Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Ah-bin wrote:I've discussed with Sim sometimes about how to write the word khí-hōng "to get angry", and my instinct when I heard it was to write 起風, but Sim pointed out that the tone is different, (hòng or hōng, not hong)...
and
Ah-bin wrote:I think it's to do with the fact that in Penang Hokkien you often 起風共儂 khí-hng kah lâng, (get angry WITH people), and it causes the tone of "hong" to sandhi to "hōng".
and
SimL wrote:I'm not sure this is the reason (i.e. I'm still not sure it's from 風). If we look at "khi kiaN ka i" (起行共伊) - "go and walk with him", or "khi ciah ka i" (起食共伊) - "go and eat with him", then we don't see any tone-sandhi on the 行 and 食. Now, I do acknowledge that these may be grammatically (but primarily semantically) slightly different from the proposed 起風共儂, but I still think that this should be taken into consideration.
After thinking about this a bit further, I want to retract my statement / counter-argument. This is not so much because I think it's wrong (it's not), but because I realised that I don't say khí-hōng or khí-hòng anyway, but rather khí-hông. That being the case, it can't be the sandhi-tone of anything, as tone-5 is not the sandhi-tone of any tone in Penang Hokkien (hence sort of removing the need for me to provide a counter-argument).

So, we need to find a syllable pronounced hông in citation tone (based on the argument I just retracted :twisted:). aokh1979's 惶 does fit the pronunciation and tone, but I'm not sure if the meaning fits well enough (I acknowledge that it is close in meaning).

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Ah-bin wrote:It's another possibility, but I see 癀 is also a different tone (hông) as well, so it could be 氣癀 with a changed tone as well.
Don't know how I missed seeing this earlier! Indeed, combined with my assertion that I in fact do pronounce it with a tone-5, I think we have the solution!

Furthermore, I found in the Douglas with handwritten characters (p153): hoat4-hong5 burning with rage.

aokh1979
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: George Town, Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by aokh1979 »

發癀 is my example for the 癀 where it matches perfectly with the hong we're searching.

However, 癀 is a disease, a sickness. It does not make much sense to me if khi-hong is 氣癀 or 起癀...... Personal opinion, I will vote for 惶 as "worry" or 遑 as "hurry".

I live in China. When someone's furious at me, we say in Mandarin: 他跟我急......

遑 is explained as 急也 in 說文解字 and the pronunciation should be exactly the same as 癀 or 惶......

Your thought ?

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Hi aokh1979,

Sorry, I missed seeing your posting of 癀 also. I don't have an opinion about either 癀 or 遑 or 惶 because my knowledge of Chinese characters is very, very basic. I tend to trust the people in the field who know more about it than me. For me, that's Douglas, Barclay, and Mark Yong. If Mark cares to comment on this, then I'd value his opinion a lot. Other than that, I'm happy to use whichever one most other people are using.

When you say "癀 is a disease, a sickness", do you mean that you know it as a Hokkien word with this meaning? Or do you say that because it has the "disease" radical? (Please forgive my ignorance of Hokkien.) Or perhaps because of its meaning in Mandarin or Cantonese.

If you are basing it only on the meaning of the radical, then I think it is wise to be cautious. After all, 瘦 shou4 in Mandarin has the "disease" radical too, but it only means "thin". Of course, one can see the connection - if one is sick then one could become very thin, but still, the presence of the radical itself doesn't mean that the character is necessarily related to disease. Similarly, I feel that the meaning of 癀 in either Mandarin or Cantonese shouldn't weigh too heavily in deciding whether it's suitable for writing the "hong5" of "khi-hong" in Hokkien. After all, we know also that the meaning of a character can drift in relation to other dialects; the classic example being 走 for "walk" in Mandarin and "run" in Hokkien. (If I recall correctly, it's the Mandarin meaning which has drifted, and the Hokkien one preserves the original, but I may be wrong.)

aokh1979
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: George Town, Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by aokh1979 »

Hi SimL:

I know it's a disease based on a few things.

You're right, from its radical 疒 which relates 99.99% (dare not say 100% but I believe so) to sickness. 瘦 does mean thin, and that's a sickness because traditionally, Chinese believe 瘦 is due to malnutrition. 瘦 is used on human and animals. When it comes to describing a pen or even a plant, we usually tend to use 細 if those things are "meant to be" thin. However, if the ground is not fertile, we do in fact say it's 瘦田. You can see that 瘦 does express sickness.

