SOUTHERN MIN, or MINNAN (simplified Chinese : 闽南语; traditional
Chinese : 閩南語), is a branch of
Min Chinese spoken in certain
China including southern
Minnan region ), eastern
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
In common parlance,
Southern Min usually refers to
including Amoy and Taiwanese
Hokkien ; both are combinations of
Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speeches. The
Southern Min dialect group also
includes Teochew , though Teochew has limited mutual intelligibility
Hainanese is not mutually intellgible with other
Southern Min and is often considered a separate branch of Min.
Southern Min is not mutually intelligible with
Eastern Min , Pu-Xian
Min , any other Min branch, Hakka ,
* 1 Geographic distribution
* 2 Classification
* 3 Varieties
* 3.2 Teochew
* 3.3 Datian
* 4 Phonology
* 5 Writing systems
* 6 History
* 7 Comparisons with Sino-Xenic character pronunciations
* 8 See also
* 8.1 Related languages
* 9 References
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
CHINA AND TAIWAN
Southern Min dialects are spoken in the southern part of
three southeastern counties of
Zhejiang , the
Zhoushan archipelago off
Zhejiang , and the
Chaoshan (Teo-swa) region in
The variant spoken in
Guangdong as well as
Hainanese and is not mutually intelligible with other
Southern Min or
Hainanese is classified in some schemes as part of Southern
Min and in other schemes as separate.
Puxian Min was originally based
Quanzhou dialect , but over time became heavily influenced by
Eastern Min , eventually losing intellegility with Minnan.
A forms of
Southern Min spoken in Taiwan, collectively known as
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
Indonesia (the former
Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies ) and present-day
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 intellegible with
Hokkien spoken elsewhere. Many
Southeast Asian ethnic Chinese also originated in the
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
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.
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
similar to the three
Fujian variants and are collectively known as
Southern Min variants that are collectively known as "Hokkien"
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
Sumatra and West Kalimantan
Philippines variant is mostly from the
Quanzhou area as most of
their forefathers are from the aforementioned area.
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
Fujian , the local variants in
Longyan and Zhangping form
a separate division of Minnan on their own. Among ethnic Chinese
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 principal branches of Southern Min:
known as Quanzhang 泉漳), Datian (大田), and Teochew also known as
Chaoshan or Teo-Swa (潮汕).
Xiamen (Amoy) dialect is a blend of
Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialects.
Taiwanese Minnan is also a blend of
Quanzhou and Zhangzhou dialect.
Taiwanese in northern
Taiwan tends to be based on
whereas the Taiwanese spoken in southern
Taiwan tends to be based on
Zhangzhou dialect. There are minor variations in pronunciation and
Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech. The grammar is
basically the same. Additionally, extensive contact with the Japanese
language has left a legacy of Japanese loanwords. In contrast, Teochew
speech is significantly different from
Quanzhou and Zhangzhou speech
in both pronunciation and vocabulary.
Teochew, or Chaoshan, includes
Swatow dialect . It has very low
Amoy dialect .
Datian Min, spoken in
Datian County , Sanming Prefecture, northwest
Quanzhou , has a minimally mutual intelligibility with other
Minnan, partially because of influence from
Central Min and other Min
branches. It is thus sometimes classified as a separate branch of Min.
Hokkien § Phonology , and
Teochew dialect §
Phonetics and phonology
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
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, ~.
See also: Written
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.
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
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:
Uprising of the Five Barbarians during the Jin dynasty ,
Disaster of Yongjia in 311 AD, caused a tide of
immigration to the south.
* In 669, Chen Zheng and his son
Chen Yuanguang from
Gushi County in
Henan set up a regional administration in
Fujian to suppress an
insurrection by the
She people .
* Wang Chao was appointed governor of
Fujian in 893, near the end of
Tang dynasty , and brought tens of thousands of troops from Henan
. In 909, following the fall of the Tang dynasty, his son Wang Shenzhi
founded the Min Kingdom , one of the
Ten Kingdoms in the Five
Ten Kingdoms period .
Jerry Norman identifies four main layers in the vocabulary of modern
* A non-Chinese substratum from the original languages of
which Norman and Mei Tsu-lin believe were
* The earliest Chinese layer, brought to
Fujian by settlers from
Zhejiang to the north during the Han dynasty.
* A layer from the
Northern and Southern Dynasties
Northern and Southern Dynasties period, which is
largely consistent with the phonology of the _Qieyun_ dictionary.
* A literary layer based on the koiné of Chang\'an , the capital of
Tang dynasty .
COMPARISONS WITH SINO-XENIC CHARACTER PRONUNCIATIONS
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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
dai6 sái2 guêng2
daai6 si3 gun2
Đại Sứ Quán
dai6 hag8/dua7 oh8
* Language portal
* Chinese in
* Languages of
* Languages of
* Languages of
Fuzhou dialect (Min Dong branch)
Lan-nang (Philippine dialect of Minnan)
Indonesia dialect of Minnan)
* ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The
World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in _
* ^ 大眾運輸工具播音語言平等保障法
* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank,
Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Minnan Chinese". _
Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max
Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
* ^ CAI ZHU, HUANG GUO (1 October 2015). _Chinese language_.
Fujian Education Publishing House. ISBN 7533469518 .
access-date= requires url= (help )
* ^ Minnan/
Southern Min at _
Ethnologue _ (18th ed., 2015)
* ^ Norman (1991) , pp. 328.
* ^ Norman (1988) , pp. 210, 228.
* ^ Norman (1988) , pp. 228–229.
* ^ Ting (1983) , pp. 9–10.
* ^ Baxter & Sagart (2014) , pp. 33, 79.
* ^ Yan (2006) , p. 120.
* ^ Norman & Mei (1976) .
* ^ Norman (1991) , pp. 331–332.
* ^ Norman (1991) , pp. 334–336.
* ^ Norman (1991) , p. 336.
* ^ Norman (1991) , p. 337.
* ^ Iûⁿ, Ún-giân. "Tâi-bûn/Hôa-bûn Sòaⁿ-téng
Sû-tián" 台文/華文線頂辭典 . Retrieved 1 October 2014.
* Branner, David Prager (2000). _Problems in Comparative Chinese
Dialectology — the Classification of Miin and Hakka_. Trends in
Linguistics series, no. 123. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN
* Chung, Raung-fu (1996). _The segmental phonology of Southern Min
in Taiwan_. Taipei: Crane Pub. Co. ISBN 957-9463-46-8 .
* DeBernardi, Jean (1991). "Linguistic nationalism: the case of
Southern Min". _
Sino-Platonic Papers _. Philadelphia: University of
OCLC 24810816 .
* Chappell, Hilary, ed. (2001). _Sinitic Grammar_. Oxford: Oxford
University Press. ISBN 0-19-829977-X . "Part V:
Southern Min Grammar"
MIN NAN CHINESE EDITION _ of
Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia
SOUTHERN MIN TEST _ of