Teochew[ii], also known as Teo-Swa (or Chaoshan)[iii], is a Southern Min language spoken by the Teochew people in the Chaoshan region of eastern Guangdong and by their diaspora around the world. It is sometimes referred to as Chiuchow, its Cantonese rendering, due to English romanization by colonial officials and explorers. It is closely related to Hokkien, as it shares some cognates and phonology with Hokkien.

Teochew
Chaozhou, Chaoshan, Teo-Swa
潮州話 / 潮汕話 / 潮語[1]
Native toChaoshan
RegionEastern Guangdong (Chaoshan), Thailand, Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, Indonesia (Jambi and West Kalimantan), Singapore
EthnicityTeochew people
Native speakers
About 14 million in Chaoshan (2004)[2]
more than 5 million overseas[citation needed]
Early forms
Dialects
Chinese characters
Teochew Romanization
Peng'im
Language codes
ISO 639-3(tws is proposed[6])
Glottologchao1238
Linguasphere79-AAA-ji
  Teochew (Teo-Swa) within the Southern Min languages
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Teochew Min
Traditional Chinese潮州話
Simplified Chinese潮州话

Teochew preserves many Old Chinese pronunciations and vocabulary that have been lost in some of the other modern varieties of Chinese. As such, Teochew is described as one of the most conservative Chinese languages.[7]

History and geography edit

Historically, the Teochew[iv] prefecture included modern prefecture-level cities of Chaozhou, Jieyang and Shantou. In China, this region is now known as Teoswa[v]. Parts of the Hakka-speaking Meizhou city, such as Dabu County and Fengshun, were also parts of the Teochew prefecture and contain pocket communities of Teochew speakers.

As Teochew region was one of the major sources of Chinese emigration to Southeast Asia during the 18th to 20th centuries, a considerable Overseas Chinese community in that region is Teochew-speaking. In particular, the Teochew people settled in significant numbers in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos, where they form the largest Chinese sub-language group. Additionally, there are many Teochew-speakers among Chinese communities in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia (especially in the states of Johor and Selangor) and Indonesia (especially in West Kalimantan on Borneo). Waves of migration from Teochew region to Hong Kong, especially after the communist victory of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, has also resulted in the formation of a community there, although most descendants now primarily speak Cantonese and English.

Teochew speakers are also found among overseas Chinese communities in Japan and the Western world (notably in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France and Italy), a result of both direct emigration from Teochew to these nations and secondary emigration from Southeast Asia.

In Singapore, Teochew remains the ancestral language of many Chinese Singaporeans, with Chinese of Teochew descent making up second largest Chinese group in Singapore, after the Hoklo. Despite this many Teochew people, particularly the younger generations, are shifting towards English and Mandarin as their main spoken language. This is due to the Singapore government's stringent bilingual policy that promotes English as the official language of education, government and commerce and promotes Mandarin at the expense of other Chinese languages. Some Teochew assimilated with the larger Hokkien community and speak Hokkien rather than Teochew due to Hokkien's prominent role as a lingua franca previously among the Singaporean Chinese community.

Classification edit

Teochew is a Southern Min language. As with other Sinitic languages, it is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese or Shanghainese. It has only limited intelligibility with Hokkien. Even within the Teochew dialects, there is substantial variation in phonology between different regions and between different Teochew communities overseas.

The dialects of Teochew include:[8]

  • Northern Teochew, or Chaozhou division (潮州片), including:
  • Southern Teochew, or Chaopu division (潮普片), including:
    • Teoyeo dialect (潮阳话 / 潮陽話), spoken in the historical Teoyeo (Chaoyang) county, which includes modern Chaoyang, Chaonan, and Haojiang
    • Puning dialect (普宁话 / 普寧話), spoken in urban Puning
    • Huilai dialect (惠来话 / 惠來話), spoken in Huilai County

Some classifications consider Hai Lok Hong dialect a part of Teochew (as the third branch), while others consider it a part of Hokkien or an independent Southern Min variety.[9] In Nan'ao island there are two dialects, both distinct from the mainland Teochew, with Western Nan'ao dialect inclining towards the Northern Teochew, and Eastern Nan'ao dialect showing Hokkien influence, as this part of the island was included in Zhangzhou prefecture in 16—19 centuries.[10]

The main criterion in the classification of Teochew dialects is the presence or absence of the vowel /ɯ/. It is found in Northern Teochew in words like hṳ̂he5 "fish" and sṳ̄se7 "thing; matter". Southern Teochew has /u/ instead (hu5, su7). Hai Lok Hong and Eastern Nan'ao dialects have /i/ or /u/ instead, depending on the etymology of the word (hi5, but su7), similarly to the Chiangchew Hokkien. Southern Teochew may be further divided into Huilai—Puning dialects and Teoyeo dialects, based on their tone contours.[8]

 
Major dialect groups of Teochew
  Northern Teochew
  Teoyeo Teochew
  Hui-Pou Teochew
  Hai Lok Hong dialect (sometimes included in Teochew)

Zhao'an dialect, spoken in Fujian along the Guangdong border, is quite different from other southern dialects of Hokkien. It has some lexical influence from Teochew and relatively higher mutual intelligibility with it, yet in other aspects it clusters more with Hokkien than Teochew.

The prestige dialects of Teochew all belong to the Northern branch. The Northern Teochew dialects are mutually intelligible between each other, but less so with the Southern branch.[11]

Various stereotypes and cultural traits are associated with different Teochew dialects. For instance, within the Shantou city, the urban Swatow dialect is perceived as "energetic", "gentle", but also "snobbish" or "pretentious" by speakers of other dialects; the Chenghai dialect (similar to urban Chaozhou dialect) is perceived as "soft", "cute", and "high-pitched"; the Teoyeo dialect is perceived as "harsh", "aggressive" and "countrified".[11]

Phonetics and phonology edit

Consonants edit

Teochew, like other Southern Min varieties, is one of the few modern Sinitic languages which have voiced obstruents (stops, fricatives and affricates); however, unlike Wu and Xiang Chinese, the Teochew voiced stops and fricatives did not evolve from Middle Chinese voiced obstruents, but from nasals. The voiced stops [b] and [ɡ] and also [l] are voicelessly prenasalized [ᵐ̥b], [ᵑ̊ɡ], [ⁿ̥ɺ], respectively. The voiced affricate dz, initial in such words as ri7 (/dzi˩/), ri6 (/dzi˧˥/), jiâng riang5 (/dziaŋ˥/), jia̍k riag8 (/dziak˦/) loses its affricate property with some younger speakers abroad, and is relaxed to [z].

