Nung language (Sino-Tibetan)

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Not to be confused with Nung language (Tai).
Native to Fugong County, China
Ethnicity Nung[1]
Native speakers
450 (2000–2007)[2]
7,000 in China
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nun
Glottolog nung1282[3]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Nung, or Anong [ɑ˧˩nuŋ˧˩], is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Nung people in Fugong County, China and Kachin State, Burma. Anong is closely related to the Derung and Rawang languages. Most of the Nung people in China have shifted to Lisu. In Myanmar, Anong is considered one of the clans of the Lisu family. The number of Anong speakers is decreasing. The Anong population is mixed with the Lisu population. Only older people can speak and write in Anong language. The younger generations use Lisu rather than Anong even at home. The majority of Anong speakers in Myanmar are found in Putao township and Myitgyina township in Kachin state. There are also many living in different cities such as Yangon, Khanti, and Taunggy etc. These do not use Anong, but Lisu. Therefore, Anong language is an endangered language. Besides in China and Myanmar, there are Anong people in Thailand and India.


Anong is spoken by over 7,000 people in China in the following townships (Sun & Liu 2005).

  • Shangpa 上帕镇: 2,200 people
  • Lijia 里甲乡: 1,100 people
  • Lumadeng 鹿马登乡: 2,100 people
  • Lishadi 利沙底乡: 2,200 people

There could be many more Anong speakers in neighboring Kachin State, Burma, although their current status is unknown.



Nung has 43 single consonants.[below we list 47]

Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal voiceless ɳ̥ ɲ̥ ŋ̊
voiced m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
Plosive aspirated ʈʰ
tenuis p t ʈ k ʔ
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Affricate aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tɕʰ
tenuis ts
voiced dz ɖʐ
Fricative voiceless f s ʂ ɕ x h
voiced v z ʐ ʑ ɣ
Lateral voiceless
voiced l ɭ
Rhotic voiced ɹ



  1. ^ The spurious "Ayi" is a misreading of Chinese 阿侬 Anong as *阿依 Ayi
  2. ^ Nawpha at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Nung (Myanmar)". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ 孙宏开,刘光,p.26-31.

This book in English:

  • Sun Hongkai; Liu Guangkun (2009). A Grammar of Anong. Language Death Under Intense Contact. Brill, Leiden • Boston. ISBN 90-04-17686-1. 

External links[edit]