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Beijing opera was not invented in the capital, but was largely imported from Anhui and other parts of the country, and then it evolved with further influences from other regions. Certain pieces may therefore retain local accents, like Jiang-Huai (江淮官话) above, although the music itself makes it possible to just twist and distort the syllables.


This is because they want to make the sound a little bit louder, because in the past there is no electric amplifier. In the example, the changes are (1) from "ng" to "n", so that the nasal coda is lighter. (2) push vowel from "e" to "a" "o" because the mouth opens wider.


You are right, it means 'choose', and the difference of pronunciation, (as a Taiwanese I think it) is due to the song. (The elongation of that note.) So both suán-ti̍k or sng-tia are fine.

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