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needs info[edit]

Need some more information on this dialect. If anyone has any more information to add, please do so. This article is clearly a stump. -Zhaohe

nice table[edit]

I loved that table describing the pronunciation for the different dialects. It made me laugh. -Cheungfun with Keepjeep

Sounds almost like a hybrid of mandarin and cantonese[edit]

So i speak a lil taishanese and it almost sounds like a mix between mandarin and cantonese/ And then a korean man said that he can understand taishanese. Is this true?

Hey Matt C.

I am not too sure about being understandable to a Korean, but I do know that the Taishanese originally are from Northern China, which is why some of the words sound a little bit like Mandarin. After mass migration to the South, Taishanese became influenced by the languages of South Asia, including a bit of Cantonese, Thai, and even some Mien (Anne Yue-Hashimoto). This is why Taishanese is actually not a dialect of Cantonese, but a general dialect of Chinese, as it is a conglomeration of many linguistic influences. In fact, there are dialects within the Taishan language itself, which is why some may even consider it a language on its own. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Revision Comments[edit]

I've copy edited the article a bit. The most noticeable is the change from "Toishanese" (Cantonese) to "Hoisanese" (Taishanese) throughout article. It seems unnecessary to use Cantonese as intermediary. I also changed the 1st person plural "ngoik" to the more correct "ngoi" in the sysnotpic table. The final guttural ("k") appears only in the 2d and 3d person plural pronouns. Szekar


I'd love to avoid edit wars over transcriptions. Is there any definitive transcription (other than IPA) for Toisanese? We've gone through at least two rounds of edits and reversions over the transcription for ɬ (as in "lhaam"). --Waitak 03:13, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

equating Hoisanese to Siyi[edit]

Subset and superset are not equal, you cannot say mammals and animals are the same. See also Talk:Taishan Kowloonese 00:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)


I don't know who keeps changing "ngoi" to "ngoik". I don't know which accent this occurs in, but I have never heard "ngoik". I have added a reference (Deng 2000) to support changing "ngoik" back to "ngoi". Please do not change it back if you have no reference to support it.

Deng has also published a dictionary on two varieties of the Siyi dialects, one from Kaiping and one from Taishan.

Aaron Lee 02:30, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Is this yours? Waitak 04:05, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I did put this site up several years ago when I was an undergrad at UCLA. The paper has undergone many revisions since, and I have also moved onto more careful, more well researched and more experimentally-based work. I do not consider it to be a good resource on the Taishan dialect. The best research on the Taishan dialect has been done by Deng Jun, who is a retired professor in Changsha (Hunan). Aaron Lee 02:25, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. On the other hand, though, I think that your work is about the only thing on the Web on Taishanese. I wonder if some of his work could be made available on the Web? Are you in touch with him? (Et comment ça se fait que tu parles autant de langues? :-) Waitak 02:55, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the updates[edit]

I was the original creator of the article. It wasn't very good, as it was one of my earlier articles and wasn't as well researched as it should have been (and I lost Taishanese fluency somewhere in my childhood). I started it with the hope that others would see it, be interested, and maybe pick things up from there. But nice to know that other interested editors are picking up the burden and improving the article with better information. A hearty thanks to ye!--Yuje 06:00, 22 September 2006 (UTC)


An anonymous editor has reverted the text on the use of the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative in Taishanese a couple of times now, with some rather strong criticisms of the existing description, but not much in the way of an alternative. They give the impression that they understand what this sound is in Xhosa and other languages (Welsh and Tigrinya also use it), and that the sound in Taishanese is somehow different. Is that true? The actual description of the sound that this person gives is a fairly good layman's description of exactly the sound described in the text that they've deleted. That gives me the impression that they don't really know what the ɬ sounds like, but have somehow decided that it can't be the same sound as in Taishanese. I'm having a lot of trouble understanding why. I'd suggest that you go read the description of "ɬ", and maybe listen to a recording of it if you can find one, and then see if you still think that it's different.

