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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses sound patterns, grammar, textual materials, and theoretical issues of the Min languages. Sound patterns feature the consonantal, vocalic, and tonal system as well as syllable structure. Grammar embraces demonstratives, pronouns, modals, negation, and grammatical markers. Textual materials cover extant local rime books, playscripts, religious texts, and earlier and current dictionaries. Theoretical issues selectively reflect recent concern with various intriguing topics such as dialectal affiliation, ‘aberrant’ tonal phonological phenomena, chronological strata, and system-internal vs. contact-induced change. There are six groups of Min languages: Southern Min (Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Chaozhou/Shantou, Hainan, and Leizhou, Taiwan); Eastern Min (Fuzhou, Fuqing, Gutian, Ningde); Northern Min (Jian’ou and Jianyang); Pu-Xian (Putian and Xianyou); Central Min (Yong’an, Sanming, Shaxian); and Shao-Jiang (Shaowu and Jiangle).

Keywords: Southern Min, Eastern Min, Northern Min, Pu-Xian, Central Min, sound pattern, grammar, textual materials, theoretical issues

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