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Sichuanese (Chengdu-Chongqing)


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Do most words that have the initial 'l' in Standard Mandarin have the initial 'n' in Sichuanese? For example, 㓉路 is huo2 lu4 in Mandarin but ho2 nu4 in Sichuanese, and 了 is liao3 in Mandarin but niao3 in Sichuanese.

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Is that right? I lived and worked in West Sichuan (Ya'an Prefecture) for a few years and there were definitely a lot of initial l sounds where you would expect from Mandarin and pretty sure 路 was one of them. I would have put it the other way round, that the n substitution was rarer. This is a long time ago though when I was only a beginner in the language so might well be I'm mistaken.

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Having lived in Chongqing for one year I confirm that they do the "n"/"l" thing quite a lot, but I'm not certain if all the time. I would often see my friends saying a word with "n" instead of "l", e.g. 累 read as Nei4,but later saying the same word with "l". It could be due to them trying to speak proper Mandarin with me as opposed to the Sichuanese and only sometimes accidently slipping the "n". 

I also do remember having asked my one local friend about it and she seemed not to hear any difference between "n" and "l" no matter how hard I emphasised it and specifically asked if they do it on purpose. But it's more of an anecdotal evidence, so I wouldn't base any conclusions about the entire Sichuan/CQ population on that

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