Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols

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Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols
Hong-im Pek-kho.svg
Type
Semisyllabary (letters for onsets and rimes; diacritics for tones)
Creator Chu Chao-hsiang, Taiwan NLC
Time period
1946 to the present, used as ruby characters in Taiwan
Parent systems
Sister systems
Simplified Chinese, Kanji, Hanja, Chữ Nôm, Khitan script
ISO 15924 Bopo, 285
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Bopomofo
U+3100–U+312F,
U+31A0–U+31BF
Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols
Traditional Chinese 臺語方音符號
Simplified Chinese 台语方音符号
Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols

Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols (Chinese: 臺語方音符號; TPS: ㄉㄞˊ ㆣㄧˋ ㄏㆲ ㄧㆬ ㄏㄨˊ ㄏㄜ˫) is a system of phonetic notation for the transcription of Taiwanese languages, especially Taiwanese Hokkien. The system is designed by Professor Chu Chao-hsiang, a member of National Languages Committee in Taiwan, in 1946. The system is derived from Mandarin Phonetic Symbols by creating additional symbols for the sounds that does not appear in Mandarin phonology.

Symbols[edit]

In the system, there are totally 49 symbols for the standard Taiwanese Hokkien. In the symbols, 26 are from the original Mandarin Phonetic Symbols, 23 are created for Taiwanese languages.

Initial symbols (21)
[p] [b] [pʰ] [m] [t] [tʰ] [n] [l] [k] [g] [kʰ] [ŋ] [h] [t͡ɕ] [d͡ʑ] [t͡ɕʰ] [ɕ] [t͡s] [d͡z] [t͡sʰ] [s]
Final symbols (24)
[a] [ã] [ɔ] [ɔ̃] [ə] [e] [ẽ] [ai] [ãĩ] [au] [ãũ] [am] [ɔm] [m̩] [an] [ən] [aŋ] [ɔŋ] [əŋ] [ŋ̍] [i] [ĩ] [u] [ũ]
  • The symbols in blue do not exist in Mandarin phonology.
  • Four voiceless consonants may be written in lower case for an unreleased coda: ㄅ [p̚ ], ㄉ [t̚ ], ㄍ [k̚ ], ㄏ [ʔ].
  • Some extra symbols are used in other Taiwanese dialects: ㄬ[ɲ], ㄛ [o], ㄝ [ɛ], ㆨ [ɨ].

Etymology[edit]

Initials
Group Symbol IPA POJ TL BP Notes Example
Bilabial p p b Same value as in Mandarin 邊 (ㄅㄧㄢ pian)
b b bb Derived from ㄅ as a voiced counterpart 文 (ㆠㄨㄣˊ bûn)
ph p Same value as in Mandarin 波 (ㄆㄜ pho)
m m bbn Same value as in Mandarin 毛 (ㄇㆦ mo͘ )
Alveolar t t d Same value as in Mandarin 地 (ㄉㆤ˫ tē)
th t Same value as in Mandarin 他 (ㄊㆩ thaⁿ)
n n ln Same value as in Mandarin 耐 (ㄋㄞ˫ nāi)
l l l Same value as in Mandarin 柳 (ㄌㄧㄨˋ liú)
Velar k k g Same value as in Mandarin 求 (ㄍㄧㄨˊ kiû)
g g gg Derived from ㄍ as a voiced counterpart 語 (ㆣㄧˋ gí)
kh k Same value as in Mandarin 去 (ㄎㄧ˪ khì)
ŋ ng ggn Once appeared in old Mandarin 雅 (ㄫㄚˋ ngá)
Glottal h h h Different value to Mandarin, in Mandarin [x] 喜 (ㄏㄧˋ hí)
Alveolo-
palatal
t͡ɕ chi tsi zi Same value as in Mandarin 尖(ㄐㄧㆰ tsiam)
d͡ʑ ji zzi Derived from ㄐ as a voiced counterpart 入 (ㆢㄧㆴ. ji̍p)
t͡ɕʰ chhi tshi ci Same value as in Mandarin 手 (ㄑㄧㄨˋ tshiú)
ɕ si si Same value as in Mandarin 寫 (ㄒㄧㄚˋ siá)
Alveolar t͡s ch ts z Same value as in Mandarin 曾 (ㄗㄢ chan)
d͡z j zz Derived from ㄗ as a voiced counterpart 熱 (ㆡㄨㄚㆷ. jua̍h)
t͡sʰ chh tsh c Same value as in Mandarin 出 (ㄘㄨㆵ chhut)
s s s Same value as in Mandarin 衫 (ㄙㆩ saⁿ)
Rhymes and medials
Group Symbol IPA POJ TL BP Notes Example
Vowels a a a Same value as in Mandarin 查 (ㄘㄚ cha)
ã aⁿ ann na Derived from ㄚ as a nasalized counterpart 衫 (ㄙㆩ saⁿ)
ɔ oo oo New symbol solely used in Taiwanese 烏 (ㆦ o͘ )
ɔ̃ oⁿ onn noo Derived from ㆦ as a nasalized counterpart 翁 (ㆧ oⁿ)
ə o o Different value from Mandarin, in Mandarin [ɯʌ]. May written as ㄛ and pronounced [o] in some dialects 高 (ㄍㄜ ko)
e e e New symbol solely used in Taiwanese 禮 (ㄌㆤˋ lé)
eⁿ enn ne Derived from ㆤ as a nasalized counterpart 生 (ㄙㆥ seⁿ)
Diph-
thongs
ai ai ai Same value as in Mandarin
ãĩ aiⁿ ainn nai Derived from ㄞ as a nasalized counterpart
au au ao Same value as in Mandarin
ãũ auⁿ aunn nao Derived from ㄠ as a nasalized counterpart, rarely used
M
finals
am am am A combination of ㄚ and ㄇ 暗 (ㆰ˪ ām)
ɔm om om A combination of ㆦ and ㄇ, rarely used 掩 (ㆱ om)
m m Derived from ㄇ. May be used as a final bilabial nasal or a syllabic consonant 姆 (ㆬˋ ḿ)
N
finals
an an an Same value as in Mandarin
n -n -n Only used in the finals ㄧㄣ, ㄨㄣ. ㄧㄣ has same value as in Mandarin. ㄨㄣ is pronounced as [un] unlike [uən] in Mandarin 因 (ㄧㄣ in)
Ng
finals
ang ang Same value as in Mandarin 人 (ㄌㄤ lâng)
ɔŋ ong ong New symbol solely used in Taiwanese 王 (ㆲ ông)
əŋ -ng -ng Only used in the final ㄧㄥ, the final pronounced as [iŋ] unlike [iəŋ] in Mandarin 英 (ㄧㄥ eng)
ŋ̍ ng ng Derived from ㄫ. May be used as a final velar nasal or a syllabic consonant 酸 (ㄙㆭ sng)
Medial
vowels
i i i Same value as in Mandarin 衣 (ㄧ i)
ĩ iⁿ inn ni Derived from ㄧ as a nasalized counterpart 圓 (ㆪˊ îⁿ)
u u u Same value as in Mandarin 污 (ㄨ u)
ũ uⁿ unn nu Derived from ㄨ as a nasalized counterpart. Only used in the final ㄧㆫ [ĩũ] 張 (ㄉㄧㆫ tiuⁿ)

