Northern Min

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Northern Min
Min Bei
Native to Southern China, United States (mostly California)
Region northwestern & central Fujian; Nanping
Native speakers
11 million  (2007)[1]
Chinese character
Kienning Colloquial Romanized (Jian'ou Romanized)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mnp
Glottolog minb1244[2]
Min Bei (red)

Min-Bei, or Northern Min (simplified Chinese: 闽北; traditional Chinese: 閩北; pinyin: Mǐnběi), is a collection of dialects of Min spoken in Nanping Prefecture of northwestern Fujian, which, apart from Shao-Jiang Min, are mutually intelligible.

The Chinese varieties of Fujian province were traditionally divided into Min-Bei (Northern) and Min-Nan (Southern). However, dialectologists now divide Min more finely.[3] By this narrower definition, Northern Min covers the dialects of Shibei (石陂, in Pucheng County), Chong'an (崇安, in Wuyishan City), Xingtian (兴田, in Wuyishan City), Wufu (五夫, in Wuyishan City), Zhenghe (in Zhenghe County), Zhenqian (镇前, in Zhenghe County), Jianyang and Jian'ou.[3]


Min Zhong[edit]

Min Zhong originated from Jian'ou dialect, a Northern Min language.[4] If Northern Min is seen as a family of related languages instead of a single language then Min Zhong would be part of this family due to its origin.

Geographic distribution[edit]

To be filled out.


Branches and influences[edit]

Min Bei proper[edit]

Min Bei proper is the representative Northern Min language.

Shao Jiang[edit]

Shao-Jiang originated from a Northern Min language that was influenced heavily by Gan Chinese. The language is not mutually intelligible with Min Bei proper.

Min Zhong[edit]

This language was influenced by Southern Min and Gan Chinese.[4] Some linguists group Min Zhong with Northern Min as part of a larger group called inland Min. However, it has limited intelligibility with both Min Bei proper and Shao Jiang.

Family tree[edit]


To be filled out.


  1. ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Min Bei Chinese". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b Zev Handel (2003). "Northern Min Tone Values and the Reconstruction of Softened Initials" (PDF). Language and Linguistics 4 (1): 47–84. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b
  • Branner, David Prager (2000). Problems in Comparative Chinese Dialectology — the Classification of Miin and Hakka. Trends in Linguistics series, no. 123. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-015831-0.