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Leizhou Min
[lɔi˩ uɛ˨˦]
Pronunciation[lɔi˩ uɛ˨˦] (Lei city dialect)
Native toChina, Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, United States (California)
RegionLeizhou Peninsula in southwestern Guangdong
Native speakers
around 2.8 million in China (2004)[1]
Early forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3(luh is proposed[5])
  Leizhou Min
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Leizhou or Luichew Min (simplified Chinese: 雷州话; traditional Chinese: 雷州話; pinyin: Léizhōuhuà, [lěɪʈʂóʊ xwâ]) is a branch of Min Chinese spoken in Leizhou city, Xuwen County, Mazhang District, most parts of Suixi County and also spoken inside of the linguistically diverse Xiashan District. In the classification of Yuan Jiahua, it was included in the Southern Min group, though it has low intelligibility with other Southern Min varieties. In the classification of Li Rong, used by the Language Atlas of China, it was treated as a separate Min subgroup.[6] Hou Jingyi combined it with Hainanese in a Qiong–Lei group.[7]


Leizhou Min has 17 initials, 47 rimes and 8 tones.


Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m
Plosive voiced b
voiceless unaspirated p

Fricative voiced z
voiceless s
Affricate voiceless unaspirated t͡s
aspirated t͡sʰ
Lateral approximant l
zero consonant zero consonant

The phoneme given here as /b/ is described by Li and Thompson instead as /v/.[8]


i u
a ia ua
ɔ 漿
ai uai
au iau
ɛu iu
ɔi ui
am iam
em im
iaŋ uaŋ
ɔŋ iɔŋ
ap iap
ep ip
ik uk
ak iak uak
ek iek uek
ɔk iɔk


Leizhou has six tones, which are reduced to two in checked syllables.

Tone chart of the Leizhou dialect
Tone number Tone name Tone contour Description
1 yin ping (陰平) ˨˦ (24) rising
2 yin shang (陰上) ˦˨ (42) falling (high falling)
3 yin qu (陰去) ˨˩ (21) bottom (low falling)
4 yin ru (陰入) ˥̚ (5) high checked
5 yang ping (陽平) ˨ (2) low
6 yang shang (陽上) ˧ (3) mid
7 yang qu (陽去) ˥ (5) high
8 yang ru (陽入) ˩̚ (1) low checked

See also


  1. ^ Min is believed to have split from Old Chinese, rather than Middle Chinese like other varieties of Chinese.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ 湛江市志·第三十六篇 方言·第三章 雷州话
  2. ^ Mei, Tsu-lin (1970), "Tones and prosody in Middle Chinese and the origin of the rising tone", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 30: 86–110, doi:10.2307/2718766, JSTOR 2718766
  3. ^ Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (1984), Middle Chinese: A study in Historical Phonology, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-7748-0192-8
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2023-07-10). "Glottolog 4.8 - Min". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Archived from the original on 2023-10-13. Retrieved 2023-10-13.
  5. ^ "Change Request Documentation: 2021-045". 31 August 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  6. ^ Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the Prism of "The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects". Walter de Gruyter. pp. 54–55, 86. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2.
  7. ^ Hou, Jingyi 侯精一 (2002). Xiàndài hànyǔ fāngyán gàilùn 现代汉语方言概论 [An Introduction to Modern Chinese Dialects]. Shanghai Educational Press 上海教育出版社. p. 238.
  8. ^ Li, Charles; Thompson, Sandra (1983). "A Grammatical description of Xuwen : A colloquial dialect of Lei-zhou Peninsula (Part I)". Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale. 13 (1): 3–21.
  • Běijīng dàxué zhōngguóyǔyánwénxuéxì yǔyánxué jiàoyánshì. (1989) Hànyǔ fāngyīn zìhuì. Běijīng: Wénzìgǎigé chūbǎnshè.(北京大學中國語言文學系語言學教研室. 1989. 漢語方音字匯. 北京: 文字改革出版社)
  • Norman, Jerry. [1988] (2002). Chinese. Cambridge, England: CUP ISBN 0-521-29653-6
  • Yuán, jiāhuá (1989). Hànyǔ fāngyán gàiyào (An introduction to Chinese dialects). Beijing, China: Wénzì gǎigé chūbǎnshè. (袁家驊. 1989. 漢語方言概要. 北京:文字改革出版社.)
  • Zhū, yuèmíng. (2005) "Léizhōuhuà yú Pǔtōnghuà bǐjiàoyīnxì yánjiū" (Comparative phonological studies on the Leizhou dialect and Putonghua) Yúnnán shīfàndàxué xuébào (zhéxué shèhuìkēxué bǎn) (Yunnan Normal University Journal (philosophy and social sciences)): vol.37 no. 5 p. 133-136. (朱月明. 2005. "雷州話與普通話音系比較研究" 《雲南師範大學學報 (哲學社會科學版)》: 第 37 卷 第 5 期 頁133-136)
  • Office of Chorography of Zhanjiang City 湛江市地方志办公室 (2004). Zhan jiang shi zhi 湛江市志 ["Chorography of Zhanjiang City"]. Vol. 36. Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company. ISBN 7-101-04214-7.

Further reading