Vietnamese is spoken by over 89 million people in Vietnam and it is one of the most commonly spoken languages other than English in US, Canada, and Australia. Authors describe between one and nine different dialects of Vietnamese spoken in Vietnam. In Vietnamese schools, children learn Standard Vietnamese which is based on the northern dialect; however, if they live in other regions they may speak a different dialect at home. This paper describes the differences between the consonants, semivowels, vowels, diphthongs, and tones for four dialects: Standard, northern, central, and southern Vietnamese. The number and type of initial consonants differs per dialect (i.e., Standard = 23, northern = 20, central = 23, southern = 21). For example, the letter ‘r’ is pronounced in the Standard and central dialect as the retroflex /ʐ/, northern dialect as the voiced alveolar fricative /z/ and the trilled /r/, and in the southern dialect as the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/. Additionally, the letter ‘v’ is pronounced in the Standard, northern and central dialects as the voiced labiodental fricative /v/, the southern dialect as the voiced palatal approximant /j/, and in the lower northern dialect (Ninh Binh) as the voiceless labiodental fricative /f/. Similarly, the number of final consonants differs per dialect (i.e., Standard = 6, northern = 10, central = 10, southern = 8). Finally, the number and type of tones differs per dialect (i.e., Standard = 6, northern = 6, central = 5, southern = 5). Understanding differences between Vietnamese dialects is important so that speech-language pathologists and educators provide appropriate services to people who speak Vietnamese.Congratulations to Ben Pham (Phạm Thị Bền) on this important work. This is the first publication from her PhD and her first publication in English.
September 26, 2015
Phạm, B. & McLeod, S. (2015, in press September). Consonants, vowels, and tones across Vietnamese dialects. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
The following manuscript has been accepted for publication. The link to the article is here. Here is the abstract: