Jiangsu has two basic dialect types, that of the south, influenced by Wu and that of the north. Beginning roughly in the area extending from Changzhou to Danyang there is a change in the dialects spoken. From Yangzhou north, the dialect begins to take on the essential form of the northern Jiangsu dialect. Xuzhou dialect is the point where the northern dialects of Jiangsu meet the dialects of Shandong.
Xuzhou dialect also reflects the influence of Shanxi, whose dialects were imported by migrants from Shanxi to Xuzhou during the Sui Dynasty. The dialect of Peixian, which is a region under the auspices of the city of Xuzhou was the destination of the majority of migrants from Shanxi. There are important differences in the dialects of Xuzhou and Peixian, which show the results of the Shanxi influence.
Xuzhou dialect claims a rich vocabulary of unique terms, and also has important tonal differences from Standard Mandarin. The form of Xuzhou dialect commonly spoken in the city is often referred to as 徐普 (Xúpǔ, Xuzhou Mandarin), reflecting the influence of dominant Mandarin on the local dialect. But there are crucial differences between the tonal character of Mandarin and Xuzhou dialect. Only the fourth tone (falling) of Mandarin remains unchanged in Xuzhou dialect. The second tone (rising) of Mandarin becomes the first tone (flat). The third tone (low or dipping) becomes the second tone, and the first tone becomes the third tone.
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