Lisoish languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Central Loloish
Southern China, Vietnam
Linguistic classification Sino-Tibetan
Glottolog liso1234[1]

The Lisoish languages, also known in broader scope as the Central Loloish or Central Ngwi languages, are a branch of the Loloish languages that includes several of the Yi languages


Central Loloish was proposed by Bradley (1997) and Thurgood (2003).[2] Thurgood removed the Sani–Azha languages. Lama (2012) removed Lahu and Jinuo, and did not address Micha, calling the remaining core Lisoish.

There is no single phonological innovation that defines Lisoish.

Languages and classifications[edit]

Lama (2012)[edit]


Lipo, Lolopo, Hlersu (Shansu)

Toloza (Tanglang)


Lalo (Laluba), Lavu (Talu)

Close to Lisu within Central Loloish, but not addressed directly by Lama (2012), are the Micha languages:

Another Central Loloish language, possibly Lisoish, is Lang’e (La’u), as apparently is Naluo. Yang (2011) reports Lawu, which is closest to Lavu/Talu. Other languages that are unclassified within Central Loloish are Limi and Mili.

Two of the six Yi languages (fangyan 方言) officially recognized by the Chinese government belong to Lama's Lisoish clade:

  • Western Yi (Lalo 腊罗)
  • Central Yi (Lolopo 倮倮泼)

The remaining four are Nisoish.

Chen (2010)[edit]

Chen (2010) lists the following dialects for "Lolo" (倮倮) languages, which corresponds to part of Lama's Lisoish clade, but in a narrower scope. The position of Lisu is not addressed. Also listed are the counties where each respective dialect is spoken.

Lolo 倮倮方言
  • Lolo, Luóluó 倮倮次方言 (lo̱˨˩lo̱˧pʰo˨˩): 600,000 speakers in all counties of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture
  • Lalu, Làlǔ 腊鲁次方言
    • Lalu, Làlǔ 腊鲁 (la˨˩lu̱˧pa˨˩): 250,000 speakers in Dali, Weishan, Midu, Yongping, Baoshan, etc.
    • Lalo, Làluó 腊罗 (la˨˩lo̱˨˩ɣɑ˥ly˥): 250,000 speakers in Dali, Weishan, Yunxian, Changning, Nanjian, Lincang, Shuangjiang, Midu, Jingdong, Jinggu, etc.
  • Lipo, Lǐpō 里泼次方言
    • Lipo, Lǐpō 里泼 (li˧pʰo˨˩): 200,000 speakers in Luquan, Wuding, Yongsheng, Huaping, etc.
    • Lavu, Lāwù 拉务 (la˨˩u˨˩): 50,000 speakers in Yongsheng
    • Talu, Tǎlǔ 塔鲁 (tʰa˨˩lu˥): 50,000 speakers in Yongsheng, Huaping, etc.
    • Toloza, Tánglángràng 堂郎让 (tʰo˧lo˧za˧): 2,000+ speakers in Tai'an Township, Lijiang County

Other languages[edit]

Cathryn Yang (2010)[3] lists the following 4 languages as peripheral Lalo languages.

Andy Castro, et al. (2010)[4] have reported the discovery of 5 languages in Heqing County, Yunnan that are most closely related to Talu (他留话) of Yongsheng County. Autonyms are from Castro (2010:25). Sonaga is the most divergent, while the other four languages comprise a core subclade.

  • Kua-nsi (kʰua˧n˨˩sɨ˥; 跨恩斯话): 5,000+ speakers
  • Kuamasi (kʰua˧ma˧sɨ˥; 跨玛斯话)
  • Laizisi (lai˨˩dzɨ̱˥sɨ˥; 莱兹斯话)
  • Zibusi (zɨ˨˩pu˥sɨ˥; 子逋斯话)
  • Sonaga (so˨˩na˧ka̱˧; 锁内嘎话): 2,000+ speakers

Gomotage (ɣɔ˨˩mɔ˧ta˥ɣə˨˩; also known as ɣɔ31 mɔ33 zɔ31[5]), an undocumented and little-known Loloish language of Eryuan County, is also probably related to Kua-nsi (Yang 2010:7). Yang (2010:7) also suggests that Wotizo (wɔ˨˩ti˧zɔ˨˩) of Midu County may probably be related to Lolo (Lolopo).

Bradley (2007) reports a moribund language Samatu.[citation needed]

Other languages that may be Lisoish include (see also List of lesser-known Loloish languages):


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

  • *m- > zero
  • *m- > p-

Pelkey (2011:367) lists the following as Central Ngwi innovations.

  • Proto-Ngwi tone categories 1 and 2: tone splitting that is widespread
  • Proto-Ngwi tone category 2 splits to *glottal-prefixed initials (higher-pitched reflexes) and *non-glottal-prefixed initials (lower-pitched reflexes; with a subsequent flip-flop in Lahu)
  • Proto-Ngwi tone category L prefixed stop initials > high/rising pitch reflexes
  • Family group classifiers paradigmatized with disyllabic forms, vowel leveling, and other systemic changes
  • Burmic extentive paradigm is moderately grammaticalized; more than Southern Ngwi, but fewer than Northern Ngwi


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lisoid". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Thurgood & LaPolla, 2003, The Sino-Tibetan languages, p. 8
  3. ^ Yang, Cathryn. 2010. Lalo regional varieties: Phylogeny, dialectometry, and sociolinguistics. Melbourne: La Trobe University PhD dissertation.
  4. ^ Andy Castro, Brian Crook, Royce Flaming. 2010. A sociolinguistic survey of Kua-nsi and related Yi varieties in Heqing county, Yunnan province, China. SIL International.
  5. ^ Duan Ling [段伶]. 1998. A sketch of Emaorou Yi [彝语俄毛柔话概说]. In Dali Normal University Journal [大理师专学报], Vol. 3.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  • Chen Kang [陈康]. 2010. A study of Yi dialects [彝语方言研究]. Beijing: China Minzu University Press.
  • Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington (archived)