Palaung, or in Chinese De'ang, is a Mon–Khmerdialect cluster spoken by over half a million people in Burma (Shan State) and neighboring countries. The Palaung people are divided into Palé, Rumai, and Shwe, and each of these has their own language. The Riang languages are reported to be unintelligible or only understood with great difficulty by native speakers of the other Palaung languages.
A total number of speakers is uncertain; there were 150,000 Shwe speakers in 1982, 272,000 Ruching (Palé) speakers in 2000, and 139,000 Rumai speakers at an unrecorded date.
Chinese linguists classify "Deang 德昂" varieties (spoken mostly in Santaishan Ethnic Deang Township 三台山德昂族乡, Mang City and Junnong Township 军弄乡, Zhenkang County) as follows (Deangyu Jianzhi). Names in IPA are from Yan & Zhou (2012:154-155) 
Liang 梁 (liaŋ) (representative datapoint: Xiaochanggou 硝厂沟): spoken in Longchuan and Ruili
Rumai 汝买 (ro mai, ro rau mai) (representative datapoint: Yechaqing 叶茶箐): spoken in Zhenkang and Baoshan
The Deang 德昂 variously refer themselves as naʔaŋ, daʔaŋ, toʔaŋ, and laʔaŋ, depending on the dialect (Yan & Zhou 2012:154-155). Another Deang autonym is ho (rau) khaoʔ, where rau means 'village'. The local Dai people refer to the Deang as po˧loŋ˧.
Shintani (2008) recognizes two dialects of Palaung, namely Southern Palaung and Northern Palaung. Southern Palaung unvoiced stops correspond to Northern Palaung voiced stops, the latter which Shintani (2008) believes to be retentions from Proto-Palaungic. Southern Palaung dialects studied by Shintani (2008) are those of:
Shorto (1960) lists the following consonants for Palaung:
According to Shorto (1960), /ə/ does not occur alone in primary stressed syllable, but only in an unstressed syllable or as the second member of a diphthong. There are also a large number of diphthongs, including /eo/, /eə/, /aə/, /ɔə/, /oə/, /uə/, and /iə/.
Although Milne (1921) includes the vowels /ü, ö, ɪ/ in her transcriptions, Shorto (1960) did not find these as vowel phonemes in his work.
(Note that the words cited below in the Syntax section come from Milne (1921), so their phonetic representations may need revision.)
^Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Palaung". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
^Ray Waddington (2003). "The Palaung". The Peoples of the World Foundation. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
^Klose, Albrecht (2001) Sprachen der Welt: ein weltweiter Index der Sprachfamilien, Einzelsprachen und Dialekte, mit Angabe der Synonyma und fremdsprachigen Äquivalente (Languages of the world: a multi-lingual concordance of languages, dialects and language-families) Saur, Munich, Germany, page 403, ISBN 3-598-11404-4
^Yan Qixiang [颜其香] & Zhou Zhizhi [周植志] (2012). Mon-Khmer languages of China and the Austroasiatic family [中国孟高棉语族语言与南亚语系]. Beijing: Social Sciences Academy Press [社会科学文献出版社].