Nanping dialect

Nanping dialect
Nanping Mandarin
Native toPeople's Republic of China
RegionYanping District, Nanping, Fujian
Native speakers
20,000 (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3

The Nanping dialect (simplified Chinese: 南平话; traditional Chinese: 南平話; pinyin: Nánpínghuà), or Nanping Mandarin (南平官话; 南平官話; Nánpíng Guānhuà),[2] is a dialect of Mandarin Chinese spoken in Yanping District, in Nanping, Fujian. Locally, it is known as Tuguanhua (土官话; 土官話; Tǔguānhuà; 'local official speech').[1] It is one of three Mandarin dialect islands in Fujian.[1]

History and distribution

In the past, Nanping Mandarin had great influence in northern Fujian. During the Republican Era, this dialect of Mandarin was taught as the standard in many schools in the area.[3] However, since Yanping is surrounded by areas where Eastern and Northern Min are spoken, the areas where Nanping Mandarin is still spoken has shrunk down.[3] During the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Fuzhou was under Japanese control, many people moved from Fuzhou into Nanping, and because of closer association with the provincial capital since the founding of the People's Republic of China, Fuzhounese became more popular, and speakers of Nanping Mandarin became fewer in number.[4]

Nanping Mandarin is still spoken in these parts of Yanping District:[1]

  • the centre of the district;
  • the seat of Xiqin Town;
  • parts of Shuinan Subdistrict, including Baxian, Geping, Lingxia Bridge and Houlingxia;
  • Jixi, in Nanshan Town.



There are fourteen consonants in the phonemic inventory:[2]

Bilabial Dental Velar Glottal
Stop unaspirated /p/ /t/ /k/ /ʔ/
aspirated // // //
Affricate unaspirated /ts/
aspirated /tsʰ/
Fricative /s/ /x/
Nasal /m/ /ŋ/
Lateral /l/

A more conservative form of the dialect also includes //, /tʃʰ/ and /ʃ/, which are contrastive to /ts/, /tsʰ/ and /s/, e.g. /tʃɹ̩˧/ /tsɹ̩˧/.[5]


Nanping Mandarin is traditionally considered to have five tones by diachronic convention, but it may be analyzed as having four phonemic tones.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Zhou 2012, p. 178.
  2. ^ a b c Chen 1981.
  3. ^ a b Li 1991, p. 473.
  4. ^ Su 1994, p. 37.
  5. ^ Li 1991, p. 474.


  • Chen, Chung-yu (1981). "Towards an affiliation of the Nanping Mandarin dialect of Fujian". Journal of Chinese Linguistics. 9 (2): 151–209. JSTOR 23753506.
  • Li, Rulong (1991). 南平市北方方言岛. In Chen, Zhangtai; Li, Rulong (eds.). 闽语研究 (in Chinese). Beijing: Yuwen Chubanshe. pp. 472–483. ISBN 7-80006-309-7.
  • Su, Hua (1994). 福建南平方言同音字汇. Fangyan (in Chinese) (1): 37–45.
  • Zhou, Changji (2012). B2—5 福建省的汉语方言. 中国语言地图集 [Language Atlas of China] (in Chinese). 汉语方言卷 (2nd ed.). Beijing: Commercial Press. pp. 177–180. ISBN 978-7-100-07054-6.

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