Wiktionary:About Chinese/Min Dong

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Min Dong (閩東語闽东语) is a major branch of Min Chinese, spoken around the area of Fuzhou. Wiktionary uses the Bàng-uâ-cê (平話字平话字) system (Foochow Romanized) as the romanisation of Min Dong Chinese.

Bàng-uâ-cê was devised in the 19th century and recorded the phonology of the Fuzhou dialect at the time reasonably accurately. Some (mostly regular) sound changes have occurred since the inception of this romanisation scheme, but Bàng-uâ-cê remains a handy, albeit intricate system for representing the sounds of the modern Fuzhou dialect.

This article aims to explain the usage of this romanisation system. It assumes a basic understanding of the phonology of the Fuzhou dialect.

Unless otherwise indicated, the pronunciations below are in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Initials (15)[edit]

Initial IPA Example character Romanisation of character
Unchanged Lenited Nasal
b /p/ /β/ /m/ biĕng
p /pʰ/ /β/ /m/ pŏ̤
m /m/ /m/ /m/ mùng
d /t/ /l/ /n/ dă̤
t /tʰ/ /l/ /n/
n /nˡ/ /nˡ/ /nˡ/ nĭk
l /l̃/ /l̃/ /nˡ/ liū
g /k/ (null) /ŋ/ giù
k /kʰ/ (null) /ŋ/
ng /ŋ/ /ŋ/ /ŋ/ ngṳ̄
c /t͡s/ /ʒ/ /ʒ/ cĕng
ch /t͡sʰ/ /ʒ/ /ʒ/ chók
s /s/ /l/ /n/
h /h/ (null) /ŋ/
Ø (null) (null) (null) /ŋ/ ĕng

Initials undergo changes when the syllable is a non-initial syllable of a (fossilised) compound:

  • Lenited pronunciations are used when the previous syllable has a null coda or a /-ʔ/ ‹-h› coda, and
  • Nasal pronunciations are used when the previous syllable has a /-ŋ/ ‹-ng› coda.

Finals (33)[edit]

Spelling-tone chart[edit]

The following table illustrates the finals of 19th-century Fuzhou dialect. Certain finals have different spellings depending on the tone of the syllable, owing the tone-dependent pronunciations of these finals. Per Chinese linguistics conventions, checked-tone syllables are listed alongside their non-checked-tone equivalents.

Example character Pronunciation of character Tones
Dark level Dark rising Dark departing Dark checked Light level Light rising Light departing Light checked
chŭng ŭng ūng óng ók ùng ūng ông ŭk
huă uáh uăh
hiŏng iŏng iōng ióng iók iòng iōng iông iŏk
chiŭ éu éuh êu iŭh
săng ăng āng áng ák àng āng âng ăk
kăi ăi āi ái áih ài āi âi ăih
ă ā á áh à ā â ăh
bĭng ĭng īng éng ék ìng īng êng ĭk
huăng uăng uāng uáng uák uàng uāng uâng uăk
gŏ̤ ŏ̤ ō̤ ó̤ ó̤h ò̤ ō̤ ô̤ ŏ̤h
sṳ̆ ṳ̆ ṳ̄ é̤ṳ é̤ṳh ṳ̀ ṳ̄ ê̤ṳ ṳ̆h
buŏi uŏi uōi uói uóih uòi uōi uôi uŏih
ŭ ū ó óh ù ū ô ŭh
dĕng ĕng ēng áing áik èng ēng âing ĕk
guŏng uŏng uōng uóng uók uòng uōng uông uŏk
hŭi ŭi ūi ói óih ùi ūi ôi ŭih
siĕu iĕu iēu iéu iéuh ièu iēu iêu iĕuh
ngṳ̀ng ṳ̆ng ṳ̄ng é̤ṳng é̤ṳk ṳ̀ng ṳ̄ng ê̤ṳng ṳ̆k
gŏng ŏng ōng áung áuk òng ōng âung ŏk
ĭ ī é éh ì ī ê ĭh
dĕ̤ng ĕ̤ng ē̤ng áe̤ng áe̤k è̤ng ē̤ng âe̤ng ĕ̤k
gău ău āu áu áuh àu āu âu ăuh
guó uóh uŏh
西 să̤ ă̤ ā̤ á̤ á̤h à̤ ā̤ â̤ ă̤h
giò ióh iŏh
giĕ iéh iĕh
siăng iăng iāng iáng iák iàng iāng iâng iăk
chŏi ŏi ōi ó̤i ó̤ih òi ōi ô̤i ŏih
chĕ̤ ĕ̤ ē̤ áe̤ áe̤h è̤ ē̤ âe̤ ĕ̤h
tiĕng iĕng iēng iéng iék ièng iēng iêng iĕk
kiă iáh iăk
uăi uăi uāi uái uáih uài uāi uâi uăih
gĕu ĕu ēu áiu áiuh èu ēu âiu ĕuh

