Hangzhou dialect

Hangzhou Dialect

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Hangzhou dialect

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Description:
The Hangzhou dialect, or Rhangzei Rhwa (), is spoken in the city of Hangzhou and its immediate suburbs, but excluding areas further away from Hangzhou such as Xiāoshān (蕭山) and Yúháng (余杭) (both originally county-level cities and now the districts within Hangzhou City). The number of speakers of the Hangzhou dialect has been estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. It belongs to the Wu language family, which in turn constitutes one of the Sinitic language families. The Hangzhou dialect is of immense interest to Chinese historical phonologists and dialectologists because phonologically, it exhibits extensive similarities with the other Wu languages; however, grammatically and lexically, it shows many Mandarin tendencies. (Simmons 1995)

Classification



Geographic distribution



Dialects



Phonetics and phonology

Consonants



Vowels

Monophthongs



Diphthongs



Triphthongs



Syllable structure

Onsets



Rimes



Tones

Citation tones

The Hangzhou tonal system is similar to that of the Suzhou dialect, in that some words with shàng tone in Middle Chinese have merged with the yīn qù tone. Since the tone split dating from Middle Chinese still depends on the voicing of the initial consonant, these constitute just three phonemic tones: pin, shang, and qu. (Ru syllables are phonemically toneless.)



Tone sandhi



Grammar

Morphology



Syntax



Vocabulary



History

The most important event to impact on Hangzhou's dialect was its establishment...
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