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A Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of the Swatow Dialect, Arranged According to Syllables and Tones/Introduction

< A Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of the Swatow Dialect, Arranged According to Syllables and Tones

INTRODUCTION.

TONES.

Every Chinese word has a tone inseparable from its pronunciation. In the Chau-chau-fu vernacular there are eight distinct tones, which can be acquired only from a living teacher. Many Chinese teachers know no names for the tones, and different teachers place them in different orders. The following order is perhaps most usual.

上平 cīeⁿ phêⁿ, upper even.

上上 cīeⁿ sĭang, upper high.

上去 cīeⁿ khṳ̀, upper going.

上入 cīeⁿ jîp, upper entering.

下平 ĕ phêⁿ, lower even.

下上 ĕ sĭang, lower high.

下去 ĕ khṳ̀, lower going.

下入 ĕ jîp, lower entering.

These names do not express the relative sounds of the tones but appear to be purely arbitrary. Words in the entering tones always end in the sound of h, k, p, or t. Syllables ending in a vowel add an aspirate in the entering tone, while those ending in n change the n to t, those ending in ng change the ng to k, and those ending in m change the m to p. The same syllable is seldom found in all the eight tones. The tones may be represented to the eye as follows;

CHINESE TONAL MARKS. TONAL MARKS IN THIS BOOK.
꜀      
꜂   ˊ  
꜅   ˋ  
꜆      

CHINESE TONAL MARKS. TONAL MARKS IN THIS BOOK.
  ˆ  
  ˘  
꜄   ˉ  
  ˆ  

EXERCISES IN THE TONES.

司 si 死 sí 四 sì 蒒 sih 時 sî 是 sǐ 示 sī 蝕 sîh

低 ti 抵 tí 帝 tì 滴 tih 池 tî 弟 tǐ 地 tī 碟 tîh

刀 to̤ 短 tó̤ 倒 tò̤ 卓 to̤h 逃 tô̤ 在 tŏ̤ 袋 tō̤ 擇 tô̤h

紛 hun 粉 hún 奮 hùn 弗 hut 魂 hûn 混 hŭn 份 hūn 佛 hût

邦 pang 榜 páng 放 pàng 北 pak 房 pâng 謗 păng 方 pāng 縛 pâk

烘 hang 罕 háng 漢 hàng 謁 hak 韓 hâng 限 hăng 𮎨 hāng

學 hâk

ROMAN LETTERS.

The sounds of Chinese words cannot all be exactly represented by Roman letters, used as in English. In this book the Roman letter whose sound in English approximates the Chinese sound, is taken as the symbol of that sound, and the exact pronunciation must be learned from a Chinese teacher.

The vowels when followed by consonants are much shortened, especially when followed by h, k, p, and t.

The aspirate does not coalesce with a consonant preceding it, but is always sounded independently.

The sounds of p, k, and t when not followed by the aspirate are so repressed as to resemble those of b, g, and d.

Of the consonants, all occur as initials but only h, k, m, n, ng, p and t as finals. ⁿ at the end of word indicates that the vowels of the word are sounded nasally.

In all cases the pronunciation of Chinese words should be learned through the ear and from a native teacher, and the Romanized words should be relied on only as a help to the memory in learning.

The pronunciation of the same word varies greatly in the different districts of Tie-Ciu, the Department whose chief port is Swatow. Each village and hamlet has modes of speech peculiar to itself, and many words that are in common use among the people of one locality, are unknown to those in another. The pronunciation given in this Dictionary is that of Chau-chau-fu, the Departmental City.

The figures under the syllable refer to the page on which the same Chinese character may be found in Williams' Syllabic Dictionary, which has been largely used in the preparation of this one, and from which the definitions here given are mainly derived. The upper figure on the right hand is the number of the radical under which the character stands in Khang Hi's dictionary, and the lower figure indicates the number of strokes beside the radical.

Probably not more than half of the words used by Swatow people are contained in this Dictionary, but it is believed that all that are here given are in common use.

THE CHINESE CHARACTERS.

It is thought that the Chinese character given, is the one oftenest used in writing the word defined, but it is not always the only character which might be used in the same meaning, and in some sentences another character would be preferable where a similar idea is to be conveyed. As the Swatow vernacular is an unwritten tongue, and as the written language is different from any tongue spoken in China, the student of the language must not make the mistake of supposing that the Chinese characters representing the separate words would make a correctly written sentence if set down in the order of the Romanized words.

Where words of two syllables are given, these syllables are always found in the same combination, and the characters used in writing this dissyllable are placed beside it. In many cases one of the two syllables of a word is found in other combinations, and in such case only the character which is not elsewhere repeated is given.

SOUNDS OF THE LETTERS.

Vowels.

a as in far, a la âp
e they, é êk
i machine, i ip
o no, o po ok
aw in fawn, ô̤ hó̤ to̤h
u oo tool, ŭ ùn hût
u murder, ṳ̂ lṳ́ ṳn
w o one, ŵn sẃn bw̄n

Consonants.

b as in bar, bêh
g gay, gô̤ gāi
h hat, hṳ̂ ah tham
j jam, jông
k kick, ak kêk
l lad, lṳ̂ lîm
m mat, ḿ àm mâk
n nun, in sŭn
p pop, pa lîp
s so, so sim sek
t tilt, ut tit
ng sing, n̂g lang ngân
c chair, cûn ceng

This last is a sound between ch in chair and ts in fits.

