||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (October 2012)|
|Native to||China, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Australia, United States of America, Canada, France and other countries where Teochew migrants have settled.|
|Region||in China: eastern Guangdong province including Chaozhou, Shantou, Jieyang, Chaoyang, Puning, Chao'an, Raoping, Huilai, and Shanwei, and the southmost Fujian county of Zhao'an.|
|Ethnicity||Teochew people (Han Chinese)|
|Native speakers||About 10 million in Chaoshan, 2–5 million overseas. (date missing)citation needed|
|Linguist List||nan-cha (Chao-Shan)|
|nan-teo (Teochew – ambiguous)|
|nan-chs (Chaozhou proper)
[also redundant codes nan-cho and nan-chz
The Teochew1 (Chaozhou dialect: Dio⁵ziu¹ uê⁷; Shantou dialect: Diê⁵suan³ uê⁷) of Southern Min Chinese is spoken in the Chaoshan (潮汕) region of eastern Guangdong and by the Teochew diaspora in various regions around the world.
Teochew preserves many Old Chinese archaic pronunciations and vocabulary that have been lost in some of the other modern dialects of Chinese. As such, many linguistswho? consider Teochew one of the most conservative Chinese dialects.
- 1 Classification
- 2 History and geography
- 3 Languages in contact
- 4 Phonetics and phonology
- 5 Grammar
- 5.1 Morphology
- 5.1.1 Pronouns
- 5.1.2 Numerals
- 5.1.3 Comparison
- 5.1 Morphology
- 6 Vocabulary
- 7 Romanisation
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Teochew is a member of the Southern Min or Min Nan dialect group, which in turn constitutes one of the seven major dialect groups of the Sinitic language family. As with other varieties of Chinese, linguists have not yet agreed on whether Teochew should be treated as a language or a dialect although it is mutually unintelligible with other "dialect groups" of China but mutually intelligible with some other Southern Min Languages, such as the dialects of Zhangzhou (漳州话) and Quanzhou (泉州话).citation needed Even within the Teochew varieties, there is substantial variation in phonology between different regions of Chaoshan and between different Teochew communities overseas.
The Chaozhou language in China, in terms of their closeness, can be roughly divided into three sub-groups:
- Chaozhou sub-group (潮州片): including Chaozhou (潮州), Shantou (汕头), Jieyang (揭阳), Chenghai (澄海), Nan'ao County (南澳) and Raoping (饶平),
- Chaopu sub-group (潮普片): including Chaoyang (潮阳), Puning (普宁), Huilai (惠来), and
- Hailufeng sub-group (海陆丰片): including Shanwei (汕尾), Lufeng (陆丰) and Haifeng (海丰)
Modern Teochew evolved from the more archaic Southern Min Language. Between the 9th and the 15th century, a group of Min people migrated south from Fujian to the coastal region of eastern Guangdong now known as Chaoshan (潮汕). This migration was most likely due in part to over-population in Fujian (福建).
Due to geographical isolation from Fujian, Teochew evolved into a separate dialect.
The Chaoshan region where Chaozhou is spoken includes the cities of Chaozhou, Shantou, which are jointly the source of the name, as well as Jieyang, Chaoyang, Puning, Chao'an, Raoping, Huilai, Chenghai, Nanao, Lufeng, Haifeng, Shanwei and Huidong (惠东). Parts of the Hakka-speaking region, like Jiexi (揭西), Dabu (大埔) and Fengshun (豐順/丰顺) are also Chaozhou-speaking.
The administrative region now known as Chaoshan in China was one of the major sources of Chinese emigration to Southeast Asia during the 18th–20th centuries, forming one of the larger dialect groups among the Overseas Chinese. In particular, the Teochew people settled in significant numbers in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos where they form the largest Chinese dialect group. They constitute a significant minority in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia (especially in Riau, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, and West Kalimantan, in Pontianak and Ketapang). Teochew speakers also live in Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America, France, Germany, and England, a result of both direct emigration from Chaoshan to these nations and secondary emigration from Southeast Asia.
