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Tone Indicator

 

After Romanising Teochew words, numerals are added to indicate the tone to be applied to each Romanised Teochew word.  Although Teochew language has 8 tones, they can be represented by 6 tones, with another two ending with a soft “g” or soft “b” or soft “d”:

 

For clarity and easy of reading, the tone indicators should be written as suffixes after words, e.g. si2 = yes.  However for ease of typing, the tone indicators maybe written as normal numerals, e.g. si2 = yes.  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).

 

 

Tonal Indicator

Example 1

Example 2

Tone

Teochew

English

Teochew

English

High Flat

1

si1

time

tan1

same

Rising High

2

si2

yes

tan2

heavy

Middle Flat

3

si3

poem

tan3

east

High Falling

4

si4

die

tan4

wait

Low Rising

5

si5

four

tan5

freeze

Low Flat

0

tao0si0

fermented beans

tan0

cave

High Stop

b1

ziab1

often

zab1

ten

High Stop

d1

ziad1

eat

zad1

block

High Stop

g1

ziag1

variant of ziab1

zag1

variant of zab1

Low Stop

b0

ziab0

join

zab0

juice

Low Stop

d0

ziad0

mark/stain (foot-)print, measure word for birds/animals

zad0

bring along

Low Stop

g0

ziag0

variant of ziab0

zag0

variant of zab0

 

Note:  Phonetically “ng” is single consonant, not a combination of “n” and “g”, hence ng1 and ng0 are not High Stop and Low Stop tones.

 

The reasons for using this system of tones are that

 

More Examples

 

High Flat:

bo1 = don’t have

bue1 = berry

er1 = to push

gao1= clever

kio1 = bridge or brinjal (egg plant)

i1 = mother’s sister

ia1 = coconut

io1 = kiln

iu1 = oil

na1 = basket

oi1 = shoes

pe1 = to crawl

pu1 = to boil

ten1 = vertical or a shed

thai1 = to kill

ue1 = to draw

 

Middle Rising:

hon2 = phoenix

man2 = net

oi2 = able to or helpful

pe2 = father

pho2 = to embrace or carry in the arms

si2 = yes

thai2 = to wait

 

Middle Flat:

chia3 = vehicle

i3 = he/she

io3= waist

hen3 = lucky

hue3 = flower

kng3 = clear; to carry

oi3 = to mill

sou3 = crunchy

ten3 = lamp

ue3 = pot

 

High Falling:

bo4 = mother

bue4 = tail

hue4 = fire

ia4 = wild (animals) or fierce

io4 = to scoop (water)

kuai4 = walking stick

liao4 = finished

man4 = mosquito

oi4 =short (in height)

pe4 = bundle

ta4 = to step on

ten4 = top or to weigh

ua4 = I or me

zui4 = water.

 

Low Rising:

      an5= jar

      khao5 = to cry

      kher5 = to go

      khi5 = angry

      kio5 = to call

      si5= four

      sng5 = to count 

 

Low Flat:

bo0 = cap or hat 

bue0 = not yet

iu0 = pomelo

jio0 = urine

kio0 = sedan chair

man0 = to dream

pu0 = to incubate

tua0 = big

tui0 = team

ue0 = spoken language

 

High Stop:

bag1 = ink

Hug1 = Buddha

hug1 = hard seed

iod1 = medicine

khiod1 = to take

mag1 = eye

thad1 = to pile on

zab1 = ten

ziab1 = frequent

ziag1 = variant of ziab1

ziad1 = to eat

 

Low Stop:

bad0 = meat

chig0 = 7

thad0 = pagoda

zab0 = juice

ziab0 = join

ziag0 = variant of ziab0

ziad0 = mark/stain or measure word for bird/animal

 

Condition of Use

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

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