|Native to||People's Republic of China|
|Region||South Jiangsu province, North Zhejiang province, southeastern Anhui, and Shanghai. Linguistic exclave in Cangnan county in southern Zhejiang province.|
(47 million |
85 million cited 1987
Taihu Wu (吳語太湖片) or Northern Wu dialects (北部吳語) are a group of Wu dialects spoken over much of southern part of Jiangsu province, including Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, the southern part of Nantong, Jingjiang and Danyang; the municipality of Shanghai; and the northern part of Zhejiang province, including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Huzhou, and Jiaxing. A notable exception is the dialect of the town of Jinxiang, which is a linguistic exclave of Taihu Wu in Zhenan Min-speaking Cangnan county of Wenzhou prefecture in Zhejiang province. This group makes up the largest population among all Wu speakers. The subdialects of this region are mutually intelligible with each other.
Linguistic affinity has also been used as a tool for regional identity and politics in the Jiangbei and Jiangnan regions. While the city of Yangzhou was the center of trade, flourishing and prosperous, it was considered part of Jiangnan, which was known to be wealthy, even though Yangzhou was north of the Yangzi river. Once Yangzhou's wealth and prosperity were gone, it was then considered to be part of Jiangbei, the "backwater". After Yangzhou was removed from Jiangnan, its residents decided to no longer speak Jianghuai Mandarin, which was the dialect of Yangzhou. They instead replaced Mandarin with Wu and spoke Taihu Wu dialects. In Jiangnan itself, multiple subdialects of Wu competed for the position of prestige dialect.
In 1984, around 85 million speakers are mutually intellegible with Shanghainese.
List of Taihu Wu dialect subgroups
Su–Jia–Hu (Suzhou–Jiaxing–Huzhou) 蘇嘉湖小片
- Su–Hu–Jia (Suzhou–Shanghai–Jiaxing) 蘇滬嘉小片 – 23 million speakers in 1987
- Tiaoxi 苕溪小片 (now considered to be a subbranch or sister group to Suzhou–Shanghai–Jiaxing) – 3 million speakers in 1987
- Huzhou dialect (Zhejiang)
- Southeast Guangde dialect (Anhui)
- Piling 毗陵小片 (spoken in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces) – 8 million speakers in 1987
- Changzhou dialect (Jiangsu)
- Hangzhou 杭州小片 – 1.2 million speakers in 1987
- Hangzhou dialect (Zhejiang)
- Lin–Shao 臨紹小片 – 7.8 million speakers in 1987
- Shaoxing dialect (Zhejiang)
- Lin'an (Zhejiang)
- Yongjiang 甬江小片 or Mingzhou 明州小片 – 4 million speakers in 1987
- Ningbo dialect (Zhejiang)
- Zhoushan (Zhejiang)
- Jinxiang dialect 金鄉話 (appears to be an isolate, but closely related to the Taihu Wu varieties of Northern Zhejiang.)
List of Taihu Wu dialects
- Shanghai dialect
- Ningbo dialect
- Hangzhou dialect
- Suzhou dialect
- Changzhou dialect
- Wuxi dialect
- Jiangyin dialect
- Qi–Hai dialect
- Jinxiang dialect
- DeFrancis, John (1984), The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Taihu". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Dorothy Ko (1994). Teachers of the inner chambers: women and culture in seventeenth-century China (illustrated, annotated ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-8047-2359-1. Retrieved 23 September 2011.