In Singapore, due to influences from the media and government, Singaporean Chinese youths whose ancestral language is Teochew are either converting to English, Mandarin or Hokkien (with which it shares a certain degree of mutual intelligibility). Teochew remains the ancestral language of many Chinese people in Singapore - Teochew people are the second largest Chinese group in Singapore, after the Hokkien - although Mandarin is gradually supplanting Teochew as their mother tongue, especially among the younger generations. In Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, Teochew is still spoken among older ethnic Chinese Thai-citizen, however the younger generation ethnic Chinese Thai-citizen tends to learn Mandarin as a third language after Thai and English. Teochew was never popular in Japan and South Korea among the Chinese communities since most of the ethnic Chinese of Teochew ancestry who migrated to these countries are secondary immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Most of them are second generation people from Hong Kong and Taiwan who speak Cantonese and Mandarin as well as Korean and Japanese, leaving Teochew to be spoken mostly by elders.
This refers to Chaozhou, which is the variety of Teochew spoken in the People's Republic of China.
Chaozhou children are introduced to Mandarin as early as in kindergarten; however, Chaozhou remains the primary medium of instruction. In the early years of primary education, Mandarin becomes the sole language of instruction, although students typically continue to talk to one another in Chaozhou. Mandarin is widely understood, however minimally, by most younger Chaozhou speakers, but the elderly usually do not speak Mandarin since, in their times, teaching was done in the local vernacular.
||This article possibly contains original research. (January 2009)|
Native Chaozhou speakers find the neutral tone in Mandarin hardest to master. Chaozhou has lost the alveolar nasal ending [-n] and so the people often replace the sound in Mandarin with the velar nasal [-ŋ]. None of the southern Min dialects has a front rounded vowel, therefore a typical Chaozhou accent supplants the unrounded counterpart [i] for [y]. Chaozhou, like its ancient ancestor, lacks labio-dentals; people therefore substitute [h] or [hu] for [f] when they speak Mandarin. Chaozhou does not have any of the retroflex consonants in the northern dialects, so they pronounce [ts], [tsʰ], [s], and [z] instead of [tʂ], [tʂʰ], [ʂ] and [ʐ].
Since Chao'an, Raoping and Jieyang border the Hakka-speaking region in the north, some people in these regions speak Hakka, though they can usually speak Chaozhou as well. Chaozhou people have historically had a great deal of contact with the Hakka people, but the Hakka language has had little, if any, influence on Chaozhou. Similarly, in Dabu and Fengshun, where the Chaozhou- and Hakka-speaking regions meet, Chaozhou is also spoken although Hakka remains the primary language there.
Teochew (along with other southern Min languages) is one of the few Sinitic languages which have voiced obstruents (stops, fricatives and affricates); however, unlike the Wu and Xiang languages, the Teochew voiced stops and fricatives did not evolve from the Middle Chinese voiced obstruents, instead, they were from the Middle Chinese nasals. Therefore, the voiced stops [b] and [ɡ] are in fact prenasalised as [ᵐb] and [ᵑɡ] respectively. The voiced palatal fricative ʝ, initial in such words as 字(jī), 二(jĭ), 然(jiâng), 若(jiâk) loses its fricative property with some younger speakers abroad, and is relaxed to [j]. Southern Min languages are typified by a lack of labiodentals, as illustrated below:
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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.
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.
The nucleus is the only obligatory and therefore the most important element of a syllable. It can be occupied by a vowel, a nasalised vowel or a syllabic consonant in Teochew.
The coda position is usually fulfilled by a stop (plosive or nasal) but is optional.
Teochew tones Tone
Tone name Pitch
Description Sandhi 1 yin level (陰平/阴平) ˧ (3) mid 1 2 yin rising (陰上/阴上) ˥˨ (52) falling 6 3 yin departing (陰去/阴去) ˨˩˧ (213) low rising 2 or 5 4 yin entering (陰入/阴入) ˨̚ (2) low checked 8 5 yang level (陽平/阳平) ˥ (5) high 7 6 yang rising (陽上/阳上) ˧˥ (35) high rising 7 7 yang departing (陽去/阳去) ˩ (1) low 7 8 yang entering (陽入/阳入) ˦̚ (4) high checked 4
As with sandhi in other Min Nan dialects, the checked tones interchange. The yang tones all become low. Sandhi is not accounted for in the description below.