Could I ask, please, that the person who's disagreeing so strongly either:

  1. Give a linguistically sound explanation of what the sound is in Taishanese, including the symbol in IPA, and why it's different from the corresponding sound in all of the other languages, or
  2. Stop changing the text

It's just not good enough to say "You don't know anything and you're all wrong," sorry. Aaron, or others with a lot of linguistics, would you mind weighing in with an opinion from a linguistically informed point of view? Waitak 05:18, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

The first sound in "lhaam" (three) is a voiceless lateral fricative. There are different ways to transcribe the lateral fricative. In linguistic studies, the symbol "ɬ" is most commonly used, but this symbol is not often used in standard orthographies, and one cannot deny that it would be a pain for most people to type "ɬ" using a typical keyboard. The most well-known approach is with "ll" as is done in Welsh. In many languages, among them the Muskogean languages Chickasaw and Choctaw, this sound is written as "lh". In many other languages, notably the Nguni languages, this sound is written with "hl". Author Rev Jack Ong has told me that he used "thl" for this sound. All of these different spellings are equally valid.
I personally prefer "lh" because it conforms to the generalization that "h" always appears second in a digraph, as in "sh" or "ch". This is also the digraph used by Deng Jun in his Taishan and Kaiping dictionaries. Now, this is not to say that all generalizations should be upheld. The digraph "hl" better captures the phonetic fact that the lateral fricative is produced with frication with a lateral approximant release. And the digraph "thl" even better captures the phonetic fact that the lateral fricative is dental in the Taishan dialect. Both of these phonetic properties of the Taishan dialect are discussed by Maddieson and Emmory (1984).
  • Maddieson, Ian and Karen Emmory. 1984. Is there a valid distinction between voiceless lateral approximants and fricatives? UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 59.
Aaron Lee 08:39, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
This has to be a contender for "longest delay between a question and an answer, particularly for a rock solid, informative answer." Thanks, Aaron! :-) While I'm here... is there a difference between voiceless alveolar lateral fricative and voiceless lateral fricative? And am I reading your response correctly as correcting my usage of the former in preference of the latter? Waitak 16:44, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Using "voiceless lateral fricative" is simply a more general term that is probably the more appropriate claim. Inserting "dental" or "alveolar" makes a more specific claim about the place of articulation that might not be supported by articulatory studies. Most lateral fricatives are assumed to be alveolar, but Maddieson and Emmory (1984) note that in the Taishan dialect this sound is actually a "voiceless dental lateral fricative". Now, this is not to say that "voiceless alveolar lateral fricative" is wrong -- there are probably Taishanese speakers who have a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative, or even vary between using an alveolar and dental version. So in short, using the shortened "voiceless lateral fricative" is more appropriate because it makes the strongest and also least debatable claim; the initial sound in "lhaam" is voiceless, it is a fricative and it is lateral. Aaron Lee 19:36, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Mutual intelligibility?[edit]

The current version claims that Standard (Guangzhou) Cantonese and Taishanese are mutually unintelligible. Is it possible to be more precise about the degree of intelligibility? Because I am sure that even an uninitiated Guangzhou Cantonese speaker can pick up bits of a conversation in Taishanese. Perhaps a comparison of Guangzhou Cantonese & Taishanese's degree of intelligibility with that between the Ukrainian, Belarussian, and Russian languages or between Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian languages might be in order? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribsWHOIS) 13:49, 28 January 2007

From the article:
"Often regarded as a single language, Hoisanese can also be seen as a group of very closely related, mutually intelligible subdialects spoken in the various towns and villages in and around Siyi (the four counties of Taishan, Enping, Kaiping, Xinhui). It is said one can tell the speaker's village or town from his or her accent and vocabulary."
"Hoisanese is often mistakenly regarded as similar to mainstream Cantonese, but the two are largely mutually unintelligible."
That's about it. It's a bit contradictory. Since there are several subdialects of Hoisanese a comparison can't really be made. Maybe a bit weasel worded, but there are (I'm not sure how many) native speakers of several subdialects who will argue that Hoisanese and Cantonese basically the same thing. Squids'and'Chips 02:49, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
There is a linguistic study that reported native Cantonese speakers had only 31.3 percent intelligibility of a recording in the Taishan dialect. This number can be compared to the less than 10 percent intelligibility that Cantonese speakers had for Hakka, Chaozhou and Xiamen dialects. The fact that Cantonese speakers understand less than half of what they heard in the Taishan dialect strongly suggests that these two dialects are not "the same thing".
  • Szeto, Cecilia. 2000. Testing Intelligibility Among Sinitic Dialects. Proceedings of ALS2K, the 2000 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society.
Aaron Lee 08:11, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Nomenclature: Hoisanese, Toisanese, Taishan Dialect, ... ?[edit]

I was about to revert all "Hoisanese" to "Taishan dialect" (see Talk:Taishan_dialect#Revision Comments), but doing so would not solve the fact that there is general disagreement over the nomenclature. Some sort of general agreement should first be reached. The argument for using "Taishan dialect" is based on the naming conventions, which say:

In general, Chinese entries should be in Hanyu Pinyin. Exceptions would include:
  • When there is a more popularly used form in English (such as “Taoism”)
  • When the subject of the entry is likely to object to romanization in pinyin

I am willing to accept that there are more popularly used forms in English other than "Taishan dialect", and I mention one below (Toisanese); however, "Hoisanese" is not one of them. The term "Hoisanese" remains faithful to the native pronunciation, but this term fails to be used in the literature. Furthermore, while one may claim that "Hoisanese" stays true to the native speech, we cannot deny that it is a novel term insomuch as it is the novel Anglicization of a native term. It will be difficult to provide documented evidence that "Hoisanese" is the most popular way that native speakers or others refer to their speech -- precisely because it is not.

While certain individuals might object to the Pinyin romanization "Taishan", there is no documented evidence to show the population's general objection to such romanization. The popular term "Toisanese" is apparently more common in spoken English than in published work, where "Taishan dialect" is predominant. I suggest that we follow the trend set in numerous publications over the last century and use "Taishan dialect". Below is a summary of what the literature has used.

The term "Llin-nen" appears in the oldest Western reference on the dialect. It refers to the previous name of Taishan: Xinning.

  • Don, Alexander. 1882. The Llin-nen variation of Chinese. China Review 11: 236–247.

The term "Taishan dialect" (or a similar variant including "T'ai-Shan") is likely popularized by the trend towards the usage of Mandarin Pinyin. Most publications use the term "Taishan dialect" both within and outside of the field of linguistics. The list below includes several Chinese-language publications, but even if these are omitted, then the number of Western publications that use "Taishan" still exceeds all others; this is list not exhaustive. It is worth noting that Cheng (1973) is perhaps the most widely cited in modern linguistic work on the dialect:

  • Bao, Xiaolan. 2001. Holding Up More Than Half the Sky: Chinese Women Garment Workers in New York City, 1948-92. University of Illinois Press.
  • Chao, Yuen-Ren. 1951. Taishan Yuliao. Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Philology (Academia Sinica) 23: 25–76.
  • Chen, Matthew Y. 2000. Tone Sandhi: Patterns Across Chinese Dialects. Cambridge University Press.
  • Chen, X.-W. 1966. Taishan Fang-yen Te-shu Bian-diao Chu-tan. Zhongguo Yu-wen 1: 34–36.
  • Cheng, Teresa M. 1973. The Phonology of Taishan. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 1,2: 256–322.
  • Liang, Z. and H. Morooka. 2004. Recent Trends of Emigration from China: 1982-2000. International Migration 42 (3), pp. 145-164.
  • Szeto, Cecilia. 2000. Testing Intelligibility Among Sinitic Dialects. Proceedings of ALS2K, the 2000 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society.
  • Wang, Yiman. 2005. The Art of Screen Passing: Anna May Wong’s Yellow Yellowface Performance in the Art Deco Era. Camera Obscura 60, 20 (3).
  • Yiu, T’ung. 1946. The T’ai-Shan Dialect. Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton.
  • Yu, Alan C. L. to appear. Understanding near mergers: The case of Morphological tone in Cantonese. Phonology 24 (1).
  • Zhan, Bohui & Yat-Shing Cheung (eds.) 1990. A survey of dialects in the Pearl River Delta vol. 3: a synthetic review. Hong Kong: New Century Publishing House.

On the other hand, the term "Toishan (dialect)" might be preferred as it was once the convention used by the United States Post Office. It appeared most recently in internal publications of the United States Census, 2000, which are available online for download. I have a feeling that most speakers of the dialect (yours truly included) would not prefer to use "Toishan". This term can be found in the following sources:

  • DLI. 1964. Chinese-Cantonese (Toishan) Basic Course. Washington, DC: Defense Language Institute.
  • Hom, Marlon Kau. 1983. Some Cantonese Folksongs on the American Experience. Western Folklore 42 (2), pp. 126-139.
  • Lee, Gina. 1987. A Study of Toishan F0. Ohio State University Working Papers in Linguistics 36: 16–30.
  • Light, Timothy. 1986. Toishan Affixal Aspects. John McCoy and Timothy Light (eds.), Contributions to Sino-Tibetan Studies. Leiden: Brill, 415-25.
  • McCoy, John. 1966. The Phonology of Toishan City: A Chinese Dialect of Kwangtung Province. (PhD Dissertation, Cornell.)