Teochew consonants
Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Voiced
(no frictions)
nasal m n ŋ
plosive or lateral b l 來/內 g 鵝/牙
Voiceless stops aspirated
plain p t k ʔ
Voiceless affricates aspirated tsʰ 菜/樹
plain ts 書/指/食
Fricatives s 士/速 h 海/系
(d)z 爾/貳

Unlike in Hokkien, nasal initials in Teochew are not generally considered allophones of the voiced plosives, as nasals are relatively more common in Teochew and have less usage restrictions. For example, Teochew allows for syllables like nge̍kngêg8, which are impossible in Hokkien.

In Southern dialects of Teochew, labial initials (/p/, /pʰ/, /b/, /m/) have labiodental allophones ([pf], [pfʰ], [bv], [mv~ɱ]) before /-u-/.

Character Pe̍h-ūe-jī Peng'im Swatow dialect Teoyeo dialect
bu3 [pu²¹²] [pfu⁵²]
puaⁿ buan1 [pũã³³] [pfũã³¹]
phuâ pua5 [pʰua⁵⁵] [pfʰua²³]
phuè puê3 [pʰue²¹²] [pfʰue⁵²]
bhu2 [bu⁵²] [bvu⁴⁵]
bué bhuê2 [bue⁵²] [bvue⁴⁵]
muē muê7 [mũẽ¹¹] [mvũẽ⁴³]
滿 muá muan2 [mũã⁵²] [mvũã⁴⁵]

Syllables edit

Syllables in Teochew contain an onset consonant, a medial glide, a nucleus, usually in the form of a vowel, but can also be occupied by a syllabic consonant like [ŋ], and a final consonant. All the elements of the syllable except for the nucleus are optional, which means a vowel or a syllabic consonant alone can stand as a fully-fledged syllable.

Onsets edit

All the consonants except for the glottal stop ʔ shown in the consonants chart above can act as the onset of a syllable; however, the onset position is not obligatorily occupied.

Finals edit

Teochew finals consist maximally of a medial, nucleus and coda. The medial can be /i-/ or /u-/, the nucleus can be a monophthong or diphthong, and the coda can be a nasal or a stop. A syllable must consist minimally of a vowel nucleus or syllabic nasal.

Nucleus -a- -ɛ̝- -- -ɯ-[a] -i- -u- -ai- -au- -oi- -ou- -ui- -iu- ∅-
Medial ∅- i- u- ∅- i- u- ∅- i- ∅- ∅- ∅- ∅- u- ∅- i- ∅- ∅- i- ∅- ∅-
Coda -∅ a ia ua e [b] ue o io[b] ɯ i u ai uai au iau[b] oi ou [b] ui iu
-◌̃ ã ĩã ũã [b] ũẽ ĩõ[b] ɯ̃ ĩ ãĩ ũãĩ ãũ ĩãũ[b] õĩ õũ [b] ũĩ ĩũ
-ʔ iaʔ uaʔ [b] ueʔ ioʔ[b] ɯʔ auʔ oiʔ iuʔ
-m am iam uam im
-ŋ iaŋ uaŋ ieng[c] ueŋ ioŋ ɯŋ ŋ̩
-p ap iap uap ip
-k ak iak uak ek iek[c] uek ok iok ɯk ik uk
  1. ^ Only in Northern Teochew
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j /io/, /ĩõ/, /ioʔ/, /iau/, /ĩãũ/ are pronounced as /ie/, /ĩẽ/, /ieʔ/, /iou/, /ĩõũ/ in Chaozhou and Chenghai
  3. ^ a b /ieng/ and /iek/ are only found in Chaozhou dialect, while other dialects merge them with /iang/ and /iak/

In most dialects of Teochew, historical codas -n and -t are merged with and -k. They were still present in mainstream Teochew in the 19th century, but now they are found only in certain peripheral dialects of Teochew, as well as in Hai Lok Hong Min.[12]

Chaozhou /ieng/ and /iek/ are used in syllables that previously had /ien/ and /iet/, e.g. 顯 is different from 響 in Chaozhou (as /hieŋ˥˧/ and /hiaŋ˥˧/) and Hokkien (as /hien˥˧/ and /hiaŋ˥˧/), but not Swatow (both are /hiaŋ˥˧/).

Apart from the aforementioned rhymes, there are a few limitedly used finals with both glottal stop and nazalization, usually found in ideophones and interjections, e.g. he̍hⁿ /hẽʔ˥˦/ "agitated; confused", hauhⁿ /hãũʔ˧˨/ "to eat in large bites", khuàhⁿ-ua̍hⁿ 快活 /kʰũãʔ˨˩˨꜒꜔.ũãʔ˥˦/ "comfortable".

Tones edit

Teochew, like other Chinese varieties, is a tonal language. Like other Southern Min varieties, Teochew has split the Middle Chinese four tone into two registers (four "dark tones" and four "light tones"). The tones are numbered from 1 through 8, either in the "dark—light" order (the checked tones are 7 and 8) or in the "level—rising—departing—entering" order (the checked tones are 4 and 8). This section follows the second order, as used in Peng'im.

level

rising

departing

entering


dark
tone number
(Peng'im)
tone diacritic
(Pe̍h-ūe-jī)
none ́ ̀ none
(ending on -p, -t, -k, -h)
tone name 陰平
Im-phêⁿ
"Dark-level"
陰上
Im-siăng
"Dark-rising"
陰去
Im-khṳ̀
"Dark-departing"
陰入
Im-ji̍p
"Dark-entering"

light
tone number
(Peng'im)
tone diacritic
(Pe̍h-ūe-jī)
̂ ˘ ̄ ̍
(ending on -p, -t, -k, -h)
tone name 陽平
Iôⁿ-phêⁿ
"Light-level"
陽上
Iôⁿ-siăng
"Light-rising"
陽去
Iôⁿ-khṳ̀
"Light-departing"
陽入
Iôⁿ-ji̍p
"Light-entering"

Depending on the position of a word in a phrase, the tones can change and adopt extensive tone sandhi.

