Pronunciation of some characters

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
elmer
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Pronunciation of some characters

Postby elmer » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:26 am

Sorry if I seem to be impatient. I am struck by the genealogical virus. It seems to be without cure :lol:

Can anybody tell me what these characters would probably be pronounced like in the region between Zhangzhou city and Xiamen city:

逸: it, ek, iat?
人: jin, chhin, lang?
台: tai, thai, i?
旦: tan, toann, hoann?
星: chhen, seng, san?
茂: bo, am, an?

thanx,
Elmer

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:49 pm

If you ask me, I would guess:

逸 i̍t (not totally sure, but Kangxi 夷質切 would render this and Korean and Japanese readings also suggest a -t final, so I assume that at least the literary reading would have a -t. ia̍t would be an option, but I can't find it anywhere but the MoE dictionary, so I guess it's not a common reading)
人jîn (I have never heard of the pronounciation chhîn... lâng is a colloquial reading and as far as I know not even the same word etymogically, which reduces the probability for this reading even further if you ask me)
台 tâi (can't say this one for sure. I would rule out thai because that reading seems to be restricted to 天台, a place name in modern Zhejiang 浙江 province. Of the remaining two I can't completely rule out either. I would tend to tâi, simply because it seems by far more common to me. If your family was moderately well-learnt though (which I assume they were if they were able to keep these records), the reading î should at least not have been completely unknown to them since I can find numerous examples of this reading especially in the Book of Documents 尚書, one of the Five Classics 五經)
旦 tàn (tòaⁿ is a colloquial reading and therefore unlikely in personal names. I couldn't find hòaⁿ anywhere, but even if I could, I would assume that it's a colloquial reading much rather than a literary one)
星 sing (the other two are colloquial readings)
茂 bō͘ (Kangxi fits perfectly and Korean reading (couldn't find the Japanese one) agrees that there shouldn't be a final nasal. Also, ōm (don't know where am and an come from) is marked as an ersatz character in the MoE dict)

Like I said, this is nothing definite, only guesses with varying certainties. Happy to accept others' corrections where I guessed wrong.

elmer
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby elmer » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:08 pm

Thanks, Your guess is certainly better than mine.

Here are some more characters I struggle with:

中 tiong tiòng tèng chhian chiong3 tong
強 kiâng kiāng kiunn7 khiáng kian7 kiong2
量 lēng liāng niū niû nē
長 tiâng chiang2 tiong2 tiunn2 tng5
盤 phoân pôaⁿ piâⁿ khoan5 poan5
程 thêⁿ thêng thiann5 tiann5 teng5

thanks in advance!
Elmer

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:32 am

中 tiong and tiòng are both possible, they correspond to Mandarin zhong and zhòng respectively. The former has the basic meaning "middle" and the latter "hit" (with an arrow for example, i.e. "hit the middle"). If you're unsure, I would generally guess that tiong is more common.
強 same problem, at least three readings are possible with different meanings. These are (in order of probability): kiâng (strong, powerful, corresponding to Mandarin qiáng), kiáng (to strive, to force, corresponding to Mandarin qiǎng), kiāng (heatstrong, stubborn, corresponding to Mandarin jiàng). I haven't heard about the readings with kh- before, but fhl says about khiáng that "it is probably etymogically a transformation of Nanjing dialect" (語源應該是南京官話ê轉化), so I guess these are non-standard readings.
量 either liâng (to measure, cf. Mand. liáng) or liāng (number, amount, extent, capacity, cf. liàng). In this case I can't see that much difference in the frequency they occur, both are about equally possible. Kangxi indicates that this character is probably read liang instead of liong (in both tonal variants) in Chiangchiu-style dialects and Douglas indeed lists that reading at least for the 7th tone reading, so I'm guessing your family would have read liâng or liāng instead of liông or liōng.
長 I would guess either tiâng (long, cf. cháng) or tiáng (to grow, older, senior, head/chief, cf. zhǎng).
盤 not sure about this one. puânn is definitely a colloquial reading, but I find conflicting info about whether the literary one should be poân or phoân.
程 either têng or thêng. I have heard of both readings and in those contexts they were exchangable. However, of the dictionaries I used, only the MoE one had têng while all had thêng, so I guess that's the more common reading.

elmer
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby elmer » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:38 am

That's great. It really limits the options. I guess I am going to use the most common pronunciation and/or the most beautiful / positive word.

