Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
xng
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Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby xng » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:13 am

Contrary to popular beliefs, so-called 'hokkien' is not a single, homogenous dialect but consists of 3 distinct dialects ie.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoy_dialect#Accents

1. Quanzhou hokkien
2. Xiamen hokkien
3. Zhangzhou hokkien

Why should Teochiu be considered separate from the others when it should just be a Hokkien dialect too ?
It should be renamed as

4. Chaozhou hokkien.

People seemed to have forgotten that Teochiu ancestors came from Southern Fujian province and their dialect are as mutually unintelligible as the differences between the main 3 dialects themselves.

Whereas hainanese is quite different from the minnan group that some linguists grouped them under a separate min group. Hainanese seem to have lost the "S' consonant and replaced with "T' consonant.

Ah-bin
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby Ah-bin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:59 am

I certainly agree with you on the mutual intelligibility thing, it doesn't take long to get used to listening to Teochiu if you know Hokkien. But there are some problems with your argument.

First, the problem is that "Hokkien" is written with the characters for Fujian - and the Teochiu area is in Guangdong province, not in Fujian.

Second, what we call Hokkien is never called this in PRC publications. There it is always called Minnanhua 閩南話 and in Taiwan they usually call it Taiyu 台語 or Minnanyu 閩南語. Ordinary people sometimes call it Taiyu withour thinking when they are talking about Malaysian Hokkien. (BTW it is forbidden by law to use Taiyu 台語 to refer to Hokkien in PRC publications). Outside China and Taiwan, Hokkien 福建話 usually refers to Chiang-chiu/Chuan-chiu/Amoy language, or something very close to it, so if you mean "Teochiu is Hokkien" in this sense you are wrong. If you are using Hokkien to translate the term "閩南語" then you are right, and Chinese linguists will agree with you that Teochiu is a southern Min dialect.

I have just remembered that the speakers of other types of Southern MIn were called Hoklo 福佬 in Hong Kong and along the coast, which suggests they were perceived by others as having come from Fujian.

About Hainanese - it seems very different because of the s=t thing (the t in Hokkien disappears altogether in Hainanese too) and the lack of nasalised endings, but lots of Hainanese is very similar to Hokkien if you disregard this.

You haven't mentioned are the "missing links" between Teochiu and Hainanese - these are the Haifeng "Hoklo" language and the language of the Leizhou/Lui-chiu 雷州 Peninsula. I've heard the second one once, but not the first one.

xng
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby xng » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:01 pm

Ah-bin

"First, the problem is that "Hokkien" is written with the characters for Fujian - and the Teochiu area is in Guangdong province, not in Fujian. "

Your argument is flawed, just because Penang hokkien is spoken in Malaysia (and not China) doesn't mean they are not hokkien and not a chinese language.

In china, it is called Minnan hua but in English, we usually equate hokkien with minnan hua which is although incorrect BUT it's popularly in usage.

What do you mean by 'missing links' ?

Ah-bin
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby Ah-bin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:26 am

I don't think the argument is flawed. I think it does go quite far in explaining why Teochiu is not called Hokkien.

I've just remembered another possible reason that people don't call Teochiu "Hokkien" told to me by a history professor in HK. It was to do with the time people were registered by place under the Ming. The earlier settlers from the Fujian area (such as those who went to Luichiu and Hainan and Teochiu under the Song) were registered separately according to the places they lived. the greatest expansion of Hokkien people from the Chiang-chiu-Choan-chiu-Amoy are occurred after this, so these people became known as "Hokkien-lang" and the others were named after their respective areas, Teochiu, Luichiu, Hainan etc.

In china, it is called Minnan hua but in English, we usually equate hokkien with minnan hua which is although incorrect BUT it's popularly in usage.


If you are defending one term because of popular usage, then why worry about Teochiu being classed as different from Hokkien? That is popular usage too. Actually now it's only SEAN Chinese and HK that say 福建話 a PRC resident (especially one from outside the Southern Min area) might mistake that term for Hokchiu, because they don't have much idea that Hokkien is widely spoken outside China. If you are wanting to go into the linguistic relationship between types of Southern Min, I think it is better to use the technical terms, rather than popular usage.

名不正,則言不順;言不順則事不成 (孔子)
Beng put cheng, chik gian put sun; gian put sun chik su put seng. (Khong Chu)

By "missing links" I mean parts of the dialect continuum (方言連續體 in Chinese) that connect the major Minnan dialects together. I haven't been to the areas west of Chiang-chiu on the way to the Teochiu area, but I suspect there is no dividing line between Teochiu and Chiang-chiu, just a series of gradual changes between the speech of each village or town until you get something that sounds half-way in between both. All the way down the coast it is the same, except in areas settled more recently by Hakkas and Cantonese around the Pearl River Delta. So Haifeng Hoklo is something between Teochiu and Lui-chiu, and Lui-chiu is somewhere between Hainanese and Haifeng Hoklo. I call them "missing links" because most people are familiar only with the major dialects represented overseas, Hainanese, Teochiu, Hokkien - and the smaller dialcets that connect them together often get forgotten.

tadpole
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby tadpole » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:29 am

By the way, Tadpolenese is the only romanized writing that takes into account all the major subdialects. Many of the words in Tadpolenese go unchanged from Quanzhou to Zhangzhou to Teochew.

