Different variants of minnan

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

Post by xng »

aokh1979 wrote: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.
Most people can only understand/master TWO languages, one of them must be mandarin, the other could be English or mother tongue.

The situation is different in cantonese because they do have a standard cantonese ie. Hong Kong version. that's why learning cantonese is NOT a problem for outsiders. Furthermore, the other non standard cantonese may be dying out in favor of the standard given a few more generations down the road.

For hokkien, there is no standard version and this is a major stumbling block. If newcomers have to learn several versions, they will give up half way. Even those 'lau jiau' like me is also thinking of giving up.

Furthermore, the various 3 versions doesn't want to come up with a compromise to merge the 3 into 1 standard. I can only forsee the dying out of this language in the future.

If there is a standard, then other minnan offshoots such as Teo ciu, hing hua, hainan may in time merge back into the standard.

xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng »

hohomi wrote: 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)
Thanks for the list. I hate having to learn all 3 variants instead of one. What about the other main differences like...

雞 Kue (QZ city) -> Kue (XM) -> Ke (ZZ)
病 Pinn (QZ city) -> Pinn (XM) -> Penn (ZZ)
鞋,街 Ue/Kue (QZ city) -> E/Ke (XM) -> E/Ke (ZZ)

Is this correct as I am getting confused myself.

hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi »

xng wrote: Thanks for the list. I hate having to learn all 3 variants instead of one. What about the other main differences like...

Is this correct as I am getting confused myself.
ue(QZ/XM) -> e(ZZ)
雞,鞋,街 kue,ue,kue (QZ/XM) -> ke,e,ke(ZZ)
袂[勿會](QZ/XM) bue -> be(ZZ)

enn(ZZ) -> inn(XM/QZ)
病penn(ZZ) -> pinn(XM/QZ)
生senn(ZZ) -> sinn(XM/QZ)

niuc
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by niuc »

Hi Hohomi
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
Indeed. I always think of 同安 Tang-ua* (Tong'An) variant as a different one from E-mng (Xiamen). I wholly agree with your view: "The dialect division is just for convenience. The actual distribution of different accents is a continuum." It is very interesting and actually natural that E-mng variant is somewhere in between Cuanciu (Quanzhou) and Ciangciu (Zhangzhou) variants; while Tang-ua* variant is somewhere in between Cuanciu and E-mng variants, so on and so forth.
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.
Thanks a lot for this information. I didn't know this before, always simply (and wrongly!) assumed that all Cuanciu variants were unified in their vowels. Btw, may I know which area within Quanzhou prefecture (e.g. 安溪 Ankhue, 晉江 Cinkang etc) are closer to 泉州府城腔, and which to 泉州海口腔? Thanks!

niuc
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by niuc »

Hi Aokh

Thank you for sharing with us.
aokh1979 wrote: 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.
Actually I also think that Hokkien is dying (together with many other languages). It may take many decades, but one thing for sure is its usage is diminishing and unless there is something extraordinary (e.g. PRC mandates Hokkien in schools, which is practically impossible to happen), it is just a matter of time.
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 agree with you. While it is almost unavoidable to have "rojak" (mixed) terms heard in multi-lingual environment, it is true that bilingual means a good mastery of 2 languages, not 0.5 and 0.5!
...that Hokkien, even in an authentic Hokkien-speaking region like Xiamen, is considered "immature" or "sub-standard"
This attitude is much worse than governmental propaganda to get rid of "dialects". The "self-hating" of many Hokkien people is the primary cause of Hokkien diminishing role.
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.
Spot on! I always said similar things before in this forum. Cantonese have a strong linguistic identity and they are really proud of it, while many Hokkiens are busy adoring Mandarin and ashamed of their own "dialect". Surely there are still many Hokkiens who are proud (in possitive sense) and actively use Hokkien, yet it is indeed starlting to see how pale we are compared to Cantonese in this aspect.
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.
Wow, good to hear that Hokkien is being taught in some schools! But you are right, shame on those parents who totally abandon their own language. I understand parental desire for their children to be fluent in Mandarin, but it is totally wrong to just talking to them only in Mandarin. Anyway, children who are raised with multi languages are usually smarter and more creative.
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.
This is sad but hardly a surprise. PRC is such a hypocrite in "promoting" Minnan cultural link with Taiwan but on the other hand doing such thing.
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.
They don't know what they are missing. What a pity!

hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi »

niuc wrote:Thanks a lot for this information. I didn't know this before, always simply (and wrongly!) assumed that all Cuanciu variants were unified in their vowels. Btw, may I know which area within Quanzhou prefecture (e.g. 安溪 Ankhue, 晉江 Cinkang etc) are closer to 泉州府城腔, and which to 泉州海口腔? Thanks!
Ankhue is closer to 泉州府城腔.
Tsinkang(晋江) has both variants.
Uann-hai(安海)、Tang-tsioh(东石) are 泉州府城腔. 青阳(tshing-iong) is 泉州海口腔.

Please watch these videos :
(a TV programme on the Jinjiang Television ):
http://www.jinjiang.tv/video/zczr/

An interesting story. (The story teller speaks a Jinjiang version of 泉州府城腔 that is almost identical to the accent of Quanzhou city)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC_i5kJ25f4

xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng »

niuc wrote:
That does not happen to Cantonese.
Spot on! I always said similar things before in this forum. Cantonese have a strong linguistic identity and they are really proud of it, while many Hokkiens are busy adoring Mandarin and ashamed of their own "dialect".
It's not that they are ashamed of their 'dialect', it is the lack of standard that is hindering the progress of the language.

Eg. Andy Lau (and many other HK actors) is a Sei Yap which is different from standard cantonese, and yet many actors like him abandon their original subdialect in favor of a standard. The difference between Sei Yap and standard cantonese is as large as Tio Ciu and Cuan Ciu.

A Ciang Ciu would rather talk to another Cuan Ciu person in mandarin because of the many differences between the two.
:cry:

xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng »

hohomi wrote: ue(QZ/XM) -> e(ZZ)
雞,鞋,街 kue,ue,kue (QZ/XM) -> ke,e,ke(ZZ)
袂[勿會](QZ/XM) bue -> be(ZZ)

enn(ZZ) -> inn(XM/QZ)
病penn(ZZ) -> pinn(XM/QZ)
生senn(ZZ) -> sinn(XM/QZ)

These two examples show that Xiamen is closer to Quanzhou than Zhangzhou.

So a person from Xiamen would have less trouble understanding Quanzhou.

hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi »

xng wrote:These two examples show that Xiamen is closer to Quanzhou than Zhangzhou.
So a person from Xiamen would have less trouble understanding Quanzhou.
I always think of Xiamen as a perfect mixture of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.
The tone system of Xiamen is based on that of Zhangzhou.
And, Xiamen city is only half hour away from Zhangzhou city.

For a resident in Xiamen, Quanzhouese and Zhangzhouese are equally comprehensible. If he/she understands one of them better, the reason must be he/she has been exposed to it more.

niuc
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by niuc »

xng wrote:It's not that they are ashamed of their 'dialect', it is the lack of standard that is hindering the progress of the language.
I was commenting on Aokh's experience about some Xiamen parents. There is Hokkien lesson in some schools there, which I assume must be based on Xiamen variant. Since they are living in Xiamen, having the same Hokkien variant as taught in some schools in their own very city, what kind of standard do they still waiting for? Didn't you also think of Xiamen as the standard? So why do they still talk to their children solely in Mandarin, and even frown upon those who tried to talk to their children in Hokkien? If this is not due to their being ashamed of their own heritage, I don't know what this is.

SimL
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by SimL »

