Dai Zhuang language

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Dai Zhuang
Wen-Ma Southern Zhuang
Native to China
Region Wenshan Prefecture
Native speakers
100,000  (2008)[1]
  • Tai
    • Zuojiang–Southwest
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
zhd – Dai Zhuang
tyl – Thu Lao (duplicate code)

Dai Zhuang is a Tai language spoken in Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan, China, in Yanshan, Wenshan, Maguan, Malipo, Guangnan counties. It is also spoken in Honghe Prefecture and Vietnam. The largest concentrations are in Wenshan (50% of total Zhuang population) and Yanshan (20% of total Zhuang population) counties (Johnson 2011b).


Below are various names (both autonyms and exonyms) for speakers of Dai Zhuang (Johnson 2011a:43).

  • Pu Dai (濮岱)
  • pʰu˥ ʔdaːi˧˩, pʰu˨ taːi˩
  • Tuliao, Tulao (土僚、土老)
  • Tuzu (土族)
  • Pulao, Puliao (濮僚; ancient Chinese ethnonym)


Johnson (2011b) splits Dai Zhuang into 4 dialects according to tonal splitting patterns: Northern, Central, Southern, and Northeastern. They roughly correspond with the following ethnic subdivisions (Johnson 2011a).

  • Northern: Piled Headdress Tu (Da Tou Tu, 搭头土, Daigelai, Black Tulao). Spoken in northern Wenshan and western Yanshan counties.
  • Central: Flat Headdress Tu (Ping Tou Tu, 平头土, River Bank Tulao). Spoken around the city of Wenshan, and in central Wenshan County’s Panzhihua (攀枝花) Township.
  • Southern: Pointed Headdress Tu (Jian Tou Tu, 尖头土). Spoken in Malipo and Maguan counties.
  • Northeastern: Slanted Headdress Tu (Pian Tou Tu, 偏头土). Spoken in Guangnan and eastern Yanshan counties.


Many Dai Zhuang dialects preserve voiced stops inherited from Proto-Tai (L-Thongkum 1997). L-Thongkum calls the dialects with the voiced stops "Dai Tho," and the dialects without any voiced stops "Tai Tho."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dai Zhuang at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Thu Lao (duplicate code) at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Wenma–Southwestern Tai". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.