I couldn't take into account Hainanese, because the on-line resources are just not there.

xng
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby xng » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:51 pm

Ah-bin wrote:I don't think the argument is flawed. I think it does go quite far in explaining why Teochiu is not called Hokkien.

I've just remembered another possible reason that people don't call Teochiu "Hokkien" told to me by a history professor in


If they are called by the name of the place, then we should call the teochiu as 'teochiu cantonese' since teochiu is part of gwangdong ? :lol: And what if China decide to redelineate the province boundaries again, should we change all the dialect name again ?

I think the separation of teochiu from the rest of minnan is mostly due to ignorance of the masses before the advent of the internet when we have much more information at hand.

They were perceived as people with a different language and different culture/history from the rest of the 'hokkien', the same as how the hokkien view the cantonese, hakka etc. But now that we know the origin of the teochiu, their history, similarities of their dialect etc, they should be correctly regrouped as 'teochiu minnan'.

If we can group 'penang minnan' as part of minnan/hokkien even though it's in a different country, why not teochiu minnan when it's in the same country as fujien province ? :mrgreen:

Ah-bin
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby Ah-bin » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:41 am

No, it should be called a Guangdong Minnan Fangyan 廣東閩南方言 and actually it is in many Chinese publications.
No expert argues that Teochiu isn't a Minnan dialect, but to say it is a "Hokkien dialect" is mistranslating Chinese "Minnan" as "Hokkien". You now what "Hokkien" refers to in Southeast Asia, and you know it usually doesn't include Teochiu, (that was the whole point of your first post, saying that it should include Teochiu) The two terms (Hokkien and Minnan) are not interchangeable.

then we should call the teochiu as 'teochiu cantonese' since teochiu is part of gwangdong


You are mixing your translations up again. "Cantonese" in English refers to the language of Canton (Guangzhou) not the language of the whole of Guangdong province. Even though it often gets called 廣東話 the technical term for it and the dialects related to it is Yue fangyan粵方言.

And yes, before I get caught out 粵 and 閩 do refer to Guangdong and Fujian provinces in a historical sense, but not in linguistic categorisation. In Chinese 粵方言 does not equal 廣東方言 and 閩方言 does not equal 福建方言. Why? Because Guangdong and Fujian are the geographical terms and include all the different Sinitic languages spoken in the respective provinces (both have Hakka speakers, and Min speakers) Yue and Min are the linguistic categories which transcend provincial boundaries, and national boundaries as well. The Guangdong Guangxi shifted in the 1960's, but none of this ended up changing the linguistic classifications of the languages spoken there. The language of Beihai 北海 remains a Yue dialect, but is no longer a Guangdong dialect.

You can't argue about linguistic technicalities by appealing to popular usage. Popular usage in Southeast Asia says Hokkien is different from Teochiu. Academics (people who spend their lives looking at the tiny differences between speech in different towns and villages) says Teochiu is a Minnan dialect '潮州話屬於閩南方言' no-one says Teochiu is a Hokkien dialect '潮州話是屬於福建話'

xng
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Re: Teochiu should be part of 'Hokkien' language

Postby xng » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:10 pm

Ah-bin

All the confusion arose from the misconception that Minnan is a single language as commonly called and perceived by people in Taiwan and southern region of Fujian.

Linguistically, Minnan is a language subfamily with several mutually unintelligible languages and not dialects.

Hokkien is just a misleading term. The correct term should be Quan-Zhang language with three main mutually intelligible dialects - Quanzhou, Amoy/Taiwanese, Zhangzhou. These are true dialects of Hokkien.

Teochiu is part of Chaoshan language which should be part of Minnan language subfamily. This is not a Quan-Zhang dialect but another Minnan language as mutual intelligibility is only around 40% with Quan-Zhang.

This is similar to Germanic language tree.

1. Western Germanic language subfamily

English
Dutch
German
Scots

2. Southern Min language subfamily

Quan-Zhang
Chaoshan
Puxian (yes, Puxian come from same root as Quan-Zhang but split during Song dynasty)
Qiong-Lei

Each of these language have their own dialects.

Western linguistics is much more accurate than confusing Chinese linguistics.

So you're right, Teochiu shouldn't be called Teochiu Hokkien but Chaoshan Minnan.

After all, Fujian province has so many other languages like Mindong and Minbei which has its own mutually unintelligible languages as well.


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