The term "Toisanese" seems to have a stronger appeal among native speakers than it does in written work. The argument against its use as the main term in the article is that "Toisanese" only marginally used in the literature:

  • Eng, Nancy. 1995. Lexical Tone in Non-Fluent Chinese-Speaking Aphasics. PhD Dissertation, City University New York.
  • Pon, Gordon. 2000. The Art of War or the Wedding Banquet? Asian Canadians, Masculinity, and Antiracism Education. Canadian Journal of Education 25 (2), pp. 139-151.

Lastly, the term "Taishanese" was used in the following two publications. I have a feeling it was used elsewhere as well:

  • Him, Kam Tak. 1980. Semantic-Tonal Processes in Cantonese, Taishanese, Bobai and Siamese. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 8,2: 205–240.
  • Hsu, Madeline Y. 2000. Dreaming of Gold, Dreaming of Home: Transnationalism and Migration between the United States and China, 1882-1943. Stanford University Press.

Aaron Lee 07:59, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The problem with everything you just stated is that your entire argument rests on the assumption that what appears in literature is correct and proper. Just because a term is used in literature does not mean it is right. The word "Oriental" was also used to describe people of Asian descent in endless examples of older literature, but calling someone an "Oriental" in this day and age would be considered offensive. Just because "Taishanese" is used presently does not mean it is not offensive. It just means that the people who use it also believe in the same artificial rule as you. Frankly, usage of the term "Taishanese" or "Taishan dialect" is offensive to those Hoisan people who do not speak any Mandarin or even Cantonese. Thus, even "Toisan" can be considered offensive since it is the Cantonese form of the word. Why must a people and language be named by those who oppress and lead to the marginalization of said language? That is borderline cultural colonization. No matter what the Chinese government may deem "correct" in terms of spelling, people in the English-speaking world are not tied to the commands of the Chinese government. In fact, if literature and academic work is supposed to help spread knowledge, why are you trying to keep people ignorant by continuing to refer to Hoisan as Taishan? Frankly, if you say "Taishan" to an older Hoisan person who knows no Mandarin or Cantonese, they will not know what it means. And no matter how you put it, the word "Taishan" can never embody the feeling that is felt or remembered when one reminisces on the sweet memories of being back in their homeland of Hoisan. Your argument in favor of usage of "Taishan" is not only offensive but also ethnocentric. It does not matter what words were used in the past or in a booke, it matters which word should be used in order to respect the langauge and culture in question. I guess in this day and age Beijing people are allowed to be named in their own tongue, but Hoisan people must still degradingly be named in a language which is not even theirs. The map may not read "Hoisan" but books and literature can be, for Hoisan does not just refer to a physical place but an imagined concept of a group of people tied together spiritually by a common language and culture. That cannot be found on any map or written text. This is very much similar to Hmong people. In China they are still referred to as Miao. But in America, Hmong people had to fight in order to win the right to be referred to as "Hmong", the pronounciation in their native tongue. How sad it is that people have to fight in order to be called the correct name. It is offensive to call a Hmong person a Miao, and it is offensive to call a Hoisan person a Taishan person, no matter what some Chinese government says or some superficial academic rule (created by imperfect human beings, not a divine law)states. You will probably scoff at this comment and continue thinking that you are superior just because of the research you have done. Cultures can be researched endlessly, but if you do not even respect the people you are researching, then your research means nothing. I hope you start to use the term "Hoisan", but you probably will not. Is it not sad that even on another shore Hoisan people still cannot be called by their own name? The next thing you know they will change your last name to "Li" in order to conform to the standard Pinyin. But I am sure you would have no problem with that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

