Pu-Xian Min

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Native toChina, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan (Wuqiu), United States (California)
RegionFujian (Putian, parts of Fuzhou and Quanzhou)
EthnicityPutianese (Han Chinese)
Native speakers
2.6 million (2000)[1]
Chinese characters[citation needed]
Hinghwa Romanized (Báⁿ-uā-ci̍)
Language codes
ISO 639-3cpx
Min dialect map.svg
  Pu-Xian Min
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Bible in Hinghwa (Xinghua) Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Puxian (Hinghwa Romanized: Pó-sing-gṳ̂; traditional Chinese: 莆仙話; simplified Chinese: 莆仙话; pinyin: Púxiānhuà), also known as Pu-Xian Chinese, Puxian Min, Xinghua, Henghwa or Hinghwa (Hing-hua̍-gṳ̂; traditional Chinese: 興化語; simplified Chinese: 兴化语; pinyin: Xīnghuàyǔ), is a Sinitic language that forms a branch of Min Chinese. Puxian is a transitional variety of Coastal Min which shares characteristics with both Eastern Min and Southern Min, although it is closer to the latter.

The native language of Putian people, Puxian is spoken mostly in Fujian province, particularly in Putian city and Xianyou County (after which it is named), parts of Fuzhou, and parts of Quanzhou. It is also widely used as the mother tongue in Wuqiu Township, Kinmen County, Fujian Province, Republic of China (Taiwan). More than 2,000 people in Shacheng, Fuding in northern Fujian also speak Puxian.[2] There are minor differences between the dialects of Putian and Xianyou.

Overseas populations of Puxian speakers exist in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Speakers of Puxian are also known as Henghua, Hinghua, or Xinghua.


Before the year 979 AD, the Puxian region was part of Quanzhou county and people there spoke a form of Southern Min.[3][4] due to its origin in the past.

In 979 AD, during the Song Dynasty, the region was administratively separated from Quanzhou and the Chinese spoken there developed separately from the rest of Southern Min. Due to its proximity with Fuzhou, it absorbed some elements of Eastern Min, such as morphophonemic alternations in initial consonants, but its basic linguistic characteristics, i.e. grammar and most of its lexicon, are based on Southern Min. It also shares denasalization of historical nasal consonants and vocalic nasalization with Southern Min varieties.[5]

Puxian Min has 62% cognates with Quanzhou dialect (Southern Min) and only 39% cognates with Fuzhou dialect (Eastern Min).[6]


Differences with Southern Min dialects[edit]

Puxian differs from most Southern Min varieties in several ways:

  • The vowel 'a' is replaced by /ɒ/ (o̤) in most cases, e.g. 腳 ko̤ "leg".
  • The vowel 'ư' /ɯ/ is replaced by /y/ ('ṳ'), e.g. 魚 hṳ "fish".
  • In Putian 'ng' has changed to /uŋ/ except after zero initial and h- (notation: ng), e.g. 湯 tung "soup".
  • The vowel /e/ is often replaced by /ɒ/ o̤, e.g. 馬 bo̤ "horse".
  • Where Quanzhou has 'ĩ' and Zhangzhou has 'ẽ', the corresponding Putian vowel is 'ã', e.g. 病 baⁿ "sick", where indicates a nasalized vowel.
  • The vowel 'io' is replaced by 'iau' (notation: a̤u), e.g. 笑 ciao "laugh". This also holds for nasalized vowels, e.g. 張 da̤uⁿ corresponding to Zhangzhou tioⁿ.
  • Nasals 'm' sometimes occur in place of voiced stops 'b', e.g. 夢 mang vs. Quanzhou bang.
  • Initial consonant 'ng' replaces 'g' e.g. 五 'ngo' vs. Quanzhou 'go'.
  • There is a loss of distinction between voiced and unvoiced stops, e.g. the sounds /b/ and /p/ both correspond to the same phoneme and occur in free variation.