癀 is 疸病. I was sick by 黃病 when I was born, my whole body was yellowish. I have not seen anyone with 黃病 in my life, but that's what I know from my mother. Hoat-Hong is "swelling". Therefore, I personally do not think 癀 is the right character for khi-hong. Funny enough, I ask around all my Hokkien friends from all over the province, different cities, including Teochew from Guangdong, so far none of them comes back with khi-hong. The term seems somewhat unique to Malaysia, or just Penang ? Perhaps, friends of mine have all been heavily "brainwashed" by Mandarin.
:lol:

There are tons of characters used in Mandarin that do not make any (or much) sense to me. I truly believe that, when Chinese characters were created - there were rules and pattern. So I tend to think in Hokkien each time I come across any unreasonable character. Like 短 means "short" in Mandarin, but it's not a commonly used word in Hokkien. Besides, all characters with 豆 basically sound similar, like 逗, 頭, 鋀, 荳 etc, except 短. I believe it was a corruption when Hu and Manchu people tried to pronounce Han language in the past, when they took over northern region. And during that time, Hokkien should be the official language used.

Feel free to correct me if you think I am not making sense.
:P

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Thanks for taking the time to give your explanation. You made complete sense!

So, there are a number of alternatives for the "khi-hong" problem. We can continue looking for the "correct" character, but seeing as the usage is so restricted (not even the south of mainland Malaysia uses it), perhaps it's not even worth doing this. Alternatively, we can just agree on one of the candidates and "misuse" it. I'm not against that solution, because I believe in a practical approach. I think it's much more important to get Hokkien spoken and written, even slightly "incorrectly" (either grammatically, in terms of vocabulary, borrowed words from other languages, borrowed characters, etc, etc) than to sit around and watch it die out. (I am not however avocating "anything goes", as I've tried to point out in the past - standards and good/careful usage are important.) Yet another alternative is that we can coin our own character, and use it. But in this modern age of computer standards and Unicode encoding, this seems like quite a pointless direction to go in. There are already so many "dialect" characters needed for Hokkien which haven't yet been accepted in Unicode. Am I right in thinking that this is one of the areas of interest to you? If so, then I encourage you to try and get as many of them accepted as possible!

niuc
Posts: 734
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by niuc »

Hi Aokh1979 & Sim

Aokh: Thanks for the & , it is interesting to know these less known hanji (regardless if they are indeed the original characters for those Hokkien words).

Sim: 發癀 huat4-hong5 in my variant means inflammation (assuming is the correct hanji). Another homonym 'huat4-hong5' means to get very angry (furious).

Although they are pronounced identically (and 'huat4' in both is 發), I agree with Aokh that 'hong5' should be different. However, I don't think it is . 惶 means fearful, in colloquial is 'hia*5' -> 驚惶 'kia*1-hia*5' = fearful. I am not sure about .

Even 走狗 ('cau2-kau2') in Mandarin (zou3gou3) means running dog (traitor) and not "walking dog", so we can be sure that originally means to run (as it still does in Hokkien).

is commonly used as hanji for 'ter2' (short) in Hokkien (ref. http://solution.cs.ucla.edu/~jinbo/dzl/lookup.php & http://203.64.42.21/iug/ungian/SoannTen ... taihoa.asp ). Aokh may be right on possibility of Manchu influence in its pronunciation (duan3 in Mandarin), but I think the meaning is still there, as it is a "combined picture" of an arrow and a bean -> if the arrow has the same length as the bean, it indeed is short! :mrgreen:

While it is true that majority of hanji are 像聲 (phono-semantic), many of them at the same time are also 像形(pictographic) or 會意(ideographic), e.g. head is , with the phonetic part linked to (bean) rather than (part of) 斗, 投, 兜, 偷, because the shape of head is more similar to rather than etc.

Aokh: 黃病 'ng5-pi*7' is jaundice, I got it too as a child and recovered after eating quite many doses of Chinese medicine, but yours is neonatal jaundice (usually harmless). Anyway, it seems to be rare nowadays.

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Hi Niuc,
Another homonym 'huat4-hong5' means to get very angry (furious).
Wonderful to know this! The "hong5" here is almost definitely the same one as Penang Hokkien "khi2-hong5". I now accept both your and Aokh's assertion that this should be different from .

Even 走狗 ('cau2-kau2') in Mandarin (zou3gou3) means running dog (traitor) and not "walking dog", so we can be sure that 走 originally means to run (as it still does in Hokkien).
I'm glad you pointed this out to me. It will be a good way for me to remember from now on which dialect has the original meaning.

