Yuehai dialects

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Native to China
Region Pearl River Delta, Guangdong
Native speakers
13 million? (1998)[1]
  • Guangfu
  • Sanyi
  • Zhongshan
  • Guan-Bao
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6 (none)
Glottolog yueh1236[2]
Linguasphere 79-AAA-ma
Yue Dialects.png
The four Yuehai dialects, at right, are marked with a 'Y'

Yuehai (粵海方言) is the main branch of Yue Chinese, spoken in the Pearl River Delta of the province of Guangdong, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. It is commonly called Cantonese, though that name is more precisely applied to the Guangzhou dialect of Yuehai.


Yuehai is divided into four principal dialects, each of which contains various subdialects. Cantonese is the prestige form.


  1. ^ "Guangfu" (apparently = all of Yuehai) in Olson, An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yuehai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.