Chinese, Wu

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Jiangnan hua, Jiangsu-Zhujiang hua, Jiangzhe hua, Wu, Wuyue
Population

77,200,000 in China (1984). Population total all countries: 77,202,480.

Location

Jiangsu Province south of Changjiang river, east of Zhenjiang, on Chongming Island, mouth of and north of the Changjiang in Nantong area, Haimen, Qidong, and Qingjiang; Zhejiang Province south to Quzhou, Jinhua, and Wenzhou; southeast Anhui Province; Shanghai municipality; northeast Jiangxi Province; northern Fujian Province, Shangrao area.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality: Han.

Dialects

Chongming, Chuqu, Danyang, Hangzhou, Jinhua, Jinhua (Kinhwa), Oujiang, Quzhou, Shanghai, Shaoxing, Suzhou, Taihu, Taizhou, Tangxi, Wenling, Wenzhou, Wuzhou, Xuanzhou, Youngkang, Zhenhai. Varieties of Taihu dialect are Piling, Su-Hu-Jia, Tiaoxi, Hangzhou, Lin-Shao, and Yongjiang; Chuqu subdialects are Chuzhou and Longqu; Xuanzhou varieties are Tongjing, Taigao, and Shiling. A member of macrolanguage Chinese [zho].

Typology

SVO; tone sandhi, tonal.

Language Use

All ages. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 91% (2000 census, Han nationality). Fully developed. Bible: 1908–1914.
Writing

Han script, Simplified variant [Hans], used since 1981. Han script, Traditional variant [Hant]. Latin script [Latn], used since mid/late 19th century.