Central Plains Mandarin

Central Plains Mandarin
Zhongyuan Guanhua
RegionYellow River Plain
Native speakers
(170 million cited 1982)[1]
Chinese characters, Xiao'erjing (historical)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6zgyu
Glottologhuab1238  Central Plain Guanhua
zhon1236  Zhongyuan
Mandarín zhongyuan.png

Central Plains Mandarin, or Zhongyuan Mandarin (simplified Chinese: 中原官话; traditional Chinese: 中原官話; pinyin: zhōngyuán guānhuà), is a variety of Mandarin Chinese spoken in the central and southern parts of Shaanxi, Henan, southwestern part of Shanxi, southern part of Gansu, far southern part of Hebei, northern Anhui, northern parts of Jiangsu, southern Xinjiang and southern Shandong.[2]

The archaic dialect in Peking opera is a form of Zhongyuan Mandarin.

Among Hui people, Zhongyuan Mandarin is sometimes written with the Arabic alphabet, called Xiao'erjing ("Children's script").


An example of a spoken discourse of Central Plains Mandarin by Gao Yaojie, a Chinese HIV doctor from Cao County, Shandong.
An example of a written discourse of Central Plains Mandarin by He Quan-gui, a Chinese gold miner from Xunyang County, Shaanxi. Note that in most varieties of Chinese, the written discourse is largely the equivalent of reading a text of Standard Beijing Mandarin in a non-Beijing phonology.
An example of a written discourse of Central Plains Mandarin by a native of Tanghe County, Henan.


In Central Plains Mandarin, some phonological changes have affected certain syllables but not Standard Chinese.

[p] and [pʰ] have shifted to [p͜f] before the vowel [u].[4]

Middle Chinese Initial [p] [p] [pʰ] [pʰ]
Standard Mandarin [pû] [pwò] [pʰwó] [pʰù]
Central Plains Mandarin [p͜fu] [p͜fo] [p͜fʰo] [p͜fʰu]

Standard Mandarin's [t͡ʂ], [t͡ʂʰ] and have shifted to [p͜f] before [u]. [ʂ] has shifted to [f] before [u].

Middle Chinese Initial [ʈ] [t͡ʃʰ] [ɕ] [ʑ]
Pinyin zhū chū shū shú
Standard Mandarin [ʈʂú] [ʈʂʰú] [ʂú] [ʂǔ]
Central Plains Mandarin [p͜fu] [p͜fu] [fu] [fu]

See also



  1. ^ Gu 2009, p. 214.
  2. ^ Chappell 2002, p. 244; Gu 2009, p. 214; Chirkova 2008.
  3. ^ Wang, Menghuan; Ma, Shuzhen; Hu, Axu (2021). Tavana, Madjid; Nedjah, Nadia; Alhajj, Reda (eds.). "Experimental Study on Citation Tone of Dingxi Dialect in Gansu Province". Emerging Trends in Intelligent and Interactive Systems and Applications. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 1304: 340–345. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-63784-2_43. ISBN 978-3-030-63784-2.
  4. ^ Mian Yan, Margaret (2006). Introduction To Chinese Dialectology. Germany: LINCOM EUROPA. pp. 73–74.


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