Other features[edit]

Combined rhymes[edit]

Vowel(s) Open syllabus Nasal Plosive
[m] [n] [ŋ] [p̚] [t̚] [k̚] [ʔ]
[a] ㄚㆴ ㄚㆵ ㄚㆶ ㄚㆷ ㆩㆷ
[ai] ㄞㆷ ㆮㆷ
[au] ㄠㆷ
[e] ㆤㆷ ㆥㆷ
[i] ㄧㆬ ㄧㄣ ㄧㄥ ㄧㆴ ㄧㆵ ㄧㆶ ㄧㆷ ㆪㆷ
[ia] ㄧㄚ ㄧㆩ ㄧㆰ ㄧㄢ ㄧㄤ ㄧㄚㆴ ㄧㄚㆵ ㄧㄚㆶ ㄧㄚㆷ ㄧㆩㆷ
[iau] ㄧㄠ ㄧㆯ ㄧㄠㆷ
[iə] ㄧㄜ ㄧㄜㆷ
[iɔ] ㄧㆲ ㄧㆦㆶ
[iu] ㄧㄨ ㄧㆫ ㄧㄨㆷ ㄧㆫㆷ
Vowel(s) Open syllabus Nasal Plosive
[m] [n] [ŋ] [p̚] [t̚] [k̚] [ʔ]
[ə] ㄛㆷ
[ɔ] ㆦㆴ ㆦㆶ ㆦㆷ ㆧㆷ
[u] ㄨㄣ ㄨㆵ ㄨㆷ
[ua] ㄨㄚ ㄨㆩ ㄨㄢ ㄨㄚㆵ ㄨㄚㆷ
[uai] ㄨㄞ ㄨㆮ
[ue] ㄨㆤ ㄨㆤㆷ
[ui] ㄨㄧ
[m̩] ㆬㆷ
[ŋ̍] ㆭㆷ

Tones[edit]

Tone No. 1 2(6) 3 4 5 7 8
Name 陰平 上聲 陰去 陰入 陽平 陽去 陽入
im-pîng siōng-siann im-khì im-ji̍p iông-pîng iông-khì iông-ji̍p
Symbol none ˋ ˪ ㄅ, ㄉ, ㄍ, ㄏ ˊ ˫ ㄅ̇, ㄉ̇, ㄍ̇, ㄏ̇
Pitch ˥˥ ˥˩ ˧˩ ˧ʔ ˨˦ ˧˧ ˥ʔ
55 51 31 24 33
Example ㄉㆲ (東) ㄉㆲˋ (黨) ㄉㆲ˪ (棟) ㄉㆦ (督) ㄉㆲˊ (同) ㄉㆲ˫ (洞) ㄉㆦㄍ̇ (毒)

Example[edit]

Audio File: About this sound Sound file 
Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols: ㄒㄧㄢ ㄒㆪ ㄍㆲˋ, ㄏㄚㄍ̇ ㄒㄧㄥ ㄉㄧㆰ˫ ㄉㄧㆰ˫ ㄊㄧㆩ
IPA: [ ɕɪɛn˧ ɕĩ˥ kɔŋ˥˩ hak̚˧ ɕiəŋ˥ tɪam˧ tɪam˧ tʰĩã˥ ]
Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sian-siⁿ kóng, ha̍k-seng tiām-tiām thiaⁿ.
Tâi-lô: Sian-sinn kóng, ha̍k-sing tiām-tiām thiann.
Traditional Chinese: 先生講、學生恬恬聽。
Translation: A teacher is speaking. Students are quietly listening.

Unicode support[edit]

The Mandarin Phonetic Symbols were added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1.0. The Unicode block for Mandarin Phonetic Symbols is U+3100 ... U+312F.

Bopomofo[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+310x
U+311x
U+312x
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The extended phonetic symbols were added to the Unicode Standard in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0. The Unicode block for the extended symbols is U+31A0 ... U+31BF.

Bopomofo Extended[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+31Ax
U+31Bx
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

However, there are several errors in the extended symbols

See also[edit]

External links[edit]