Maybe some characters?

thanks again,
Elmer

唐 tng tông pong5 ta
曲 khek khiau khiàu khiok
寬 khoan khoaⁿ khòaⁿ khng3
天 phian phin thian thinn
樸 phok phak phoh phoh8
益 ek iah ah it

amhoanna
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby amhoanna » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:29 am

I'm with Abun on most of his analyses. I commented on most of these in a spreadsheet that I just sent to U, Elmer.

Great use of the word "ersatz" BTW, Abun. 8)

中: in names it would be "tiong"

強: kiông in Amoy, but poss. kiâng in Kakbe. Would need confirmation from someone w/ a grasp of the micro-dialects.

量: in names, most definitely liōng/liāng (again, a Kakbe issue)

長: tiông/tiâng (Kakbe)

盤、程:tricky indeed… These may or may not have Kakbe issues. For TW I would use poân, têng.

That's great. It really limits the options. I guess I am going to use the most common pronunciation and/or the most beautiful / positive word.

No, don't do this!! :shock: We should be able to get everything down to EXACTLY how your family had it. Names are not fungible quantities.

elmer
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby elmer » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks, I really appreciate all your help. And it is amazing to meet people who are so thorough as you are. The list is getting really smaller now.

I am going to put some more characters here:
俶 chhiok siok thek
瑱 chin thian3 tian5
田 chhân chhian5 tian5 tian7
與 í u5 u7 hou7
乾 kan khiân koann ta
伯 peh pek pit pa3
曲 khek khiau khiàu khiok
樸 phok phak phoh phoh8

again, thanks!
Elmer

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:37 am

俶: The only Minnan dict that I can find this one in is Campbell (https://github.com/lukhnos/openvanilla/blob/master/DataTables/poj-holo.cin) with exactly these pronounciations but no translation. Kangxi gives three different pronunciations but as far as I can see two of these render the same in Minnan (昌六切 and 尺六切) wich leaves us with two pronunciations: tshiok (which according to Kangxi can mean things ranging from "beginning" over "to compose" and "neat" to "good") and thek (which seems to go in the direction of "noble, corteous" and "outstanding"). I don't feel competent enough to give advice as to which is more probable as a personal name.
瑱: Same problem, only in Campbell and Kangxi, and the latter one actually provides even two more, 他典切--> thián and another one which is probably renders tsìn in Minnan (although it is a bit obscure because another Fanqie for apparently the same pronunciation is listed as 陟刃切, which, if I'm not mistaken, should be tìn. However because it also says that it should sound the same as 鎮 chìn, I guess that this is the pronunciation to go for). This last one is also attested as a name. Still, I would guess that chin is quite possible, too, simply because it would most probably be the most intuitive reading for an unknown character which includes 真.
田: Chhân is colloquial and I have never heard of another literary reading than tiân. Although I can find chhiân and tiān in Kangxi as well, they seem to hardly ever occur and both involve losing your farmland, so I think we can safely assume that tiân is the one to go for.
與: Hō͘ is colloquial. Of the other three, my guess would be í for the following reasons: First, this one seems to be one of the words which have -i in Chiangchiu and -u in Amoy (-ir in Chuanchiu). If Kakbé tends to be largely Chiangchiu-influenced, then I would guess for an -i instead of -u. Then there's the question of tone. Actually, this one according to Kangxi should be originally 6th tone, which merged with 7th tone. However, I have the feeling that most 6th-tone words have their literary readings in 2nd tone instead, so my money would be on í.
乾: Ta and koann are colloquial readings. Of the other two, kan has the general meaning of "dry" (cf. Mand. gān) and khiân is one of the 8 trigrams (八卦; cf. Mand. qián) which often represents masculinity or the heaven. I have seen the latter one in names, but only those of emperors and given the connection to heaven I'm not sure that was possible for somebody else.
伯: Peh is colloquial. Kangxi has phek (博陌切, although this one is also supposed to sound like 百 pek), pe̍k (蒲各切), pek (壁益切) and pò͘ (博故切. Considering the ph-p confusion in the first one, this might be phò͘, too). Simply by frequency, I would tend to choose pek.
曲: Depends on whether this is a personal or a family name. As a family name it should be Khiok if I'm not mistaken. As a personal name, I am not sure. This character has two different meanings, one being "crooked", sometimes "false" and the other referring to pieces of music. According to my information, khiau and khik are their respective colloquial readings. Khiàu I have never heard of. As for khiok, both meanings are listed under this one in Kangxi, but I find that hard to believe because it indicates that they used to be the same in Mandarin. But they are pronounced differently nowadays (qū for "crooked" and qǔ for "piece of music"), which can't be explained if they were the same before... Opinions anyone?
樸: Phoh and pho̍h are colloquial. As possible literary readings, Kangxi provides phak (匹角切, but says it's supposed to sound like 璞 phok), phok (博木切), po̍k (步木切), pô͘ (薄胡切) and phò͘ (普故切). The latter three seem rater rare, especially pô͘ can probably ruled out because it's only used in an ancient place name. Considering the first two are much more in use and are read phok (or are unclear about whether it's phak or phok), I would guess phok, but can't say for sure of course.

