Northern Tai Languages
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Northern Tai Languages
Northern Tai
Northern Zhuang
Southern China
Linguistic classificationKra-Dai
  • Tai
    • Northern Tai
Distribution of Northern Tai and Central Tai languages (Zhuang, Tay-Nung and Bouyei included)

The Northern Tai languages are an established branch of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia. They include the northern Zhuang languages and Bouyei of China, Tai Mène of Laos and Yoy of Thailand.



Ethnologue distinguishes the following languages:[1]

(See varieties of Zhuang.)

Yoy is elsewhere classified as Southwestern Tai, and E, which is a mixed language Northern Tai-Chinese language.

Longsang Zhuang, a recently described Northern Tai language, is spoken Longsang Township, Debao County, Guangxi, China. Hezhang Buyi is a moribund Northern Tai language of northwestern Guizhou that is notable for having a Kra substratum.

Pittayaporn (2009)

Pittayaporn (2009:300) distinguishes a similar group of Zhuang varieties as group "N", defined by the phonological shifts *?j, *?w -> *aj, *aw.[3] He moves the prestige dialect of Zhuang, the Wuming dialect, from the Northern Tai Yongbei Zhuang to Yongnan Zhuang - purportedly Central Tai - as it lacks these shifts. The various languages and localities Pittayaporn includes in group N, along with their Ethnologue equivalents, are:


  1. ^
  2. ^ Pittayaporn classified Yoy as Southwestern Tai, but does not provide supporting analysis.
  3. ^ Pittayaporn, Pittayawat. 2009. The Phonology of Proto-Tai. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Linguistics, Cornell University.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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