While it is true that majority of hanji are 像聲 (phono-semantic), many of them at the same time are also 像形(pictographic) or 會意(ideographic), ...
I've always wondered why is pronounced "hai3", when most of the similar characters I know are pronounced "mei" (, , , ). I checked zhongwen.com, and it turns out that 每 isn't functioning as a phonetic in this case. It's contributing a semantic meaning, along with the radical: it's "where ALL WATER goes"!

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

PS. Actually, it appears to be my lack of knowledge of Chinese characters which made me wonder this... I did some more investigation, and it turns out that there are quite a lot of characters based on which are not pronounced "mei": (hai3), (hui3), (wu3), (hui4), (yu4), (hui4), (hai3).

niuc
Posts: 734
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by niuc »

Hi Sim

The top part of "every" (ref. zhongwen.com) is derived from a blade of grass. That probably is historically correct. Some suggest that the top part resembles , so the character is a combination of and , "every human has a mother". Similarly "warm" can be written as , so water inside a vessel under the sun . This is probably historically incorrect (pseudo-etymology), but it helps us to remember the meaning of the word more easily. :mrgreen:

aokh1979
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: George Town, Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by aokh1979 »

Hi niuc:

That's an interesting analysis ! :lol:

Based on what I understand from 溫, it's the name of a river in Guizhou province today. The original writing of 溫 should be 𥁕 without the water. That's 囚 (prisoner) with a 皿 (container), that means to feed the prisoner. 氵 was only added when Chinese named the river. I dunno when exactly did it start to mean "warm" in Chinese. The 日 that replaces 囚 is a shorthand. Simplified Chinese was later standardised to the 日 part.

Indeed, 海 made me wonder for a while. But like niuc says, the truth is that 每 does mean a blade of grass though some researchers say it's the alternate writing of 母. You see, it does make sense as we often say "just became a mother" as 初爲人母. Looks like traditionally Chinese have been emphasising on the 母 with 人, even though it's quite redundant.
:P

niuc
Posts: 734
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by niuc »

Hi Aokh1979

Thanks for the info, I didn't know that is a river name in 貴州. Zhongwen.com does give the etymology of [囚 above 皿] as offering a plate (food) to prisoner, thus "benevolence". It also makes sense that "benevolent water" feels "warm" (at least in heart) :mrgreen:

Talking about , I read that Wenzhou 溫州 has some Minnan 閩南 speakers. Do you have more info regarding this? How close is this variant to Hokkien?

Also reminds me of i.e. 'siu5' -> 泅浴 'siu5-ik8' or 泅水 'siu5-cui2' to swim in Hokkien, although 游泳 is used in 游泳池 'iu5-ing2-ti5' swimming pool (= 泅浴池 'siu5-ik8-ti5'). Since means prisoner, at the first glance it may seem unappropriate that "prisoner" in "water" means to "swim" (granted that 囚 is there for phonetic purpose), but actually 囚 itself is a picture of a man confined/surrounded, so is indeed fitting i.e. a man surrounded by water -> to swim :P

aokh1979
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: George Town, Malaysia
Contact:

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by aokh1979 »

Hi niuc:

Yes, 溫州 does have their variant of 閩南話 spoken in a few cities in the southern part, neighbouring 福鼎. I have friends from 福鼎 and they speak a "vague" version of 閩南話 mixed with tones from 閩東話. One of them was memorising a rhyme to me, regarding sending a newlywed couple to their 新房, out of the 4 lines with 7 characters each, I was able to understand 80%. I will ask him to read again and I will upload it somewhere for you. :P

泅 should not be the original writing of siu in Hokkien. But before that, I think swimming was never a hobby or sports game in Han Dynasty. One would swim only when one had to, like when one fell into a stream. Do you agree ? Therefore, 泅 does make sense.

But according to what I understand, the precedent writing of "swim" should be 汓 (in case your screen does not display it - it's 氵子). The pronunciation is exactly the same: Siu. A man in the water. He was not surrounded, but ON the water, if you turn the pictorial character 90° to the left and look at it, it is a man propelling ON the water with his arm. Your thought ?

niuc
Posts: 734
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:23 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by niuc »

Hi Aokh

Thank you for the info! Looking forward to hear your friends' 溫州/福鼎閩南話! :mrgreen:

Great to know , even easier to write! However, I found that most Mandarin online dictionaries list it as "qiu2" (pinyin) and explanation 古同“泅”, so it has identical pronunciation and meaning as . Both are pronounced as 'siu5' in Hokkien. I have no problem with any or both of them used. 8)

SimL
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:33 am
Location: Amsterdam

Re: Getting angry in Penang Hokkien

Post by SimL »

Hi Niuc and Aokh,

Thanks for the great discussion here. I've always wanted to know /, so that's a great new acquisition for me.

Locked