Northern Teochew edit

Northern Teochew dialects are not too different from each other in their tones. There are small differences in pronunciation of the tone ⑦, which can vary between low falling (21 ˨˩) and low level (22 ˨) among different dialects and individual speakers.[8][13]

citation tones post-sandhi tones

level

rising

departing

entering

level

rising

departing

entering
Chaozhou, Chenghai

dark

33 ˧

53 ˥˧

212 ˨˩˨

32 ˧˨
34 ˧˦ 35 ˧˥ 53 ˥˧ 54 ˥˦

light

55 ˥

35 ˧˥

21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨

54 ˥˦
23 ˨˧ 21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨ 23 ˨˧ 32 ˧˨
Jieyang

dark

33 ˧

53 ˥˧

212 ˨˩˨

32 ˧˨
33 ˧ 35 ˧˥ 53 ˥ 54 ˥˦

light

55 ˥

35 ˧˥

22 ˨ ~ 21 ˨˩

54 ˥˦
22 ˨ ~ 21 ˨˩ 21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨ 21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨ 32 ˧˨
Shantou, Raoping

dark

33 ˧

53 ˥˧

212 ˨˩˨

32 ˧˨
33 ˧ 35 ˧˥ 55 ˥ 54 ˥˦

light

55 ˥

35 ˧˥

21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨

54 ˥˦
21 ˨˩ ~ 22 ˨ 22 ˨ ~ 21 ˨˩ 22 ˨ ~ 21 ˨˩ 32 ˧˨

There are minor differences in tone sandhi among the Northern Teochew dialects:[13]

  • The most important difference is that the dark departing tone (③) becomes high falling (53 ˥˧) in Chaozhou and Jieyang and high level (55 ˥) in Shantou and Raoping.
  • In Chaozhou, the two level tones (① and ⑤) become slightly rising in sandhi (34 ˧˦ and 23 ˨˧ respectively), rather than level (33 ˧ and 22 ˨ ~ 21 ˨˩) as in other dialects.
  • In Jieyang and Chaozhou, the tones ②, ③, and ④ have two pronunciations, one being slighly higher (35 ˧˥, 53 ˥˧, 54 ˥˦), used before syllables with high-onset tones (⑤ 55 ˥, ② 53 ˥˧, and ⑧ 54 ˥˦), and another one slightly lower (24 ˨˦, 42 ˦˨, 43 ˦˧), used before all other tones. In Shantou and Raoping, these tones have the same post-sandhi value regardless of the next syllable's tone.

The light departing tone (⑦) after sandhi is usually merged with the post-sandhi tone ⑤ or ⑥, depending on the dialect. For convenience, since the difference between them is still not large, all three light tones after sandhi may be described as identical and equal to pre-sandhi tone ⑦. The sandhi rules for Northern Teochew may be simplified as follows:

citation tones post-sandhi tones

level

rising

departing

entering

level

rising

departing

entering

dark
[a] or [b]

light
  1. ^ Chaozhou, Chenghai, Jieyang
  2. ^ Shantou, Raoping

Southern Teochew edit

Southern Teochew tones are noticeably diverse. Based on their tones, the Southern Teochew dialects can be divided into two broad areas: Teoyeo and Hui-Pou.[8][14]

citation tones post-sandhi tones

level

rising

departing

entering

level

rising

departing

entering
Teoyeo (old)

dark

21 ˨˩

551 ˥˥˩

53 ˥˧

43 ˦˧
33 ˧ 53 ˥˧ 33 ˧ 5 ˥

light

44 ˦

=③

42 ˦˨

45 ˦˥
44 ˦ 21 ˨˩ 3 ˧
Teoyeo (new)

dark

31 ˧˩

55 ˥˥ ~ 35 ˧˥

52 ˥˨

32 ˧˨
31 ˧˩ 52 ˥˨ 23 ˨˧ 5 ˥

light

33 ˧ ~ 23 ˨˧

=③

43 ˦˧ ~ 44 ˦

45 ˦˥
33 ˧ ~ 23 ˨˧ 21 ˨˩ 3 ˧
Haimen

dark

31 ˧˩

551 ˥˥˩

51 ˥˩

43 ˦˧
33 ˧ 41 ˦˩ 44 ˦ 54 ˥˦

light

44 ˦

=①

441 ˦˦˩

45 ˦˥
44 ˦ 33 ˧ 43 ˦˧
Dahao

dark

21 ˨˩

24 ˨˦

52 ˥˨

3 ˧
21 ˨˩ 52 ˥˨ 33 ˧ 45 ˦˥

light

33 ˧

=③

31 ˧˩

45 ˦˥
33 ˧ 21 ˨˩ 3 ˧
Puning and Huilai

dark

34 ˧˦

53 ˥˧[a]
or 55 ˥[b]

31 ˧˩

32 ˧˨
33 ˧ 34 ˧˦ 55 ˥ 54 ˥˦

light

44 ˦

23 ˨˧

42 ˦˨[c]
or =③[d]
or =⑥[e]

54 ˥˦
31 ˧˩ 33 ˧ 32 ˧˨
  1. ^ Puning, Western Huilai, older speakers in Central Huilai
  2. ^ Eastern Huilai, younger speakers in Central Huilai
  3. ^ Puning, Eastern Huilai
  4. ^ Central Huilai
  5. ^ Western Huilai

Currently, a tone shift is ongoing in the Teoyeo dialect. There is a continuum between the "old accent" and "new accent". This shift is more advanced in urban dialects in Eastern Chaoyang (incl. Haojiang, especially the Dahao dialect), among female speakers, and in the younger generations (born after 1980s). The principal features of this shift are as follows:[8]

  • Dark level tone (①) shifts from 21 ˨˩ to 31 ˧˩.
  • Light level tone (⑤) shifts from high level 44 ˦ to mid-level 33 ˧ or mid-rising 23 ˨˧.
  • Dark rising tone (②) shifts from high fallig 551 ˥˥˩ to high level 55 ˥, and in urban Eastern Teoyeo dialects it can even become high rising 45 ˦˥ or 35 ˧˥.
  • Dark departing tone (③) and light departing tone (⑦) are falling in a "parallel" pattern (53 ˥˧ and 42 ˦˨ respectively) in the old accent, while in the new accent they are still falling, but the light departing tone (⑦) is more "flat" (52 ˥˨ and 43 ˦˧~44 ˦ respectively).

