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Tone Change

 

Certain combination of Teochew words require to change the tone of the preceding Teochew word:

 

Tonal Change       Example

1 to 0                   gu1 thao1” ”, i.e. cow head, is pronounced “gu0 thao1”.

2 to 0                   no2 nan1”, i.e. 2 persons, is pronounced “no0 nan1”.

3 to 3                   “ten3 hue4”, i.e. lamp, remains as “ten3 hue4”.

4 to 2                   to4 kha3”, i.e. short legs, is pronounced “to2 kha3”.

5 to 4                   si5 nan1”, i.e. 4 persons, is pronounced “si4 nan1”.

5 to 1 (variant)    si5 nan1”, i.e. 4 persons, is pronounced “si1 nan1”.

0 to 0                  “to0 lai2”, i.e. inside bag, remains as “to0 lai2”.

      b1 to b0              “zab1 ji2”, i.e. twelve, is pronounced “zab0 ji2”.

      d1 to d0               “ziad1 me4”, i.e. eat quickly, is pronounced “ziad0 me4”.

g1 to g0               “Hug1 zou4”, i.e. Buddha, is pronounced “Hug0 zou4”.

      b0 to b1               “hib0 hib0”, i.e. stuffy, is pronounced “hib1 hib0”.

      d0 to d1               “bad0 cho5”, i.e. minced meat, is pronounced “bad1 cho5

g0 to g1               “ped0 ji2”, i.e. 120, is pronounced “ped1 ji2”.

In TPB system of Romanised Teochew, the numeral representing the changed tone is added after the numeral representing the original tone.  Example: “an1 hai4” = “red sea” is actually pronounced as “an0 hai4”, hence is written as “an10 hai4” to show that the original word was “an1” but is to be pronounced as “an0”.

Examples

Tone 1 of preceding word is changed to tone 0:

gu1 thao1”, i.e. cow head or bull head or buffalo head, becomes “gu10thao1”.

 “lai1 zo2”, i.e. come to visit, becomes “lai10zo2”.

 “nai1 hue3” = lotus flower, becomes “nai10 hue3”.

 “kai1 bou4”, i.e. a wife, becomes “kai10 bou4”.

 

Tone 2 of preceding word is changed to tone 0:

no2 nan1”, i.e. 2 persons, becomes “no20 nan1”.

oi2 khiam2”, i.e. thrifty, becomes “oi20 khiam2”.

hon2 bue4”, i.e. phoenix tail, becomes “hon20 bue4”.  

oi2 ziad1” = able to eat, becomes “oi20 ziad1”.

 

Tone 4 of preceding word is changed to tone 2:

to4 kha3” = short legs, becomes “to42 kha3”.

ten4 men0” = top side, becomes “ten42 men0

io4 zui4”  = scoop up water, becomes “io42 zui4”  

 

Tone 5 of preceding word is changed to tone 4:

 “phon5 mo1” = fluffy hair, becomes “phon54 mo1”.

 “uan5 ler4” = blame you, becomes “uan544 ler4”.

 

Variant: Tone 5 of preceding word is changed to tone 1:

 “phon5 mo1” =  fluffy hair, becomes “phon51 mo1”.

 “uan5 ler4” = blame you, becomes “uan51 ler4”.

 

High-stop tone of preceding word is changed to low-stop tone:

Hug1 zou4”, i.e. Buddha, becomes “Hug10 zou4”.

ziad1 me4”, i.e. eat quickly, becomes “ziad10 me4

zab1 ji2”, i.e. twelve, becomes “zab10 ji2”.

 

Low-stop tone of preceding word is changed to high-stop tone:

ped0 ji2”, i.e. 120, becomes “ped01 ji2”.

bad0 cho5”, i.e. minced meat, becomes “bad01 cho5”, 

hib0 hib0”, i.e. stuffy, becomes “hib01 hib0”.

 

Note 1:  I use subscripts to represent the tones.  I found that while such words are easier to read, having subscripts in words make typing difficult, hence for practical reasons you may represent the tones using normal numerals instead of subscripts.  However you should then use a font (e.g. Verdana) or use more than one font so as to differentiate 1 (one) from l (lower case L) and I (capital i) as well as differentiate 0 (zero) from o (lower case O) and O (capital o).

 

Note 2:  Initially, where the tone of a word is changed, I indicated the original tone within brackets and added the changed tone.   However for ease of typing, I removed the brackets as this resulted in no ambiguity.

 

Condition of Use

While I try to ensure accuracy, users shall not hold me responsible for any inaccuracy or oversight. 

©Copyright 2009,  Tan Peng Boon, Singapore.
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