This month's minor topolect post is the heartiest of such posts to date. Haimen (locally pronounced [haɪ məŋ]) and Qidong (locally [ʨʰi toŋ]) are two cities under the jurisdiction of Nantong. They have a combined population of about 2.6 million people all living north and northeast of Shanghai in southern Jiangsu province. From Qidong it's 22km to the ocean, moving inches farther away each year. It's actually over 70km from downtown Nantong despite its political affiliation, making it actually closer to Shanghai (65+km) than Nantong as the crow flies. Of course, dialects have neither wings nor gills.
Qidong dialect is almost entirely identical to Haimen dialect and as such they are often jointly called Qihai dialect, 启海话. There is some subtle difference in accent but aside from that none of the people with whom I've spoken from either city can provide any concrete examples of any difference. And for what it's worth Qidong natives have little trouble with Shanghainese speech, so the recordings below may be of some value in the area of listening practice for those learning Shanghainese.
Despite being the majority dialect in the area, Qihai is not the only Wu dialect that falls within the borders of Qidong. The other and only slightly related dialect is appropriately called Lüsi dialect being that it's spoken in the town of Lüsi 吕四港镇.
The following is from Baidu's Baike page
(which also includes initials in finals, but no IPA) on Tongdong hua:
tr: Tongdong dialect is a dialect from Jiangsu Nantong and surrounding areas, commonly called "Jiangbei2 dialect" and belongs to the Changzhou group of Taihu Wu dialects.
And from the Wikipedia article
People living in Lüsi town speak a different dialect -- known as Lüsi dialect (lǘsìhuà 吕四话) or Tongdong dialect (tōngdōnghuà 通东话) -- from most other residents, who generally speak Qidong Dialect (qǐdōnghuà 启东话). The two dialects are considerably different and thus they are not mutually intelligible. Because most economic, educational and governmental activities are held in the city capital Huilong, where Qidong Dialect is prevalent, many residents of Qisi have learned to understand and even speak the majority dialect.
Both of the two dialects belong to the Northern Wu dialect. However, because of cultural differences among two places, there still exist non-intelligible usage mostly in vocabulary.
The question in Qidong/Haimen becomes where Qihai hua gives way to Tongdong hua. What may be referred to by locals as Qidong hua is actually not only Qihai hua but also Tongdong hua. Lüsi is about 30km north of what in English would be called Qidong City1
, and with the rather significant differences it should
be considered a different topolect and usually is. I've spoken to a few people from the area and it appears that Tongdong is limited almost solely to 吕四港镇 as far as counties within the jurisdiction of Qidong City. Naming
While not the biggest issue, the name of the dialects is not without complication. In Qidong and in Haimen it will often be referred to as 启东话 and 海门话 respectively. Meanwhile outside their respective cities, 启海话 wins out at the preferred term.
Tongdong hua may be called just that or sometimes also Tongzhou hua 通州话, Tongzhou being another city within Nantong where it is spoken. My friends from Qidong all refer to 通东话 as 吕四话 and are largely unfamiliar with the 通东 name in any local context. Audio
I apologise in advance. You're about to hear me speak some lazy-assed Mandarin and make poor attempts at repeating what the native speaker says. I had intended to completely edit myself out and thus kept quiet but in the end have left much of it just to it's less… abrupt. Also she was giving me weird looks when I was responding with just head-nods so I started answering more audibly.
The first recording starts with numbers one to ten. Keep in mind here the number 2 is 二 not 两 as I've used in other posts for the more common form of "two". Both of course are still used in the appropriate places.
她：iɛʔ ɲi sæ̃ sẓ n lɔ ʨʰɛ ba ʨiø sæʔ
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
How do you say "hello"?
It's not "zài hùi"?
[ʦaɪ veɪ] for goodbye works too.
她：ɕaʊ jaʊ næʔ
I, you, he/she/it?
她：ŋ, n, ɦi
Us, you, them?
