|Upper Yangtze Mandarin|
|Region||Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Lao Cai in Northern Vietnam, Laos, Kokang in Northern Myanmar, Wa State, Chiang Mai in Thailand|
|more than 260 million (date missing)|
Southwestern Mandarin, excluding New Xiang
Southwestern Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 西南官话; traditional Chinese: 西南官話; pinyin: Xīnán Guānhuà), also known as Upper Yangtze Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 上江官话; traditional Chinese: 上江官話; pinyin: Shàngjiāng Guānhuà), is a primary branch of Mandarin Chinese spoken in much of central and southwestern China, including in Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Guizhou, most parts of Hubei, the northwestern part of Hunan, the northern part of Guangxi, and some southern parts of Shaanxi and Gansu. Some forms of Southwest Mandarin are not entirely mutually intelligible with Standard Mandarin Chinese or other forms of Mandarin.
Varieties of Southwestern Mandarin are spoken by roughly 200 million people. If considered a language distinct from Mandarin, it would have the 8th-most native speakers in the world, behind Mandarin itself, Spanish, English, Hindi, Portuguese, Arabic and Bengali.
Modern Southwestern Mandarin was formed by the waves of immigrants brought to the regions during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Because of this comparatively recent move, these dialects show more similarity to modern Standard Mandarin than to other varieties of Chinese like Cantonese or Hokkien. For example, like most southern Chinese dialects, Southwestern Mandarin does not possess the retroflex consonants (zh, ch, sh, r) of Standard Mandarin, but nor does it retain the entering tone, as most southern dialects do. The Chengdu-Chongqing and Hubei dialects are believed to reflect aspects of the Mandarin lingua franca spoken during the Ming Dynasty. However, some scholars believe its origins may be more similar to Lower Yangtze Mandarin. Though part of the Mandarin group, Southwestern Mandarin has many striking and pronounced differences with Standard Mandarin such that, until 1955, it was generally categorized alongside Cantonese and Wu Chinese as a branch of Chinese varieties.
Southwestern Mandarin is commonly spoken in Kokang district in Northern Myanmar, where the population consists largely of Han Chinese. Southwestern Mandarin is also one of two official languages of the Wa State, an unrecognized autonomous state within Myanmar, alongside the Wa language. Because Wa has no written form, Chinese is the official working language of the Wa State government. Some of its speakers live in Thailand. It is also spoken in parts of Northern Vietnam. Ethnic minorities in Vietnam's Lao Cai Province used to speak Southwestern Mandarin to each other when their languages were not mutually intelligible. Southwestern Mandarin is also used between different ethnic minorities in Yunnan and Guangxi.
Most Southwestern Mandarin dialects have, like Standard Mandarin, only retained four of the original eight tones of Middle Chinese. However, the entering tone has completely merged with the light-level tone in most Southwestern dialects, while in Standard Mandarin it is seemingly randomly dispersed among the remaining tones.
|Entering tone||Geographic Distribution|
|Sichuan (Chengdu dialect)||˥ (55)||˨˩ (21)||˦˨ (42)||˨˩˧ (213)||light-level merge||Main Sichuan Basin, parts of Guizhou|
|Luzhou dialect||˥ (55)||˨˩ (21)||˦˨ (42)||˩˧ (13)||˧ (33)||Southwest Sichuan Basin|
|Luding County dialect||˥ (55)||˨˩ (21)||˥˧ (53)||˨˦ (24)||dark-level merge||Ya'an vicinity|
|Neijiang dialect||˥ (55)||˨˩ (21)||˦˨ (42)||˨˩˧ (213)||departing merge||Lower Tuo River area|
|Hanzhong dialect||˥ (55)||˨˩ (21)||˨˦ (24)||˨˩˨ (212)||level tone merge||Southern Shaanxi|
|Kunming dialect||˦ (44)||˧˩ (31)||˥˧ (53)||˨˩˨ (212)||light-level merge||Central Yunnan|
|Gejiu dialect||˥ (55)||˦˨ (42)||˧ (33)||˩˨ (12)||light-level merge||Southern Yunnan|
|Baoshan dialect||˧˨ (32)||˦ (44)||˥˧ (53)||˨˥ (25)||light-level merge||Western Yunnan|
|Huguang (Wuhan dialect)||˥ (55)||˨˩˧ (213)||˦˨ (42)||˧˥ (35)||light-level merge||Central Hubei|
|Shishou dialect||˦˥ (45)||˩˧ (13)||˦˩ (41)||˧ (33)||˨˩˦ (214)||˨˥ (25)||Southern Hubei (Jingzhou)|
|Hanshou dialect||˥ (55)||˨˩˧ (213)||˦˨ (42)||˧ (33)||˧˥ (35)||˥ (55)||Northwestern Hunan (Changde)|
|Li County dialect||˥ (55)||˩˧ (13)||˨˩ (21)||˧ (33)||˨˩˧ (213)||(light) ˧˥ (35)||Northwestern Hunan (Changde)|
|Xiangfan dialect||˧˦ (34)||˥˨ (52)||˥ (55)||˨˩˨ (212)||light-level||Northern Hubei|
|Guilin dialect||˧ (33)||˨˩ (21)||˥ (55)||˧˥ (35)||light-level||Northern Guangxi, Southern Guizhou, parts of Southern Hunan|
|New Xiang (Changsha dialect)||˧ (33)||˩˧ (13)||˦˩ (41)||˦˥ (45) ~ ˥ (55)||˨˩ (21) ~ ˩ (11)||˨˦ (24)||Northeastern Hunan|
Southwestern Mandarin dialects do not possess the retroflex consonants of Standard Mandarin, but otherwise share most Mandarin phonological features. Most have lost the distinction between the nasal consonant /n/ and the lateral consonant /l/ and the nasal finals /-n/ and /-ŋ/. For example, the sounds "la" and "na" are generally indistinguishable, as well as the sounds "fen" and "feng". Some varieties also lack a distinction between the labiodental sound /f/ and the glottal /h/.
