|閩南語 / 闽南语 Bân-lâm-gú|
Koa-a books, Min Nan written in Chinese characters
|Native to||China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, United States (New York City), Japan and other areas of Southern Min and Hoklo settlement|
|Region||Southern Fujian province; the Chaozhou-Shantou (Chaoshan) area and Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong province; extreme south of Zhejiang province; much of Hainan province (if Hainanese or Qiong Wen is included); and most of Taiwan.|
|47 million (2007)|
Official language in
|None (Legislative bills have been proposed for Taiwanese Hokkien to be one of the 'national languages' in Taiwan); one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in the ROC |
|Regulated by||None (The Republic of China Ministry of Education and some NGOs are influential in Taiwan)|
Distribution of Southern Min.
Southern Min, or Min Nan (simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語; pinyin: Mǐnnán Yǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Bân-lâm-gí/Bân-lâm-gú; literally: "Southern Fujian language"), is a sub-group of Min Chinese spoken in certain parts of China including southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, and southern Zhejiang, and in Taiwan. The Min Nan dialects are also spoken by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora.
In common parlance, Southern Min usually refers to Hokkien. Amoy and Taiwanese Hokkien are both combinations of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The Southern Min dialect group also includes Teochew, though Teochew has limited mutual intelligibility with Hokkien. Southern Min is not mutually intelligible with Eastern Min, Cantonese, or Standard Chinese.
- 1 History
- 2 Geographic distribution
- 3 Classification
- 4 Family tree
- 5 Linguistic
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Southern Min should be seen as a group of languages  which originated from Quanzhou-Zhangzhou region in ancient times  and not as a single language. This concept is similar to Western and Northern Germanic languages.
Migration to different parts of China and abroad had resulted in changes to the original roots. All these related languages have limited intelligibility with each other ie. they are phonologically different but share many cognates and grammar structure with each other due to their common roots.
Southern Min proto-language
There are actually two proto-dialects which are ancient Quanzhou and ancient Zhangzhou dialects which were formed during separate migration waves from North China.
Southern Min languages are spoken in the southern part of Fujian, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang, the Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo in Zhejiang, and Chaoshan, Guangdong. The variant spoken in Leizhou, Guangdong as well as Hainan is Hainanese.
A form of Southern Min akin to that spoken in southern Fujian is Taiwanese Hokkien, where it has the native name of Tâi-oân-oē or Hō-ló-oē. Southern Min is a first language for the Hoklo people, the main ethnicity of Taiwan. The correspondence between language and ethnicity is not absolute, as some Hoklo have very limited proficiency in Southern Min while some non-Hoklo speak Southern Min fluently.
There are many Southern Min speakers also among Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Many ethnic Chinese emigrants to the region were Hoklo from southern Fujian, and brought the language to what is now Burma, Indonesia (the former Dutch East Indies) and present day Malaysia and Singapore (formerly British Malaya and the Straits Settlements). In general, Southern Min from southern Fujian is known as Hokkien, Hokkienese, Fukien or Fookien in Southeast Asia and is very much like Taiwanese Hokkien. Many Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong and speak Teochew dialect, the variant of Southern Min from that region. Philippine Hokkien is reportedly the native language of up to 98.5% of the Chinese Filipino community in the Philippines, among whom it is also known as Lan-nang or Lán-lâng-oē "Our people’s language". Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore, with the largest group being Hoklos and the second largest Teochew people.
The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou.
The Southern Min language variant spoken around Shanwei and Haifeng differs markedly from Teochew and may represent a later migration from Zhangzhou. Linguistically, it lies between Teochew and Amoy. In southwestern Fujian, the local variants in Longyan and Zhangping form a separate division of Min Nan on their own.
Listed below are the main branches of largely mutually unintelligible Southern Min languages, each with its own dialects which are largely mutually intelligible.
There are other minor Southern Min varieties such as Longyan, Datian, Zhongshan, Hailufeng which are not grouped yet ie. whether they constitute different languages or dialects of existing branches.
