Tsat language

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Native to China
Region Hainan Island
Ethnicity Utsuls
Native speakers
4,000  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 huq
Glottolog tsat1238[2]

Tsat (also known as Utsat, Utset, Huihui, Hui, or Hainan Cham, Chinese: 回辉语/回輝語 Huíhuīyǔ) is a language spoken near Sanya, Hainan, China by the Utsuls. Tsat is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian group within the Austronesian language family, and is related to the Cham languages, originally from the coast of present-day Vietnam. Today, the language is spoken by 4,500 people in Yanglan (羊栏) and Huixin (回新), two villages on the outskirts of Sanya, Hainan.

Unusually for a Malayo-Polynesian language, Tsat has developed into a solidly tonal language, probably as a result of areal linguistic effects and contact with Chinese, Hlai/Li, and the other tonal languages of Hainan.[3]


Hainan Cham tones correspond to various Proto-Chamic sounds.[4]

Hainan Cham Tonogenesis
Tone value
(Hainan Cham)
Type of tone
(Hainan Cham)
Proto-Chamic final sound
55 High *-h, *-s; PAN *-q
42 Falling *-p, *-t, *-k, *-c, *-ʔ; *-ay
Voiced final: default
24 Rising *-p, *-t, *-k, *-c, *-ʔ; *-ay
Voiceless final: voiced stop / affricate initial
11 Low Vowels and nasals
Voiced final: default
33 Mid Vowels and nasals
Voiceless final: voiced stop / affricate initial


  1. ^ Tsat at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tsat". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Graham Thurgood (1999). From ancient Cham to modern dialects: two thousand years of language contact and change : with an appendix of Chamic reconstructions and loanwords. University of Hawaii Press. p. 239. ISBN 0-8248-2131-9. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  4. ^ Thurgood, Graham. 1993. "Phan Rang Cham and Utsat: Tonogenetic themes and variants." In Jerold A. Edmondson and Kenneth J. Gregerson (eds.), Tonality in Austronesian languages, 91-106. Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication, 24. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.


  • Jerold A. Edmondson (1993). Tonality in Austronesian languages (illustrated ed.). University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1530-0. 

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