved to Xiamen. He was so confused about the differences between the two variants of Minnan that he chose not to speak it any more.
SimL
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by SimL » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:54 am

Hi hohomi,

Ever since you started posting to this Forum, I've watched your postings with interest. One aspect which I found very interesting was that you gave the impression that the various forms of Minnan were alive and well in the PRC. This made me very relieved indeed, and I had been meaning to ask you explicitly (after a while) whether you thought it was dying out or not.

Now, the question has been directly discussed, and you confirm explicitly what I had inferred from your earlier postings. As you may have seen from our postings on this Forum, a number of us "fans of Hokkien" are concerned about the possible disappearance of Hokkien. Opinion seems to vary a lot as to whether this is in danger of occurring: all the way from "Yes, definitely - it won't be spoken in <X>, 30 years from now" (or only as a "gutter language", spoken by gangsters and dropouts), all to way to "No, not at all, it's still extremely widely understood and spoken in <Y>". From what I've seen, this variation in opinion applies to both the Hokkien-speaking areas of the PRC, and to Taiwan. There's even uncertainty about Singapore (which most of us have given up on, in terms of the survival of Hokkien).

Anyway, I'm a person who likes to take an optimistic view of things, so I'm accepting with gratitude your opinion on the fact that Hokkien is alive and well on the Chinese mainland.
SimL
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by SimL » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:01 am

hohomi wrote:In a bilingual environment, I don't usually expect people to hold a comversation entirely in one language. Code-switching is so common in any bilingual environment. That doesn't necessarily lead to the extinction of the weaker language.
This is very very true. My father's family have been bilingual English / Hokkien for 4-5 generations (since my great-grandfather, born in the late 1800's). In all that time, we have kept speaking Hokkien, even though our education has been entirely in English. Code-switching between English and Hokkien has been standard since my father's generation (born in the 1920's). Nevertheless, it is definitely true that the level of Hokkien has decreased steadily with each generation. My parents can say (i.e. actively) and recognize (i.e. passively) far more things than I, and the same applies to their parents compared to them.
xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:07 pm

hohomi wrote: The Taiwanese guy was right. Taiwanese is based on Xiamen. But, they are not completely the same.
Quanzhou/Xiamen:
雞 kue 細 sue 未 be 皮 phe 鞋 ue 豬 ti
Zhangzhou:
雞 ke 細 se 未 bue 皮 phue 鞋 e 豬 ti
If Taiwanese is based on Xiamen, then they should pronounce the same way as those characters above. It is not the difference in tone that is important but the pronounciation of the characters. We can be tone deaf but not pronounciation deaf.

In that case, Taiwanese is a mixture between zhangzhou and quanzhou whereas xiamen is closer to Quanzhou. I can't see any major difference between xiamen and quanzhou (ignoring the tones). The wikipedia amoy dialect seem to be written by amateurs. It is taiwanese that is a true mixture between Q and Z whereas xiamen is very close to quanzhou.

By the way, 豬 is pronounced as Ty in quanzhou and not Ti. 去 is Ky and not Ki etc. So maybe this variation is the only difference between xiamen and quanzhou (aside from the different tones)

I grew up listening to quanzhou so I cannot be wrong. Furthermore, it is confirmed in the authorative ucla website.

http://solution.cs.ucla.edu/~jinbo/dzl/lookup.php
niuc
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by niuc » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:44 pm

Hi Hohomi
hohomi wrote: Quanzhou/Xiamen:
未 be 皮 phe
Aren't 未 "ber/bə" and 皮 "pher/phə" in Quanzhou variants, different from Xiamen "be" and "phe"? In Xiamen variant, 未 and 迷 are homophones (ignoring the tones); but this is not the case for Quanzhou, right?
hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:16 pm

niuc wrote:Hi Hohomi
hohomi wrote: Quanzhou/Xiamen:
未 be 皮 phe
Aren't 未 "ber/bə" and 皮 "pher/phə" in Quanzhou variants, different from Xiamen "be" and "phe"? In Xiamen variant, 未 and 迷 are homophones (ignoring the tones); but this is not the case for Quanzhou, right?
When we say "xiamen", we don't actually include "tong'an". Because there are major differences between Xiamen variant and Tong'an variant although they belong to the same prefecture-level administrative division.
Xiamen: 未 be 皮 phe 猪 ti
Tong'an: 未 bə 皮 phə 猪 tɯ
The same thing happens in Quanzhou. These two kinds of accents can also be found in Quanzhou. Actually, I think both of them originated in Quanzhou. Those with 未 bə 皮 phə 猪 tɯ are called 泉州府城腔(quanzhou city accent). Those with 未 be 皮 phe 猪 ti are called 泉州海口腔(quanzhou coastal accent). This should be differentiated from 台湾海口腔(Taiwan coastal accent). The latter is in fact a variant of 泉州府城腔(Quanzhou city accent) in Taiwan.
xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:31 pm

