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Eastern Min or Min Dong (,
Foochow Romanized Foochow Romanized, also known as Bàng-uâ-cê (BUC for short; ) or Hók-ciŭ-uâ Lò̤-mā-cê (), is a Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans to write the ...
: Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄), is a branch of the Min group of
Sinitic languages The Sinitic languages, often synonymous with "Chinese languages", constitute the major branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family Sino-Tibetan, also known as Trans-Himalayan in a few sources, is a family In human society, family (from ...
of China. The prestige form and most-cited representative form is the
Fuzhou dialect The Fuzhou dialect (, FR: ), also Foochow, Hokchew, Hok-chiu, or Fuzhounese, is the prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, ...
, the speech of the capital of
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnat ...

Fujian
.


Geographic distribution


Fujian and vicinity

Eastern Min varieties are mainly spoken in the eastern part of
Fujian Province Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territori ...

Fujian Province
(闽东) of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billio ...

People's Republic of China
, in and near the cities of
Fuzhou Fuzhou (; , Fuzhounese The Fuzhou dialect (, FR: ), also Foochow, Hokchew, Hok-chiu, or Fuzhounese, is the prestige variety of the Eastern Min branch of Min Chinese spoken mainly in the Mindong region of Eastern Fujian Province. Like ma ...

Fuzhou
and
Ningde Ningde (; : Nìng-dáik), also known as Mindong (; Foochow Romanized: Mìng-dĕ̤ng; lit. East of Fujian), is a located along the northeastern coast of province, People's Republic of China. It borders the provincial capital of to the south, () ...

Ningde
. They are also widely encountered as the
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical per ...
on the
Matsu Islands The Matsu Islands (; Foochow Romanized Foochow Romanized, also known as Bàng-uâ-cê (BUC for short; ) or Hók-ciŭ-uâ Lò̤-mā-cê (), is a Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originall ...
controlled by
the Republic of China Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern an ...

the Republic of China
. Additionally, the inhabitants of
Taishun Taishun County () is a county in the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou, in the southern part of Zhejiang province, China, bordering Fujian province to the southeast, south, and west. Taishun County has more than 900 covered bridges, many of them ...
and
Cangnan Cangnan County ( ) is a county in the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou in southern Zhejiang. The county government is in Lingxi, Cangnan, Lingxi. Cangnan has 20 towns, 14 townships, and two nationality townships. The predominant Chinese dialect spo ...
to the north of Fujian in
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
also speak Eastern Min varieties. Eastern Min generally coexists with the official
standard Chinese Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca among the speakers of various Mandarin and other varieties of C ...
in all these areas.


United States

As the coastal area of Fujian has been the historical homeland of a large worldwide
diaspora A diaspora () is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifically the dispersion ...

diaspora
of
overseas Chinese Overseas Chinese () refers to people of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by populat ...

overseas Chinese
, varieties of Eastern Min can also be found across the world, especially in their respective
Chinatown A Chinatown () is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolitical area ...

Chinatown
s. Cities with high concentrations of such immigrants include
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from , or NYC for short, is the in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the major city in the United States. Located at the s ...

New York City
, especially Little Fuzhou, Manhattan,
Sunset Park, Brooklyn Sunset Park is a neighborhoods of Brooklyn, neighborhood in the southwestern part of the borough (New York City), borough of Brooklyn in New York City, bounded by Park Slope and Green-Wood Cemetery to the north, Borough Park, Brooklyn, Borough ...
and
Flushing, Queens Flushing is a neighborhood in the north-central portion of the New York City Borough (New York City), borough of Queens. The neighborhood is the fourth-largest central business district in New York City. Downtown Flushing, a major commercial and r ...
.


Europe

They are also found in various Chinatown communities in Europe, including
London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the as ' and retains b ...

London
,
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
and
Prato Prato ( , ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenance of local roads and public ...

Prato
in Italy.


Japan and Malaysia

Chinese communities within
Ikebukuro is a commercial and entertainment district in Toshima is a special ward in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the eight central wards of the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Located in the northern area of Tokyo, Toshima is bordered by the wards of Nerim ...

Ikebukuro
,
Tokyo Tokyo (: , ''Tōkyō'' ), historically known in the west as Tokio and officially the Tokyo Metropolis (, ''Tōkyō-to''), is and most populous . Located at the head of , the prefecture forms part of the on the central Pacific coast of 's m ...

Tokyo
as well as
Sibu Sibu () is an inland city in the central region of Sarawak. It is the capital of Sibu District in , , . The city is located on the island of and covers an area of . It is located at the confluence of the and s, some 60 kilometres fro ...

Sibu
,
Sarawak Sarawak (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Sarawak
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of C ...

Malaysia
have significant populations of Eastern Min speakers. Fuzhou communities can also be found in
Sitiawan Sitiawan (alternate spelling: Setiawan; origin: from Malay, a portmanteau of '' Setia Kawan'', meaning "Loyal Friend") is a region in Manjung District The Manjung District is a district in the southwestern part of the state of Perak, Malaysi ...
,
Perak Perak () is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Perak has land borders with the Malaysian states of Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the e ...

Perak
and
Yong Peng Yong Peng is a town in Mukim Tanjung Semberong, Batu Pahat District, Johor Johor (), also spelled as Johore, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia in the south of the Malay Peninsula. Johor has land borders wit ...