Borrowings from Eastern Min[edit]

  • Wife 老媽 (Lau Ma)


Puxian has 15 consonants, including the zero onset, the same as most other Min varieties. Puxian is distinctive for having a lateral fricative [ɬ] instead of the [s] in other Min varieties, similar to Taishanese.

Puxian has 53 finals and 6 phonemic tones.


Puxian Min Initial Chart
Bilabial Alveolar Lateral Velar Glottal
Plosive unaspirated p 巴 (b) t 打 (d) k 家 (g) ʔ
aspirated 彭 (p) 他 (t) 卡 (k)
Nasals m 麻 (m) n 拿 (n) ŋ 雅 (ng)
Fricatives voiceless ɬ 沙 (s) h 下 (h)
voiced β*
Affricates unaspirated ts 渣 (c)
aspirated tsʰ 査 (ch)
Approximant l 拉 (l)


Puxian Min has 53 finals (including nasalised finals)

Vowel Diphthong Nasal Glottal
no glide a 鴉 (a) au 拗 (au) 王 (ang) 壓 (ah)
ɒ 奥 (o̤) ɒŋ 用 (o̤ng) ɒʔ 屋 (o̤h)
ɔ 科 (eo) ɔu 烏 (o) ɔŋ 温 (eong) 熨 (eoh)
e 裔 (a̤) ai 愛 (ai) ɛŋ 煙 (eng) ɛʔ 黑 (eh)
œ 改 (e̤) œŋ 換 (e̤ng) œʔ 郁 (e̤h)
ŋ 伓 (ng)
/-i-/ i 衣 (i) iu 油 (iu) 引 (ing) 益 (ih)
ia 夜 (ia) iau 要 (a̤u) iaŋ 鹽 (iang) iaʔ 葉 (iah)
/-u-/ u 夫 (u) ui 位 (ui) 黄 (ng)
ua 画 (ua) ɔi/ue 歪 (oi) uaŋ 碗 (uang) uaʔ 活 (uah)
/-y-/ y 余 (ṳ) 恩 (ṳng) 役 (ṳh)
安 (io̤ⁿ) yɒŋ 羊 (io̤ng) yɒʔ 藥 (io̤h)
Chinese character 黃 (ńg) 方 (hng) 漲 (dn̂g) 幫 (bng) 光 (gng) 兩 (nn̄g) 毛 (mńg)
Putian huŋ tuŋ puŋ kuŋ nuŋ muŋ
Xianyou ŋ̍ hŋ̍ tŋ̍ pŋ̍ kŋ̍ nŋ̍ mŋ̍
Xianyou dialect nasals
IPA ã ɛ̃ ĩ ɒ̃
Romanization aⁿ a̤ⁿ a̤ⁿ e̤ⁿ o̤ⁿ iaⁿ io̤ⁿ uaⁿ oiⁿ a̤uⁿ
Romanized IPA ã ø̃ ɒ̃ yɒ̃ ɛũ
Chinese character 爭 (caⁿ) 還 (há̤ⁿ) 段 (dē̤ⁿ) 三 (so̤ⁿ) 鼎 (diáⁿ) 張 (da̤uⁿ) 看 (kua̍ⁿ) 飯 (bōiⁿ) 贏 (ió̤ⁿ)
Xianyou tsã tỹ sɒ̃ tiã tiũ kʰuã puĩ yɒ̃
Putian tsa hi tia tiau kʰua puai


Tone Ing-báⁿ 陰平 Ing-siō̤ng 陰上 Ing-kṳ̍ 陰去 Ing-ci̍h 陰入 Ió̤ng-báⁿ 陽平 Ió̤ng-kṳ̍ 陽去 Ió̤ng-ci̍h 陽入
Putian ˥˧˧ (533) ˦˥˧ (453) ˦˨ (42) ʔ˨˩ (ʔ21) ˩˧ (13) ˩ (11) ʔ˦ (ʔ4)
Xianyou ˥˦˦ (544) ˧˧˨ (332) ˥˨ (52) ʔ˨ (ʔ2) ˨˦ (24) ˨˩ (21) ʔ˦ (ʔ4)


