Lewu language

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Native toChina
Native speakers
(extinct cited 1985)
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Lewu 乐舞 is an unclassified extinct Loloish language of Jingdong Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan, China. The Lewu are officially classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Yao people.


According to the Jingdong County Almanac (1994:519), ethnic Yao numbered 3,889 individuals in 1990, and lived mainly in Chaqing 岔箐[1] and Dasongshu 大松树[2] Villages of Taizhong Township 太忠乡. Yao language speakers, known as the Lewu Yao 乐舞瑶族, are found in Puya Village 普牙村, Chaqing Township 岔箐乡 (Jingdong County Ethnic Gazetteer 2012:144).[3][4][5]


Lewu may have been related to the Lawu language of Xinping County, Yunnan, but classification remains uncertain due to the paucity of data.[6]


A word list of the Lewu Yao language is transcribed using pinyin in the Jingdong County Ethnic Gazetteer (2012:144-145). The language is already extinct, and was recorded in 1985 from 85-year-old Zhu Zhaojin 祝兆金 of Puya Village 普牙村, who could remember only some words.

Chinese gloss English gloss Lewu Page
吃饭 eat rice zuǒ zuó liē 144
猪心肺 pig heart and lungs cī ber 144
这里来 come (from) here wū lài lai 144
什么东西 What thing? māi yuō 144
蚕豆 broad bean (Vicia faba) nuó suō 144
豌豆 pea (Pisum sativum) nuó sǎi 144
回来,回来你回来 come back, come back, you come back gǔ lāi gǔ lai gǔ lāi 144
白酒 liquor zhī zhí 144
清酒 rice wine a zhì 144
筷子 chopsticks a zhu 144
knife biě tuo 145
斧子 axe shì cuo 145
bowl lin hua 145
spoon yì geu 145
to hit ch wō 145
没有了 There is no more. mā ia lāi 145


  1. ^ "景东彝族自治县太忠乡岔箐村委会". ynszxc.gov.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  2. ^ "景东彝族自治县太忠乡大松树村委会". ynszxc.gov.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  3. ^ "景东彝族自治县太忠乡岔箐村委会上普牙". ynszxc.gov.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  4. ^ "景东彝族自治县太忠乡岔箐村委会中普牙". ynszxc.gov.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  5. ^ "景东彝族自治县太忠乡岔箐村委会下普牙". ynszxc.gov.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  6. ^ Hsiu, Andrew. 2017. The Lawu languages: footprints along the Red River valley corridor.