Hangzhounese, or Hangzhou dialect (; ''Rhangzei Rhwa''), is spoken in the city of Hangzhou and its immediate suburbs, but excluding areas further away from Hangzhou such as Xiāoshān (蕭山) and Yúháng (余杭) (both originally county-level cities and now the districts within Hangzhou City). The number of speakers of the Hangzhounese has been estimated to be about 1.2 to 1.5 million. It is a dialect of Wu, one of the Chinese varieties. Hangzhounese is of immense interest to Chinese historical phonologists and dialectologists because phonologically, it exhibits extensive similarities with the other Wu dialects; however, grammatically and lexically, it shows many Mandarin tendencies.〔(Simmons 1995)〕
Hangzhounese is classified as a dialect of Wu Chinese, although some western linguists claim Hangzhou is a Mandarin Chinese dialect.
Richard Vanness Simmons, a professor of Chinese at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, claims that the Hangzhou dialect, rather than being Wu as it was classified by Yuen Ren Chao, is a Mandarin dialect closely related to Jianghuai Mandarin. Hangzhou dialect is still classified under Wu. Chao had developed a "Common Wu Syllabry" for the Wu dialects. Simmons claimed that had Chao compared Hangzhou dialect to the Wu syllabary and Jianghuai Mandarin, he would have found more similarities to Jianghuai. Jianghuai Mandarin shares an "old literary layer" as a stratum with southern dialects like Minnan, Hakka, Gan, and Hangzhou dialects, which it does not share with Northern Mandarin. Sino Vietnamese also shares some of these characteristics. The stratum in Minnan specifically consist of Zeng group and Geng group's "n" and "t" finals when an "i" initial is present.〔
(the University of Michigan)〕
John H. McWhorter claimed that the Hangzhou was categorized as a Wu dialect because seven tones are present in Hangzhou, which is significantly more than the typical number of tones found in northern Mandarin dialects, which is four.〔
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』