Southern Min refers to a group of Chinese dialects spoken mainly in Southeast China and Taiwan. This group occupies a special position in the study of Chinese dialects, not only because of its large population of speakers (around 48 million) but also because of its preservation of various archaic linguistic features long lost in other dialects. In this book, B.C. Kwok applies the comparative method on new fieldwork data to reconstruct the common sound system of 'Proto-Southern Min', from which all modern Southern Min varieties emerged. The syllable initials, finals and tonal categories of Proto-Southern Min are illustrated by more than 500 examples. In addition, this book offers an alternative view on the subgrouping of 12 Southern Min varieties. It proposes that the Quanzhou dialect and the Zhangzhou dialect form the two main branches of the dialect group. This book should be of great interest to advanced students and scholars in the fields of historical linguistics and Chinese dialectology.
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