To the previous commenter, I provided my reasoning in line with the naming conventions, which (as I noted above) say:
In general, Chinese entries should be in Hanyu Pinyin. Exceptions would include:
  • When there is a more popularly used form in English (such as “Taoism”)
  • When the subject of the entry is likely to object to romanization in pinyin
"Taishanese" is the term most popularly used in English, satisfying the first criterion. There is no collective objection on behalf of Taishanese speakers against using the term "Taishanese" in English, although many individuals may disagree, their disagreement is a minority one. The article's names section exists to reflect the fact that there are many different names used to refer to this dialect in English. As a practical matter, using the term "Taishanese" here is consistent with generally published literature, much of which was published by individuals of Taishan origin. Should popular practice and sentiment shift away from the use of "Taishanese," I expect the name of this page would likewise change. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaronlee (talkcontribs) 03:09, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

What statistics do you have to prove that "there is no collective objection on behalf of Taishanese speakers against using the term 'Taishanese' in English"? You cannot simply speak on behalf of all Hoisan speakers when you base all of your assumptions on "published literature." You say that those who disagree with the usage of "Taishan" are a minority, and you imply that "Taishanese" being used in published literature written by Hoisan people is a sign that "Taishan" is more popular in the English language. Do you know that Hoisan people who get their literature published are actually the minority? Your argument should actually be opposite of what you stated earlier: those who disagree with usage of "Taishan" are not the minority, those who support the usage of "Taishan" are! If you ever read people's comments on the Internet, "Hoisan" is more popular than Taishan. And, in fact, Hoisan speakers on the Internet are more representative of the general Hoisan population than published writers. This is just another story of a minority controlling a majority. You think that "Taishan" is more popular, when in reality you are simply viewing the world through a paradigm: you tend to read literature that uses the word "Taishan," which fuels your belief that it is the "right" name. If you really wanted to support the general opinion of Hoisan speakers themselves, you would be doing fieldwork to see what actual Hoisan people like to be called, not just go off of literature. The small number of Hoisan people with published literature do not even account for 1% of the millions of Hoisan people in the entire world. I think you are mistaken on who exactly the minority is. Anthropologists agree that a people's name should derive from their own language, so why do you fight so hard to falsely represent Hoisan? All of your arguments on why "Taishan" should be used could also be turned around and used to support usage of "Hoisan." How about you use the term "Hoisan" and see how many people are offended by it? I have never met someone who is offended by the word "Hoisan," but I have met people who are offended by the word "Taishan." Even if, like you say, the people who are offended by the word "Taishan" are a minority, they still account for way more people than those offended by the word "Hoisan" (0%). Hoisan speakers cannot be offended by the word "Hoisan," because that is the pronunciation in their own native tongue. "Taishan" on the other hand does have the possibility of offending people, as exemplified by the apparent controversy over its usage. The only people who are resisting usage of "Hoisan" are people like you, who frankly are not even part of the Hoisan in-group, while those offended by "Taishan" are the people who are part of the Hoisan in-group. This is just another case of people who are not even part of a culture trying to control it. Your persistence in usage of the word "Taishan" is a prime example of modern-day cultural imperialism, which is protected under the name of "academics." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

The idea is that it's more important for an encylopedia article to conform to existing naming guidelines than to try to effect change we view as positive. I've heard that some Chinese object to the English word China and would prefer an anglicized pronunciation of Zhongguo because they believe the association of their country with dining plates taps into the "made in China" schema and reinforces the negative bias portrayal of China as a manufacturing nation that "steals our jobs." Nevertheless, it's not Wikipedia's role to change the spelling of China to Zhongguo. Setting a precedent for Wikipedia authors to reinvent English for political change is a very slippery slope that would likely lead to chaos and Wikipedia's loss of all credibility. For what it's worth, the Chinese American speakers of 台山话 who I know say Taishanese (often realized as [ˈtʰaɪsaniz] despite spelling it with the pinyin "sh") or Toisanese in English. If you can find evidence that a significant population of bilingual speakers uses Hoisanese in English, then making a politically motivated change might make sense. Of course, a lot of people would still disagree with you that using the Mandarin-derived "Taishan dialect" or "Taishanese" perpetuates imperialism, and even more would disagree that using the Cantonese-derived "Toisanese" perpetuates imperialism, but it's at least less problematic to make a politically motivated naming decision if people actually use that name. Dsrguru (talk) 22:57, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Hoisanese and Cantonese[edit]