Xianyou dialect register chart
Chinese character
Colloquial pe ŋ̍ ɬã, tsʰã nia ɬai nŋ̍ hoe pia tieu
Literary mai hɒŋ ɬɛŋ liŋ ɬo løŋ piʔ tøʔ


新婦房 ɬiŋ pu paŋ → ɬiŋ mu β

青草 tsʰɔŋ tsʰau → tsʰɔŋ nau

Comparison between Putian Min and Quanzhou Min Nan[edit]

Chinese character 埋 (lit.) 萬 (lit.) 人 (lit.) 危 (lit.)
Putian mai man tsin tsiʔ kui kiʔ tue tɔʔ
Quanzhou bai ban lin dzip ɡui ɡiak lue lɔk

Sentence-final particles[edit]

  • ah (): used to express exclamation.
  • lah (): used to stress or for adding emotional effect to your words.
  • neh (): used for questioning.
  • (): used to express emotion.
  • yɔu (): used to denote obviousness or contention.


Hing-hua̍ báⁿ-uā-ci̍ (興化平話字) is the Romanization system for Puxian Min. It has 23 letters: a a̤ b c ch d e e̤ g h i k l m n ng o o̤ p s t u ṳ.

The Romanization only needs five tone marks for seven tones:

  • 陰平 Ing-báⁿ (unmarked)
  • 陰上 Ing-siō̤ng ˆ (â)
  • 陰去 Ing-kṳ̍ ˈ (a̍)
  • 陰入 Ing-ci̍h (unmarked)
  • 陽平 Ió̤ng-báⁿ ́ (á)
  • 陽去 Ió̤ng-kṳ̍ – (ā)
  • 陽入 Ió̤ng-ci̍h ˈh (a̍h) 
IPA Puxian Min (Xinghua) Fuzhou
p p
t t
k k
p b b
t d d
k g g
tsʰ ch ch
ts c c
Tone 陰平 Ing-báⁿ 陰上 Ing-siō̤ng 陰去 Ing-kṳ̍ 陰入 Ing-ci̍h 陽平 Ió̤ng-báⁿ 陽去 Ió̤ng-kṳ̍ 陽入 Ió̤ng-ci̍h
Báⁿ-uā-ci̍ a â ah á ā a̍h
Pe̍h-ōe-jī a á à ah â ā a̍h


  1. ^ Puxian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Cai, Guo-mei 蔡国妹 (2013). "Fúdǐng Àoyāo Púxiān fāngyán dǎo zài diàochá" 福鼎澳腰莆仙方言岛再调查 [A Further Study on Puxian Dialect Zone in Aoyao Village, Fuding]. Lóngyán Xuéyuàn xuébào / Journal of Longyan University (in Chinese). 2013 (1): 38–43. doi:10.16813/j.cnki.cn35-1286/g4.2013.01.008 – via en.cnki.com.cn.
  3. ^ "Shìjiè shàng gēnběn wú Mǐnnányǔ ~ Wáng Huánán" 世界上根本無閩南語 ~ 王華南 [There is no Hokkien in the World ~ Wang Huanan]. Táiwān wǎng lù jiàohuì 台灣網路教會 (in Chinese). 2011-05-27.
  4. ^ "Cháozhōuhuà" 潮州话 [Teochew Dialect]. 8944.net (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2015-06-21. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  5. ^ Lien, Chinfa (August 17–19, 1998). "Denasalization, Vocalic Nasalization and Related Issues in Southern Min: A Dialectal and Comparative Perspective". International Symposium on Linguistic Change and the Chinese Dialects.
  6. ^ Li, Rulong 李如龍; Chen, Zhangtai 陳章太 (1991). Lùn Mǐn fāngyán nèibù de zhǔyào chāyì 論閩方言內部的主要差異 – 閩語硏究 [On the Main Differences in Min Dialects] (in Chinese). Beijing: Yuwen Chubanshe. pp. 58–138.

External links[edit]