"Old" Teoyeo accent is notable for the fact that out of its five non-checked tones, four tones have falling contour.[15]

Hui-Pou dialects are more homogeneous in their tones than Teoyeo dialects. Puning and Eastern Huilai dialects have 8 tones, while Central and Western Huilai have 7 tones (tone ⑦ is merged with other tones). Some of the Huilai dialects undergo tone shift similar to that in Teoyeo dialects, but to a lesser extent (particularly, tone ② becomes high level 55 rather than high falling 53).

Neutral tone edit

Like Hokkien, Teochew has the neutral tone. In pronunciation, the neutral tone is considered to be identical to the light departing tone (⑦) in the respective dialect, but when the original tone of the syllable was dark rising (②), the neutral tone is identical to the dark departing tone (③), and when the original tone was an entering tone (④ or ⑧), the neutral tone is identical to the dark entering tone (④).

Some works refer to the neutral tone as "left-dominant tone sandhi". However, unlike the general ("right-dominant") Teochew tone sandhi, which is a regular phonetic change, the neutral tone is lexical and its occurrence cannot be predicted. Compare the following examples with the morpheme ni5 "year", where some words have the neutral tone, while others preserve the original tone.[16]

tsâiⁿ--nî 前年 zain5 ni5 "year before last"
ău--nî 後年 ao6 ni5 "year after next"
tuā-tsâiⁿ--nî 大前年 dua7 zain5 ni5 "three years ago"
jĭ-káu--nî 二九年 ri6 gao2 ni5 "year 29"

but:

kim-nî 今年 gim1 ni5 "this year"
kū-nî 舊年 gu7 ni5 "last year"
mê-nî 明年 mên5 ni5 "next year"
jĭ-tsa̍p-ngŏu-nî 二十五年 ri6 zab8 ngou6 ni5 "25 years"

Grammar edit

The grammar of Teochew is similar to other Min languages, as well as some southern varieties of Chinese, especially with Hakka, Yue and Wu. The sequence 'subject–verb–object' is typical, like Standard Mandarin, although the 'subject–object–verb' form is also possible using particles.

Morphology edit

Pronouns edit

Personal pronouns edit

The personal pronouns in Teochew, like in other Chinese languages, do not show case marking, therefore ua2 means both I and me and i-nâng 伊人 i1 nang5 means they and them. The Southern Min languages, like some Mandarin dialects, have a distinction between an inclusive and exclusive we, meaning that when the addressee is being included, the inclusive pronoun náng nang2 would be used, otherwise uáng uang2 is employed. Outside Southern Min varieties like Teochew, no other southern Chinese variety has this distinction.[16]

Personal Pronouns in Teochew
  Singular Plural
1st person ua2 I / me Inclusive náng nang2 we / us
Exclusive uáng uang2[a] we / us
2nd person jṳ́ re2 you nṳ́ng, níng neng2, ning2 you (plural)
3rd person i i1 he/she/it/him/her ing 𪜶 ing1
i-nâng 伊儂 i1 nang5
they/them
  1. ^ Also pronounced úng / ung2 in Chaozhou, ńg / ng2 in Chenghai
Possessive pronouns edit

Teochew does not distinguish the possessive pronouns from the possessive adjectives. As a general rule, the possessive pronouns or adjectives are formed by adding the genitive or possessive marker kâi gai5 to their respective personal pronouns, as summarized below:

Possessive Pronouns in Teochew
  Singular Plural
1st person uá-kâi 我個 ua2 gai5 my / mine Inclusive náng-kâi 咱個 nang2 gai5 our / ours
Exclusive uáng-kâi 阮個 uang2 gai5 ours / ours
2nd person jṳ́-kâi 汝個 re2 gai5 your / yours nṳ́ng-kâi, níng-kâi 恁個 neng2 gai5, ning2 gai5 your / yours (plural)
3rd person i-kâi 伊個 i1 gai5 his / his; her / hers; its / its i-nâng-kâi 伊儂個 i1 nang5 gai5 their / theirs
púng tsṳ kâi
bung2 ze1 si6 ua2 gai5
CL-books book be I POS
"The book is mine."

As kâi gai5 is the generic measure word, it may be replaced by other more appropriate classifiers:[16]

tiâu kûng
ua2 diao5 gung5
I CL-clothes skirt
"my skirt"
Demonstrative pronouns edit

Teochew has the typical two-way distinction between the demonstratives, namely the proximals and the distals. The basic determiners are tsí zi2 "this" and hṳ́ he2 "that", and they require at least a classifier (generic kâi gai5, collective tshoh coh4, or another), which can be optionally preceded by a numeral.

