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||This article needs attention from an expert in China. (February 2009)|
|Min — Min Nan|
|Min — Min Dong|
The long-short romanization system is a romanization system for Wu Chinese. It was designed to accommodate the two most widely spoken Northern Wu dialects, the Shanghai dialect and the Suzhou dialect. The system is called "Long-short" (长短音 in Chinese) because the system distinguishes between long vowels, which are written with two vowels, and short vowels, which are written with one. In some dialects, the short vowels are pronounced with a following glottal stop, making the distinction between short and long vowels more important.
Because the phonological complexity of Wu Chinese is comparable with that of Middle Chinese, the romanization system has needed to incorporate a wider range of sounds compared to Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese. One notable example involves the use of the "muddy voice", which means that Wu Chinese is one of the few Chinese dialects with a three-way distinction between voiced, voiceless and aspirated consonants. Because most dialects only distinguish between unaspirated and aspirated, the romanization systems used for those dialects use the same convention (writing, for example, the unaspirated [p] as "b" and the aspirated [pʰ] as p), but this format is insufficient for Wu Chinese, so the long-short romanization uses an "h" to show aspiration (so that [pʰ] is written "ph").
Initials and Finals
In Wu Chinese, like in other varieties of Chinese, all syllables are divided into initials (an initial consonant) and finals (the vowel, glide and syllable coda), as well as having an inherent tone.
* /ʔɲ/ is written "kn", /ʔn/, /ʔm/ and /ʔl/ are written with a preceding apostrophe (such as ’n) and is not written if it is the only initial consonant. ’um, ’un and ’ung are used for /ʔn̩/, /ʔm̩/ and /ʔŋ̩/ respectively.
/ɦj/ and /ɦɥ/ are both written as "y" and /ɦw/ is written as "w". /j/, /ɥ/ and /w/ are otherwise considered as part of the final.
The consonants s, z, tz and ts become alveolo-palatal in the Shanghai dialect when they are written before "i". They always remain dental in the Suzhou dialect.
|Shanghai||aː ~ ɑː||eː ~ ɛː||ɔː||iː||eː ~ ej||ɜəː||iː||yː||øː||uː/oː||uː||uː|
|Suzhou||ɒː||eː||æː||iː||eː||ɘɪ||iː||yː||ɵː||oː||ɜu ~ uː||uː|
|Shanghai||jaː||jeː ~ jɛː||jɔː||iː||jeː ~ jej||jɜəː||ʏː|
|Shanghai||waː||weː ~ wɛː||weː ~ wej||wøː ~ wɛː|
following glottal stops
|Shanghai||ɐ||ɐ||ə||o/ʊ||ãː||ãː||əɲ||oŋ ~ ʊŋ|
|Suzhou||ɒ||a||ə||o||ãː ~ ɒŋ||ãː/aŋ||ən||oŋ|
|Dialect||iå ~ iaq||iaq||ieq||ioq||iån ~ iahn||ian||in||ion|
|Shanghai||jɪ||jɪ||jɪ||jo ~ jʊ||jãː||jãː||ɪɲ||joŋ ~ jʊŋ|
|Suzhou||jɐ||jɐ||ɪ ~ jə||jo||jãː ~ jɒŋ||jãː ~ jaŋ||jɪn||joŋ|
|Suzhou||wa||wə||ɥə||wãː ~ wɒŋ||wãː ~ waŋ||wɪn||ɥin|
Northern Wu has seven syllabic consonants, three of which are glottalized.
Similar to other Chinese dialects, Wu features "null finals", which occurs after non-palatal fricatives, and are pronounced like syllabic consonants.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2009)|
The Shanghai dialect has five tones, while the Suzhou dialect has mostly retained the Middle Chinese tone system, except that it now only has one Shang tone, with the other merging with the Yin Qu tone.