Caijia language

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Native to China
Region Guizhou
Native speakers
1,000 (2004)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog caij1234[1]

Caijia (Chinese: 蔡家话) is an endangered Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Guizhou, China. It was discovered in the 2000s. It appears to be related to Bai.[1] The autonym is men˧˩ni˧.

The Caijia people are ethnoculturally related to the Lu (卢) people (Luren 卢人), who are classified as Manchu by the Chinese government. It is possible that their language is closely related to Caijia. Caijia is also likely to be closely related to Longjia (龙家).[2] Caijia, Longjia, and Lu are all spoken in western Guizhou.

Names and subdivisions[edit]

Ethnic subdivisions of the Caijia people include the Black 黑, White 白, Qingshangshui 青上水, Xiashui 下水, Hanzhan 捍毡, Zhuazhua 抓抓, Datou 大头, Qianqiaoba 乾乔巴, Laohu 老虎, Luoluo 倮倮, Xuejiao 削角 (Xieguo 写果), and Jiandao 剪刀.[3]

Historically recorded names for the Caijia include Caijiazi 蔡家子 and Gantan Caijia 擀毡蔡家.[4] The Yi call the Caijia "Sha'awu 沙阿乌", the Miao call them "Sini 斯你",[4] and other ethnic groups also call them "Xieguo 写果".[4]


Caijia speakers are distributed in the following locations (Bo Wenze 2004).[5]

  • Lijiazhai, Xinying Village, Xingfa Township, Hezhang County 赫章县兴发乡新营村李家寨
  • Caijiayuan, Yakou Village, Songlinpo Township, Hezhang County 赫章县松林坡乡垭口村蔡家园
  • Lijiagou, Kele Township, Hezhang County 赫章县可乐乡李家沟
  • Xinfa Township, Weining County 威宁县新发乡
  • Caijiayuan, Shuchang Township, Shuicheng County 水城鼠场蔡家园

Caijia people with the autonym "Menni" (门尼 or 门你) have also been reported in Puding County, Guizhou, where they were classified as ethnic Gelao during the 1980s (Zhou Guoyan 2004).

In Zhijin County, Guizhou, Caijia people are called Silie 斯列 by the local Miao and Awuna 阿乌纳 by the local Yi (Zhijin County Almanac 1997:166). Yinajia District 以那架区 has the most ethnic Caijia in Zhijin.

The Liupanshui City Ethnic Gazetteer 六盘水市志:民族志 (2003:182-183)[4] lists ethnic Caijia populations for the following counties.

  • Liupanshui: 4,061 (1982)
  • Liuzhi: 1,720 (1981), in Niuchang 牛场, Xinchang 新场, Heitang 黑塘
  • Shuicheng: 2,296 (1982), in Bide 比德, Huale 化乐, Qinglin 青林, Jinpen 金盆
  • Zhongshan District 钟山区: in Dewu 德坞乡

In Shuicheng County, the Caijia is still spoken in:[4]

  • Chahe 叉河, Jinpen Township 金盆乡
  • Caijiapo 蔡家坡, Tujiao Township 土角乡

In Zhenxiong County, Yunnan, the Caijia are scattered in the village of Sumu 苏木,[6][7] and in Chuanjiu 串九,[8] Qinggang 青杠,[9][10] Liangshui 凉水,[11] Poji 泼机,[12] Nantai 南台, Wugu 五谷[13] (Zhenxiong County Almanac 1986).[14]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Caijia". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Guizhou Province Gazetteer: Ethnic Gazetteer [贵州省志. 民族志] (2002). Guiyang: Guizhou Ethnic Publishing House [貴州民族出版社].
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e Liupanshui City Ethnic Gazetteer 六盘水市志:民族志 (2003:182-183). ISBN 7-221-05533-5
  5. ^ Bo Wenze (2004). 蔡家话概况. 北京大学外国语学院东语系.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Guizhou provincial ethnic classification commission, linguistic division [贵州省民族识别工作队语言组]. 1982. The language of the Caijia [Caijia de yuyan 蔡家的语言]. m.s.
  • Guizhou provincial ethnic classification commission [贵州省民族识别工作队]. 1984. Report on ethnic classification issues of the Nanlong people (Nanjing-Longjia) [南龙人(南京-龙家)族别问题调查报告]. m.s.
  • Hsiu, Andrew. 2013. "New endangered Tibeto-Burman languages of southwestern China: Mondzish, Longjia, Pherbu, and others". Presentation given at ICSTLL 46, Dartmouth College.
  • Zhao Weifeng [赵卫峰]. 2011. History of the Bai people of Guizhou [贵州白族史略]. Yinchuan, China: Ningxia People's Press [宁夏人民出版社]. ISBN 978-7-227-04678-3

See also[edit]

External links[edit]