The Teochew Demonstratives
  Proximal Distal
General Singular tsí (kâi) 只(個) zi2 (gai5) this (one) hṳ́ (kâi) 許(個) he2 (gai5) that (one)
Collective tsí tshoh 只撮 zi2 coh4 these (few) hṳ́ tshoh 許撮 he2 coh4 those (few)
Plural (non-specific) tsió zio2 these hió hio2 those
Type tsiá zia2 this kind of hiá hia2 that kind of
Spatial tsí kò 只塊 zi2 go3 here hṳ́ kò 許塊 he2 go3 there
tsí lăi 只內 zi2 lai6 here inside hṳ́ lăi 許內 he2 lai6 there inside
tsí kháu 只口 zi2 kao2 here outside hṳ́ kháu 許口 he2 kao2 there outside
Temporal tsí tsûng 只陣 zi2 zung5 now; recently hṳ́ tsûng 許陣 he2 zung5 then
Degree tsiòⁿ zion3 this much hiòⁿ hion3 that much
Adverbial tsiòⁿ seⁿ (iōⁿ) 照生(樣) zion3 sên1 (ion7) like this hiòⁿ seⁿ (iōⁿ) 向生(樣) hion3 sên1 (ion7) like that
Interrogative pronouns edit
The Teochew Interrogative Pronouns
who / whom tiâng 𫢗 diang5
tī tiâng 底𫢗 di7 diang5
tī nâng 底儂 di7 nang5
what mih kâi 乜個 mih4 gai5
what (kind of) + noun mih mih4 + N
which di7 + NUM + CL + N
tī kâi 底個 di7 gai5
where tī kò 底塊 di7 go3
when tiang sî 𫢗時 diang1 si5
how, why manner tsò nî 做呢 zo3 ni5
state mih seⁿ iōⁿ 乜生樣 mih4 sên1 ion7
tsò nî iōⁿ 做呢樣 zo3 ni5 ion7
tsăi seⁿ (iōⁿ) 在生(樣) zai6 sên1 (ion7)
how many; how much kúi gui2 + CL + N
jio̍h tsōi 若濟 rioh8 zoi7 + CL + N

Numerals edit

Teochew numeral system
Pronunciation Financial Normal Value Notes
liŋ5 0 〇 is an informal way to represent zero, but 零 is more commonly used, especially in schools.
also 空 [kang3]
tsek8 1 also [tsek8] (original character)
also 弌 (obsolete)
also [ik4] as the last digit of a 2-or-more-digit number e.g. 二十一 [dzi6 tsap8 ik4]
or days of a month e.g. 一號 [ik4 ho7]
or as an ordinal number e.g. 第一 [tõĩ6 ik4]
also 么(T) or 幺(S) [iou1] when used in phone numbers etc.
no6 (T) 2 also 弍 (obsolete)
also (T)
also [dzi6] as the last digit of a 2-or-more-digit number e.g. 三十二 [sã1 tsap8 dzi6]
or days of a month e.g. 二號 [dzi6 ho7]
or as an ordinal number e.g. 第二 [tõĩ6 dzi6].
sã1 (T) 3 also 弎 (obsolete)
also 參 [sã1].
si3 4  
ŋou6 5  
lak8 6  
tsʰik4 7  
poiʔ4 8  
kau2 9  
tsap8 10 Although some people use 什, It is not acceptable because it can be written over into 伍.

Note: (T): Traditional characters; (S): Simplified characters.

Ordinal numbers are formed by adding [tõĩ˧˥] in front of a cardinal number.

Voice edit

In Teochew passive construction, the agent phrase by somebody always has to be present, and is introduced by either [kʰoiʔ˦] (some speakers use [kʰəʔ] or [kʰiəʔ] instead) or [puŋ˧], even though it is in fact a zero or indefinite agent as in:

puŋ˧

naŋ˥

tʰai˥

掉。

tiou˩

治 掉。

puŋ˧ naŋ˥ tʰai˥ tiou˩

S/he was killed (by someone).

While in Mandarin one can have the agent introducer ; bèi or ; gěi alone without the agent itself, it is not grammatical to say

*

 

kai˥

pue˧

puŋ˧

kʰa˧

掉。

tiou˩

* 個 杯 敲 掉。

{} kai˥ pue˧ puŋ˧ kʰa˧ tiou˩

The cup was broken.

cf. Mandarin 杯子給打破了; bēizi gěi dǎ pòle)

Instead, we have to say:

kai˥

pue˧

puŋ˧

naŋ˥

kʰa˧

掉。

tiou˩

個 杯 分 儂 敲 掉。

kai˥ pue˧ puŋ˧ naŋ˥ kʰa˧ tiou˩

The cup was broken.

Even though this [naŋ˥] is unknown.

The agent phrase 分儂 [puŋ˧ naŋ˥] always comes immediately after the subject, not at the end of the sentence or between the auxiliary and the past participle like in some European languages (e.g. German, Dutch)

Comparison edit

Comparative construction with two or more nouns edit

Teochew uses the construction "X ADJ [kue˨˩˧] Y", which is believed to have evolved from the Old Chinese "X ADJ (yú) Y" structure[citation needed] to express the idea of comparison:

ŋia˥˨

kue˨˩˧

汝。

lɨ˥˨

伊 雅 過 汝。

i˧ ŋia˥˨ kue˨˩˧ lɨ˥˨

She is more beautiful than you.

Cantonese uses the same construction:

Keoi5

leng3

gwo3

你。

nei5.

佢 靚 過 你。

Keoi5 leng3 gwo3 nei5.

She is more beautiful than you.

However, due to modern influences from Mandarin, the Mandarin structure "X Y ADJ" has also gained popularity over the years. Therefore, the same sentence can be re-structured and becomes:

pi˥˨

lɨ˥˨

雅。

ŋia˥˨

伊 比 汝 雅。

i˩ pi˥˨ lɨ˥˨ ŋia˥˨

She is more beautiful than you.

cf. Mandarin 她比你漂亮; tā bǐ nǐ piàoliang
Comparative construction with only one noun edit

The - or -construction must involve two or more nouns to be compared; an ill-formed sentence will be yielded when only one is being mentioned:

* 伊雅過 (?)

Teochew is different from English, where the second noun being compared can be left out ("Tatyana is more beautiful (than Lisa)". In cases like this, the -construction must be used instead:

i1

iou6

雅。

ŋia2

伊 夭 雅。

i1 iou6 ŋia2

She is more beautiful.

The same holds true for Mandarin and Cantonese in that another structure needs to be used when only one of the nouns being compared is mentioned. Teochew and Mandarin both use a pre-modifier (before the adjective) while Cantonese uses a post-modifier (after the adjective).