amhoanna
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby amhoanna » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:59 am

aBun's analyses are once again spot-on, for the most part. 與 I think will be ú -- this is where Kakbe patterns with Amoy instead of the rest of Ciangciu. This resource has been recommended:

http://ishare.iask.sina.com.cn/f/36627969.html

I should've looked for it earlier. Didn't realize Kakbe was part of Lionghai! :oops:

We are on our own now.

Elmer, if U can hold the presses for a day or two, we will have the whole thing figured out.

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:20 pm

I'm sorry, I'm not that versed in the fine differences between dialects yet... What are the other differences between Kak-bí-uē und Chiang-chiu-uē apart from the i-u issue?

amhoanna
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby amhoanna » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:07 am

This is the only BIG difference btw "Mainstream Lionghai" and Kakbe -- as far as literary readings go.

There may be a lot of differences on a micro level. "所", for example, is só͘ in Coanciu (lit.) but sé in Ciangciu (lit.). Coanciu literary readings are dominant in TW, and I didn't know the other reading existed till Elmer brought us this project. (This does explain why "初" is che, though.) If I had to bet, I would bet on Kakbe patterning with Ciangciu. But I wouldn't consider this a safe bet.

Coanciu literary readings being dominant in TW -- I didn't know this till now. It means I'm much less qualified for this than I had thought; I thought I knew the Ciangciu literary readings, but it turns out I don't.

The colloquial is its own animal. Kakbe is right up against "Tang'oann" territory. There may be similarities in vocab., etc. People had to communicate.

Back to the matter at hand, socio-linguistics and naming practices actually cloud the matter. Elmer's clan used a number of what could be considered "obscure characters", but a lot of these characters are just a common character plus a radical such as 王土金水艸 etc. U could imagine the family -- most likely merchants, farmers, or both -- consulting with a necromancer who tells them, "This child will need 土 in his life, so insert a 土 into his name," or "If U put a 金 in this child's name, the family will prosper." It is likely that the clan than used the reading of the "original" character, possibly w/o even knowing the obscure character that was then created. "俶", for example. My guess is that they just wanted "叔" with cheese. But it's hard to say. "瑱" is even more likely to be so. They wanted to use "真", but they wanted to "jade" their kid. :P

The people most likely to be able to "get this right" would be the "resident scholars" of the family left over in situ -- if the family still exists back there, and has scholars still living. But I think we can get it down with few discrepancies, if any (not really errors, just discrepancies).

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:06 am

amhoanna wrote:There may be a lot of differences on a micro level. "所", for example, is só͘ in Coanciu (lit.) but sé in Ciangciu (lit.). Coanciu literary readings are dominant in TW, and I didn't know the other reading existed till Elmer brought us this project. (This does explain why "初" is che, though.) If I had to bet, I would bet on Kakbe patterning with Ciangciu. But I wouldn't consider this a safe bet.

