Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1606-822X
  • E-ISSN: 2309-5067



The voiced onsets and associated tonal reflexes of Northern Mǐn (NM), motivation for Norman’s (19731974) proto-Mǐn “softened” stops and affricates, remain a subject of controversy. Following a brief introduction (§ 1), I begin by reviewing the various apparent sources of voiced onsets in NM, including old complex onsets, non-Sinitic substrate, voicing alternations, and late koine material (§ 2). I then take up Akitani’s (2008) colloquial glossary of Shíbēi 石陂 and Norman’s (1969) of Jiànyáng 建陽, outlining on this basis an adjusted account of the subgroup’s development: pre-PNM preserved early Sinitic voiced onsets in Tone A2, with a conditioned split isolating voiced stops in so-called 陽平乙, here “A2+” (§ 3). It was this conservative feature which allowed items in § 2 to take on voiced onsets across tonal categories, at times leading to further splits. A conclusion considers Mǐn more generally, proposing that the voicing alternants of Huang Chin-wen (2001a) may be NM reflections of group-wide tone sandhi processes (§ 4).

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): dialect contact; Northern Mǐn; softened onsets; tone 9; tone sandhi
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