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However, several dialects substantially differ in Burmese with respect to vocabulary, lexical particles, and rhymes.The standard dialect of Burmese (the Mandalay-Yangon dialect continuum) comes from the Irrawaddy River valley.Burmese has readily adopted words of Pali origin because of phonotactic similarities between two languages alongside the fact that the script used for Burmese can reproduce Pali spellings with complete accuracy.Burmese has also adapted a great deal of words from Mon, traditionally spoken by the Mon people, who until recently formed the majority in Lower Burma.Despite substantial vocabulary and pronunciation differences, there is mutual intelligibility among most Burmese dialects.Dialects in Tanintharyi Region, including Palaw, Merguese and Tavoyan, are especially conservative in comparison to Standard Burmese.

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These varieties include the Yaw, Palaw, Myeik (Merguese), Tavoyan and Intha dialects.

The Burmese alphabet is ultimately descended from a Brahmic script, either Kadamba or Pallava.

The majority of Burmese speakers, who live throughout the Irrawaddy River Valley, use a number of largely similar dialects, while a minority speak non-standard dialects found in the peripheral areas of the country.

After the Burmese-speaking Konbaung Dynasty's victory over the Mon-speaking Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom in 1757, the shift to Burmese began in Lower Burma.

By 1830, an estimated 90% of the population in the region identified themselves as Bamar (and, as such, Burmese speakers) due the influx from Upper Burma, assimilation, and intermarriage.

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