I was sad to read that Hoisanese lost a great number of speakers recently. I know that this is because many of the speakers are gone now and their children or grandchildren cannot speak the language. This saddens me that so many speakers are lost just because the language was not passed down. I wish that the language would be passed on. I am the only person in my whole school who can speak Hoisanese whose parents are not from post-communist China. Everyone I know who speaks Hoisanese has a pinyin lastname, signifying their post-communist China status. I wish that there were more like me who are interested in learning the language, but sadly in America knowing English is what will get one around. Therefore, I have always felt that America is essentially the one killing Hoisanese. Along with the strong influence from Hong Kong in Hoisan, I am afraid of Hoisanese's fate. Even one of my friends who was born in Hoisan told me that she likes Hong Kong; whenever I speak Hoisanese to her she scoffs at it. How can people hate their own kind? Sometimes I feel like Hoisanese people who are not in Hoisan are the only ones who care about the language. It seems like Hoisanese people in China do not care about the language. I am happy that there are so many efforts to save Hoisan language. It makes me feel better that Hoisan will not give way to Cantonese. However, when I speak Hoisanese, I feel as if there is a sacred bond between me and the person I am speaking with. I have never seen a non-Hoisanese person speaking it. Hoisanese is almost like a secret language to me, which only another fellow Hoisan person would understand. One of my friends says that he could not learn it if he wanted to because he grandma does not want him to learn. He said it is because she wants to keep what she says a secret. No matter where you go though, there will always be people with different opinions, and Hoisan people are no exception. My advice to everyone here is to speak Hoisanese to everyone you know and to try to expand it. If Hoisan had a television channel or some movie or CD in the native dialect, it would be preserved better and maybe more popular. I am waiting for the day that Hoisan has a television channel or some type of media. Until then, my mission will never end though.

I talked with a demographer at UCLA who told me that there are actually more Taishanese speakers in North America today than in 1965. But with the number of Chinese in America today at over 20 times the 1965 population, this means that Taishanese make up only a small fraction of the Chinese American community, which is why it feels like it is dying out. Most Taishanese speakers in the United States are first and second generation Taishanese Americans, not third or fourth generation (like yours truly). Such attrition in native speakers is not unusual. Almost all of the younger Taishanese speakers are immigrants or children of immigrants who arrived in North America in the last twenty years; according to Chinese American community organizers on the East and West Coast, these newer immigrants now make up the majority of the Taishanese speakers in North America. In China I found a certain amount of pressure against speaking Taishanese, but while there were no television shows, there were indeed radio programs. When I mentioned the feeling of many overseas Chinese -- that Taishanese is dying out -- I was laughed at. While I can imagine that in 100 years this might be the case, Taishanese is today nowhere near a dying language. If one takes the conservative estimate that 75% of all people in Taishan speak Taishanese, then this large number of speakers means that there are still more speakers of Taishanese than of more than half of the world's languages. That's a lot! (In the future, you should also sign your post.) Aaron Lee 14:19, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Cantonese speakers unable to understand Hoisanese[edit]

I find that part of the article interesting. Up to when I was 3½ years old, I lived with my mother's side of the family on the East Coast of the US. 90% of my relatives there were native Hoisanese speakers, so naturally, I picked up the language very quickly in addition to my Cantonese. However, I moved to the West Coast, where my father's side of my family lived. My father's side of the family speaks standard Cantonese, and goes back many generations in Guangdong. As I have lived with my father's side ever since, I have lost my ability to speak Hoisanese. However, when my mother talks with her mother on the phone in Hoisanese, I can understand everything she says, despite my inability to speak it. My father, having never learned Hoisanese, cannot understand a word my mother says.

Is Toisanese spoken in Hainan?[edit]

Are there Toisanese speakers in Hainan Province? Someone should provide evidences. Sonic99 (talk) 00:52, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Taishan (Taicheng) Dialect Summary[edit]

I am sorry that I've been MIA for the longest time, leaving much of the page incomplete. I have been meaning to fill out information with the work of Deng Jun on the Taicheng 台成 dialect, but at least for now, work is consuming much of my spare time. You may not have access to his dictionary, but I invite the rest of you to look at his online posts for yourselves, and maybe you can use this info to help boost the quality of this page ( Although I would have of course included references to other works as well, most of my updates would follow Deng Jun's analysis, which is the most thorough description of Taishanese to date in my opnion. Aaron Lee (talk) 01:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Yip 2002[edit]

What's currently note 7 in the article points to a reference (Yip2002) that's not in the reference list. Could someone who knows what it's meant to refer to please either supply the reference or delete the note? Thanks! Waitak (talk) 14:27, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

