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|閩南語 / 闽南语
河洛話 / 福老話
Hō-ló-oē / Hô-ló-uē
Koa-a books, Minnan written in Chinese characters
|Native to||China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar 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 Qiongwen is included); and most of Taiwan.|
|47 million (2007)|
|Chinese characters; Latin|
Official language in
|None; one of the statutory languages for public transport announcements in Taiwan|
|Regulated by||None (The Republic of China Ministry of Education and some NGOs are influential in Taiwan)|
Subgroups of Southern Min
|Literal meaning||"Language of Southern Min [Fujian]"|
Southern Min, or Minnan (simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語), is a branch of Min Chinese spoken in certain parts of China including southern Fujian (the Minnan region), eastern Guangdong, Hainan, and southern Zhejiang, and in Taiwan. The Minnan dialects are also spoken by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora, most notably the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Southern Min is the most widely distributed and the most influential of all Min varieties.
The Quanzhang (泉漳) variety (Hokkien–Taiwanese), otherwise known as the speech of Southern Fujian region, where it has traditionally been the linguistic center of Southern Min language, is the most prevalent and the representative variety in the Southern Min cultural sphere. Therefore, the Quanzhang (泉漳) variety (Hokkien–Taiwanese) is considered the mainstream variety of Southern Min language.
In common parlance and in the narrower sense, Southern Min refers to the Quanzhang variety of Southern Min spoken mainly in Southern Fujian in Mainland China, Taiwan as well as certain parts of Southeast Asia. The Quanzhang variety is often called simply Minnan Proper (simplified Chinese: 闽南语; traditional Chinese: 閩南語). The standard form of Minnan Proper is based on Amoy dialect spoken in the city of Xiamen and Taiwanese dialect spoken around the cities of Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taitung in Taiwan. Both standard forms of Minnan Proper are a combination of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speeches.
In the wider scope, Southern Min also includes other Min Chinese variants that are related to Minnan proper (Quanzhang). Southern Min variants include Teochew, Longyan Min, Zhenan Min, Zhongshan Min, Qiong-Lei (Leizhou dialect and Hainanese).
Southern Min variants such as Datian, Zhongshan and Qiong-Lei are significantly divergent from Quanzhang varieties, thus have little mutual intelligibility with Minnan Proper. Linguists tend to classify them under separate Min languages.
Southern Min dialects are spoken in the southern part of Fujian, three southeastern counties of Zhejiang, the Zhoushan archipelago off Ningbo in Zhejiang, and the Chaoshan (Teo-swa) region in Guangdong. The variant spoken in Leizhou, Guangdong as well as Hainan is Hainanese and is not mutually intelligible with mainstream Southern Min or Teochew. Hainanese is classified in some schemes as part of Southern Min and in other schemes as separate.[example needed] Puxian Min was originally based on the Quanzhou dialect, but over time became heavily influenced by Eastern Min, eventually losing intelligibility with Minnan.
A forms of Southern Min spoken in Taiwan, collectively known as Taiwanese, Southern Min is a first language for most of 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 immigrants 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 mostly mutually intelligible with Hokkien spoken elsewhere. Many Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in the Chaoshan region of Guangdong and speak Teochew language, 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"), although Hoklo people consist of only around 60% of the Chinese Filipino population.[dubious ]
Southern Min speakers form the majority of Chinese in Singapore, with the largest group being Hokkien and the second largest being Teochew. Despite the similarities the two groups are rarely seen as part of the same "Minnan" Chinese subgroups.
The variants of Southern Min spoken in Zhejiang province are most akin to that spoken in Quanzhou. The variants spoken in Taiwan are similar to the three Fujian variants and are collectively known as Taiwanese.
Those Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien" in Southeast Asia also originate from these variants. The variants of Southern Min in the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong province are collectively known as Teochew or Chaozhou. Teochew is of great importance in the Southeast Asian Chinese diaspora, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sumatra and West Kalimantan. The Philippines variant is mostly from the Quanzhou area as most of their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.
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 Minnan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese inhabitants of Penang, Malaysia and Medan, Indonesia, a distinct form based on the Zhangzhou dialect has developed. In Penang, it is called Penang Hokkien while across the Malacca Strait in Medan, an almost identical variant is known as Medan Hokkien.
There are three major divisions of Southern Min :
Quanzhang speech (泉漳片), commonly referred to as Minnan Proper (闽南语/闽南话) or Hokkien, is the mainstream variety of Southern Min. Xiamen (Amoy) dialect is the prestige dialect in Southern Fujian region in Mainland China while Taiwanese Hokkien based on the Tainan variant is the prestige dialect in Taiwan. Both Xiamen (Amoy) dialect are Taiwanese Minnan are a blend of Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects. Taiwanese in northern Taiwan tends to be based on Quanzhou dialect, whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern Taiwan tends to be based on Zhangzhou dialect. There are minor variations in pronunciation and vocabulary between Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is basically the same. Additionally, in Taiwanese Minnan, extensive contact with the Japanese language has left a legacy of Japanese loanwords.
