Southern Loloish languages

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Southern Loloish
Southern China and Indochina
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan

The Southern Loloish or Southern Ngwi languages, also known as the Hanoish (Hanish) languages, constitute 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


Hanoid in Lama (2012) is alternatively called Akoid in Bradley (2007), who recognizes the Hani-Akha and Haoni-Baihong languages as part of the Akoid group.

Other Southern Loloish languages are:

  • Muda
  • Paza (Phusang), a recently discovered language of northern Laos related to Sila[2]
  • 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, a Southern Loloish language closely related to Khir
  • Yiche 奕车, spoken in Honghe County

Kato (2008) also documents:

Other Southern Loloish 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], Woni 窝尼, Duoni 多尼, and Habei 哈备. Habei is unclassified within Southern Loloish.

Hsiu (2016, 2018)[edit]

A 2016 computational phylogenetic lexical analysis by Hsiu (2016)[7] distinguished the following five branches of Southern Loloish, providing further support for the Hanoid (Akoid) and Bisoid branches in Lama (2012) and Bradley (2007). A new Siloid branch was added.

  1. Hanoid
  2. Bisoid
  3. Siloid
  4. Bi-Ka (?)
  5. Jinuo
Southern Loloish

The Southern Loloish tree above was subsequently revised by Hsiu (2018)[8] as follows, with 6 subgroups included.

Southern Loloish

Hsiu (2018) considers the Hani-Akha and Bi-Ka subgroups to be part of a northern linkage in south-central Yunnan, while the Siloid, Bisoid, Jino, and Mpi subgroups are part of a southern linkage in the China-Laos border region.[8]


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, eds. (2017). "Hani–Jino". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^
  3. ^ 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. ^ Hsiu, Andrew. 2016. The classification of Cosao: a Lolo-Burmese language of China and Laos. Presented at the 22nd Himalayan Languages Symposium, Guwahati, India. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1127809
  8. ^ a b Hsiu, Andrew. 2018. Classifications of some lesser-known Lolo-Burmese languages.
  • Bradley, David. 2007. East and Southeast Asia. In Moseley, Christopher (ed.), Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages, 349-424. London & New York: Routledge.
  • 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).