In Chinese linguistics, this branch is called Quan-Zhang which is a combination of Quanzhou-Zhangzhou region. In overseas communities, this language is called Hokkien; however, in Taiwan, it's confusingly called 'Minnan' instead of the proper name Quan-Zhang or Hokkien. Xiamen speech and Taiwanese Hokkien are both hybrid of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech, the grammar is basically the same.
Teochew speech is significantly different from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech in both pronunciation and vocabulary. Chao-Shan, including Swatow (both of which are variants of Teochew speech), has very low intelligibility with Amoy speech, and Amoy and Teochew are not mutually intelligible with Mandarin. However, many Amoy and Teochew speakers speak Mandarin as a second or third language.
Their ancestors migrated from Quanzhou-Zhangzhou region into Hainan island and Leizhou peninsular. The two main dialects are Hainanese Min and Leizhou Min. This language was influenced by the Hlai languages.
Putian was part of Quanzhou division before the Song dynasty when it was carved out into its own division. They speak Puxian Min or Hing Hua. After separation from Quanzhou, this language was influenced by the Fuzhou dialect. The two main dialects are Putian and Xianyou.
Southern Min has one of the most diverse phonologies of Chinese varieties, with more consonants than Mandarin or Cantonese. Vowels, on the other hand, are more-or-less similar to those of Mandarin. In general, Southern Min dialects have five to six tones, and tone sandhi is extensive. There are minor variations within Hokkien, but the Teochew system differs significantly.
Southern Min's nasal finals consist m, n, ŋ, ~.
Southern Min dialects lack a standardized written language. Southern Min speakers are taught how to read Mandarin in school. As a result, there has not been an urgent need to develop a writing system. In recent years, an increasing number of Southern Min speakers have become interested in developing a standard writing system (either by using Chinese Characters, or using Romanized script).
- Languages of China
- Languages of Taiwan
- Malaysian Chinese
- Chinese Singaporean
- Amoy Min Nan Swadesh list
- Penang Hokkien
- Medan Hokkien (North-Sumatra, Indonesia dialect of Min Nan)
- Southern Malaysia Hokkien
- Lan-nang (Philippine dialect of Min Nan)
- Taiwanese Hokkien
- Singaporean Hokkien
- Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Min Nan Chinese". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Ethnologue: Min Nan
- 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.
- Chung, Raung-fu (1996). The segmental phonology of Southern Min in Taiwan. Taipei: Crane Pub. Co. ISBN 957-9463-46-8.
- DeBernardi, Jean (1991). "Linguistic nationalism: the case of Southern Min". Sino-Platonic Papers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania) 25. OCLC 24810816.
- Chappell, Hilary, ed. (2001). Sinitic Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829977-X. "Part V: Southern Min Grammar" (3 articles).
|Chinese (Min Nan) edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Southern Min test of Wikibooks at Wikimedia Incubator|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Min Nan|
|Look up Min Nan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- 當代泉州音字彙, a dictionary of Quanzhou speech
- 台語-華語線頂辭典, Taiwanese-Mandarin on-line dictionary (Min-nan)(Chinese)
- Iûⁿ, Ún-giân. 台語線頂字典 [Taiwanese Hokkien Online Character Dictionary] (in Taiwanese/Chinese).
- 臺灣閩南語常用詞辭典, Taiwanese Hokkien Commonly-used Words Dictionary by Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan).
- 臺灣本土語言互譯及語音合成系統, Taiwanese-Hakka-Mandarin on-line conversion
- Voyager - Spacecraft - Golden Record - Greetings From Earth - Amoy The voyager clip says: Thài-khong pêng-iú, lín-hó. Lín chia̍h-pá--bē? Ū-êng, to̍h lâi gún chia chē--ô·! 太空朋友，恁好。恁食飽未？有閒著來阮遮坐哦!
- 台語詞典 Taiwanese-English-Mandarin Dictionary
- How to Forget Your Mother Tongue and Remember Your National Language by Victor H. Mair University of Pennsylvania
- ISO 639-3 change request 2008-083, requesting to replace code nan (Min Nan Chinese) with dzu (Chaozhou) and xim (Xiamen), rejected because it did not include codes to cover the rest of the group.
- wikt:Appendix:Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists