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Mienic languages


Mienic languages

The Mienic or Yao languages are spoken by the Yao people of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

Some of the Yao peoples speak Hmongic languages (Miao); these are called Bunu. A small population of Yao people in Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County (金秀瑶族自治县) in eastern Guangxi speak a Tai-Kadai language called Lakkia.


  • Classification 1
    • Ratliff (2010) 1.1
    • Strecker (1987) 1.2
    • Mao (2004) 1.3
    • Aumann & Sidwell (2004) 1.4
  • Mixed languages 2
  • Numerals 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5


Mienic is one of the primary branches of the Hmong–Mien language family, with the other being Hmongic.

Ratliff (2010)

Martha Ratliff (2010:3) proposed the following classification:[1]

Strecker (1987)

Strecker 1987,[2] followed (with the addition of Moxi) by Matisoff 2001, proposed the following, with some of the more divergent varieties as additional languages:

Mao (2004)

Mao Zongwu (2004) classifies the following Mienic languages and dialects of China as such. Data points studied in Mao (2004) are also listed for each dialect.

  • Mien: 550,000 speakers
    • Guangdian 广滇 dialect: 400,000 speakers
      • Dapingjiang, Jianxin village, Jiangdi township, Longsheng County 龙胜县江底乡建新村大坪江屯
      • Shinongjiao village, Daxiaohe township, Guanyang County 灌阳县大小河乡石弄脚村
      • Xianjiacao, Liuding village, Sanjiao township, Jinxiu County 金秀县三角乡六定村仙家槽屯
      • Fengle village, Panshi township, Rongjiang County 榕江县盘石乡丰乐村
      • Miaozhu village, Gongkeng township, Ruyuan County 乳源县公坑乡苗竹村
      • Shuizi'ao village, Liangchahe township, Jianghua County 江华县两岔河乡水子坳村
      • Yanbian village, Shilixiang township, Jinping County 云南省红河哈尼族彝族自治州金平苗族瑶族傣族自治县十里香乡百岩边村[3]
    • Xiangnan 湘南 dialect: 130,000 speakers
      • Miaoziyuan village, Xiangjiang township, Jianghua County 湖南永州市江华瑶族自治县湘江乡庙子源村
      • Ganziyuan village, Mianhuaping township, Ningyuan County 湖南省永州市宁远县棉花坪乡柑子园村
    • Luoxiang 罗香 (Ao Biao 坳标) dialect: 3,000 speakers
      • Luoxiang township, Jinxiu County 广西来宾市金秀瑶族自治县罗香乡罗香村
    • Changping 长坪 (Biao Man 标曼) dialect: 20,000 speakers in the counties of Mengshan, Pingdong, Zhaoping, and Lipu
      • Dongpingdong village, Changping township, Mengshan County 广西壮族自治区梧州市蒙山县长坪乡东坪垌村
  • Jinmen 金门: 220,000 speakers
    • Diangui 滇桂 dialect: 166,000 speakers
      • Xinzhai village, Liangzi township, Hekou County 云南省红河哈尼族彝族自治州河口瑶族自治县梁子乡新寨村[4]
      • Nacai village, Dulong township, Malipo County 云南省文山麻栗坡县都龙乡那才村
      • Suoshanjiao village, Yaoqu township, Mengla County 云南省勐腊县瑶区乡梭山脚村[5]
      • Lanjin township, Lingyun County 广西壮族自治区百色市凌云县览金乡览金村
      • Xintun, Jiajiang village, Sanjiao township, Jinxiu County 广西壮族自治区来宾市金秀瑶族自治县三角乡甲江村新屯
    • Fanghai 防海 dialect: 60,000 speakers
      • Tansan township, Fangcheng County 广西壮族自治区防城县十万大山区滩散乡滩散村
      • Xin'an village, Daping township, Qiongzhong County 海南省琼中黎族苗族自治县大平乡新安村
  • Biao Min 标敏: 40,000 speakers
    • Dongshan 东山 dialect: 35,000 speakers
      • Shuanglong, Huanglong village, Dongshan township, Quanzhou County 全州县东山乡黄龙村双龙屯
    • Shikou 石口 dialect: 8,000 speakers
      • Shikou village, Sanjiang township, Gongcheng County 恭城县三江乡石口村
    • Niuweizhai 牛尾寨 dialect: 2,000 speakers
      • Niuwei village, Sanjiang township, Gongcheng County 恭城县三江乡牛尾村

The comparative vocabulary chart in Mao Zongwu (2004) consists of the following languages.

  1. Guangdian Mien (Jiangdi); autonym: mjen31
  2. Diangui Kim Mun (Liangzi); autonym: kjeːm33 mun33
  3. Dongshan Biao Min; autonym: bjau31 min31
  4. Daping Dzao Min; autonym: dzau53 min53
  5. Xiangnan Mien (Miaoziyuan); autonym: mjəŋ31
  6. Changping Mien ( = Biao Mon); autonym: bjau31 moːn31
  7. Luoxiang Mien; autonym: bjau31 mwan31
  8. Fanghai Kim Mun (Tansan); autonym: kiːm33 mun33
  9. Shikou Biao Min ( = Chao Kong Meng); autonym: mɔu31 jɔu55
  10. Niuweizhai Biao Min ( = Moxi); autonym: mɔ433 ɕi53

Aumann & Sidwell (2004)

Using Mao's (2004) new data, Aumann & Sidwell (2004) propose the following classification of the Mienic languages, based on innovations in rhotic consonants.[6] This classification presents a bipartite division of the Mienic into a subgroup consisting of Iu Mien and Biao Min, and another subgroup consisting of Kim Mun and Dzao Min. Luoxiang is grouped with Kim Mun, while Changping is grouped with Dzao Min.

Aumann & Sidwell (2004) consider the following classification by Wang & Mao to be unlikely, which is based on the voicing of voiceless sonorants, a common areal feature.

  • Proto-Mien
    • Luoxiang Mien
    • Iu Mien
      • Guangdian Mien
      • Xiangnan Mien
      • Dongshan Biao Min
    • Mun-Dzao

Mixed languages

Some languages may be mixed Chinese and Mienic (Yao) languages, such as:


Numerals in Mienic Languages[8]
Language One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten
Proto-Hmong-Mien *ʔɨ *ʔu̯i *pjɔu *plei *prja *kruk *dzjuŋH *jat *N-ɟuə *gju̯əp
Iu Mien jet12 i33 pwo33 pjei33 pia33 tɕu55 sje13 ɕet12 dwo31 tsjop12
Ao Biao (Luoxiang) jit43 vi33 pu33 pje33 pla33 kwo43 ȵi11 jat32 du31 ɕep32
Biao Mon (Changping) no35 i33 pu33 plei33 pla33 kju53 ŋi22 jaːt21 du21 sjəp21
Kim Mun a33 i35 ˀpɔ35 pjei35 pja35 kjo35 ȵi42 jet55 du33 ʃap42
Biao Min i33 wəi33 pau33 pləi33 pla33 klɔ53 ni42 hjɛn42 iu31 ȶʰan42
Chao Kong Meng (Shikou) ji35 vi33 bɔu33 pli33 pla53 klɔ35 ŋi13 jæ22 tɕu55 tɕæ22
Moxi (Niuweizhai) i33 wei33 pəu33 pɣɯi33 pɤa33 kɤɔ55 ɕi31 hjɯ53 du53 tɕʰwa53
Dzao Min a44 vi42 bu42 pɛi42 pjɛ42 tɔu44 ȵi22 dzat22 ku53 sjɛp22


  1. ^ Ratliff, Martha. 2010. Hmong–Mien language history. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics.
  2. ^ Strecker, David. 1987. "The Hmong-Mien Languages." In Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, 10 , no. 2: 1-11.
  3. ^ location not found on map
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Cited in Chiang (1995) We two know the script, we have become good friends, p. 28, footnote 43.
  8. ^
  • 毛宗武 / Mao Zongwu. 2004. 瑤族勉语方言研究 / Yao zu Mian yu fang yan yan jiu [A Study of Mien Dialects]. Beijing: 民族出版社 / Min zu chu ban she.

Further reading

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