Southwest Mandarin
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Southwestern Mandarin (), also known as Upper Yangtze Mandarin (), is a
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic languages, Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin ...
language spoken in much of
Southwest China Southwest China () is a region in the south of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most ...

Southwest China
, including in
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; Postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between ...

Sichuan
,
Yunnan Yunnan () is a landlocked Provinces of China, province in Southwest China, the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Kun ...

Yunnan
,
Chongqing Chongqing ( Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that em ...

Chongqing
,
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province in the southwest region of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Guiyang, in the center of the province. Guizhou borders the autonomous region of Guangxi to t ...

Guizhou
, most parts of
Hubei Hubei (; ; Hupeh) is a landlocked of the , and is part of the region. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of . The provincial capital, , serves as a major transportation hub and the political ...

Hubei
, the northwestern part of
Hunan Hunan (, ; ) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the ...

Hunan
, the northern part of
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and some southern parts of
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Shensi) is a landlocked of the . Officially part of , it borders the province-level divisions of (NE, E), (E), (SE), (S), (SW), (W), (NW) and (N). Shaanxi covers an area of over with about 37 million people, the 16 ...

Shaanxi
and
Gansu Gansu (, ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked provinces of China, province in Northwest China. Its capital and largest city is Lanzhou, in the southeast part of the province. The seventh-largest administ ...

Gansu
. Southwest Mandarin is about 50%
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
with
Standard Chinese Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca among the speakers of various Mandarin and other varieties of C ...
. Southwestern Mandarin is spoken by roughly 260 million people. If considered a language distinct from central Mandarin, it would have the eighth-most native speakers in the world, behind Mandarin itself,
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.


Overview

Modern Southwestern Mandarin was formed by the waves of immigrants brought to the regions during the
Ming#REDIRECT Ming dynasty#REDIRECT Ming dynasty {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
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Ming
and
Qing Dynasties The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last History of China#Imperial China, imperial Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty of China. It was established in 1636, and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by th ...
. Because of the comparatively recent move, such dialects show more similarity to modern Standard Mandarin than to other
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, w ...
like
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...

Cantonese
or
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
. For example, like most Southern Chinese dialects, Southwestern Mandarin does not possess the
retroflex consonant A retroflex, apico-domal, or cacuminal () consonant is a coronal consonant Coronal may refer to: * a nuptial crown '' File:서봉총 금관 금제드리개.jpg, The Seobongchong Golden Crown of Ancient Silla, which is 339th National Treasu ...
s (zh, ch, sh, r) of Standard Mandarin, but most varieties of it also fail to retain the
checked tone A checked tone, commonly known by the Chinese calque In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...
that all southern dialects have. The
Chengdu Chengdu (, ; simplified Chinese Simplification, Simplify, or Simplified may refer to: Mathematics Simplification is the process of replacing a mathematical expression by an equivalent one, that is simpler (usually shorter), for example * S ...

Chengdu
-
Chongqing Chongqing ( Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that em ...

Chongqing
and Hubei dialects are believed to reflect aspects of the Mandarin ''lingua franca'' that was spoken during the Ming. However, some scholars believe its origins may be more similar to
Lower Yangtze Mandarin Lower Yangtze Mandarin () is one of the most divergent and least mutually-intelligible of the Mandarin languages, as it neighbours the Wu, Hui, and Gan groups of Sinitic languages. It is also known as Jiang–Huai Mandarin (), named after th ...
. Though part of the Mandarin group, Southwestern Mandarin has many striking and pronounced differences with Standard Mandarin such that until 1955, it was generally categorized alongside Cantonese and
Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages spoken primarily in Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four ...
as a branch of Chinese varieties. Southwestern Mandarin is commonly spoken in
Kokang Kokang ( my, ကိုးကန့်; ) is a region in Myanmar Myanmar, ); UK pronunciations: US pronunciations incl. . Note: Wikipedia's IPA conventions require indicating /r/ even in British English although only some British English ...

Kokang
district in Northern Myanmar, where the population is largely Kokang people, Kokang. Southwestern Mandarin is also one of two official languages of the Wa State, an unrecognized autonomous state within Myanmar, alongside the Wa language. Because Wa has no written form, Chinese is the official working language of the Wa State government. Some of its speakers, known as the Chin Haw, live in Thailand. It is also spoken in parts of Northern Vietnam. Ethnic minorities in Vietnam's Lào Cai Province used to speak Southwestern Mandarin to each other when their languages were not mutually intelligible. Southwestern Mandarin is also used between different ethnic minorities in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi.


Phonology


Tones

Most Southwestern Mandarin dialects have, like Standard Mandarin, retained only four of the eight tones of Late Middle Chinese. However, the entering tone has completely merged with the light-level tone in most Southwestern dialects, but in Standard Mandarin, it is seemingly randomly dispersed among the remaining tones.


Syllables

Southwestern Mandarin dialects do not possess the retroflex consonants of Standard Mandarin but share most other Mandarin phonological features. Most dialects have lost the distinction between the nasal consonant and the lateral consonant and the nasal finals and . For example, the sounds "la" and "na" are generally indistinguishable, and the same is true for the sounds "fen" and "feng". Some varieties also lack a distinction between the labiodental consonant, labiodental and the glottal .


Subdivisions

Southwestern Mandarin was classified into twelve dialect groups in the ''Language Atlas of China'': * Chengdu-Chongqing dialect, Cheng–Yu 成渝:
Chengdu Chengdu (, ; simplified Chinese Simplification, Simplify, or Simplified may refer to: Mathematics Simplification is the process of replacing a mathematical expression by an equivalent one, that is simpler (usually shorter), for example * S ...

Chengdu
and
Chongqing Chongqing ( Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that em ...

Chongqing
* Dianxi 滇西 (western Yunnan): Yao–Li 姚里 and Bao–Lu 保潞 clusters * Qianbei 黔北 (northern Guizhou) * Kun–Gui 昆貴: Kunming dialect, Kunming and Guiyang * Guan–Chi 灌赤 (central Sichuan from Dujiangyan City, Guan County to the Chishui River and part of northern Yunnan): Minjiang dialect, Minjiang 岷江, Ren–Fu 仁富, Ya–Mian 雅棉, and Li–Chuan 丽川 clusters * Ebei 鄂北 (northern Hubei) * Wu–Tian 武天: Wuhan and Tianmen (Hubei) * Cen–Jiang 岑江 (eastern Guizhou) * Qiannan 黔南 (southern Guizhou) * Xiangnan 湘南 (southern Hunan): Yongzhou and Chenzhou * Gui–Liu 桂柳 (northern Guangxi): Guilin and Liuzhou * Chang–He 常鹤: Changde and Zhangjiajie (northwestern Hunan) and Hefeng County (southwestern Hubei)


See also

*Sichuanese dialects


References

{{Chinese_language Sichuanese Mandarin Chinese Languages of Thailand Languages of Vietnam Languages of Myanmar Languages of Laos