|Native to||Southern China, Taiwan|
|(no estimate available)|
There are two series of stops and affricates in Hakka, both voiceless: tenuis /p t ts k/ and aspirated /pʰ tʰ tsʰ kʰ/.
|Nasal||/m/ ⟨m⟩||/n/ ⟨n⟩||[ɲ] ⟨ng(i)⟩ ~ /ŋ/ ⟨ng⟩*|
|Plosive||plain||/p/ ⟨b⟩||/t/ ⟨d⟩||/k/ ⟨g⟩||(ʔ)|
|aspirated||/pʰ/ ⟨p⟩||/tʰ/ ⟨t⟩||/kʰ/ ⟨k⟩|
|Affricate||plain||/ts/ ⟨z⟩ ~ [tɕ] ⟨j(i)⟩*|
|aspirated||/tsʰ/ ⟨c⟩ ~ [tɕʰ] ⟨q(i)⟩*|
|Fricative||/f/ ⟨f⟩||/s/ ⟨s⟩ ~ [ɕ] ⟨x(i)⟩*||/h/ ⟨h⟩|
|Approximant||/ʋ/ ⟨v⟩||/l/ ⟨l⟩||/j/ ⟨y⟩|
Moiyen Hakka has seven vowels, [i ɨ ɛ a ə ɔ u], that are romanised as i, ê, a, e, o and u,[clarification needed] respectively. The palatisation medial ([j]) is represented by i and the labialisation medial ([w]) is represented as u.
Moreover, Hakka rimes exhibits the final consonants found in Middle Chinese, namely [m, n, ŋ, p, t, k] which are romanised as m, n, ng, b, d, and g respectively in the official Moiyen romanisation.
|vowel||medial + vowel||-i||-u||-m||-n||-ŋ||-p||-t||-k|
Moiyen has four tones, which are reduced to two in a checked syllable. The Middle Chinese fully voiced initial syllables became aspirated voiceless initial syllable in Hakka. Before that happened, the four Middle Chinese 'tones', ping, shang, qu, ru, underwent a voicing split in the case of ping and ru, giving the dialect six tones in traditional accounts.
|Tone number||Tone name||Hanzi||Tone letters||number||English|
|5||yin ru||陰入||˩ʔ||1||low checked|
|6||yang ru||陽入||˥ʔ||5||high checked|
These so-called yin-yang tonal splittings developed mainly as a consequence of the type of initial a Chinese syllable had during the Middle Chinese stage in the development of Chinese languages, with voiceless initial syllables [p- t- k-] tending to become of the yin type, and the voiced initial syllables [b- d- ɡ-] developing into the yang type. In modern Moiyen Hakka however, part of the Yin Ping tone characters have sonorant initials [m n ŋ l] originally from the Middle Chinese Shang tone syllables and fully voiced Middle Chinese Qu tone characters, so the voiced/voiceless distinction should be taken only as a rule of thumb.
- Entering tone
Hakka preserves all of the entering tones of Middle Chinese and it is split into two registers. Meixian has the following:
- 陰入 [ ˩ ] a low pitched checked tone
- 陽入 [ ˥ ] a high pitched checked tone
Middle Chinese entering tone syllables ending in [k] whose vowel clusters have become front high vowels like [i] and [ɛ] shifts to syllables with [t] finals in modern Hakka as seen in the following table.
|Character||Guangyun Fanqie||Middle Chinese
|Hakka||Main meaning in English|
|刻||苦得切||kʰək||kʰɛt˩||carve, engrave, a moment|
For Moiyen Hakka, the yin ping and qu tone characters exhibit sandhi when the following character has a lower pitch. The pitch of the yin ping tone changes from ˦ (44) to ˧˥ (35) when sandhi occurs. Similarly, the qu tone changes from ˥˧ (53) to ˦ (55) under sandhi. These are shown in red in the following table.
|+ ˦ Yin Ping||+ ˩ Yang Ping||+ ˧˩ Shang||+ ˥˧ Qu||+ ˩ʔ Yin Ru||+ ˥ʔ YangRu||+ Neutral|
|˦ Yin Ping +||˦.˦||˧˥.˩||˧˥.˧˩||˧˥.˥˧||˧˥.˩ʔ||˦.˥ʔ||˧˥.˧|
|˥˧ Qu +||˥˧.˦||˥.˩||˥.˧˩||˥.˥˧||˥.˩ʔ||˥˧.˥ʔ||˥.˧|
The neutral tone occurs in some postfixes. It has a mid pitch.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Meixian". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.