Yong'an dialect

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Yong'an dialect
Pronunciation[uã˧ um˧ sia˧˥]
Native toSouthern China
RegionYong'an, Sanming, Fujian
Early forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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The Yong'an dialect (Central Min: 永安事, Mandarin Chinese: 永安話) is a Central Min dialect spoken in Yong'an, Sanming in Western Fujian Province, China.


The Yong'an dialect has 17 initials, 41 rimes and 6 tones.


The initials of the Yong'an dialect are:

Bilabial Dental Palato-alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal / Approximant m n ~ l ŋ
Plosive p    t    k    ʔ
Affricate ts   tsʰ    tʃʰ
Fricative s ʃ h
  • The initials [n] and [l] occur in free variation.
  • /m, ŋ/ can also be heard as voiced plosives [b, ɡ] in free variation.
  • Palato-alveolar sounds /tʃ, tʃʰ, ʃ/ can also be heard as alveolo-palatal sounds [tɕ, tɕʰ, ɕ] in free variation among speakers.


The Yong'an dialect has a rich set of oral and nasal vowels, but allows only -m and -ŋ as a final consonant.

Open syllable Nasal coda Nasal vowel coda
Open mouth ɹ̩ i a ɔ o ø e ɯ aɯ ɔu m am ɔm ãŋ ẽĩŋ ã õ
Even mouth i ia iɔ iø ie iɯ iau iam iẽĩŋ ĩ iã iõ
Closed mouth u uɔ ue ui um uẽĩŋ
Round mouth y ya ye yi ym yẽĩŋ


The tones are:

Middle Chinese tone
level rising departing entering
upper 53 21 35 13
lower 32 43 (> lower rising)

Tone sandhi[edit]

The Yong'an dialect has extremely extensive tone sandhi rules: in an utterance, only the last syllable pronounced is not affected by the rules. The two-syllable tonal sandhi rules are shown in the table below:

Tone sandhi of first syllable
Original citation tone Tone sandhi
upper level lower level
lower level remain unchanged
upper rising lower level
lower rising upper rising
departing remain unchanged
entering high level (55)


  1. ^ Min is believed to have split from Old Chinese, rather than Middle Chinese like other varieties of Chinese.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Mei, Tsu-lin (1970), "Tones and prosody in Middle Chinese and the origin of the rising tone", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 30: 86–110, doi:10.2307/2718766, JSTOR 2718766
  2. ^ Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (1984), Middle Chinese: A study in Historical Phonology, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-7748-0192-8
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2023-07-10). "Glottolog 4.8 - Min". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Archived from the original on 2023-10-13. Retrieved 2023-10-13.


  • Norman, Jerry (1974). "The Initials of Proto-Min". Journal of Chinese Linguistics. 2 (1): 27–36. JSTOR 23749809.
  • Zhou, Changji 周长楫; Lin, Baoqing 林宝卿 (1992). Yong'an Shi difangzhi bianweihui 永安市地方志编委会 (ed.). Yǒng'ān fāngyán 永安方言 [Yong'an Dialect] (in Chinese). Xiamen: Xiamen daxue chubanshe.
  • Yong'an Shi difangzhi bianzuan weiyuanhui 永安市地方志编纂委员会 (1994). Yǒng'ān Shì zhì 永安市志 [Chorography of Yong'an City] (in Chinese). Vol. 36. Beijing Shi: Zhonghua shuju. ISBN 7-101-01280-9.