Teochew, or Chaoshan speech (潮汕片), includes Swatow dialect. It has limited mutual intelligibility with Quanzhang speech though they share some cognates with each other. Teochew speech is significantly different from Quanzhang speech in both pronunciation and vocabulary. It had its origins from Proto-Putian dialect (闽南语古莆田话), a sub-dialect of Proto Minnan - which is closely related to Quanzhou dialect. As the Proto-Putian dialect speaking Chinese emigrants from Putian perfecture settled on Chaoshan region, it later received influence from Zhangzhou dialect and absorbed the She (畲) minority indigenous language to form the Teochew dialect today. It follows the same grammar pattern as Minnan Proper. It is marginally understood by Minnan Proper speakers to a small degree. However, both Teochew and Minnan Proper speakers would eventually understand each other relatively quickly through constant interaction though they may not speak the other's language.
Qiong-Lei speech (琼雷片) is spoken in the Leizhou peninsula and the southern Chinese island province of Hainan. The Qiong-Lei speeches originated from the mainstream Southern Min varieties but it developed into a distinctive language of its own due to geographical isolation from the Southern Min region. Over time, these dialects evolved into a stage which featured drastic changes to initial consonants, including a series of implosive consonants, that have been attributed to contact with the aborginal languages such as Tai-Kadai languages. As a result, it has lost much of its mutual intelligibility with mainstream Minnan and Teochew. It is not understood well by speakers of mainstream Minnan and Teochew. Since the late 20th century, many linguists consider this Southern Min variety as a separate Min language.
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, and the Teochew system differs somewhat more.
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 Standard Chinese in school. As a result, there has not been an urgent need to develop a writing system.[improper synthesis?] 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).
The Min homeland of Fujian was opened to Chinese settlement by the defeat of the Minyue state by the armies of Emperor Wu of Han in 110 BC. The area features rugged mountainous terrain, with short rivers that flow into the South China Sea. Most subsequent migration from north to south China passed through the valleys of the Xiang and Gan rivers to the west, so that Min varieties have experienced less northern influence than other southern groups. As a result, whereas most varieties of Chinese can be treated as derived from Middle Chinese, the language described by rhyme dictionaries such as the Qieyun (601 AD), Min varieties contain traces of older distinctions. Linguists estimate that the oldest layers of Min dialects diverged from the rest of Chinese around the time of the Han dynasty. However, significant waves of migration from the North China Plain occurred:
Jerry Norman identifies four main layers in the vocabulary of modern Min varieties:
Minnan (or Hokkien) can trace its origins through the Tang Dynasty, and it also has roots from earlier periods. Minnan (Hokkien) people call themselves "Tang people", (唐人, pronounced as "唐儂" Thn̂g-lâng) which is synonymous to "Chinese people". Because of the widespread influence of the Tang culture during the great Tang dynasty, there are today still many Minnan pronunciations of words shared by the Sino-xenic pronunciations of Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese languages.
|English||Han characters||Mandarin Chinese||Taiwanese Minnan||Teochew||Cantonese||Korean||Vietnamese||Japanese|
|Dangerous||危險||Wēixiǎn||Guî-hiám||guîn5/nguín5 hiem2||ngai4 him2||Wiheom (위험)||Nguy hiểm||Kiken|
|Embassy||大使館||Dàshǐguǎn||Tāi-sài-koán||dai6 sái2 guêng2||daai6 si3 gun2||Daesagwan (대사관)||Đại Sứ Quán||Taishikan|
|Insurance||保險||Bǎoxiǎn||Pó-hiám||Bó2-hiém||bou2 him2||Boheom (보험)||Bảo hiểm||Hoken|
|News||新聞||Xīnwén||Sin-bûn||sing1 bhung6||san1 man4||Shinmun (신문)||Tân Văn||Shinbun|
|Student||學生||Xuéshēng||Ha̍k-seng||Hak8 sêng1||hok6 saang1||Haksaeng (학생)||Học sinh||Gakusei|
|University||大學||Dàxué||Tāi-ha̍k/Tōa-o̍h||dai6 hag8/dua7 oh8||daai6 hok6||Daehak (대학)||Đại học||Daigaku|
|Min Nan Chinese edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Southern Min test of Wikibooks at Wikimedia Incubator|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Minnan|
|Look up Minnan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Minnan phrasebook.|