她：ŋ di, n di, ɦi da
How do you say "[I] don't have"?
她：n dʌʔ, n dʌʔ
And "how much[/many]"?
她：du uɔ, du uɔ.
她：然后一种书面说法是 do saʊ
There's also a literary pronunciation, [do saʊ]
To know (somebody), [ɲiɲ], [ɲiɲ]
她：啊。然后… 吃饭是 ʨʰ veɛ
Right. Also… "to eat" is [ʨʰ veɛ]
她：fɛn ʨʰ veɛ va
fɛn ʨʰ veɛ va
她： 啊。fɛn 是，就是没有
Yeah [fɛn] is, it's 没有.
她：ŋ kɿ ʦɿ ɕiɑʊ dʓiɛ 只你这个小鬼。ŋ kɿ ʦɿ ɕiɑʊ dʓiɛ
[ŋ kɿ ʦɿ ɕiɑʊ dʓiɛ] is "you're a little demon". [ŋ kɿ ʦɿ ɕiɑʊ dʓiɛ].
ʦo ʦən do biæ di. 这是，这是那，嘿，叫×骂小孩子一般要这样子点他的头，ʦo ʦən do biæ di!
[ʦo ʦən do biæ di], this is, like, when you curse a small child you poke their head at the same time. [ʦo ʦən do biæ di]!
上网叫 sã mã. sã mã.
To be online is [sã mã] (or [saŋ maŋ]). [sã mã].
然后睡觉就 kuən gɑʊ。茶壶，bɑ ʋu. 锅子, guʔ, guʔ.
"To sleep" is [kuən gɑʊ]. Teakettle is [bɑ βu]. Pot is [guʔ], [guʔ].
Let me think a second…
So, when someone asks "Have you eaten," what do you say?
她：fɛn ʨʰ veɛ va
And then you answer with what?
Uh… If you've eaten then you say "yeah".
她：啊 ʨʰɪ gə dæʔ.
Yeah, [ʨʰɪ gə dæʔ]
然后没有吃得话就说 fə ɲiɲ gə lʌʔ, fə ɲiɲ ʨʰɪ gə lʎʔ.
Then if you haven't eaten, say [ə ɲiɲ gə lʌʔ] or [fə ɲiɲ ʨʰɪ gə lʎʔ].
[fə ɲiɲ], this is "to not have", is what it means.
然后我们那边说哪里，叫 lɑ ɺi, lɑ ɺi
Then where I'm from to say "where?" is [lɑ ɺi], [lɑ ɺi]3.
So do you say "Lanjing" (instead of Nanjing)?
I say "Nanjing". My Mandarin is pretty good [asshole].
Er ah no I mean do you say "Lanjing" in Qihai dialect?
她：ɲɛ̃ ʨiŋ，我们不是蓝京是 ɲɛ̃ ʨiŋ。ɲɛ̃。
－－[ɲɛ̃ ʨiŋ]. We don't say "Lanjing". It's [ɲɛ̃ ʨiŋ].
－－东南西北叫 doŋ ɲɛ̃ ɕi bɔʔ. nə jɛ ɲɛ̃，我们那边是，不是 na -an nan 是 nə jɛ ɲɛ̃. doŋ ɲɛ̃ ɕi bɔʔ.
－－East South West North, [doŋ ɲɛ̃ ɕi bɔʔ]. [nə] and [jɛ], [ɲɛ̃]. We say it, we don't say "na an, nan," it's [nə] [jɛ], [ɲɛ̃]. [doŋ ɲɛ̃ ɕi bɔʔ]
她：然后像吕四话 (通东话) 跟常州话有点近的。常州话说做什么，干妈，“就嗲”。对吧。然后吕四话是…就嗲 [dziu dia]。然后…这是“做什么”。“就嗲”，干妈。然后还有什么…
And Lüsi hua is really close to Changzhou hua. In Changzhou to say "What are you doing?" it's 就嗲, right? Lüsi hua is 就嗲. Uh… that's "What are you doing?". 就嗲, "What are you doing?". Let's see, what else...
