Yuehai dialects

Native to China
Region Guangdong
Native speakers
13 million? (1998)[1]
  • Guangfu
  • Sanyi
  • Zhongshan
  • Guan-Bao
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-6 (none)
Glottolog yueh1236[2]

The four Yuehai dialects, at right, are marked with a 'Y'

Yuehai (粵海方言) is the main branch of Yue Chinese, spoken in Guangdong province, Hong Kong, Macau, and oversea Chinese communities. It is commonly called Cantonese, though that name is more precisely applied to the Guangfu dialect of Yuehai.


Yuehai is divided into four principal dialects, each of which contains various subdialects. Cantonese is the prestige form.


  1. "Guangfu" (apparently = all of Yuehai) in Olson, An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Yuehai". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

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