When there is tone-dependent spelling change in a final, the orange-background cells indicate closed rimes (緊韻紧韵), and blue-background cells indicate open rimes (鬆韻松韵). The closed rimes are the underlying rimes of a final, and open rimes surface when the tone of the syllable (after tone sandhi) is dark departing, light departing, or dark checked.

Spelling-IPA chart[edit]

The table below shows the IPA pronunciations of these finals at the time, as well as reflexes in the modern Fuzhou dialect. Some of the rime combinations in the table above are not found in actual speech; these will be marked by — here.

Example
character
Pronunciation of
character
Tone Spelling 19th-century pronunciation Modern pronunciation
Closed rime Open rime Closed rime Open rime Closed rime Open rime
chŭng Non-checked ung ong /uŋ/ /ouŋ/ /uŋ/ /ouŋ/
Checked uk ok /uk̚/ /ouk̚/ /uʔ/ /ouʔ/
huă Non-checked ua /ua/ /ua/ /uɑ/
Checked uah /uaʔ/ /uaʔ/ /uɑʔ/
hiŏng Non-checked iong /ioŋ/ /yoŋ/

/uoŋ/
(when following a
dental initial)

/yɔŋ/

/uɔŋ/
(when following a
dental initial)

Checked iok /iok̚/ /yoʔ/

/uoʔ/
(when following a
dental initial)

/yɔʔ/

/uɔʔ/
(when following a
dental initial)

chiŭ Non-checked iu eu /iu/ /eu/ /ieu/ /iɛu/
Checked
săng Non-checked ang /aŋ/ /aŋ/

/iaŋ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

/ɑŋ/

/iɑŋ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

Checked ak /ak̚/ /aʔ/

/iaʔ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

/ɑʔ/

/iɑʔ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

kăi Non-checked ai /ai/ /ai/ /ɑi/
Checked
Non-checked a /a/ /a/

/ia/
(variant after
affricate initials)

/ɑ/

/iɑ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

Checked ah /aʔ/ /aʔ/

/iaʔ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

/ɑʔ/

/iɑʔ/
(variant after
affricate initials)

bĭng Non-checked ing eng /iŋ/ /eiŋ/ /iŋ/ /eiŋ/
Checked ik ek /ik̚/ /eik̚/ /iʔ/ /ɛiʔ/
huăng Non-checked uang /uaŋ/ /uaŋ/ /uɑŋ/
Checked uak /uak̚/ /uaʔ/ /uɑʔ/
gŏ̤ Non-checked /ɔ/ /o/ /ɔ/
Checked o̤h /ɔʔ/ /oʔ/ /ɔʔ/
sṳ̆ Non-checked e̤ṳ /y/ /øy/ /y/ /øy/
Checked ṳh e̤ṳh /yʔ/ /øyʔ/ /yʔ/ /øyʔ/
buŏi Non-checked uoi /uɪ/ /uoɪ/ /uoi/ /uɔi/
Checked
Non-checked u o /u/ /ou/ /u/ /ou/
Checked uh oh /uʔ/ /ouʔ/ /uʔ/ /ouʔ/
dĕng Non-checked eng aing /eiŋ/ /aiŋ/ /eiŋ/ /aiŋ/
Checked ek aik /eik̚/ /aik̚/ /ɛiʔ/ /aiʔ/
guŏng Non-checked uong /uoŋ/ /uoŋ/ /uɔŋ/
Checked uok /uok̚/ /uoʔ/ /uɔʔ/
hŭi Non-checked ui oi /ui/ /oi/ /uoi/ /uɔi/
Checked
siĕu Non-checked ieu /ieu/ /ieu/ /iɛu/
Checked
ngṳ̀ng Non-checked ṳng e̤ṳng /yŋ/ /øyŋ/ /yŋ/ /øyŋ/
Checked ṳk e̤ṳk /yk̚/ /øyk̚/ /yʔ/ /øyʔ/
gŏng Non-checked ong aung /ouŋ/ /auŋ/ /ouŋ/ /ɑuŋ/
Checked ok auk /ouk̚/ /auk̚/ /ouʔ/ /ɑuʔ/
Non-checked i e /i/ /e̞i/ /i/ /ɛi/
Checked ih eh /iʔ/ /eiʔ/ /iʔ/ /ɛiʔ/
dĕ̤ng Non-checked e̤ng ae̤ng /øŋ/ /aøŋ/ /øyŋ/ /ɔyŋ/
Checked e̤k ae̤k /øk̚/ /aøk̚/ /øyʔ/ /ɔyʔ/
gău Non-checked au /au/ /au/ /ɑu/
Checked
guó Non-checked uo /uo/ /uo/ /uɔ/
Checked uoh /uoʔ/ /uoʔ/ /uɔʔ/
西 să̤ Non-checked /ɛ/ /ɛ/ /ɑ/
Checked a̤h /ɛʔ/ /ɛʔ/ /ɑʔ/
giò Non-checked io /io/ /yo/