hohomi wrote:
When we say "xiamen", we don't actually include "tong'an". Because there are major differences between Xiamen variant and Tong'an variant although they belong to the same prefecture-level administrative division.
Xiamen: 未 be 皮 phe 猪 ti
Tong'an: 未 bə 皮 phə 猪 tɯ
The same thing happens in Quanzhou. These two kinds of accents can also be found in Quanzhou. Actually, I think both of them originated in Quanzhou. Those with 未 bə 皮 phə 猪 tɯ are called 泉州府城腔(quanzhou city accent). Those with 未 be 皮 phe 猪 ti are called 泉州海口腔(quanzhou coastal accent). This should be differentiated from 台湾海口腔(Taiwan coastal accent). The latter is in fact a variant of 泉州府城腔(Quanzhou city accent) in Taiwan.
When we talk about quanzhou, we talk about the most common or standard accent. Let's try NOT to complicate issues here by talking about variants within the same dialect.

May I know what is the standard or most common variant for Xiamen ? It looks like Tong'an is almost identical to Quanzhou and I think this is because they migrated from quanzhou or was part of quanzhou in the past.
aokh1979
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by aokh1979 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:13 pm

Hi Everyone:

I apologise if I may sound a little extreme in the issue where Hokkien is dying away. I am indeed very concerned about the future of my beloved 1st language. It is great to know some great people in this forum who show great interest in Hokkien.

:P

I do not fully agree that people in a bilingual environment can be excused from speaking a complete language. I am a Penangite, a Malaysian. The 1st impression I receive from PRC Chinese about Chinese-Malaysian, is our language ability. A bilingual person should be able to express himself in 2 languages, not 1.5 languages. I may have made some negative comments about Xiamenese not being able to hold a conversation in Hokkien. If we only pay our attention to neighbour gossip, daily greeting, wet market conversation, we're not going to notice the fact, that Hokkien, even in an authentic Hokkien-speaking region like Xiamen, is considered "immature" or "sub-standard" because when it comes to more serious topics, like politics, features of a mobile phone, going to see animals in a zoo...... Hokkien can very easily be replaced by Mandarin. It does not, however, happen to Cantonese.

If we switch on our TV, even programmes from Taiwan, people only remember names in Mandarin. None of the shows actually call someone's name in Hokkien. That does not happen to Cantonese.

Some local schools start teaching Hokkien in Xiamen. But if the language is not used within Xiamen families, Hokkien is going to end up like English, a foreign language. However, parents will spend money send their children to English tuition classes, apart from school subjects. But they will never do the same for Hokkien.

2 weeks ago, I heard a news when I travelled in a bus, in Xiamen. Every public service officer below 50 years old is restricted from speaking Hokkien. Mandarin must be the only language used at government departments.

Most of my married friends (30 to 31 years old) ONLY speak to their children in Mandarin. Their children do not even know how to respond when I speak to them in Hokkien. Some friends even stop me from talking to their children in Hokkien. My Hainanese cousin speaks fluent Hainanese and Hokkien, his Cantonese wife speaks fluent Cantonese and Hokkien. Mandarin is the only language their children can understand. They have every reason to raise their children multilingual but they do not. Our younger generations will not enjoy the pride of being a polyglot.
hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:17 pm

xng wrote:
hohomi wrote: When we talk about quanzhou, we talk about the most common or standard accent. Let's try NOT to complicate issues here by talking about variants within the same dialect.
May I know what is the standard or most common variant for Xiamen ? It looks like Tong'an is almost identical to Quanzhou and I think this is because they migrated from quanzhou or was part of quanzhou in the past.
The dialect division is just for convenience. The actual distribution of different accents is a continuum.
And, there are equal chances that you can hear both variants of Quanzhouese if you go to the urban area of Quanzhou. It is not complicated at all. Their correspondence relation is simple:
ə -> e(Xiamenese / Quanzhou coastal accent) / ue (Zhangzhouese)
ɯ -> u(Xiamenese with only 4 exceptions 猪ti去khi汝li箸ti ) / i(Quanzhou coastal accent / Zhangzhouese)

For example:
过 kə (QZ city) -> ke(XM/ QZ coastal) / kue (ZZ)
火 hə (QZ city) -> he(XM/ QZ coastal) / hue (ZZ)
未 bə (QZ city) -> be(XM/ QZ coastal) / bue (ZZ)

师 sɯ (QZ city) -> su(XM) / si (ZZ/ QZ coastal)
除 tɯ (QZ city) -> tu (XM) / ti (ZZ/ QZ coastal)

If you want to know the standard Xiamen island variant, you can look it up in 台日大辭典.
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