niuc wrote:...
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.
Spot on! I always said similar things before in this forum. Cantonese have a strong linguistic identity and they are really proud of it, while many Hokkiens are busy adoring Mandarin and ashamed of their own "dialect". Surely there are still many Hokkiens who are proud (in possitive sense) and actively use Hokkien, yet it is indeed starlting to see how pale we are compared to Cantonese in this aspect.
Yes. I cannot express how sad (and shocked!) I was when I learnt (about 5-6 years ago now, I think) that people in Malaysia were naming their children with Mandarin names (i.e. Mandarin version, spelled in pinyin on their birth certificates), and that only the surname retains its Hokkien form. My brother's little daughter was born and grew up in Australia, and her mother is Anglo-Australian. My brother left Malaysia when he was 4 or 5, so his own Hokkien is very limited. Given these circumstances, there was no possibility that their daughter would ever speak Hokkien. Nevertheless, my brother took the trouble to: 1) give her a Hokkien personal name, which appears on her birth certificate, and 2) teach her to count and identify parts of the body in Hokkien (= the game where the parents say "hi7 a", and the child points to his/her ear, "chui3", and the child points to his/her mouth, etc). If my brother, under such disadvantageous circumstances, can have this little bit of "Hokkien pride", it's saddening to see that Hokkiens in Malaysia don't bother.
niuc wrote:...
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.
This is sad but hardly a surprise. PRC is such a hypocrite in "promoting" Minnan cultural link with Taiwan but on the other hand doing such thing.
Yes. Ah-bin posted a link on this Forum to (an English translation even of) the legislation which covers the use of dialect in the PRC. Basically it boiled down to (I'm paraphrasing and putting it a bit sarcastically): "Only for genuinely traditional Hokkien puppet shows, or if you're speaking to a 88 year-old peasant who can't speak anything else".

This too I found very saddening. On the other hand (to be fair to the PRC government), it's exactly what any government does, when that government decides to promote a particular variant or form as the standard. It happened for German and Dutch, and it continues to happen to this day. [= When a spelling reform is promulgated (in the 1990's in both Germany and the Netherlands), then the Ministry of Education in both countries mandated that all educational institutions (which of course includes the teachers themselves) will use the new standard (or are obliged to move completely over to the new standard in <x> years).] The same applied to public servants. The PRC has decided that Mandarin is to be the standard language (in itself not a bad idea), and it is only taking the expected same steps to enforce this decision.

hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi »

SimL wrote: Only for genuinely traditional Hokkien puppet shows, or if you're speaking to a 88 year-old peasant who can't speak anything else.
That is so untrue.

When I was very young, primary schools in Quanzhou city forbid the students to speak Hokkien at school. That was because nearly every student spoke Hokkien at home. They needed to practise their Mandarin.
At that time(in the 1990s), Mandarin was definitely the weaker language compared to Hokkien - it was only used at schools.

I couldn't speak Mandarin properly before I went to primary school.

They allowed us to speak Hokkien in middle schools. Because, we had been practising speaking Mandarin for six years before attending middle school.

niuc
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by niuc »

hohomi wrote: Ankhue is closer to 泉州府城腔.
Tsinkang(晋江) has both variants.
Uann-hai(安海)、Tang-tsioh(东石) are 泉州府城腔. 青阳(tshing-iong) is 泉州海口腔.
Thanks for the info. It seems that most variants are closer to 泉州府城腔.
An interesting story. (The story teller speaks a Jinjiang version of 泉州府城腔 that is almost identical to the accent of Quanzhou city)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC_i5kJ25f4
Thanks, the story indeed is interesting and creative. :mrgreen:
Roughly I can understand about 90%. I find the tones are quite different from Tang-ua*, so I have to pay close attention. Although having some different vowels, I find E-mng variant much easier to understand due to similar tones. Btw, what is 'ua ping' in the clip? It sounds like interjection "wah piang" in Singlish :roll:

xng
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by xng »

hohomi

tell me whether this is correct ?

思 (意思) Quanzhou Sɯ, xiamen Su, Zhangzhou Si

遠 Quanzhou Hŋ, xiamen Hŋ, Zhangzhou Hui

hohomi
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Re: Pronounciation of 還 - Return

Post by hohomi »

niuc wrote:what is 'ua ping' in the clip? It sounds like interjection "wah piang" in Singlish :roll:
I've no idea about "wah piang" in Singlish.
"gua-ping" is an interjection used to show that you are surprised. Sometimes I hear people say "gua-piang".
xng wrote:hohomi
tell me whether this is correct ?
思 (意思) Quanzhou Sɯ, xiamen Su, Zhangzhou Si
遠 Quanzhou Hŋ, xiamen Hŋ, Zhangzhou Hui
You're right. 遠(far) is huīⁿ (nasal) in Zhangzhou.

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