Qabiao language

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Region Hà Giang, Vietnam; Wenshan, Yunnan, China
Ethnicity Qabiao
Native speakers
710  (2009 census)[1]
  • Kra
    • Yang–Biao
      • Qabiao
Language codes
ISO 639-3 laq
Glottolog qabi1235[2]

Qabiao, or sometimes Laqua (autonym: qa biau˧; Chinese: Pubiao 普标, Vietnamese: Pu Péo) is a Tai–Kadai language spoken by the Qabiao people in northern Vietnam and Yunnan, China. Alternative names for Qabiao include Kabeo, Ka Beo, Ka Bao, Ka Biao, Laqua, Pubiao (Pupeo or Pu Péo) and Pen Ti Lolo (Bendi Lolo). The meaning of the name "Qabiao" is unknown.

The Qabiao language is highly endangered. Also, most of its speakers lack access to nearby potable water.[3]

Maza, a Lolo–Burmese language spoken near the Qabiao area, is notable for having a Qabiao substratum (Hsiu 2014:68-69).

Geographic distribution[edit]

In Vietnam, Qabiao is spoken in Đồng Văn District, Hà Giang Province in Phố Là and Sủng Chéng villages, and perhaps also in Yên Minh and Mèo Vạc Districts.[3]

In China, Qabiao is spoken in Tiechang Township 铁厂镇 and Donggan Township 懂干镇 in Malipo County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (Liang, et al. 2007). Many Qabiao people have shifted to Southwestern Mandarin, although it is still spoken in villages such as Pufeng 普峰.[4]


The Qabiao language has the following tones: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2.[3]


  1. ^ Qabiao at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Qabiao". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b c Diller, Anthony, Jerold A. Edmondson, and Yongxian Luo ed. The Tai–Kadai Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Psychology Press, 2008.
  4. ^ 麻栗坡县铁厂乡董渡村委会新民寨自然村


  • Hsiu, Andrew. 2014. "Mondzish: a new subgroup of Lolo-Burmese". In Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics (IsCLL-14). Taipei: Academia Sinica.
  • Liang Min, Zhang Junru & Li Yunbing (2007). Pubiao yu yanjiu. Beijing: The Ethnic Publishing House.

External links[edit]