/uo/
(when following a
dental initial)

/yɔ/

/uɔ/
(when following a
dental initial)

Checked ioh /ioʔ/ /yoʔ/

/uoʔ/
(when following a
dental initial)

/yɔʔ/

/uɔʔ/
(when following a
dental initial)

giĕ Non-checked ie /ie/ /ie/ /iɛ/
Checked ieh /ieʔ/ /ieʔ/ /iɛʔ/
siăng Non-checked iang /iaŋ/ /iaŋ/ /iɑŋ/
Checked iak /iak̚/ /iaʔ/ /iɑʔ/
chŏi Non-checked oi o̤i /oi/ /ɔi/ /øy/ /ɔy/
Checked
chĕ̤ Non-checked ae̤ /ø/ /aø/ /œ/ /ɔ/
Checked e̤h ae̤h /øʔ/ /aøʔ/ /œʔ/
tiĕng Non-checked ieng /ieŋ/ /ieŋ/ /iɛŋ/
Checked iek /iek̚/ /ieʔ/ /iɛʔ/
kiă Non-checked ia /ia/ /ia/ /iɑ/
Checked iah /iaʔ/ /iaʔ/ /iɑʔ/
uăi Non-checked uai /uai/ /uai/ /uɑi/
Checked
gĕu Non-checked eu aiu /eu/ /æu/ /ɛu/ /ɑu/
Checked

Additional finals[edit]

In addition to the finals listed so far, there are two finals which are only in found in a limited number of words:

  • [ŋ̍] ~ [n̩] ~ [m̩] invalid IPA characters (][][): allophones of the negative particle ‹n̂g›.
  • /iau/: only found in /ŋiau˥˥/ (‹ngiău›, “meow of a cat; peeking”) and /miau˥˧/ (‹miàu›, “meow of a cat”).

IPA-spelling chart[edit]

Modern pronunciation Possible spelling (category of final)
/a/ a ()
/ɑ/ a ()
(西)
/ai/ ai ()
/ɑi/ ai ()
/au/ au ()
/ɑu/ au ()
aiu ()
/aŋ/ ang ()
/ɑŋ/ ang ()
/aʔ/ ak ()
ah ()
/ɑʔ/ ak ()
ah ()
a̤h (西)
/eiŋ/ eng ()
eng ()
/aiŋ/ aing ()
/ɛiʔ/ ek ()
ek ()
eh ()
/aiʔ/ aik ()
/i/ i ()
/ɛi/ e ()
/ia/ ia ()
a ()
/iɑ/ ia ()
a ()
/iaŋ/ iang ()
ang ()
/iɑŋ/ iang ()
ang ()
/iaʔ/ iak ()
iah ()
ak ()
ah ()
/iɑʔ/ iak ()
iah ()
ak ()
ah ()
/ie/ ie ()
/iɛ/ ie ()
/ieu/ ieu ()
iu ()
/iɛu/ ieu ()
eu ()
/ieŋ/ ieng ()
/iɛŋ/ ieng ()
/ieʔ/ iek ()
ieh ()
/iɛʔ/ iek ()
ieh ()
/iŋ/ ing ()
/iʔ/ ik ()
ih ()
/o/ ()
/ɔ/ ()
ae̤ ()
/ouŋ/ ong ()
ong ()
/ɑuŋ/ aung ()
/ouʔ/ ok ()
oh ()
/ɑuʔ/ auk ()
/oʔ/ o̤h ()
/ɔʔ/ o̤h ()
/u/ u ()
/ou/ o ()
/ua/ ua ()
/uɑ/ ua ()
/uai/ uai ()
/uɑi/ uai ()
/uaŋ/ uang ()
/uɑŋ/ uang ()
/uaʔ/ uak ()
uah ()
/uɑʔ/ uak ()
uah ()
/uo/ uo ()
io ()
/uɔ/ uo ()
io ()
/uoi/ uoi ()
ui ()
/uɔi/ uoi ()
oi ()
/uoŋ/ uong ()
io ()
/uɔŋ/ uong ()
io ()
/uoʔ/ uok ()
uoh ()
iok ()
ioh ()
/uɔʔ/ uok ()
uoh ()
iok ()
ioh ()
/uŋ/ ung ()
/uʔ/ uk ()
uh ()
/y/ ()
/øy/ e̤ṳ ()
oi ()
/yo/ io ()
/yɔ/ io ()
/yoŋ/ iong ()
/yɔŋ/ iong ()
/yoʔ/ iok ()
ioh ()
/yɔʔ/ iok ()
ioh ()
/yŋ/ ṳng ()
/øyŋ/ e̤ng ()
e̤ṳng ()
/yʔ/ ṳk ()
ṳh ()
/øyʔ/ e̤k ()
e̤ṳk ()
e̤ṳh ()
/ɔy/ o̤i ()
/ɔyŋ/ ae̤ng ()
/ɔyʔ/ ae̤k ()
/œ/ ()
/œʔ/ e̤h ()
/ɛ/ (西)
/ɛu/ eu ()
/ɛʔ/ a̤h (西)
/ŋ̍/
/n̩/
/m̩/
ng
(only in )
/iau/ iau
(limited)