Coanciu literary readings being dominant in TW -- I didn't know this till now. It means I'm much less qualified for this than I had thought; I thought I knew the Ciangciu literary readings, but it turns out I don't.

Well, in that case it might be handy if one of the Penang-centered people here would have a look over it; isn't that mostly Chiangchiu-based (although I never noticed any discrepancies in literary readings)?

amhoanna wrote:Back to the matter at hand, socio-linguistics and naming practices actually cloud the matter. Elmer's clan used a number of what could be considered "obscure characters", but a lot of these characters are just a common character plus a radical such as 王土金水艸 etc. U could imagine the family -- most likely merchants, farmers, or both -- consulting with a necromancer who tells them, "This child will need 土 in his life, so insert a 土 into his name," or "If U put a 金 in this child's name, the family will prosper." It is likely that the clan than used the reading of the "original" character, possibly w/o even knowing the obscure character that was then created. "俶", for example. My guess is that they just wanted "叔" with cheese. But it's hard to say. "瑱" is even more likely to be so. They wanted to use "真", but they wanted to "jade" their kid. :P

If you ask me, that question may often come down to how well-read elmers family was. Considering they were able to write a tso̍k-phóo (族譜), I assume that at least the core family was not illiterate, and then I think it's safe to also assume that they at least knew the Four Books and Five Classics. 俶 for example is attested in both 尚書 and 詩經 as chhiok , and in the 史記 as thek (at least according to Kangxi). Therefore, I would tend to think that at least the core family knew of the existence of this character; whether they knew both readings or just one, or maybe even misread it as chek because it has 叔, this I think depends on how well they knew classic literature.
In the case of 瑱 I agree that it's most likely chin and if anything else then only in another tone.

elmer
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby elmer » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:19 am

Hello,

Thanks to all, once again. I can wait a few more days with sending my book to the printer. I have a few days margin. Actually, I have been in the village of my origin, but the people living there couldn't tell me much more about the genealogy of my ancestors. Apparently the genealogy was reconstructed from parts which survived in Taiwan.

Here is some more, the list is nearly done now, excep for some characters, where Amhoanna wanted to check the Kakbe pronunciation.

bín bun5
chek siok
ī inn7
ia̍h iap8
ke kui
khe khoe
tun chun3


regards,
Elmer

amhoanna
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby amhoanna » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:26 pm

aBun -- that's interesting, and U're probably right. Actually, that might be a good test to use -- whether or not a kanji was used in the 四書五経. Good thing U're familiar with them -- I'm not very 四書五経-literate.

Penang Hokkien would be a great resource for this. There was a strong Kakbe influence early on. But Penang Hokkien also tends to do things its own way. Also, the Coanciu bias in Literary readings *may* conceivably exist throughout the diaspora.

Elmer, what U say is interesting.

I've emailed U what I have -- a little chaotic b/c of the trouble I was having with your file. Anything that's blank in my column, or has a star, should be considered "incomplete"... There is not a lot left undone.

Based partly on aBun's analyses, here are my thoughts on this batch:

俶 chhiok
瑱 chin
田 tian5
Chhan5 is plausible for this one, but looking at the names used in this family as a whole, my guess is tian5. I think I had a look at the name where this is actually used as well, and it didn't seem like a name that would lend itself to a colloquial reading. This is the kind of item where the chance of a discrepancy is at its highest. TWese singer 葉啟田 uses chhan5, if I'm not mistaken. But there's no indication from the name as a whole that he would've gone with chhan5.

與 u2
乾 khian5
伯 pek
曲 khiok
樸 phok

Abun
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Re: Pronunciation of some characters

Postby Abun » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:30 am

amhoanna wrote:Actually, that might be a good test to use -- whether or not a kanji was used in the 四書五経. Good thing U're familiar with them

Far from it actually. I did read excerpts of course for my Classical Chinese class, but I did not read them thâu-kàu-bé, much less know them by heart or anything. I just noticed that they were cited in Kangxi :lol:


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