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A Chinese and English vocabulary, in the Tie-chiu dialect












THE following work, compiled originally to meet the wants of the writer, is offered to the public, simply with the desire that it may afford assistance in the studies of those who desire to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ to the numerous and interesting people who speak the dialect for which it is prepared. It is designed to embrace most of the words in common use, arranged according to their sounds and tones, with brief definitions, and thus form a convenient manual dictionary sufficient for the common purposes of the student. A large Dictionary must, of course, be at hand for reference in difficult and important cases. But a complete Dictionary in each of the Chinese dialects cannot be expected. The most that can be sought is a complete Dictionary in the Court dialect, and a convenient vocabulary in each of the several dialects which claim the attention of missionaries; and the earlier such a Vocabulary can be prepared the greater will be the saving of time and labor. It is believed that at least one third of the time and labor of acquiring a good knowledge of such a dialect as the Tie Chiu, with only a large Dictionary in the Court dialect, might be saved by the help of such a Vocabulary.

2. The Orthography employed in this work is intended to correspond with that in most common use, except where the peculiarities of the dialect require a difference. It is briefly exhibited in the following table:—

Sounds of the vowels, &c.
á as in far.
a the same sound shortened and approaching u in but.
à nearly as in man; intermediate between a in hat and in far.
e as in they; before a consonant it is shortened.
i as in machine; somewhat shortened before a consonant.
o as in no; note.
ó as in lord; north.
u as in rule; put.
ù as in turn. w as woo in wood; or as uu; each letter being sounded short.
ai as in aisle.
au as ow in now.
iu as ew in new.
oi as in going.
small above the line represents the nasal sound.
small above the line represents the indistinct sound of u in but.
ʽ the apostrophe denotes the aspirate sounds.

The third sound of a occurs in all those cases and those only in which it is preceded by i and followed by ng as liàng.

Tlhe sound of e in they and in men is usually regarded as the same in nature, differing only in length; it is not therefore marked in this work but is ascertained by its position.

The i shortened before a consonant is intermediate between its longest sound in machine and its shortest in pin, seldom becoming as short as in the latter.

The sound of o in not which has commonly been represented by the unmarked o never occurs in this dialect; the unmarked o is therefore used for the sound in note.

The termination ou, which has been employed by some, is not used in this work, as the sound which it represents does not seem to differ from the sound of o in no; if it has any u sound it is only the necessary turn of the voice in pronouncing the final o.

The i in iu has a more distinct sound than the e in new, and the u has the same sound as in muse.

The w retains both the consonant and vowel power. Its consonant power, however, is often very weak, sometimes scarely perceptible.

Y is used in but few words, and even concerning these it may be doubtful whether i would not be equally proper. It may also be remarked that many of the words under the initial i are sometimes spoken as if they commenced with y, especially in rapid pronunciation; as iong like yong.

It is to be observed that no attempt is made to mark the length of the vowels, but only the nature of their sounds; their length will vary in the same word according to the tone; and therefore if the word is pronounced correctly acocording to its tone, the length of the vowel will of course be correct. Hence, except in the case of e and i mentioned in the table as shortened before consonants, the length of the vowels may be said to be governed by the tones. This may easily be seen by pronouncing such words as cham, che, kan, kiàng, in each of the different tones.

The Tie Chiu dialect never exhibits the following initials, viz; a, à, d, f, r, v, x, and z; c is used only in ch, and q is supplanted by k. The following terminations are never found; à, b, d, f, g except in ng, h, j; r, s, v, x and z; c, g, w and y are not used as finals, their sounds being otherwise represented. With these exceptions all the vowel sounds exhibited in the table, and all the consonants with their usual English sounds are found both as initials and finals.

3. Eight varieties of tone are marked in this work. This chief peculiarity is that the high and low, in the even going and entering are precisely the reverse of what they are called by the Chinese, and also of what thay have usually been marked by writers on other dialects. Yet the least observation will show that what the Chinese call the low is, in this dialect, really the high, and what they call the high is really the low tone. This peculiarity is, however, less manifest in the reading than in the common sound of the words, which often differ only in tone; the reading being more conformable to the tone as designated by the Chinese, whether high or low. But as the following work is designed to exhibit the common rather than the reading sounds, the really high is distinguished by a straight mark over the tonal semicircle as in the following table:—

꜁꜀ Even high 下平 E pⁿe
꜀꜀ Even low 上平 Chⁿie pⁿe.
꜂꜀ High tone 上聲 Siang siⁿa.
꜀ↄ̄ Going high 下去 E kù
꜀꜄ Going medium 去聲 Ku siⁿa.
꜀꜅ Going low 上去 Chⁿie kù.
꜀ↄ̄ Entering high 下入 E jip.
꜀꜆ Entering low 上入 Chiⁿe jip.

The low even, or chⁿie pⁿe, is strictly an even tone, being pronounced with a natural even voice and easy cadence at the close.

The high even is usually found more difficult of utterance; the sound is high and somewhat prolonged, resembling a circumflex higher in the middle than at either end.