  • Mandarin

比較

bǐjiào

漂亮

piàoliang

她 {比較} 漂亮

tā bǐjiào piàoliang

  • Cantonese

keoi5

leng3

di1

佢 靚

keoi5 leng3 di1

There are two words which are intrinsically comparative in meaning, i.e. [ĩã5] "better" and [su1] "worse". They can be used alone or in conjunction with the -structure:

tsi2

nĩã2

kuŋ5

su1

(過)

kue3

2

領。

nĩã2

只 領 裙 輸 (過) 許 領。

tsi2 nĩã2 kuŋ5 su1 kue3 hɨ2 nĩã2

This skirt is not as good as that one.

ua2

lai6

kai7

tiaŋ6

nau2

ĩã5

i1

kai7

hoʔ2

多。

tsoi7

我 內 個 電 腦 贏 伊 個 好 多。

ua2 lai6 kai7 tiaŋ6 nau2 ĩã5 i1 kai7 hoʔ2 tsoi7

My computer (at home) is far better than his.

Note the use of the adverbial 好多 [hoʔ2 tsoi7] at the end of the sentence to express a higher degree.

Equal construction edit

In Teochew, the idea of equality is expressed with the word [pẽ5] or 平樣 [pẽ5 ĩõ7]:

tsi2

puŋ2

tsɨ1

kaʔ4

2

puŋ2

pẽ5

重。

taŋ6

只 本 書 佮 許 本 平 重。

tsi2 puŋ2 tsɨ1 kaʔ4 hɨ2 puŋ2 pẽ5 taŋ6

This book is as heavy as that one.

i1

no6

naŋ5

pẽ5

pẽ5

樣。

ĩõ7

伊 兩 儂 平 平 樣。

i1 no6 naŋ5 pẽ5 pẽ5 ĩõ7

They are the same. (They look the same./They're as good as each other./They're as bad as each other.) lit. The two people are the same same way.

Superlative construction edit

To express the superlative, Teochew uses the adverb [siaŋ5] or 上頂 [siaŋ5 teŋ2]. 上頂 is usually used with a complimentary connotation.

tsi2

kõĩ1

mueʔ8

siaŋ5

teŋ2

ho2

食。

tsiaʔ8

只 間 物 上 頂 好 食。

tsi2 kõĩ1 mueʔ8 siaŋ5 teŋ2 ho2 tsiaʔ8

This (restaurant) is (absolutely) the most delicious.

i1

naŋ5

tui3

ua2

siaŋ5

好。

ho2

伊 儂 對 我 上 好。

i1 naŋ5 tui3 ua2 siaŋ5 ho2

They treat me best. lit. The people treat me very well.

Vocabulary edit

The vocabulary of Teochew shares a lot of similarities with Cantonese because of their continuous contact with each other.[ambiguous] Like Cantonese, Teochew has a great deal of monosyllabic words.[17][18] However, ever since the standardization of Modern Standard Chinese, Teochew has absorbed a lot of Standard Mandarin vocabulary, which is predominantly polysyllabic.[citation needed] Also, Teochew varieties in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have also borrowed extensively from Malay.[citation needed]

Archaic vocabulary edit

Teochew and other Southern Min varieties, such as Hokkien, preserve a good deal of Old Chinese vocabulary, such as:

Romanization edit

Teochew was romanized by the Provincial Education Department of Guangdong in 1960 to aid linguistic studies and the publication of dictionaries, although Pe̍h-ūe-jī can also be used because Christian missionaries invented it for the transcription of varieties of Southern Min.

Initials edit

Initial consonants of Teochew, are represented in the Guangdong Romanization system as: B, BH, C, D, G, GH, H, K, L, M, N, NG, P, R, S, T, and Z.

Examples:

  • B [p] - bag (北 north)
  • Bh [b]- bhê (馬 horse)
  • C [tsʰ] - cên (青 green), cǔi (嘴 mouth), ciên (槍 gun)
  • D [t] - diê (潮 tide)
  • G [k] - giê (橋 bridge)
  • GH [g] - gho (鵝 goose)
  • H [h] - hung (雲 cloud)
  • K [kʰ] - ke (去 to go)
  • L [l] - lag (六 six)
  • M [m] - mêng (明 bright)
  • N [n] - nang (人 person)
  • NG [ŋ] - ngou (五 five)
  • P [pʰ] - peng (平 peace)
  • R [(d)z] - riêg/ruah (熱 hot)
  • S [s] - sên (生 to be born)
  • T [tʰ] - tin (天 sky)
  • Z [ts] - ziu (州 region/state)

Finals edit

Vowels edit

Vowels and vowel combinations in the Teochew dialect include: A, E, Ê, I, O, U, AI, AO, IA, IAO, IO, IU, OI, OU, UA, UAI, UE, and UI.

Examples:

  • A - ma (媽 mother)
  • E - de (箸 chopsticks)
  • Ê - sên (生 to be born)
  • I - bhi (味 smell/taste)
  • O - to (桃 peach)
  • U - ghu (牛 cow)

Many words in Teochew are nasalized. This is represented by the letter "n" in the Guangdong Pengim system.

Example (nasalized):

  • suan (山 mountain)
  • cên (青 green)

Ending edit

Ending consonants in Teochew include M and NG as well as the stops discussed below.

Examples:

  • M - iam (鹽 salt)
  • NG - bhuang (萬 ten thousand)

Teochew retains many consonant stops lost in Mandarin. These stops include a labial stop: "b"; velar stop: "g"; and glottal stop: "h".

Examples:

  • B - zab (十 ten)
  • G - hog (福 happiness)
  • H - tih (鐵 iron)

Relationship with Hokkien edit

Teochew and Hokkien are both Southern Min languages. Hokkien, which is spoken in southern Fujian, shares many phonetic similarities with Teochew, but they have low lexical similarity. Although Teochew and Hokkien share some cognates, there are pronounced differences in most vowels with some consonant and tone shifts.