How do you say that in Qidong?
In Qidong dialect? [ha tia].
我：[ha tia] 是做什么？
[ha tia] is "what are you doing?"?
她：[ha tiː]4 这是那个, [ha ti]。[zua la] 这是干妈啦也是那个干妈的意思。
Yeah that's [ha tia]. So is [zua la]. It's the same meaning.
她：[zua la]。然后不要这是 [ɔ jo]。吕四港镇。这(近海市)是我家 (pointing on map)。[ɔ jo]，不要。
[zua la]. "[I] don't want" is [ɔ jo]. In Lüsi county. This (Jinhai city) is where I'm from. [ɔ jo]. Bu yao.
我：[ɔ jo] 是不要？
[ɔ jo] is "bu yao"?
Right. What else…
This is your city, this is your father's?
What about your mother?
My mother is also from Jinhai. My father moved there.
So how do you say Jinhai in Qihai hua?
…That's the same.
It's really close to Shanghainese, yeah?
Any rhythmic clicking in the background is my dog walking across the floor. She may also at some point say "defecate" and "urinate" that I've missed in the transcription but I'm not sure if that's still in there. The dog is reason. You can figure out for yourself how that came up.
As you've heard above, Qidong locals will be the first to echo the idea that Qihai hua is nearly identical to Chongming5
hua, and thus damn close to Shanghainese. While the former is true, both Qihai hua and Chongming hua have some pretty major differences from urban Shanghainese and so at least in terms of public acceptance, a native of Qidong would be pressed to find effortless understanding of their speech in Shanghai's Jing'an.Tones
Like Shaoxing dialect but unlike most other Northern Wu dialects, Qihai has the full 8 tones. They are as follows:
阴平 ５４ 阴上 ４３５ 阴去 ４４５ 阴入 ５５
阳平 ２４ 阳上 ２４１ 阳去 ２１３ 阳入 ２３
Note the 阳上 tone is like an inverted Mandarin third tone, cresting instead of dipping. While not exactly anomalous, it's not so common either. You can hear it in the first recording when she says the number five.
For Tongdong the tones are as follows:
阴平 ４４ 阴上 ５１ 阴去 ３４ 阴入 ３４
阳平 １３ 阳上 ３１ 阳去 ２１ 阳入 ２３
Given the difficulty a Mandarin learner may have with being understood with a poor grasp of the four tones, you can see how this difference alone could contribute to a lack of mutual intelligibility.Other goodies
There's a quiz over at Baidu Tieba
, though all in characters and probably would only really be doable if you were already from Qidong.
Fobshanghai.com has a post up with a rather lengthy glossary
list, again characters only.
Of course there's always the official site for the Qidong government
So there it is. Feel free to suggest any changes in the transcription. If there are any, I'll just ask her to say the word/s again clearly and repeatedly to figure out what it really should be. 1. The terms used to translate Chinese 市 and 县 are "city" and "county" respectively. There's a Wikipedia article on it. The gist is that counties are often within cities, not the other way around.
2. Literally, "North of the Yangtze", though Jiangbei 江北 is often used in a derogatory manner in the delta, the implication being that those from south of the River are more civilised.
3. It could be a lateral tap as I've written or maybe an alveolar tap though I'm less convinced of that one. Next time I see her I'll find out which it should be, assuming I can figure out how to clearly say "lateral tap" in Mandarin.
4. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this -a ending is restricted to girls and of about this age (early 20s). See the Wikipedia article on gendered speech in Japanese for more on this sort of thing.
5. Actually, at least in terms of political divisions, in some cases Qihai hua is Chongming hua. 启隆乡 is on the island but administered by 启东市 while 海门市's 海永乡 is just to the Northwest on the island. Click here for a map. My guess is that a small island that was part of Jiangsu got eaten up by shifting sands sometime after 1950.