|Native to||Southern China, Taiwan|
Meixian dialect (Chinese: ; Pha?k-fa-s?: Mòi-yan-fa; IPA: moi jan fa), also known as Moiyan dialect, as well as Meizhou dialect(), or Jiaying dialect, is the prestige dialect of Hakka Chinese and the basis for the Hakka dialects in Taiwan. It is named after Meixian District, Guangdong.
There are two series of stops and affricates in Hakka, both voiceless: tenuis /p t ts k/ and aspirated /p? t? ts? k?/.
|Nasal||/m/ ⟨m⟩||/n/ ⟨n⟩||[?] ⟨ng(i)⟩*||/?/ ⟨ng⟩|
|Plosive||tenuis||/p/ ⟨b⟩||/t/ ⟨d⟩||[c] ⟨g(i)⟩*||/k/ ⟨g⟩||(?)|
|aspirated||/p?/ ⟨p⟩||/t?/ ⟨t⟩||[c?] ⟨k(i)⟩*||/k?/ ⟨k⟩|
|Fricative||/f/ ⟨f⟩||/s/ ⟨s⟩||[ç] ⟨h(i)⟩*||/h/ ⟨h⟩|
|Approximant||/?/ ⟨v⟩||/l/ ⟨l⟩||/j/ ⟨y⟩|
Moreover, Hakka finals exhibit the final consonants found in Middle Chinese, namely [m, n, ?, p, t, k] which are romanised as m, n, ng, b, d, and g respectively in the official Moiyan romanisation.
Moiyan Hakka has 6 tones. The Middle Chinese fully voiced initial syllables became aspirated voiceless initial syllable in Hakka. Before that happened, the four Middle Chinese 'tones', ping, shang, qu, ru, underwent a voicing split in the case of ping and ru, giving the dialect six tones in traditional accounts.
|Tone number||Tone name||Hanzi||Tone letters||number||English|
|1||yin ping||?||44||high level|
|2||yang ping||?||11||low level|
|5||yin ru||?||2||low checked|
|6||yang ru||?||5||high checked|
These so-called yin-yang tonal splittings developed mainly as a consequence of the type of initial a Chinese syllable had during the Middle Chinese stage in the development of Chinese, with voiceless initial syllables [p- t- k-] tending to become of the yin type, and the voiced initial syllables [b- d- ?-] developing into the yang type. In modern Moiyan Hakka however, part of the Yin Ping tone characters have sonorant initials [m n ? l] originally from the Middle Chinese Shang tone syllables and fully voiced Middle Chinese Qu tone characters, so the voiced/voiceless distinction should be taken only as a rule of thumb.
Hakka preserves all of the entering tones of Middle Chinese and it is split into two registers. Meixian has the following:
Middle Chinese entering tone syllables ending in [k] whose vowel clusters have become front high vowels like [i] and [e] shifts to syllables with [t] finals in modern Hakka as seen in the following table.
|Character||Guangyun Fanqie||Middle Chinese
|Hakka||Main meaning in English|
|?||kk||k?et?||carve, engrave, a moment|
For Moiyan Hakka, the yin ping and qu tone characters exhibit sandhi when the following character has a lower pitch. The pitch of the yin ping tone changes from ? (44) to (35) when sandhi occurs. Similarly, the qu tone changes from (53) to ? (55) under sandhi. These are shown in red in the following table.
|+ ? Yin Ping||+ ? Yang Ping||+ Shang||+ Qu||+ Yin Ru||+ YangRu||+ Neutral|
|? Yin Ping +||?.?||.?||.||.||.||?.||.?|
The neutral tone occurs in some postfixes. It has a mid pitch.