Teochew has only 51% intelligibility with the Tong'an Xiamen dialect of Hokkien (Cheng 1997), approximately the same as the percentage of intelligibility as between Russian and Ukrainian languages, while it has even lower mutual intelligibility language with other dialects of the Hokkien language.[citation needed]

Most Teochew people do not speak Hokkien and the majority of Hokkien and Teochew people both see themselves as a distinct groups. There are a minority of Teochew people who speak Hokkien as their mother tongue, most of whom have close contact or relatives in the neighbouring three originally-Teochew counties of what is now South Fujian, which were seceded to Fujian during the early Tang dynasty and subsequently assimilated into the Hokkien population. These Hokkien-speaking Teochews are more likely to treat Teochew simply as accented dialect of Hokkien. These people usually have a strong sense of Hokkien identity.[citation needed]

Pronunciation edit

In Hokkien, denasalization of initial consonants is extensive, and sounds [m], [n], [ng] are usually viewed as allophones of /b/, /l~d/, /g/ used with nasalized rhymes. In Teochew and Hai Lok Hong, denasalization is less common.

Character Teochew Hokkien
'to go against' nge̍k ge̍k
'jade' ge̍k
'suitable' ngî
'doubt'
'handle; knob' niú liú
'willow' liú
'man' nâng lâng
'cage' lâng
'slow' măng bān
'ten thousand' buāng
'eye' ma̍k ba̍k
'ink' ba̍k

Hokkien and Hai Lok Hong have three pairs of codas: -ng/-k, -m/-p and -n/-t. Most dialects of Teochew have merged -n/-t with -ng/-k. On the other hand, many Teochew dialects, except urban Swatow and Chenghai, do not dissimilate the Middle Chinese rhyme -jom, e.g. they have huàm , huăm , huap , while Hokkien has huàn , huǎn , huat .

Teochew (except some Southern Teochew dialects) and Hai Lok Hong have 8 citation tones, while most dialects of Hokkien have 7 tones.

In individual rhymes, the differences between Hokkien and Teochew are comparable to differences between the dialects of each language. For example, both Northern Hokkien and Northern Teochew have the /ɯ/ sound, which is not found in Southern Teochew and Southern Hokkien. Northern Hokkien and Teochew both have -ng (in Hokkien and Southern Teochew) or -ung (in Northern Teochew) rhyme in words like pn̄g/pūng, mn̂g/mûng, while Southern Hokkien and Hai Lok Hong have -uiⁿ instead ( pūiⁿ, mûi).

Grammar edit

Teochew grammar shows some Cantonese or Hakka influence. For example,

  • Teochew uses comparative structure with -kuè "to exceed, to surpass", as in Cantonese, while Hokkien uses native Min comparative construction with an adverb khah "more".
  • Teochew, like Cantonese, uses bare classifiers to mean "this", but this usage is not typical for Hokkien.
  • Teochew uses relevant classifiers to indicate possesion; e.g., the phrase "my book" may be expressed with both uá púng tsṳ 我本書 (with classifier for books) and uá kâi tsṳ 我個書 (with possessive particle) in Teochew, but in Hokkien, only góa ê tsṳ 我兮書 is used.

Teochew differs from Hokkien in function words:

Teochew Hai Lok Hong Hokkien explanation
kâi kâi ê possessive particle

(dialectal)
𫩷 leh
佇咧 tǐ-leh
progressive aspect marker
在塊 -tŏ-kò -nín --leh durative aspect marker
pung
khṳh
pun
kho
hō͘ passive or causative agent preposition
àiⁿ àiⁿ beh "to want" (modal verb)
hoh hoh chin "very" (dummy adverb in adjectival sentences)

Vocabulary edit

Teochew has many differences with Hokkien in its basic vocabulary. Some of the differences are due to influence from Cantonese, while others are alternative yet still native Min words.

gloss Teochew Cantonese Hokkien
"to see" thóiⁿ tái khòaⁿ
"to read" 讀書 tha̍k-tsṳ 讀書 duhksyū 讀冊 tha̍k-chheh
"to sleep" n̍gh, ĭⁿ fan khùn
"beautiful" ngiá leng súi
"to speak" tàⁿ góng kóng
seh
"what" 乜個 mih-kâi 乜嘢 mātyéh 啥乜 siáⁿ-mi̍h
"child" 孥囝 nou-kiáⁿ 細路 sailouh 囡仔 gín-á
"black" ou hāk

Teochew tends to use more vernacular readings where Hokkien prefers the literary readings. For some characters, literary readings only exist in Hokkien (even if used exclusively for declamation of Classical Chinese texts), while many vernacular readings are used only in Teochew.

Languages in contact edit

Mandarin edit

In China, Teochew children are introduced to Standard Chinese as early as in kindergarten; however, the Teochew language remains the primary medium of instruction. In the early years of primary education, Mandarin becomes the sole language of instruction, but students typically continue to speak to one another in Teochew. Mandarin is widely understood by the Teochew youth, but the elderly may have difficulty with Mandarin due to growing up speaking Teochew.

Teochew accent in Mandarin edit

Native Teochew speakers find the neutral tone in Mandarin the most difficult one to master. Teochew has lost the alveolar nasal ending [-n], and so Teochew speakers often replace it with the velar nasal [-ŋ] when they speak Mandarin. The southern Min dialects all lack a front rounded vowel, and so a typical Teochew accent supplants the unrounded counterpart [i] for [y]. Teochew, like its ancient ancestor, lacks labiodentals, and so its speakers use [h] or [hu] instead of [f] when they speak Mandarin. Teochew has no retroflex consonants in its northern dialects, and so [ts], [tsʰ], [s], and [z] replace [tʂ], [tʂʰ], [ʂ] and [ʐ] in the Teochew accent in Mandarin.[original research?]

Hakka edit

Since Chao'an, Raoping, and Jieyang border the Hakka-speaking region in the north, some people there speak Hakka but they can usually speak Teochew as well. Teochew people have historically had a great deal of contact with the Hakka people, but Hakka has had little, if any, influence on Teochew. Similarly, in Dabu and Fengshun, where the Teochew and Hakka-speaking regions meet, Teochew is also spoken, but Hakka remains the primary form of Chinese spoken there.

