Bit language

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Bit
Native to Laos, China
Native speakers
2,200  (1994–2005)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bgk
Glottolog bitt1240[2]

Bit (Khabit, Psing, Buxing) is an Austroasiatic language spoken by around 1,500 people in Phongsaly Province, northern Laos and in Mengla County, China.[citation needed] There are thought to be about another 500 speakers over the border in Yunnan Province, China.[citation needed] It has been classified as Palaungic, Khmuic, and as Mangic.[citation needed]

Names[edit]

In China, the Buxing people (布兴, 布幸, or 布醒; IPA: [puʃiŋ]) are also called Kami 佧米人 or Kabi 佧比人 (IPA: [khabit]) (Gao 2004).

Yan & Zhou (2012:157) list the following names for Khabit.

  • pu siŋ, kʰa bet (autonyms)
  • xa˩˧vit˥ (Dai exonym)
  • kʰaʔmĭt (Khmu exonym)
  • Kami 卡咪 (Chinese exonym)

The Khabit name for Khmu is ta mɔi.

Classification[edit]

Paul Sidwell (2014)[3] and Svantesson (1990) classify Bit as Palaungic. It is most closely related to Kháng and Quang Lam.

Distribution[edit]

Laos[edit]

In Laos, Bit is spoken by 2,000 people in the following villages (Gao 2004). The speakers call themselves "Laubit."

  • Nam Lie
  • Nam Lan
  • Nam Liaŋ
  • Nam Pauk
  • Bɔn Tsɛm Mɑi
  • Nam Tha
  • Bɔn Hui Huo
  • Bɔn Bɔm Phiŋ
  • Nam Nɔi

Kingsada (1999) covers the Khabit (khaa bet) language of Nale village, Bun Neua District, Phongsaly Province, Laos.[4]

China[edit]

In Mengla County, Yunnan, China, Bit (Buxing) is spoken by 539 people as of 2000, in the following villages (Gao 2004).

  • Nanqian 南欠村, Manzhuang Village 曼庄村, Mohan Township 磨憨镇[5]
  • Kami 卡咪村, Huiluo Village 回洛村, Kami Township 卡米镇 / Mengban 勐伴镇[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bit at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bit". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2014. "Khmuic classification and homeland". Mon-Khmer Studies 43.1:47-56
  4. ^ Kingsadā, Thō̜ngphet, and Tadahiko Shintani. 1999 Basic Vocabularies of the Languages Spoken in Phongxaly, Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  5. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=160513
  6. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=203717
  • Gao Yongqi [高永奇]. 2004. A study of Buxing [Buxing yu yanjiu 布兴语研究]. Beijing: Minzu University Press [民族出版社].
  • Yan Qixiang [颜其香] & Zhou Zhizhi [周植志] (2012). Mon-Khmer languages of China and the Austroasiatic family [中国孟高棉语族语言与南亚语系]. Beijing: Social Sciences Academy Press [社会科学文献出版社].

Further Reading[edit]

  • Badenoch, Nathan. 2015. Phonological sketch of the Bit language of Luang Namtha, Laos. Presentation at SEALS 25. Chiang Mai.