Tones (7)[edit]

Tone number Tone name Diacritics (on ‹a›) Tone value
1 Dark level ă /˥˥/ (55)
2 Rising ā /˧˧/ (33)
3 Dark departing á /˨˩˧/ (213)
4 Dark checked (A) ák /˨˦/ (24)
Dark checked (B) áh /˨˦/ (24)
5 Light level à /˥˧/ (53)
6 Light departing â /˨˦˨/ (242)
7 Light checked (A) ăk /˥/ (5)
Light checked (B) ăh /˥/ (5)

Additionally, there are two tones which only occur in tone sandhi:

Tone number Tone name Diacritics (on ‹a›) Tone value
8 Half dark departing /˨˩/ (21)
9 Half light departing /˧˥/ (35)

Tone sandhi[edit]

Tone sandhi rules in the Fuzhou dialect are complex. Generally, only non-final syllables in a word undergo tone sandhi.

The table below shows the two-syllable tonal sandhi rules; the cells indicate the tone of the first syllable after tone sandhi.

Tone of 1st syllableTone of 2nd syllable Dark level /˥/ Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Rising /˧/ Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked (B) /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/ Light level /˥˧/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Dark level /˥/ Rising /˧/ Half dark departing /˨˩/
Rising /˧/
Dark checked (A) /˨˦/
Half dark departing /˨˩/ Half light departing /˧˥/ Dark level /˥/

And the three-syllable tone sandhi rules are:

Original tone After tone sandhi
First syllable Second syllable Third syllable First syllable Second syllable Third syllable
All tones Dark level /˥/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked (B) /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Half dark departing /˨˩/ Dark level /˥/ No change
Rising /˧/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Light level /˥˧/
Rising /˧/
Dark checked (A) /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Half dark departing /˨˩/
Rising /˧/ Half light departing /˧˥/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/
Dark level /˥/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked (B) /˨˦/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Dark level /˥/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Dark level /˥/ Dark level /˥/
Rising /˧/ Light level /˥˧/ Rising /˧/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Half dark departing /˨˩/
Rising /˧/
Dark checked (A) /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Rising /˧/
Half light departing /˧˥/ Rising /˧/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Dark level /˥/ Half dark departing /˨˩/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Dark level /˥/
Light level /˥˧/
Light checked /˥/
Rising /˧/
Rising /˧/ Rising /˧/
Dark departing /˨˩˧/
Light departing /˨˦˨/
Dark checked /˨˦/
Half dark departing /˨˩/ Half dark departing /˨˩/

For four-syllable words, there are two types of tone sandhi:

  • In articulated speech, it is treated as two sequential two-syllable units, and undergo two-syllable tone sandhis accordingly;
  • In fast speech, the first two syllables are reduced to a half dark departing tone, and the remaining two syllables undergo two-syllable tone sandhi.

Ways to handle special cases[edit]

> can be used to handle irregular pronunciations. The format is: orthography + > + actual_romanisation. For example:

* preceding an initial can be used to block lenition or nasal assimilation. For example:

Resources[edit]

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