Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Basic Course: Lesson 4 Vocabulary (Kaiping)

Below is the vocabulary list for lesson four of the Basic Course, transcribed according to the Kaiping Dialect Character Dictionary.
  1. 早晨 · dō sïn · good morning
  2. 該尼 · kọi nāi · these, this
  3. 係 · hài · is, are, am, were, was
  4. 乜(野) · mōt (yịa) · what?
  5. 嚀尼 · nẹn nāi · those, that
  6. 乃尼 · nại nāi · which? every
  7. 該一尼 · kọi yīt nāi · these, these ones
  8. 嚀一尼 · nẹn yīt nāi · those, those ones
  9. 乃一尼 · nại yīt nāi · which? which ones?
  10. 書 · si · book
  11. 筆 · vēt · pen
  12. 部 · vù* · notebook, exercise book
  13. 椅 · yī · chair
  14. 紙 · jī · paper
  15. 枱 · họi · table, desk
  16. 畫報 · và vo* · magaine
  17. 再見 · doi gin · good bye, see you again
  18. 該一 · kọi yīt · this one
  19. 嚀一 · nẹn yīt · that one

You’ll notice some obvious differences from the variant used in the Basic Course. I counted just five.

  1. In terms of consonants, the letters b and w are both pronounced as v according to the Kaiping dicationary. So 報 becomes vo*, instead of po*. We don’t actually have to write v; we could continue to write w and p, and then simply remind ourselves to pronounce these letters like an English “v” when reading in this accent. But for the purposes of highlighting these different accents, I plan to write v for the Kaiping dictionary’s pronunciation.
  2. As I mentioned before, this accent lacks the letters gw and kw, so 該 becomes kọi, instead of kwọi.
  3. This accent has also lost the final ng following the vowel i. 嚀 becomes nẹn, instead of nịng. But wait—what about that e in nẹn?
  4. This is the famous I-E accent split. Where some accents have i (e.g. 心 lhim), other dialects have e (e.g. 心 lhem). This rule doesn’t hold for all words with i; note 書 is pronounced si in both accents. This I-E accent split probably deserves a post of its own. (By the way, is there a better term for this distinction than “accent split”?)
  5. Lastly, 見 is pronounced here as gin, instead of gen (or ging). It’s the flipside to the I-E contrast. The vowel in 見 can be either i, e or ia (also written ie), depending on the accent. From my experience, E-accents tend to pronounce 見 as gin, while I-accents pronounce 見 as either gen or gian. (You’ll notice that in the Basic Course, this word is transcribed as gien.)
If you find more, or see the need for corrections, please let me know in the comments!

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