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|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
The grammar of Teochew is similar to other southern Chinese dialects, especially with Hakka and Cantonese. The sequence 'subject–verb–object' is typical, like Mandarin, although 'subject–object–verb' is also possible using particles.
The personal pronouns in Teochew, like in other Sinitic languages, do not show case marking, therefore 我 [ua] means both I and me and 伊人 [i naŋ] means they and them. The southern Min dialects, like some northern dialects, have a distinction between an inclusive and exclusive we, meaning that when the addressee is being included, the inclusive pronoun 俺 [naŋ] would be used, otherwise 阮 [ŋ]. No other southern Chinese language, such as Cantonese or Hakka, has this distinction.
|1st person||我 ua˥˨||I / me||Inclusive||俺 naŋ˥˨||we / us|
|Exclusive||阮 ŋ˥˨||we / us|
|2nd person||汝 lɤ˥˨||you||恁 niŋ˥˨||you (plural)|
|3rd person||伊 i˧||he/she/it/him/her||伊人 i˧ naŋ˥||they/them|
The Teochew language 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 個/个 [kai5] to their respective personal pronouns, as summarised below:
|1st person||我個/我个 ua˥˨ kai˥||my / mine||Inclusive||俺個/俺个 naŋ˥˨ kai˥||our / ours|
|Exclusive||阮個/阮个 ŋ˥˨ kai˥||ours / ours|
|2nd person||汝個/汝个 lɤ˥˨ kai˥||your / yours||恁個/恁个 niŋ˥˨ kai˥||your / yours (plural)|
|3rd person||伊個/伊个 i˧ kai˥||his / his; her / hers; its / its||伊人個/伊人个 i˧ naŋ˥ kai˥||their / theirs|
本書是我個/本书是我个 [puŋ˥˨ tsɤ˧ si˧˥ ua˥˨ kai˥] The book is mine.
However, there are instances in which 個/个 [kai˥] can be dropped, such as when followed by a measure word, as in:
我條裙/我条裙 [ua˥˨ tiou˥ kuŋ˥] my skirt
Teochew has the typical two-way distinction between the demonstratives, namely the proximals and the distals, as summarised in the following chart:
|General||Singular||之個 [tsi˥˨ kai˥]||this||許個 [hɤ˥˨ kai˥]||that|
|Plural||之撮 [tsi˥˨ tsʰoʔ˦]||these||許撮 [hɤ˥˨ tsʰoʔ˦]||those|
|Spatial||之塊 [tsi˥˨ ko˨˩˧]||here||許塊 [hɤ˥˨ ko˨˩˧]||there|
|之內 [tsi˥˨ lai˧˥]||inside||許內 [hɤ˥˨ lai˧˥]||inside|
|之口 [tsi˥˨ kʰao˩]||outside||許口 [hɤ˥˨ kʰao˩]||outside|
|Temporal||之陣 / 當 [tsi˥˨ tsuŋ˥ / tɤŋ˨˩˧]||now; recently||許陣 / 當 [hɤ˥˨ tsuŋ˥ / tɤŋ˨˩˧]||then|
|Adverbial||這生 [tse˥˨ sẽ˧]||like this||向生 [hia˥˨ sẽ˧]||like that|
|Degree||醬 [tsĩẽ˨˩˧]||this||向 [hĩẽ˨˩˧]||that|
|Type||者個 [tsia˥˨ kai˥]||this kind||向個 [hia˥˨ kai˥]||that kind|
|who / whom||(底)珍 [ti tieŋ]|
|底人 [ti naŋ]|
|what||乜個 [miʔ kai]|
|what (kind of) + noun||乜 + N [miʔ]|
|which||底 + NUM + CL + (N) [ti]|
|底個 [ti kai]|
|where||底塊 [ti ko]|
|when||珍時 [tieŋ si]|
|how||manner||做呢 [tso ni]|
|state||在些(樣) [tsai sẽ ĩẽ]|
|乜些樣 [miʔ sẽ ĩẽ]|
|什乜樣 [si miʔ ĩẽ]|
|how many||幾 + CL + N [kui]|
|若多 + (CL) + (N) [dzieʔ tsoi]|
|how much||若多 [dzieʔ tsoi]|
|why||做呢 [tso ni]|
|liŋ5||零||〇||0||〇 is an informal way to represent zero, but 零 is more commonly used, especially in schools.
