Amoy dialect

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Amoy
廈門話 / 厦门话 Ē-mn̂g-ōe or ε̄-mûiⁿ-ōa
Native to People's Republic of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan (where it is known as Taiwanese), Japan (due to large Taiwanese community in Tokyo-Yokohama Metropolitan Area), and other areas of Min Nan and Hoklo settlement
Region Southern Fujian province
Native speakers
over 10 million (no recent data)  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist list
nan-amo
{{{mapalt}}}
     Amoy
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Amoy (Chinese: 廈門話; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ē-mn̂g-ōe or Ē-mûiⁿ-ōa), also known as Xiamenese or Xiamen dialect, is a Hokkien dialect spoken in Southern Fujian province (in Southeast China), in the area centered on the city of Xiamen. The Amoy dialect is often known by its Hokkien or Min Nan in Southeast Asia.[citation needed] It is one of the most widely researched varieties of Min Nan,[1] and has historically come to be one of the more standardized varieties.[2]

Spoken Amoy and Taiwanese are both mixtures of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou speech.[3] As such, they are very closely aligned phonologically. However, there are some subtle differences between the two, as a result of physical separation and other historical factors. The lexical differences between the two are slightly more pronounced.[citation needed] Generally speaking the Hokkien dialects of Amoy, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia are mutually intelligible.[citation needed]

History[edit]

In 1842, as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, Xiamen (Amoy) was designated as a trading port. Xiamen and Gulangyu islands rapidly developed, which resulted in a large influx of people from neighboring areas such as Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. The mixture of these various accents formed the basis for Amoy. Over the last several centuries, there has been a large number of descendants from these areas to migrate to Taiwan. Eventually, Amoy became popularly known as Taiwanese among the locals living there. Just like British and American English, there are subtle lexical and phonological differences between Taiwanese and Amoy; however, these differences do not generally pose any barriers to communication. Amoy speakers also spread to Southeast Asia, where it became widely known as Hokkien.

Special characteristics[edit]

Spoken Amoy preserves many of the sounds and words from Old Chinese. However, the vocabulary of Amoy was also influenced in its early stages by the languages of the Minyue peoples.[4] Spoken Amoy is known for its extensive use of nasalization.

Unlike Mandarin, Amoy distinguishes between voiced and voiceless unaspirated initial consonants (Mandarin has no voicing of initial consonants). Unlike English, it differentiates between unaspirated and aspirated voiceless initial consonants (as Mandarin does too). In less technical terms, native Amoy speakers have little difficulty in hearing the difference between the following syllables:

  unaspirated aspirated
bilabial stop bo po pʰo
velar stop go ko kʰo
  voiced voiceless

Accents[edit]

A comparison between Amoy and other Min Nan dialects can be found there.

Tones[edit]

Amoy is similar to other Min Nan dialects in that it makes use of five tones, though only two in checked syllables. The tones are traditionally numbered from 1 through 8, with 4 and 8 being the checked tones, but those numbered 2 and 6 are identical in most regions.

Tone number Tone name Tone letter
1 Yin level ˥
2 Yin rising ˥˧
3 Yin falling ˨˩
4 Yin entering ˩ʔ
5 Yang level ˧˥
6=2 Yang rising ˥˧
7 Yang falling ˧
8 Yang entering ˥ʔ

Tone sandhi[edit]

Amoy has extremely extensive tone sandhi (tone-changing) rules: in an utterance, only the last syllable pronounced is not affected by the rules. What an 'utterance' is, in the context of this language, is an ongoing topic for linguistic research. For the purpose of this article, an utterance may be considered a word, a phrase, or a short sentence. The diagram illustrates the rules that govern the pronunciation of a tone on each of the syllables affected (that is, all but the last in an utterance):

Amoy tones.svg

Literary and colloquial readings[edit]

Like other varieties of Min Nan, Amoy has complex rules for literary and colloquial readings of Chinese characters. For example, the character for big, , has a vernacular reading of tōa ([tua˧]), but a literary reading of tāi ([tai˧]). Because of the loose nature of the rules governing when to use a given pronunciation, a learner of the language must often simply memorize the appropriate reading for a word on a case by case basis. For single syllable words, it is more common to use the vernacular pronunciation. This situation is comparable to the on and kun readings of Japanese.

