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Cantonese Pinyin (Chinese: 常用字廣州話讀音表:拼音方案, also known as 教院式拼音方案) is a romanization system for Cantonese developed by Rev. Yu Ping Chiu (余秉昭) in 1971, and subsequently modified by the Education Department (merged into the Education and Manpower Bureau since 2003) of Hong Kong and Prof. Zhan Bohui (詹伯慧) of the Chinese Dialects Research Centre of the Jinan University, Guangdong, PRC, and honorary professor of the School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong. It is the only romanization system accepted by Education and Manpower Bureau of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
The formal and short forms of the system's Chinese names mean respectively "the Cantonese Pronunciation list of Chinese Characters in Common Use romanization system" and "the romanization system of the Hong Kong Education and Manpower Bureau".
The Cantonese Pinyin system directly corresponds to the S. L. Wong system, an IPA-based phonemic transcription system used in A Chinese Syllabary Pronounced According to the Dialect of Canton by Wong Shik Ling. Generally, if an IPA symbol is also an English letter, the same symbol is used directly in the Romanization (with the exception of the IPA symbol "a"); and if the IPA symbol is not an English letter, it is Romanized using English letters. Thus, /a/→aa, /ɐ/→a, /ɛ/→e, /ɔ/→o, /œ/→oe, /ŋ/→ng. This results in a system which is both easy to learn and type but is still useful for academics.
In the following table, the first row inside a cell shows the Cantonese Pinyin, the second row shows a representative "narrow transcription" in IPA, while the third row shows the corresponding IPA "broad transcription" using the S. L. Wong system.
- The finals m and ng can only be used as standalone nasal syllables.
|Tone name||Yīn Píng
|Tone Number||1||2||3||4||5||6||7 (1)||8 (3)||9 (6)|
|Tone name according to Middle Chinese System||Dark Level||Dark Rising||Dark Departing||Light Level||Light Rising||Light Departing||Dark Entering||Middle Entering||Light Entering|
|Tone name according to contour||high level or high falling||mid rising||mid level||low falling||low rising||low level||entering high level||entering mid level||entering low level|
|Contour||55 / 53||35||33||21 / 11||13||22||5||3||2|
|Example||fan1||fan2||fan3||fan4||fan5||fan6||fat7 (fat1)||faat8 (faat3)||fat9 (fat6)|
Comparison with Yale Romanization
Cantonese Pinyin and the Yale Romanization system represent Cantonese pronunciations with these same letters:
- The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, w.
- The vowels: aa (except when used alone), a, e, i, o, u.
- The nasal stops: m, ng.
- The codas: i (except for being the coda [y] in Yale), u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.
But they have these differences:
- The vowels oe represent [ɵ] and [œː] in Cantonese Pinyin while the eu represents both vowels in Yale.
- The vowel y represents [y] in Cantonese Pinyin while both yu (used in nucleus) and i (used in coda) are used in Yale.
- The initial j represents [j] in Cantonese Pinyin while y is used instead in Yale.
- The initial dz represents [ts] in Cantonese Pinyin while j is used instead in Yale.
- The initial ts represents [tsʰ] in Cantonese Pinyin while ch is used instead in Yale.
- In Cantonese Pinyin, if no consonant precedes the vowel y, then the initial j is appended before the vowel. In Yale, the corresponding initial y is never appended before yu under any circumstances.
- Some new finals can be written in Cantonese Pinyin that are not contained in Yale Romanization schemes, such as: eu [ɛːu], em [ɛːm], and ep [ɛːp]. These three finals are used in colloquial Cantonese words, such as deu6 (掉), lem2 (舐), and gep9 (夾).
- To represent tones, only tone numbers are used in Cantonese Pinyin while Yale originally used tone marks together with the letter h (though tone numbers can be used in Yale as well).
Comparison with Jyutping
Cantonese Pinyin and Jyutping represent Cantonese pronunciations with these same letters:
- The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, j, w.
- The vowels: aa, a, e, i, o, u.
- The nasal stops: m, ng.
- The codas: i (except for being the coda [y] in Jyutping), u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.
But they have these differences:
- The vowels oe represent [ɵ] and [œː] in Cantonese Pinyin while eo and oe represent [ɵ] and [œː] respectively in Jyutping.
- The vowel y represents [y] in Cantonese Pinyin while both yu (used in nucleus) and i (used in coda) are used in Jyutping.
- The initial dz represents [ts] in Cantonese Pinyin while z is used instead in Jyutping.
- The initial ts represents [tsʰ] in Cantonese Pinyin while c is used instead in Jyutping.
- To represent tones, numbers 1 to 9 are usually used in Cantonese Pinyin, although to use 1, 3, 6 to replace 7, 8, 9 is acceptable. However, only numbers 1 to 6 are used in Jyutping.
|廣東話||广东话||gwong2 dung1 waa2|
An old Chinese poem:
|春曉 (Chunxiao) 孟浩然 (Meng Haoran)||Tsoen1 Hiu2 Maang6 Hou6jin4|
|春眠不覺曉， (Asleep in springtime, I didn't see the dawn.)||Tsoen1 min4 bat7 gok8 hiu2,|
|處處聞啼鳥。 (Everywhere one heard birdsong,)||Tsy3 tsy3 man4 tai4 niu5.|
|夜來風雨聲， (Night brought the sound of wind and rain,)||Je6 loi4 fung1 jy5 sing1,|
|花落知多少？ (Who could know how many flowers fell?)||faa1 lok9 dzi1 do1 siu2?|
- Sin-Wai Chan (14 April 2016). The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Chinese Language. Routledge. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-317-38249-2.
- "Rev. YU, Ping-Chiu Thomas SDB". Hong Kong Catholic Diocesan Archives.
- Yu, Bingzhao (1982). 同音字彙 (Lexicon of Homophones). Hong Kong: New Asia Publishing Company.
- Zhan, Bohui (2004). 廣州話正音字典 (Dictionary of Standard Cantonese Pronunciation). Guangdong People's Publishing House.