EXERCISE IN THE ASPIRATES.

Not Aspirated. Aspirated. Not Aspirated. Aspirated. Not Aspirated. Aspirated.
kak
kang
káu

kàm
kĕng
kui
kò̤
khak
khang
kháu
khî
khàm
khĕng
khui
khò̤
cut
câng
cong
ciu
cṳ́
cò̤
ceng
tâk
chut
châng
chong
chiu
chṳ́
chò̤
cheng
thâk
tun
tah
tn̂g
tìo
pâi
páng

po̤h
thun
thah
thn̂g
thìo
phâi
pháng
phì
pho̤h

EXERCISE IN NASAL SOUNDS.

Not Nasal. Nasal. Not Nasal. Nasal. Not Nasal. Nasal.
a
î
ua


cía
aⁿ
îⁿ
uaⁿ
céⁿ
cìⁿ
cíaⁿ
tĭe

pi
pùa
sa
sua
tĭeⁿ
pĭⁿ
piⁿ
pùaⁿ
saⁿ
suaⁿ
ía
îe

cie

hûe
íaⁿ
îeⁿ
kèⁿ
cieⁿ
pêⁿ
hûeⁿ

NASAL AND ASPIRATED.

kheⁿ
chîeⁿ
chiⁿ
chéⁿ
chùaⁿ
khieⁿ
phêⁿ
phìaⁿ
phŭaⁿ
thìaⁿ
thùaⁿ
khuaⁿ
chôiⁿ
chíaⁿ
phàⁿ
phīⁿ
thiⁿ
𣛟 thèⁿ
cheⁿ
khîⁿ
thóiⁿ
choiⁿ
phōiⁿ
thiaⁿ

TONES IN COMBINATION.

Separate words, and all words separately pronounced, retain their primary tone; but the less emphatic words in groups of two or more sometimes change their tones.

The cīeⁿ-phêⁿ persists, as in

妖精 io-ciaⁿ, fairies.
猫子 ngio-kíaⁿ, kittens.
安慰 uaⁿ-ùe, to solace.
淸潔 cheng-khih, clean.

京城 kiaⁿ-sîaⁿ, the capital.
相輔 sie-hŭ, to help.
憂悶 iu-būn, sorrowful.
衣服 i-hô̤k, garments.

The cīeⁿ-sĭang changes, as in

祖公 có-kong, ancestors.
古昔 kó̤-cá, olden times.
寶貝 pó̤-pùe precious.
緊急 kín-kip, urgent.

枕頭 cím-thâu, a pillow.
枴杖 kúai-cĭang, a staff.
紙鳶 cúa-īe, a kite.
誘惑 íu-hôk, to entice.

The cīeⁿ-khṳ̀ changes, as in

鎭中 tìn-tang, the centre.
戲耍 hì-cháⁿ, to frolic.
快快 khùe-khùe, speedily.
戰甲 cìen-kah, armor.

砲臺 phàu-thâi, a fort.
暗靜 àm-cĕⁿ, secretly.
僽罵 cìu-mēⁿ, to revile.
氣力 khì-lâk, energy.

The cīeⁿ-jîp changes, as in

鐵釘 thih-teng, nails.
刻苦 khak-khó, to persevere.
切要 chiet-io, important.
曲曲 khek-khek, crooked.

霎時 siap-sî, shortly.
鴨卵 ah-n̆ng, duck's eggs.
駁問 po̤h-mn̄g, to cavil.
設立 siet-lîp, to institute.

The ĕ-phêⁿ changes, as in

時鐘 sî-ceng, a clock.
梅脯 bûe-pó, dried plums.
茶罐 tê-kẁn, tea-pots.
螺殼 lô̤-khak, sea-shells.

喉嚨 âu-lêng, the throat.
奇異 khî-ĭ, marvelous.
伶俐 1êng-lāi, astute.
牛肉 gû-nêk, beef.

The ĕ-sĭang changes, as in

下春 ĕ-chun, next spring.
父母 pĕ-bó̤, parents.
罪過 cŭe-kùe, offenses.
罪惡 cŭe-ak, wicked.

大人 tăi-jîn, a grandee.
預備 ṳ̆-pĭ, to prepare.
異樣 ĭ-īeⁿ, queer.
暴虐 pău-ngîak, cruel.

The ĕ-khṳ̀ persists, as in

地方 tī-hng, a place.
地保 tī-pó̤, aldermen.
病疾 pēⁿ-cèng, disease.
大筆 tōa-pit, coarse hand.

硯盤 īⁿ-pûaⁿ, writing-tray.
事務 sṳ̄-bŭ, business.
緩緩 māng-māng, slowly.
鬧熱 lāu-jîet, bustle.

The ĕ-jîp changes, as in

讀書 thâk-cṳ, to read.
姪女 tîet-ńng, a niece.
樂器 gâuh-khì, musical instruments.
六畜 lâk-thiok, animals.

目眉 mâk-bâi, eyebrow.
白苧 pêh-tĭu, grass-cloth.
食飯 cîah-pn̄g, eat rice.
滑滑 kût-kût, smooth.