|About 3,900,000 (2013)|
Pinghua groups in Guangxi and GuangdongQin-Lian (lower left), among other Yue and
Qin–Lian (Hamlim, 欽廉方言) is a southern branch of Yue Chinese spoken in the coastal part of Guangxi, which is represented by four traditional cities Qinzhou, Lianzhou, Lingshan and Fangcheng ("欽廉靈防") or by three modern prefecture-level cities Qinzhou, Beihai and Fangcheng ("欽北防").
Middle Chinese had a series of voiced initials, but voicing has been lost throughout Yue and most other modern Chinese varieties apart from Wu and Old Xiang. The reflexes of the voiced stops and affricates are often used to classify Chinese varieties.
In most Qin–Lian varieties, these consonants develop into aspirates in all tones, a pattern also found in Wu–Hua Yue and Hakka, which is also the traditional criterion of Qin-Lian Yue. However, in urban Qin–Lian varieties they yield aspirates in the level and rising tones, and non-aspirates in the departing and entering tones, the same pattern found in the Guangfu, Siyi and Gao-Yang branches of Yue.
There are several branches of Qin-Lian.
Urban varieties, informally called baak waa (白話), are spoken in the cities of Qinzhou (Hamzau), Beihai (Bakhoi), Fangcheng (Pongsing), Dongxing (Dunghing) and Lingcheng (Lingsing) and some nearby towns. They are close to Standard Cantonese, with the same consonant shifting pattern, and only partly mutually intelligible with other Qin-Lian Yue varieties.
In spite of distinguishable but tiny differences on phonology and vocabulary, there is high mutual intelligibility and a great number of common colloquial words in the urban varieties and furthermore, in some varieties of Gao-Yang. Those features along with its scattered speaking zones may reflect the influence of intercity commercial communication in history, and lead to a lasting debate on its classification.
The table below shows the differences in phonology among four major urban varieties.
|vowel breaking of "i"||no||no||often||yes|
|"ou" > "au" merger||yes||yes||no||yes|
|"oe" > "e" merger||younger speakers||no||yes||yes|
|"i" > "z" shifting||no||no||no||younger speakers|
|consonant tails merger||no||no||no||younger speakers|
Lianzhou (Limzau) varieties, also called hoi caat waa (海獺話, "tongue of sea otters"), are spoken in Hepu, the southern part of Pubei and the coastal areas of Qinzhou. This branch, represented by the Lianzhou variety, is considered a Pinghua-based Yue dialect with some Hakka and Min blended in. There are some differences with urban varieties that may confuse urban speakers at first. For example, the "-ing" is generally pronounced like "-an", and the "yu", which is replaced by "i" in urban varieties, appears to be "u" in Lianzhou. As a result, 停 ("to stop", "ting4" in urban varieties, "tan3" in Lianzhao) can be mistaken as 褪 ("to move backwards", "tan3" in urban varieties).
Lingshan (Lingsaan) varieties are widely spoken in the countryside of Qinzhou, Lingshan and Pubei.
Xiaojiang (Sliugong) varieties are spoken in Pubei.
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