Shànghǎi, The Language of
(2,221 words)

The language of Shànghǎi, China's most densely populated city, is at once highly typical of the Wú 吳 dialects in the central coastal region to which it belongs, while also having a distinct set of characteristics that give it a singular identity within the linguistic milieu of the territory. As in most Wú dialects, the Shànghǎi dialect has a strict division between upper (yīn 陰) and lower (yáng 陽) tonal registers, a 入 tone in which all syllables end in a glottal stop, and a plain negative with a labiodental initial: [vəʔ12]. Also like its neighboring Wú dialects, Shànghǎi has a tr…

Cite this page
Richard VanNess SIMMONS, “Shànghǎi, The Language of”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 23 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015

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