also 空 [kang3]
|tsek8||壹||一||1||also 蜀 [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.
|二||2||also 弍 (obsolete)
also 貳(T) or 贰(S)
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].
|三||3||also 弎 (obsolete)
also 參(T) or 参(S) [sã1].
|tsap8||拾||十||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 第 [tõĩ˧˥] in front of a cardinal number.
In Teochew passive construction, the agent phrase by somebody always has to be present, and is introduced by either 乞 [kʰoiʔ˦]* or 分 [puŋ˧], even though it is in fact a zero or indefinite agent as in:
[i˧ puŋ˧ naŋ˥ tʰai˥ tiau˩]
s/he was killed (by someone)
*Some speakers use [kʰɤʔ] or [kʰiɤʔ] instead.
While in Mandarin we can have the agent introducer 被 bèi or 給 gěi alone without the agent itself, it is not grammatical to say
[kai˥ pue˧ puŋ˧ kʰa˧ tiau˩]
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˧ tiau˩]
Even though this 人 [naŋ˥] is unknown.
Note also that the agent phrase 分人 [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)
Teochew uses the construction "X ADJ 過 [kue˨˩˧] Y", which is believed to have evolved from the Ancient Chinese "X ADJ 于 (yú) Y" structure, to express the idea of comparison:
[i˧ ŋia˥˨ kue˨˩˧ lɤ˥˨]
She is more beautiful than you.
Cantonese uses the same construction:
cf. 佢靚過你 [kʰœy˥ leŋ˨˩˧ kʷɔ˨˩˧ nei˥]
However, due to influences from Mandarin, the Mandarin structure "X 比 Y ADJ" has also gained popularity over the years. Therefore, the same sentence can be re-structured and becomes:
[i˩ pi˥˨ lɤ˥˨ ŋia˥˨]
cf. Mandarin 她比你漂亮 (tā bǐ nǐ piàoliang)
Note: the 過- or 比-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 (?)
This is different from English since the second noun being compared can be left out:
cf. Tatyana is more beautiful (than Lisa).
In this case, the 夭-construction has to be used instead:
[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. Note also that Teochew and Mandarin both use a pre-modifier (before the adjective) while Cantonese uses a post-modifier (after the adjective).
cf. Mandarin 她比較漂亮 (tā bǐjiào piàoliang) & Cantonese 佢靚啲 [kʰœy5 leŋ3 ti1]
There are two words which are intrinsically comparative in meaning, i.e. 贏 [ĩã5] "better" and 輸 [su1] "worse". They can be used alone or in conjunction with the 過-structure:
[tsi2 nĩã2 kuŋ5 su1 kue3 hɤ2 nĩã2]
This skirt is not as good as that one.
[ua2 lai6 kai7 tieŋ6 nao2 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.
In Teochew, the idea of equality is expressed with the word 平 [pẽ5] or 平樣 [pẽ5 ĩẽ7]:
[tsi2 puŋ2 tsɤ1 kaʔ4 hɤ2 puŋ2 pẽ5 taŋ6]
This book is as heavy as that one.
[i1 no6 naŋ5 pẽ5 pẽ5 ĩẽ7]
They are the same. (They look the same./They're as good as each other./They're as bad as each other.)
To express the superlative, Teochew uses the adverb 上 [siaŋ5] or 上頂 [siaŋ5 teŋ2]. However, it should be noted that 上頂 is usually used with a complimentary connotation.
