Talk:Min Chinese

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Min languages[edit]

The Min language articles for some reason all capitalize the word "Language". I therefore moved them. I chose to follow Min Bei and move them to Min Nan, etc., but it would be just as appropriate to move them to Northern Min, Southern Min, etc. I leave that to further discussion, but many of the existing titles violated the MOS. kwami (talk) 21:52, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Ancient Chinese[edit]

The Chinese version of this article only refers to "Gu Hanyu" which is a general archaic version of modern Han Chinese. I have it on good authority from native professors that the Chinese make no distinction known as "Middle Chinese" or "Old Chinese". Nor was it specified to my knowledge in the original article at the time that Minyu is affected by both individually. If someone who is an expert on the subject could explain this to me I'd be much obliged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Knowledge Incarnate (talkcontribs) 00:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

History Part[edit]

I added a history section.

I deleted a part stating it's hard to find characters for Min because it's not directly descended from Middle Chinese.

Chinese characters are not invented or solely associated with Middle Chinese. The characters were well established as in oracle bones, Shi Jing and Chu Ci which are all Old Chinese or Old Old Chinese. So not being Middle Chinese descendant is not a reason why it is hard to find corresponding characters.

This is why I added history section to clear things.--Tricia Takanawa (talk) 23:16, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Number of native speakers[edit]

The other articles about varieties of Chinese (Wu Chinese, Huizhou Chinese, Gan Chinese, etc.) list the number of native speakers in the infobox. It would be great to do that in this article too, if anyone has access to a source that lists the number of native Min speakers. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:08, 20 October 2014 (UTC)


The 'Southern' category should be renamed as 'Greater Minnan' instead of 'Southern' which also means 'Minnan'. It includes those Minnan languages such as Puxian and Hainanese that originated from Minnan but diverged significantly that it became largely unintelligible with classical Minnan ie. Hokkien. Teochew is still partly intelligible with other Hokkien dialects.

Min Dong should be renamed as 'Min Dong Bei' because Minnan is also on the East Side so the two are quite confusing. (talk) 17:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

We follow the conventions of the English-language literature on the subject, rather than inventing our own. Kanguole 17:15, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

The English language literature is over-simplified and doesn't categorise properly. Anyway, we can preserve the 'classical' names but the relationship needs to be categorised properly and larger groupings need to be renamed properly. (talk) 17:21, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

The most commonly seen grouping is that of Li Rong, as used in the Language Atlas of China: Minnan, Puxian, Mindong, Minbei, Minzhong, Qiongwen, Shaojiang and Leizhou. Minnan, Mindong, Minbei and Minzhong are usually rendered in English as Southern Min, Eastern Min, Northern Min and Central Min. The terms correspond directly to the Chinese originals, with no loss of precision. It is not for us to come up with more "proper" names. Kanguole 00:46, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Under what criteria did Li Rong group the languages? Does he even know the details and cognates of Puxian and Hainanese? There is an article that says Puxian and Taiwanese are mutually intelligible by at least 50% which shows its roots in Minnan. And I know quite a bit of Puxian too and can verify the cognates.

These two links have a lot of examples, phonology and references. and

So please be open-minded and inform Li Rong to research further if you can contact him. -- (talk) 14:04, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Sadly Li Rong is no longer alive, but he was one of the most distinguished linguists of modern China, and certainly much more reliable than Baidu Baike or Wikipedia. Kanguole 14:53, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Nobody is more distinguished and knowledgeable than the natives of Puxian in grouping their dialect in relationship with the other Min languages. It's just like saying that you know more English than the native Englishmen. Li Rong is obviously a Northerner. If he's no longer alive, then we should have a successor to do further research. Li Rong hasn't done enough yet! If you don't trust wiki, then why are you putting info into wiki pages? If you have doubts on wiki or Baidu, you can always question the examples given, but don't give reliability as an excuse. -- (talk) 15:22, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Can anybody explain why Datian and Zhongshan Min are in those positions? What are the reasons for putting them there? There are no links or explanations whatsoever for these two less-known Min dialects. I agree with the rest of greater Minnan grouping as I have exposure to most of it but I've no clue on Datian or Zhongshan Min to determine its true position.

Isn't it better to rename the 4 main groups as Coastal Minbei, Coastal Minnan, Inland Minbei, Inland Minnan instead of Northwestern, Northeastern ,Minzhong, Greater Minnan? Naming convention will be more consistent and less confusing. Please consider. -- (talk) 21:19, 6 June 2015 (UTC)

The tree, unlike the text above it, is completely uncited, and doesn't seem to reflect a standard classification. It should be deleted. Kanguole 01:17, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

don't delete the tree because we'll lose vital info about relationship and closeness between various Min languages. Just leave the naming convention alone until some linguistic professor rename it. -- (talk) 08:58, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

It is not information but rather personal opinion, unsupported by reliable sources. I also see that you've been imposing the same non-standard classification on other articles, which is inappropriate. Kanguole 14:20, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Xng (talk) 11:14, 11 June 2015 (UTC) The current standard grouping by the linguists is a mess. Actually, Minnan is a group of languages which originated from a single proto-Minnan. It's not a single language as thought. Look at West Germanic and North Germanic grouping. West Germanic includes German, English, Dutch all with low intelligibility and each has its own dialects. North Germanic includes Swedish, Danish, Norwegian.

Minnan has many subbranches Hokkien, Chaosan (influence from Yue), Qiongwen (influence from Tai), Puxian (influence from Mindong)

They all have low intelligibility with each other, maybe 50%. All of them have the same Minnan ancestors 1000 years ago.

Instead of having 2 different terms such as Greater Minnan and Minnan, they should be just called Southern Min to be consistent with European grouping.

Maybe a new map with Puxian added would be good — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xng (talkcontribs) 11:12, 11 June 2015 (UTC)