That was my fault. I just added the reference, along with the other missing references. Sorry about that! Aaron Lee (talk) 22:48, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Aaron! And thanks for all of the great work you've done on this article over the years. It's really appreciated. Waitak (talk) 12:41, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

something wrong on the writing system part[edit]

so i was reading on this to amuse myself to what the internet knows about my people and when i read that i laughed pretty hard lol. on the part where they translate 3 words we, you, and they in to 3 different chinese languages they got only 1 right and that's we. with you and they the pronunciations they put down was all slang. you is pronounced ney like the sound a horse makes (no pun intended) and there is no single word that means they in this language. that's like going to the united states page and on the language section and putting down them/they is pronounced y'all, friend is pronounced as hommie or dog, etc you get my point lol. Retardsrwe (talk) 18:57, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

actually it is pronounced "ni" in certain dialects of Hoisan. and also, which dialect of Hoisan do you speak? you say ni as nei, so you're probably Hoisieng dialect? even in Hoisieng dialect there is usage of kiek and niek for they and you(plural), respectively. kiek and niek are not slang at all. if you say nei dei or kui dei, that is definitely just a borrowing from Cantonese and not Hoisan at all. kiek and niek are the proper Hoisan words for they and you(plural). the part i thought was funny about that post was how it said keik and neik as if it's pronounced "cake" and "nake" or something lol. (talk) 02:41, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

verifying tones[edit]

What causes the difference between the two 陽入 tones? Is it vowel length like the two 陰入 tones in Cantonese? (And is the latter the case for Hoisanese too?) Did I get the tones right in Four_tones#Distribution_in_modern_Chinese? — kwami (talk) 15:59, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Good question! I know that both the 低陽入 and the 高陽入 tones overlap with the Guangzhou/HK 陽入 tone, although the Chinese page suggests a different overlap. The 低陽入 tone in Kaiping sometimes corresponds to a 陰入 tone in Taishan. At least one Taishan dialect lacks the 低陽入 completely. I wish I could give you a response that has more of an answer than musings, but I don't know much in this area. There was a book by Tsuji Nobuhisa that might be able to help, if I can find out how to get my hands on a copy. Do you have a list of sample characters to try out? I can look them up—and/or have a friend sound them out. Aaron Lee (talk) 03:24, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I browsed through A Guide to the Tai-Shan Dialect by Anne Yue-Hashimoto, and she suggests that the 低陽入 tone might best be considered morphologically derived; this tone is not shared by all Taishanese varieties. I'm not sure what the best way is to include this tone in the four tones table. I hope this helps! Aaron Lee (talk) 08:15, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Recent undo[edit]

I noticed that User:Lonelydarksky reverted a recent edit at Taishanese because it was contributed by a sock puppet. I'd noted the edit and the actual content seemed fine. Any problem with reverting it back? Waitak (talk) 14:15, 20 October 2011 (UTC)[edit]

if possible, I would like to have Taishanese Wkipedia link to my Taishanese/Toisanese blog I have been blogging for the past few years on various topics mixed in with my personal family history as a 2nd generation Toisanese as I call it. It's so awesome to witness interest in a fading dialect and culture. Thank you so much for your consideration. Toisan girl — Preceding unsigned comment added by Toisangirl (talkcontribs) 07:42, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Does your blog contain Taishanese text and pronunciations? --JasonN34 (talk) 07:21, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Creole of Taishanese and Standard Cantonese?[edit]

I have a friend in the Chicago area (grew up in chinatown and then moved to suburbs) whose parents are ethnically Chinese but are from Burma/Myanmar. Growing up, he was told that his parents both spoke Burmese and Taishanese, and that his dad also spoke Standard Cantonese, Mandarin, and some English. When they spoke to him, he was told they used Taishanese. My friend can currently only speak a drop of the language he calls Taishanese, but he can understand a fair amount of it. However, I've recently begun learning Standard Cantonese, and we've noticed that a lot of what he thought was Taishanese is actually Standard Cantonese, including closed class words. For example, we discovered that he pronounces 三 as saam instead of lhaam. He said that's how his parents say it, and we're wondering if a significant population of Chinese Americans in the Chicago area, or possibly of Chinese Burmese, speak a consistent hybrid of the two. Has anyone encountered this, either in person or in literature? Dsrguru (talk) 23:42, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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