|Min Dong ()|
|Native to||Southeast China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, United States (chiefly New York City)|
|Region||Eastern Fujian (Fuzhou and Ningde), Matsu; parts of Taishun and Cangnan, Wenzhou, Zhejiang|
|9.5 million (2007)|
|Chinese characters and Foochow Romanized|
Official language in
|Matsu Islands, Taiwan (as local language)|
Eastern Min or Min Dong (traditional Chinese: ?; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: , Foochow Romanized: Mìng-dng-ng), is a branch of the Min group of Sinitic languages of China. The prestige form and most-cited representative form is the Fuzhou dialect, the speech of the capital and largest city of Fujian.
Eastern Min varieties are mainly spoken in the eastern part of Fujian Province of the People's Republic of China, in and near the cities of Fuzhou and Ningde. They are also widely encountered as the mother tongue on the Matsu Islands controlled by the Republic of China. Additionally, the inhabitants of Taishun and Cangnan to the north of Fujian in Zhejiang also speak Eastern Min varieties. Eastern Min generally coexists with the official standard Chinese in all these areas.
As the coastal area of Fujian has been the historical homeland of a large worldwide diaspora of overseas Chinese, varieties of Eastern Min can also be found across the world, especially in their respective Chinatowns. Cities with high concentrations of such immigrants include New York City, especially Little Fuzhou, Manhattan, Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Flushing, Queens.
Chinese communities within Ikebukuro, Tokyo as well as Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia have significant populations of Eastern Min speakers. Fuzhou communities can also be found in Sitiawan, Perak and Yong Peng, Johor in West Malaysia.
Eastern Min is conventionally divided into three branches:
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. According to Nicholas Bodman, only the Longdu dialect and Nanlang dialect belong to the Eastern Min group, while the Sanxiang dialect belongs to Southern Min.
The Eastern Min group has a phonology which is particularly divergent from other varieties of Chinese. Aside from the Manjiang dialect, both Houguan and Funing groups are similar in the number of initials, with the Fu'an dialect having 17 initials, two more than the Fuzhou dialect, the additions being /w/ and /j/ 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 representing the high at 69 finals.
|Types||Houguan subgroup ()||Funing subgroup ()||Manjiang ()|
|City||Fuzhou ()||Fuqing ()||Gutian ()||Ningde ()||Fuding ()||Fu'an ()||Qianku, Cangnan, Zhejiang (?)|
|Number of Initials||15||15||15||15||15||17||29|
|Number of Finals||46||42||51||69||41||56||39|
|Number of Tones||7||7||7||7||7||7||7|
Eastern Min varieties generally have seven tones, by the traditional count (based on the four tones of Middle Chinese, including the entering tone as a separate entity). In the middle of the Qing dynasty, eight tones were attested, but the historical rising tones () re-merged.
|Dark level||Light level||Rising||Dark departing||Light departing||Dark entering||Light entering|
||? 44||53||31||213||242||23||? 5|
||332||? 22||42||21||324||? 2||? 5|
||? 44||? 11||42||35||52||? 4||? 5|
||445||212||? 55||53||? 22||? 5||23|
||213||? 33||455||53||42||? 5||43|
|Qianku, Cangnan, Zhejiang
||? 44||214||45||41||21||? 5||21|
|Miaojiaqiao, Cangnan, Zhejiang
|? 33||213||45||41||? 11||? 5||? 1|
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.