[tsi2 kõĩ1 mueʔ8 siaŋ5 teŋ2 ho2 tsiaʔ8]
This (restaurant) is (absolutely) the most delicious.
[i1 naŋ5 tui3 ua2 siaŋ5 ho2]
They treat me best.
The vocabulary of Teochew shares a lot of similarities with Cantonese owing to their continuous contact with each other.ambiguous Like Cantonese, Teochew has a great deal of monosyllabic words, which to a certain extent reflects the age of the Teochew language since monosyllabic words were prevalent in Ancient Chinese.citation needed However, ever since the standardisation of Modern Standard Chinese, Teochew has absorbed a lot of Putonghua vocabulary, which is predominantly polysyllabic. In addition, Teochew varieties in Malaysia and Singapore have also borrowed extensively from Malay.
Teochew and other Min Nan dialects such as Taiwanese preserve a good deal of Ancient Chinese vocabulary. Examples include words such as 目 [mak] eye (cf. Putonghua: 眼睛 yǎnjīng; Taiwanese: 目 ba̍k), 灱 [ta] dry (cf. Putonghua: 乾 gān; Taiwanese: 焦 ta), and 囥 [kʰɤŋ] hide (cf. Putonghua: 藏 cáng; Taiwanese: 囥 khǹg).
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Teochew has been romanised by the Guangdong provincial government to aid linguistic studies and the publication of dictionaries, although the Taiwanese Pe̍h-oē-jī could also be used because the Christian missionaries invented it in a way that is also suitable for the transcription of other Min Nan dialects.
A modified version of the Guangdong romanization system called Peng'im is also used in an online Teochew community.
- B - bag (北 north)
- Bh- bhê (馬/马 horse)
- C - cên (青 green)
- C - cǔi (嘴 mouth)
- C - cêng (槍/枪 gun)
- D - dio (潮 tide)
- G - gio (橋/桥 bridge)
- GH- gho (鵝/鹅 goose)
- H - hung (雲/云 cloud)
- K - ke (走 to go)
- L - lag (六 six)
- M - mêng (明 bright)
- N - nang (人 person)
- NG - ngou (五 five)
- P - peng (平 peace)
- R - riêg/ruah (熱/热 hot)
- S - sên (生 to be born)
- T - tin (天 sky)
- Z - ziu (州 region/state)
Vowels and vowel combinations in the Teochew dialect include: A, E, Ê, I, O, U, AI, AO, IA, IO, IU, OI, OU, UA, UAI, UE, and UI.
- A - ma (媽/妈 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.
- suan (山 mountain)
- cên (青 green)
- M - iam (鹽/盐 salt)
- NG - bhuang (萬/万 ten thousand)
- B - zab (十 ten)
- G - hog (福 happiness)
- H - tih (鐵/铁 iron)
- Chinese in Singapore
- Bangkok Teochew
- Fuzhou dialect
- Hokkien dialect
- Languages of China
- List of Chinese dialects
- Malaysian Chinese
- Min Nan
- Taiwanese Hokkien
- Pronounced Chaozhou hua in Mandarin-speaking parts of China, variably spelled Teochiu ue, Tiuchiu ue, Tiochiu ue, Diojiu ue, Tözüue, Triều Châu in Vietnamese, but most commonly referred to in English as Teochew
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- Kū-ieh sʻan-bʻu-zʻ̤u ê-kʻng tshûan-tsṳ ʻek-tsʻo tiê-chiu pʻeh-ūe. Swatow: printed for the British and foreign Bible society at the English presbyt. mission press. 1898. Retrieved 10th of February, 2012. (11 Samuel. (Tie-chiu dialect.))(Harvard University)(Digitized Dec 17, 2007)
- Database of Pronunciations of Chinese Dialects (in English, Chinese and Japanese)
- Teochew People - Teochew dialect (in Chinese)
- Diojiu Bhung Gak
- Glossika - Chinese Languages and Dialects
- MoGher (in Chinese, English and French)
- Shantou University Chaozhou Studies Resources (in Chinese)
- Teochew Web (in Chinese and English)
- Tonal harmony and register contour in Chaozhou