Hanoish languages

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Southern Loloish
Southern China and Indochina
Linguistic classification Sino-Tibetan
Glottolog hani1249[1]

The Hanoish (Hanish) languages, also known in a broader scope as the Southern Loloish or Southern Ngwi languages, are a branch of the Loloish languages that includes Akha and Hani.


The branches included in Lama (2012), with languages from Bradley (2007), are:






Bisu (Laomian), Phunoi (Singsali, Singsili), Pyen


Sila (Sida), Phana’

Akeu (Chepya)

Hani (AkhaHani, Honi)


Piyo, Enu, Mpi


Other Hanoish languages are:

  • Muda
  • Paza (Phusang), a recently discovered Loloish language of northern Laos, is also Hanoish, but it is unclear where it should be classified within Hanoish.[2]
  • Sadu, a recently discovered Loloish language of Yuxi, Yunnan, China
  • Bana or Bala[3] in Laos. Speakers are included in the Kaw (Akha) ethnic group. The language is now being replaced by other larger languages such as Akha and Lahu.
  • Suobi 梭比, spoken in Yinyuan Township 因远镇, Yuanjiang County
  • Nuobi 糯比, closely related to Suobi
  • Cosao, an unclassified Southern Loloish language
  • Yiche 奕车, spoken in Honghe County

Kato (2008) also documents:

Other Hanoish language varieties in south-central Yunnan include Bukong 布孔, Budu 布都,[4] Asuo 阿梭, Duota 堕塔,[5] Amu 阿木, Lami 腊米, Qiedi 切弟, Kabie 卡别,[6] and Woni 窝尼.


David Bradley (2007)[3] considers the following Bisoid dialects to be closely related.

  • Bisu: 500 ethnic members in northern Thailand, with far fewer speakers
  • Hpyin (Pyen): already reported as moribund in 1900, and replaced by Lahu
  • Laomian: 4,000 speakers (out of 5,000 ethnic members) in central Lancang County
  • Laopin: fewer than 1,000 speakers (out of 1,300 ethnic members) in Menghai County
  • law˧pan˩ (Lao-Pan in Kingsada (1999))

Bradley (2007) lists the following Sinsali (formerly Phunoi) languages, which differ from each other.

  • Sinsali proper
  • pʰɔŋ˧ku˥ (Phongku in Kingsada (1999))
  • law˨˩sɛŋ˨˩ (Laoseng in Kingsada (1999))
  • pi˧su˦ (Bisu)

Other Bisoid languages include:

  • Phongset (pʰoŋ˧ set˥) (Shintani 2001)
  • Phunyot (pʰu˨˩ nʲɔt˩) (Kato 2008)

Kitjapol Udomkool (2006:34),[7] citing data from Wright,[8] also lists the following Bisoid (Phunoi) languages.

Kitjapol Udomkool (2006) gives the following computational classification for the Bisoid (Phunoi) group, using the UPGMA method.





Tsukong, Cốông




Laoseng, Phongset


Bisu, Pyen

Laopin, Laomian

Wright (n.d.)[8] tentatively classifies the Singsali (Phunoi) languages of Phongsaly Province, Laos as follows. Phongku may or may not belong as the same group as Laoseng, Phongset, Cantan, and Singsali.


Many languages formerly classified as Southern Loloish were known to be divergent, but little data was available; these were split off as Southeastern Loloish by Bradley (2002). The position of Pholo is unclear: although initially kept with the Phula languages in Southeastern Loloish, Pelkey notes that it is only culturally similar, and does not share the defining features of that branch. However, Lama (2012) uses it as one of his sources for classifying Loloish, and finds that it falls in with Zuoke, which Pelkey classifies as Phula. ’Ugong is even more aberrant; Bradley (1997) places it with the Burmish languages.

Jinuo was added to Hanish by Lama (2012).


Lama (2012) lists the following changes from Proto-Loloish as Hanoish innovations.

  • *m- → zero /__[u] (Hani and Haoni)
  • *kh- > x- (Hani and Haoni)
  • *N- > NC or C (nasal hardening rule in Bisu and Sangkong)
  • Reversed order of syllables (family-wide)


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Hani–Jino". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/numeral/Paza.htm
  3. ^ a b Bradley, David (2007). "Language Endangerment in China and Mainland Southeast Asia". In Matthias Brenzinger, ed. Language diversity endangered. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  4. ^ 中国少数民族社会历史调查资料丛刊》修订编辑委员会. 2009. 哈尼族社会历史调查, p.94, 99. Beijing: Minzu Chubanshe.
  5. ^ Jiangcheng County Almanac (1989:351)
  6. ^ Jiang Ying [蒋颖], Cui Xia [崔霞], Qiao Xiang [乔翔]. 2009. A study of Ximoluo [西摩洛语研究]. Beijing: Ethnic Publishing House [民族出版社].
  7. ^ Udomkool, Kitjapol. 2006. A phonological comparison of selected Bisoid varieties. M.A. dissertation. Chiang Mai: Payap University.
  8. ^ a b Wright, Pamela Sue. n.d. Singsali (Phunoi) Speech Varieties Of Phongsali Province. m.s.
  • Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington (archived)
  • 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).
  • Shintani, Tadahiko, Ryuichi Kosaka, and Takashi Kato. 2001. Linguistic Survey of Phongxaly, Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  • Kato, Takashi. 2008. Linguistic Survey of Tibeto-Burman languages in Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).