There's a Cantonese restaurant in Mountain View, CA called Fu Lam Mum -- the characters are clearly 富臨門.

But 門 has always had a -n final, in any topolect I know of, and back to MC and OC according to Baxter's reconstruction. Therefore this must be a sound change (assimilation at a distance) in a daughter language.

In what topolect, if any, does 門 have an -m final? Being a Cantonese restaurant in the US, I'd suspect Taishan, but that's just a guess.

  • 3
    Toisanese preserves -n usually, and like most Chinese varieties would modify the nasal to -ng in colloquial layers. Also, *m--m looks like it violates the labial dissimilation rule that Yue varieties of Chinese follow. I'd guess it's just a marketer's pun!
    – Michaelyus
    Jan 5, 2015 at 10:26
  • 2
    In 粵語, 平話, 客語, none of the topolects has the "-um" sound for 門. So maybe they just made a mistake.
    – Stan
    Jan 5, 2015 at 12:15
  • @Michaelyus Exactly why I thought it was suspicious in the first place... Cantonese speakers often play fast and loose with transcription, but it seemed strange to me that they would choose 'Mum'. Maybe it's not Yue -- maybe some topolect where 門 has a nasalised vowel, and this is their way of transcribing it?
    – jogloran
    Jan 5, 2015 at 21:26
  • Don't know if this is of interest, but in Min Nan it is bun (literary) and mng (vernacular).
    – MickG
    Jan 6, 2015 at 22:05
  • Typo or misspelling or mis-transcription only. It is very hard to pronounce mum in Cantonese.
    – OmniBus
    Feb 15, 2015 at 2:48

2 Answers 2


I'd say it is a local Hongkong final consonant drift n->m, as 10300 Googool results for 屯门 (Tuenmun / Tuenmum) would indicate:

http://church.oursweb.net/church.php?pkey=816478 (Tuen Mum alliance church)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CektDpGGXWQ (Light rail at Tuen Mum ferry pier)

https://zh-tw.facebook.com/ourinteriorsltd/photos/a.122323427797946.13546.122300641133558/122323507797938/ (Marina Garden, Tuen Mum)

http://johnblog.phychembio.com/?tag=tuen-mum屯門 (Tuen Mum(屯門) | John Chan Photography)

http://hkims.org/activities_Calendar.html (屯門共修 7 - 9pm Tuen Mum Group Sitting)

Sorry to say I do not speak Cantonese, but such drifts in consonants/wovels are not unheard of. Across East Asia, there is a certain mux between l/r, and Beijing vernacular has a spectacular w->v drift that is similar.

  • 2
    Interesting! Thanks for digging this up. I think these are typos (the keys are right next to each other). As a native Cantonese speaker I've never heard that pronunciation, not to mention the usual prohibition on labial initial/labial final combinations in Cantonese that happened after Middle Chinese.
    – jogloran
    Jan 7, 2015 at 23:34
  • I doubt it is just typo. It is very hard to pronounce mum in Cantonese.
    – OmniBus
    Feb 15, 2015 at 2:45
  • 1
    Surely the fact that it's hard to pronounce is evidence that it's a typo...
    – jogloran
    Feb 15, 2015 at 3:40

It is not Toishanese, which does have the -n sound for 門。 In Cantonese, "mun4" (Jyutping). In Toishanese, which doesn't have an official transliteration system that I know of, I would transliterate it something like "moen" or "moeen".

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