The peculiarity of the high tone consists in a strong emphasis of the voice at the beginning of a word leaving the end to die away obscurely. Words in this tone are usually pronounced much shorter than in the even; but when followed by another word which is coupled to it and to be pronounced in connection with it, the sound is prolonged, rising, but not increasing in strength, to the close. In such cases it somewhat resembles the high Going.

The high going consists in a prolongation of sound continually rising to the end. The medium going comprises a class of words which Tie Chiu men commonly read in an even tone, somewhat lower than the low even. The low going tone consists in a prolongation of the sound, very low but increasing in strength or emphasis to the close.

The entering tone consists in an abrupt ending, and the high and low differ in the same manner as the high and low even. all words ending in k, p, or t are of this class, and these are the only consonants which form the termination; when the vowels form the termination, they are pronounced as if a consonant was about to be added but is suddenly out off. It is sometimes represented by adding a final h; but as the abruptness results from the nature of the tone, if the tonal mark is used the h is not necessary. The use of h also interrupts the uniformity of the orthogrophy, as words of this tone belong in the same class with others which do not end with h, and from which their sound differs only in tone. This may be seen by pronouncing such syllables as chi, ti, te, in each of the tones.

Though the preceding remarks may help to explain the nature of the tones in this dialect, yet the learner will need the assistance of a teacher with the living voice to enable him attain a perfectly correct use of them; and the earlier he learns to distinguish and pronounce them correctly the greater will be the saving of his future labor and the more accurate his use of the language.

4. We may here notice sone varieties in the usage of persons who speak the Tie Chiu dialect.

Ch at the beginning of words is sometimes pronounced ts; and still more frequently intermediate between ch and ts.

The i in such words as sin, tit, is by some pronounced like e as sen, tet.

The termination ie is pronounced by many io, the o being somewhat short: as bie, bio; ie io; chie chio.

The temrination io is often pronounced iau: as lio, liau; mio, miau.

The oi in such words as chⁿoi, noi, tⁿoi, oⁿi is pronounced by many nearly like ai; as chⁿai, nai, tⁿai, aⁿi.

The initial l and n in such words as lam, lan; nam, nan are often interchanged; i.e some persons will usually say lam lan, other usually nam, nan, without seeming to perceive any difference.

The terminations n, and ng, in such words as kwan, kwang', tien, tiang, are confounded by some who do not seem to notice any difference between them. Such persons will also usually confound the terminations et and ak, as siet, siak.

The ù in such words as 汝, 去, , is sometimes pronounced u; as lu, ku. Also ù in such words as 代, 塊 is often pronounced ò; as , ; and it may be remarked that when the ù sound is given in this class of words it is a more open sound than when it occurs in the class just before mentioned; the difference is easily perceptible, but does not seem capable of being represented by Roman letters. The ù in such words as ùn, ngùn is sometimes pronounced i, as in, ngin; by other is is pronounced e, and the n changed to ng; as eng, ngeng.

The nasal sounds are used much more by some persons than by others. The words in which is is universally used are mostly those which in the Court dialect and also in the Tie Chiu readign sound end in n or ng; these terminations, in common usage, are often dropped, and the nasal sound inserted before the preceding vowel, which is also often changed to suit the new form of the word; as Cheng, Chⁿe; Chiang, Chⁿie; Chien, Chⁿua; Hiong, Hⁿia.

5. The Tie Chiu, like most other dialects, has what is called a reading and also a common sound to the words. The common sound, however, to a considerable extend accords with the reading. There are also a large number of words whose reading and common sounds are used interchangeably both in reading and in conversation. But in other cases the reading sound is used only in chanting the classics. Neither teachers nor common readers, in reading a ommon book, ever think of using any other than the common sound; nor do hearers expect any other. Hence reading in the Tie Chiu dialect corresponds, more than in some other dialects, with reading in other languages. The hearer is expected to understand the words as they are read, and whatever explanations are made are rather of the thought than of the words. It is therefore the common sound of the words which it is important for missionaries to know; it is well to acquire a knowledge of the reading sounds in order to trace analogies and make comparisons; but for the purpose of making known the Gospel it is of but little use. Hence in the following work the words are arranged according to the common sound; and where words have several sounds, or tones with different meanings they are usually repeated under each respective sound or tone. In the second part or Index to the work, however, the reading sound will be found along with the common, where they differ from each other.

6. As the printing of this work has been performed under many disadyantages, it is presumed that severe criticism will be spared. If the work is capable of being, in the least degree, serviceable for the end designed let it be so used; and whatever can be done by any individual to render a future edition more useful will promote the great object of man's salvation. There will be different opinions among Chinese teachers as to the sound, and of course, the collocation of many words. Instances have occured in which four different teachers have given as many different sounds to a word; hence it would not be strange if some words should be arranged incorrectly. It is hoped however, that, as mnch care has been taken, with the assistance of several native teachers, it will be found essentially correct, and, will lead those who follow it to such a use of the language as will cause them to be readily understood and will render them extensively useful to the people.

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