|東北話 / 东北话
|Native to||Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Inner Mongolia provinces of China; (Overseas, United States-New York City, Russia-primarily in Primorsky Krai)|
|(82 million cited 1987)|
Northeastern Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 东北话; traditional Chinese: 東北話; pinyin: Dōngběihuà; literally: "Northeast Speech" or 东北官话/東北官話 Dōngběiguānhuà "Northeast Mandarin") is the subgroup of Mandarin varieties spoken in Northeast China with the exception of the Liaodong Peninsula.
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Northeastern Mandarin varieties are spoken in the Northeastern part of China, in the provinces of Liaoning (except its southern part from Dalian to Dandong where Jiaoliao Mandarin is spoken), Jilin and Heilongjiang, and in some northern parts of Inner Mongolia. The number of speakers was estimated in 1987 as 82 million. Like other Mandarin dialects, differences between Northeastern Mandarin and other forms arise from the wide geographical distribution and cultural diversity of northern China. The Language Atlas of China divided Northeastern Mandarin into three subgroups, following a classification be Hè Wēi based on the occurrence of nasal initials in words having a zero initial in Beijing:
- Jí–Shěn (吉沈) in the east, including Shenyang dialect and Jilin dialect, has a zero initial in these words, as in Beijing.
- Hā–Fù (哈阜) in the west, including Harbin dialect and Changchun dialect, have nasal initials in these words.
- Hēi–Sōng (黑松) in the north, including Qiqihar dialect, have zero or nasal initials in random variation.
More distant varieties tend to be more similar to the Beijing dialect than closer ones, so that the speech of Harbin is closer to that of Beijing than that of Jilin and Changchun, which in turn are closer than that of Shenyang.
A form of Northeastern Mandarin (with some words from Udege and Nanai) has been spoken since approximately 1800 by the Taz people nearby in the Russian Far East, primarily in Primorsky Krai.
Northeastern Mandarin shares similarities with the Beijing dialect, such as a similar development of the entering tone and the preservation of initial [w], where the dialects of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, have [v]. For this reason, the Chinese dialectologist Li Rong argued that Beijing Mandarin could be grouped with northeastern dialects. However, in northeastern Chinese, final -ian or -üan is pronounced with an [æ] rather than with [ɛ] or [e] as in the standard. The [ʐ] initial of Beijing (spelled r- in pinyin) is generally omitted in northeastern varieties.
Cultural and regional identity
Although not considered a language in academic circles, Mandarin variants like Northeastern Mandarin often contribute to a strong regional identity. Because of its informal usage of words and tones, comedians often use Northeast dialects when performing.
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