Concept

Hangzhou dialect

Summary
The Hangzhou dialect (, Rhangzei Rhwa) is spoken in the city of Hangzhou, China and its immediate suburbs, but excluding areas further away from Hangzhou such as Xiāoshān (蕭山) and Yúháng (余杭) (both originally county-level cities and now the districts within Hangzhou City). Its number of speakers has been estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. It is a dialect of Wu, one of the Chinese varieties. The Hangzhou dialect is of immense interest to Chinese historical phonologists and dialectologists because phonologically, it exhibits extensive similarities with the other Wu dialects; however, grammatically and lexically, it shows many Mandarin tendencies. Although the Hangzhou dialect has the basic characteristics of the Wu language, several waves of migration from the north, represented by the southward relocation of the ruling centre of Song dynasty, have caused the local language system to undergo great changes and gradually take on a special character in Jiangnan region. The Hang
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