The vernacular readings are generally thought to predate the literary readings; the literary readings appear to have evolved from Middle Chinese.[citation needed] The following chart illustrates some of the more commonly seen sound shifts:

Colloquial Literary Example
[p-], [pʰ-] [h-] pun hun divide
[ts-], [tsʰ-], [tɕ-], [tɕʰ-] [s-], [ɕ-] chiâⁿ sêng to become
[k-], [kʰ-] [tɕ-], [tɕʰ-] kí chí finger
[-ã], [-uã] [-an] khòaⁿ khàn to see
[-ʔ] [-t] chia̍h si̍t to eat
[-i] [-e] sì sè world
[-e] [-a] ke ka family
[-ia] [-i] kh khì to stand

Vocabulary[edit]

For further information, read the article: Swadesh list

The Swadesh word list, developed by the linguist Morris Swadesh, is used as a tool to study the evolution of languages. It contains a set of basic words which can be found in every language.

Grammar[edit]

Amoy grammar shares a similar structure to other Chinese dialects, although it is slightly more complex than Mandarin. Moreover, equivalent Amoy and Mandarin particles are usually not cognates.

Complement constructions[edit]

Amoy complement constructions are roughly parallel to Mandarin ones, although there are variations in the choice of lexical term. The following are examples of constructions that Amoy employs.

In the case of adverbs:

English: He runs quickly.
Amoy: i cháu ē kín (伊走會緊)
Mandarin: tā pǎo de kuài (他跑得快)
Gloss: He-runs-obtains-quick.

In the case of the adverb "very":

English: He runs very quickly.
Amoy: i cháu chiok kín (伊走足緊)
Mandarin: tā pǎo de hěn kuài (他跑得很快)
Gloss: He-runs-obtains-quick.
English: He does not run quickly.
Amoy: i cháu kín (伊走未緊)
Mandarin: tā pǎo kuài (他跑不快)
Gloss: He-runs-not-quick
English: He can see.
Amoy: i khòaⁿ ē tio̍h (伊看會著)
Mandarin: tā kàn de dào (他看得到)
Gloss: He-see-obtains-already-achieved

For the negative,

English: He cannot see.
Amoy: i khòaⁿ tio̍h (伊看未著)
Mandarin: tā kàn dào (他看不到)
Gloss: He-sees-not-already achieved

For the adverb "so," Amoy uses kah (甲) instead of Mandarin de (得):

English: He was so startled, that he could not speak.
Amoy: i kiaⁿ "kah" ōe mā kóng boē chhut-lâi (伊驚甲話每講未出來)
Mandarin: tā xià de huà dōu shuō bù chūlái (他嚇得話都說不出來)
Gloss: He-startled-to-the point of-words-also-say-not-come out

Negative particles[edit]

Negative particle syntax is parallel to Mandarin about 70% of the time, although lexical terms used differ from those in Mandarin. For many lexical particles, there is no single standard Hanji character to represent these terms (e.g. m̄, a negative particle, can be variously represented by 毋, 呣, and 唔), but the most commonly used ones are presented below in examples. The following are commonly used negative particles:

  1. m̄ (毋, 呣, 唔) - is not + noun (Mandarin 不, )
    i m̄-sī gún lāu-bú. (伊毋是阮老母) She is not my mother.
  2. m̄ - does not + verb/will not + verb (Mandarin 不, )
    i m̄ lâi. (伊毋來) He will not come.
  3. verb + bē (未 or 袂) + particle - is not able to (Mandarin 不, )
    góa khòaⁿ-bē-tio̍h. (我看未著) I am not able to see it.
  4. bē (未) + helping verb - cannot (opposite of ē 會, is able to/Mandarin 不, )
    i bē-hiáu kóng Eng-gú. (伊未曉講英語) He can't speak English.
    • helping verbs that go with bē (未)
      bē-sái (未使) - is not permitted to (Mandarin 不可以 bù kěyǐ)
      bē-hiáu (未曉) - does not know how to (Mandarin 不会, búhuì)
      bē-tàng (未當) - not able to (Mandarin 不能, bùnéng)
  5. mài (莫, 勿, or 嘜) - do not (imperative) (Mandarin 別, bié)
    mài kóng! (莫講) Don't speak!
  6. bô (無) - do not + helping verb (Mandarin 不, )
    i bô beh lâi. (伊無侎來) He is not going to come.
    • helping verbs that go with bô (無):
      beh (侎 or 欲) - want to + verb; will + verb
      ài (愛) - must + verb
      èng-kai (應該) - should + verb
      kah-ì (合意) - like to + verb
  7. bô (無) - does not have (Mandarin 沒有, méiyǒu)
    i bô chîⁿ. (伊無錢) He does not have any money.
  8. bô - did not (Mandarin 沒有, méiyǒu)
    i bô lâi. (伊無來) He did not come.
  9. bô (無) - is not + adjective (Mandarin 不, )
    i bô súi. (伊無婎 or 伊無媠) She is not beautiful.
    • Hó (good) is an exception, as it can use both m̄ and bô.