- Cheng–Yu 成渝: Chengdu and Chongqing
- Dianxi 滇西 (western Yunnan): Yao–Li 姚里 and Bao–Lu 保潞 clusters
- Qianbei 黔北 (northern Guizhou)
- Kun–Gui 昆貴: Kunming and Guiyang
- Guan–Chi 灌赤 (southwest Sichuan and northern Yunnan): Minjiang 岷江, Ren–Fu 仁富, Ya–Mian 雅棉, and Li–Chuan 丽川 clusters
- Ebei 鄂北 (northern Hubei)
- Wu–Tian 武天: Wuhan and Tianmen
- Cen–Jiang 岑江 (eastern Guizhou)
- Qiannan 黔南 (southern Guizhou)
- Xiangnan 湘南 (southern Hunan): Yongzhou and Chenzhou
- Gui–Liu 桂柳 (northern Guangxi): Guilin and Liuzhou
- Chang–He 常鹤: Changde and Zhangjiajie (northwestern Hunan) and Hefeng County (Hubei)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Xinan Guanhua [Southwest Mandarin]". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Cheng, Chin-Chuan. "Extra-Linguistic Data for Understanding Dialect Mutual Intelligibility".
- David Holm (1 February 2013). Mapping the Old Zhuang Character Script: A Vernacular Writing System from Southern China. BRILL. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-90-04-24216-6.
- Linda Tsung (27 October 2014). Language Power and Hierarchy: Multilingual Education in China. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. –. ISBN 978-1-4411-5574-0.
- Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew (13 May 2013). Emergent Lingua Francas and World Orders: The Politics and Place of English as a World Language. Routledge. pp. 162–. ISBN 1-135-23557-0.
- Zhou and Xu 周及徐, 2005. "The pronunciation and historical evolution of '虽遂'-class characters in Ba-Shu dialects" 《巴蜀方言中“虽遂”等字的读音及历史演变》, Zhonghua Wenhua Luntan 中华文化论坛.
- Wang Qing 王庆, 2007. "Consonants in Ming Dynasty Repopulation Area Dialects and Southern Mandarin" 《明代人口重建地区方言的知照系声母与南系官话》, Chongqing Normal University Journal 重庆师范大学学报.
- Liu Xiaomei 刘晓梅 and Li Rulong 李如龙, 2003. "Special Vocabulary Research in Mandarin Dialects" 《官话方言特征词研究》, Yuwen Yanjiu 语文研究.
- Interactive Myanmar Map, The Stimson Center
- Wa, Infomekong
- Michael G. Clyne (1992). Pluricentric Languages: Differing Norms in Different Nations. Walter de Gruyter. pp. –. ISBN 978-3-11-012855-0.
- Ito, Masako. Politics of Ethnic Classification in Vietnam.
- Masako Ito (2013). Politics of Ethnic Classification in Vietnam. Kyoto University Press. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-1-920901-72-1.
- Craig Alan Volker; Fred E. Anderson (15 February 2015). Education in Languages of Lesser Power: Asia-Pacific Perspectives. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 68–. ISBN 978-90-272-6958-4.
- Jamin R. Pelkey (29 April 2011). Dialectology as Dialectic: Interpreting Phula Variation. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-3-11-024585-1.
- David Holm (March 2003). Killing a buffalo for the ancestors: a Zhuang cosmological text from Southwest China. Southeast Asia Publications, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-891134-25-8.
- Damian Harper (2007). China's Southwest. Lonely Planet. pp. 151–. ISBN 978-1-74104-185-9.
- Li Lan 李蓝, 2009, Southwestern Mandarin Areas (Draft)
- Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the Prism of The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2.