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The primary characteristic of the Minjiang dialect is that the stop consonants for checked-tone syllables in Middle Chinese have developed into tense vowels to create a phonemic contrast, and in several cities and counties the tense vowels retain a following glottal stop. It also keeps many characteristics of Ba-Shu Chinese phonology and vocabulary. Due to these characteristics, the status of Minjiang dialect is disputed among linguists, with some classifying it as Southwestern Mandarin, and others setting it apart as a successor of Ba-Shu Chinese.