Common particles[edit]

Commonly seen particles include:

  • 與 (hō·) - indicates passive voice (Mandarin 被, bèi)
    i hō· lâng phiàn khì (伊與人騙去) - They were cheated
  • 共 (kā) - identifies the object (Mandarin 把, )
    i kā chîⁿ kau hō· lí (伊共錢交與你) - He handed the money to you
  • 加 (ke) - "more"
    i ke chia̍h chi̍t óaⁿ (伊加食一碗) - He ate one more bowl
  • 共 (kā) - identifies the object
    góa kā lí kóng (我共你講) - I'm telling you
  • 濟 (choē) - "more"
    i ū khah choē ê pêng-iú (伊有較濟的朋友) - He has comparatively many friends

Romanization[edit]

A number of Romanization schemes have been devised for Amoy. Pe̍h-ōe-jī is one of the oldest and best established. However, the Taiwanese Language Phonetic Alphabet has become the romanization of choice for many of the recent textbooks and dictionaries from Taiwan.

Vowels
IPA a ap at ak ã ɔ ɔk ɔ̃ ə o e i ɪɛn
Pe̍h-ōe-jī a ap at ak ah aⁿ ok oⁿ o o e eⁿ i ian eng
Revised TLPA a ap at ak ah aN oo ok ooN o o e eN i ian ing
TLPA a ap at ak ah ann oo ok oonn o o e enn i ian ing
BP a ap at ak ah na oo ok noo o o e ne i ian ing
MLT a ab/ap ad/at ag/ak aq/ah va o og/ok vo ø ø e ve i ien eng
DT a āp/ap āt/at āk/ak āh/ah ann/aⁿ o ok onn/oⁿ or or e enn/eⁿ i ian/en ing
Taiwanese kana アア アㇷ゚ アㇱ アㇰ アァ アア オオ オㇰ オオ オオ ヲヲ エエ エエ イイ イェヌ イェン
Extended bopomofo ㄚㆴ ㄚㆵ ㄚㆶ ㄚㆷ ㆦㆶ ㄧㄢ ㄧㄥ
Tâi-lô a ap at ak ah ann oo͘ ok onn o o e enn i ian ing
Example (traditional Chinese)













Example (simplified Chinese)













Vowels
IPA ɪk ĩ ai au am ɔm ɔŋ ŋ̍ u ua ue uai uan ɨ (i)ũ
Pe̍h-ōe-jī ek iⁿ ai aiⁿ au am om m ong ng u oa oe oai oan i (i)uⁿ
Revised TLPA ik iN ai aiN au am om m ong ng u ua ue uai uan ir (i)uN
TLPA ik inn ai ainn au am om m ong ng u ua ue uai uan ir (i)unn
BP ik ni ai nai au am om m ong ng u ua ue uai uan i n(i)u
MLT eg/ek vi ai vai au am om m ong ng u oa oe oai oan i v(i)u
DT ik inn/iⁿ ai ainn/aiⁿ au am om m ong ng u ua ue uai uan i (i)unn/uⁿ
Taiwanese kana イェㇰ イイ アイ アイ アウ アム オム オン ウウ ヲア ヲエ ヲァイ ヲァヌ ウウ ウウ
Extended bopomofo ㄧㆶ ㄨㄚ ㄨㆤ ㄨㄞ ㄨㄢ
Tâi-lô ik inn ai ainn au am om m ong ng u ua ue uai uan i iunn
Example (traditional Chinese)














Example (simplified Chinese)