Cantonese edit

Because of the strong influence of Hong Kong soap operas, Guangdong provincial television programs and Cantonese pop songs, many young Chaoshan people can understand much Cantonese even if they cannot speak it with much fluency.[citation needed]

Hmong-Mien languages edit

In the mountainous area of Fenghuang (鳳凰山), the She language, an endangered Hmong–Mien language, is spoken by the She people, who are an officially recognized non-Han ethnic minority. They predominantly speak She Chinese and Teochew; only about 1,000 She still speak their eponymous language.

Thai edit

The majority of Thai Chinese are Teochew; Teochew is known to have provided a number of loanwords into Thai: Thai language § Vocabulary.

Khmer (Cambodian) edit

The majority of Chinese Cambodians are Teochew; Teochew is known to have provided a number of loanwords into Khmer.[19]

Cambodian Teochew also incorporates a number of loanwords from Khmer, including a function word pi (Khmer: ពី).[19]

Vietnamese edit

Teochew language in Vietnam is mainly used in the Mekong Delta and often clearly reads the first consonants such as l, h, k Due to being heavily influenced by the southern Vietnamese dialect, some words are pronounced according to the Vietnamese way of reading.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Min is believed to have split from Old Chinese, rather than Middle Chinese like other varieties of Chinese.[3][4][5]
  2. ^ Chinese: 潮州話, Teochew: Tiô-tsiu-uē (POJ) / Dio5ziu17 (Peng'im), Mandarin: Cháozhōu huà
  3. ^ Chinese: 潮汕話, Teochew: Tiô-suaⁿ-uē (POJ) / Dio5suan37 (Peng'im), Mandarin: Cháoshàn huà
  4. ^ Mandarin 'Chaozhou'
  5. ^ Mandarin 'Chaoshan'

References edit

  1. ^ "學潮語,埋下愛的種子". Sin Chew. January 9, 2021.
  2. ^ Language atlas of China (2nd edition), City University of Hong Kong, 2012, ISBN 978-7-10-007054-6.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (July 10, 2023). "Glottolog 4.8 - Min". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Archived from the original on October 13, 2023. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  6. ^ "Change Request Documentation: 2021-045". August 31, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2022.
  7. ^ Yap, Foong Ha; Grunow-Hårsta, Karen; Wrona, Janick, eds. (2011). Nominalization in Asian Languages: Diachronic and typological perspectives. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 11. ISBN 978-9027206770.
  8. ^ a b c d e Zhang, Jingfen (January 4, 2021). Tono-types and Tone Evolution: The Case of Chaoshan. Springer Nature. ISBN 978-981-334-870-7.
  9. ^ 潘家懿; 鄭守治 (March 1, 2010). "粵東閩南語的分布及方言片的劃分". 臺灣語文研究. 5 (1): 145–165. doi:10.6710/JTLL.201003_5(1).0008.
  10. ^ Lin, Lunlun; Lin, Chunyu (2007). Guangdong Nan'ao Dao fang yan yu yin ci hui yan jiu. Huaxia ying cai ji jin xue shu wen ku (Di 1 ban ed.). Beijing: Zhonghua shu ju. ISBN 978-7-101-05600-6. OCLC 190795329.
  11. ^ a b Qibin, Zhang (December 23, 2023). "LANGUAGE SITUATION IN THE CHAOSHAN COMMUNITY: A PILOT STUDY". Sociolingvistika. 3 (15): 98–124. doi:10.37892/2713-2951-3-15-98-124. ISSN 2713-2951.
  12. ^ 呉芳 (2013). 粤东闽语前后鼻音韵尾类型研究. 潮学研究丛书 (in Chinese). 曁南大学出版社. ISBN 978-7-5668-0646-8.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  13. ^ a b Lin, Qing (2019). The Diachrony of Tone Sandhi: Evidence from Southern Min Chinese. Frontiers in Chinese Linguistics (1st ed. 2019 ed.). Singapore: Springer Singapore : Imprint: Springer. ISBN 978-981-13-1939-6.
  14. ^ 徐馥瓊. 粤东闽语语音研究. ISBN 9787520398350.
  15. ^ "潮陽地區四降調系統的變異及演化". Language and Linguistics (in Chinese). 21 (3): 467–511. July 16, 2020. doi:10.1075/lali.00068.zha. ISSN 1606-822X.
  16. ^ a b c Ling, XU Hui; 许惠玲 (2007). "Aspect of Chaozhou Grammar A Synchronic Description of the Jieyang Variety / 潮州話揭陽方言語法研究". Journal of Chinese Linguistics Monograph Series (22): i–304. ISSN 2409-2878.
  17. ^ Li, David C. S.; Wong, Cathy S. P.; Leung, Wai Mun; Wong, Sam T. S. (January 1, 2016). "Facilitation of transference: The case of monosyllabic salience in Hong Kong Cantonese". Linguistics. 54 (1): 1–58. doi:10.1515/ling-2015-0037. hdl:10397/92298. ISSN 1613-396X. S2CID 146964117.
  18. ^ Zhang, Xi; Cross, Ian (August 8, 2021). "Analysing the relationship between tone and melody in Chaozhou songs". Journal of New Music Research. 50 (4): 299–311. doi:10.1080/09298215.2021.1974490. ISSN 0929-8215. S2CID 239238965.
  19. ^ a b McFarland, Joanna Rose (September 1, 2021). "Language Contact and Lexical Changes in Khmer and Teochew in Cambodia and Beyond". Sinophone Southeast Asia. Brill. pp. 91–128. doi:10.1163/9789004473263_005. ISBN 978-90-04-47326-3. S2CID 250556136.

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  • Xu, Huiling (2007). Aspects of Chaoshan grammar: A synchronic description of the Jieyang dialect. Monograph Series Journal of Chinese Linguistics 22
  • Yap, FoongHa; Grunow-Hårsta, Karen; Wrona, Janick (ed.) (2011). "Nominalization in Asian Languages: Diachronic and typological perspectives". Hong Kong Polytechnic University /Oxford University : John Benjamins Publishing Company ISBN 978-9027206770

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