Yong Peng
,
Johor Johor (; ), also spelled as Johore, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper ...
in
West Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as , is the part of which occupies the southern half of the in and the nearby islands. Its area totals , which is nearl ...
.


Classification


Branches

Eastern Min is conventionally divided into three branches: # Houguan dialect group (), also called the Southern subgroup, including the
Fuzhou dialect The Fuzhou dialect (, FR: ), also Foochow, Hokchew, Hok-chiu, or Fuzhounese, is the prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, ...
,
Fuqing dialect Fuqing dialect (福清話, Foochow Romanized, BUC: Hók-chiăng-uâ, IPA: ), or Hokchia, is an Eastern Min dialect. It is spoken in the county-level city of Fuqing, situated within the prefecture-level city of Fuzhou. It is not completely mutually ...
, Changle dialect,
Lianjiang dialect
Lianjiang dialect
and the dialect of the
Matsu Islands The Matsu Islands (; Foochow Romanized Foochow Romanized, also known as Bàng-uâ-cê (BUC for short; ) or Hók-ciŭ-uâ Lò̤-mā-cê (), is a Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originall ...
. # Funing dialect group (), also called the Northern subgroup, including the
Ningde dialect Ningde dialect (Eastern Min: ) is a dialect of Eastern Min Chinese language, Chinese spoken in urban area of Ningde, which is a prefecture-level city in the northeastern coast of Fujian province. Phonology Ningde dialect has 15 initials, 78 rimes a ...
and the
Fu'an dialect The Fu'an dialect () is a dialect of Eastern Min, which is a branch of Min Chinese spoken mainly in the eastern part of Fujian Province. The Fu'an dialect covers two city and three counties: Ningde, Fu'an, Shouning County, Shouning, Zhouning Cou ...
. # Manjiang dialect (), spoken in parts of
Taishun Taishun County () is a county in the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou, in the southern part of Zhejiang province, China, bordering Fujian province to the southeast, south, and west. Taishun County has more than 900 covered bridges, many of them ...
and
Cangnan Cangnan County ( ) is a county in the prefecture-level city of Wenzhou in southern Zhejiang. The county government is in Lingxi, Cangnan, Lingxi. Cangnan has 20 towns, 14 townships, and two nationality townships. The predominant Chinese dialect spo ...
, Wenzhou,
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
. Besides these three branches, some dialect islands in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong were classified as Eastern Min. Zhongshan Min is a group of Min varieties spoken in the Zhongshan county of Guangdong, divided into three branches: the Longdu dialect and Nanlang dialect belong to the Eastern Min group, while the Sanxiang dialect belongs to Southern Min.


Phonology

The Eastern Min group has a phonology which is particularly divergent from other varieties of Chinese. Aside from the Manjiang dialect, both Houguan dialect group, Houguan and Funing dialect group, Funing groups are similar in the number of initials, with the
Fu'an dialect The Fu'an dialect () is a dialect of Eastern Min, which is a branch of Min Chinese spoken mainly in the eastern part of Fujian Province. The Fu'an dialect covers two city and three counties: Ningde, Fu'an, Shouning County, Shouning, Zhouning Cou ...
having 17 initials, two more than the
Fuzhou dialect The Fuzhou dialect (, FR: ), also Foochow, Hokchew, Hok-chiu, or Fuzhounese, is the prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, ...
, the additions being and or as separate phonemes (the glottal stop is common to both but excluded from this count). The Manjiang dialect on the other hand has been influenced by the Wu dialects of Zhejiang, and hence has significantly more initials than the varieties of Fujian. The finals vary significantly between varieties, with the extremes being represented by Manjiang dialects at a low of 39 separate finals, and the
Ningde dialect Ningde dialect (Eastern Min: ) is a dialect of Eastern Min Chinese language, Chinese spoken in urban area of Ningde, which is a prefecture-level city in the northeastern coast of Fujian province. Phonology Ningde dialect has 15 initials, 78 rimes a ...
representing the high at 69 finals. Eastern Min varieties generally have seven tones, by the traditional count (based on the four tones (Middle Chinese), four tones of Middle Chinese, including the checked tone, entering tone as a separate entity). In the middle of the Qing dynasty, eight tones were attested, but the historical rising tones () re-merged.


Sandhi phenomena

The Eastern Min varieties have a wide of range of sandhi phenomena. As well as tone sandhi, common to many varieties of Chinese, there is also the assimilation of consonants and vowel alternations (such as rime tensing). Tone sandhi across Eastern Min varieties can be regressive (where the last syllable affects the pronunciation of those before), progressive (where earlier syllables affect the later ones) or mutual (where both or all syllables change). The rules are generally quite complicated. Initial assimilation of consonants is usually progressive, and may create new phonemes that are not phonemically contrastive in initial position but do contrast in medial position. A few varieties exhibit regressive assimilation too.


See also

* Protection of the varieties of Chinese


References


Further reading

* * * Akitani Hiroyuki; Chen Zeping [秋谷裕幸; 陈泽平]. 2012. ''The Gutian dialect of Min Dong District'' [闽东区古田方言研究]. Fuzhou: Fujian People's Press [福建人民出版社]. {{Portal bar, Language, China Eastern Min, Languages of China Languages of Taiwan Languages of Hong Kong Languages of Malaysia Chinese languages in Singapore Languages of Singapore Languages of Brunei Languages of the United States Languages of Canada Languages of Japan