Consonants
IPA p b m t n l k ɡ h tɕi ʑi tɕʰi ɕi ts dz tsʰ s
Pe̍h-ōe-jī p b ph m t th n nng l k g kh h chi ji chhi si ch j chh s
Revised TLPA p b ph m t th n nng l k g kh h zi ji ci si z j c s
TLPA p b ph m t th n nng l k g kh h zi ji ci si z j c s
BP b bb p bb d t n lng l g gg k h zi li ci si z l c s
MLT p b ph m t th n nng l k g kh h ci ji chi si z j zh s
DT b bh p m d t n nng l g gh k h zi r ci si z r c s
Taiwanese kana パア バア パ̣ア マア タア タ̣ア ナア ヌン ラア カア ガア カ̣ア ハア チイ ジイ チ̣イ シイ ザア サ̣ サア
Extended bopomofo ㄋㆭ
Tâi-lô p b ph m t th n nng l k g kh h tsi ji tshi si ts j tsh s
Example (traditional Chinese)




















Example (simplified Chinese)




















Tones
Tone name Yin level
陰平(1)
Yin rising
陰上(2)
Yin departing
陰去(3)
Yin entering
陰入(4)
Yang level
陽平(5)
Yang rising
陽上(6)
Yang departing
陽去(7)
Yang entering
陽入(8)
High rising
(9)
Neutral tone
(0)
IPA a˥˧ a˨˩ ap˩
at˩
ak˩
aʔ˩
a˧˥ a˥˧ ap˥
at˥
ak˥
aʔ˥
a˥˥
Pe̍h-ōe-jī a á à ap
at
ak
ah
â á ā a̍p
a̍t
a̍k
a̍h
  --a
Revised
TLPA
TLPA
a1 a2 a3 ap4
at4
ak4
ah4
a5 a2 (6=2) a7 ap8
at8
ak8
ah8
a9 a0
BP ā ǎ à āp
āt
āk
āh
á ǎ â áp
át
ák
áh
   
MLT
af ar ax ab
ad
ag
aq
aa aar a ap
at
ak
ah
  ~a
DT a à â āp
āt
āk
āh
ǎ à ā ap
at
ak
ah
á å
Taiwanese kana
(normal vowels)
アア アアTaiwanese kana normal tone 2.png アアTaiwanese kana normal tone 3.png アㇷ゚Taiwanese kana normal tone 4.png
アㇱTaiwanese kana normal tone 4.png
アㇰTaiwanese kana normal tone 4.png
アァTaiwanese kana normal tone 4.png
アアTaiwanese kana normal tone 5.png アアTaiwanese kana normal tone 3.png アアTaiwanese kana normal tone 7.png アㇷ゚Taiwanese kana normal tone 8.png
アㇱTaiwanese kana normal tone 8.png
アㇰTaiwanese kana normal tone 8.png
アァTaiwanese kana normal tone 8.png
   
Taiwanese kana
(nasal vowels)
アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 1.png アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 2.png アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 3.png アㇷ゚Taiwanese kana nasal tone 4.png
アㇱTaiwanese kana nasal tone 4.png
アㇰTaiwanese kana nasal tone 4.png
アァTaiwanese kana nasal tone 4.png
アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 5.png アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 3.png アアTaiwanese kana nasal tone 7.png アㇷ゚Taiwanese kana nasal tone 8.png
アㇱTaiwanese kana nasal tone 8.png
アㇰTaiwanese kana nasal tone 8.png
アァTaiwanese kana nasal tone 8.png
   
Zhuyin ㄚˋ ㄚ˪ ㄚㆴ
ㄚㆵ
ㄚㆶ
ㄚㆷ
ㄚˊ ㄚˋ ㄚ˫ ㄚㆴ˙
ㄚㆵ˙
ㄚㆶ˙
ㄚㆷ˙
   
Tâi-lô a á à ah â á ā a̍h    
Example
(traditional Chinese)






Example
(simplified Chinese)






See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alan Lee, Tone patterns of Kelantan Hokkien and related issues in Southern Min tonology (January 1, 2005). Paper AAI3197700.
  2. ^ From p.151 of Heylen, Ann (January 1, 2001). "Missionary linguistics on Taiwan. Romanizing Taiwanese: codification and standardization of dictionaries in Southern Min (1837-1923)". In Ku Wei-Ying; De Ridder, Koen. Authentic Chinese Christianity : Preludes to its development (Nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Leuven Chinese studies. pp. 135–174. ISBN 978-9058671028. 
  3. ^ 牛耕叟 Niú Gēngsǒu 台湾河洛话发展历程 The Historical Development of Taiwanese Hoklo
  4. ^ "The Ancient Minyue People and the Origins of the Min Nan Language". Jinjiang Government website (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-04-12. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]