Talk:Tai languages

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I think Tai shouldn't really redirect here. Tai refers to the Tai peoples (speakers of Tai languages) which we should have something on. I'll write it some day. Markalexander100 05:51, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I agree with above. "Tai" should have a disambiguation page pointing to "Tai Languages" and "Tai People" and "Tai history" as well. I have already set up a history category. I'llbe writing a general page onTai history next week with citations. There is already alot out there on general Tai history n the Lao history pages, but the facts are not backed up with citations (Jonfernquest 15:54, 7 August 2006 (UTC))

Language names?[edit]

Where does this classification and the language names come from? Does it make sense to include so many links that lead nowhere? I don't know much about the Tai languages spoken in other countries, but for those spoken in China according to this article, I can say that the terminology is - well, at least very unusual; neither used in China nor by scholars abroad that I am aware of. Babelfisch; August 17th, 2004


Malayalam is a Dravidian language. What is the change by supposed to mean? Babelfisch; February 1st, 2005

Thai languages[edit]

Thai language should be the most suitable because it also refers to a variety of languages that are used in Thailand. iampad

No. Thai languages refers to languages spoken in Thailand (we should have an article on that, but it should be at Languages of Thailand. Tai languages refers to a linguistic group. HenryFlower 06:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
I totally agreed with Henry. I was confused at the time. --Iampad (talk) 00:46, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


The San Chay people of Vietnam seem to be missing from this article, for some reason. Badagnani 19:47, 4 November 2007 (UTC)


Why are Northern Zhuang, Bouyei, and Tai Mene in listed in Central Tai? Li Fang-kuei, the originator of the N/C/SW classification, put the first two there (see e.g. his Handbook of Comparative Tai), and Chamberlain classifies Tai Mene as Northern (sorry, can't put my finger on the exact reference). --Abhideja (talk) 23:39, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

No response to my previous query, so I moved them. Also moved E since Ethnologue ( locates it in northern Guangxi and states "Chinese scholars consider E a mixture of Northern Zhuang languages, Mulam [mlm], Dong [doc] and Chinese." Abhideja (talk) 17:25, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Saw this after I reverted. This classification contradicts the map in the main article (Kradai languages), which AFAIK is based on more recent refs. Maybe the languages do need to be moved, but I'd like to see some recent refs. And that would mean updating the map as well - maybe we could just relabel the orange "N & C"? kwami (talk) 00:35, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The following citations from the Kradai article either make it clear that Northern Zhuang and Bouyei are Northern Tai or make no mention of any contrary view: Edmondson and Solnit 1997; Blench 2004 (has Tai Mene under Northern); Tai-kadai Languages (2007); Diller, A. (2005) The Tai-Kadai languages. (BTW, I think that the last two are really the same. Don't know what's going on there.) Yes, the map in the Kradai entry (shouldn't that be Kra-Dai?) definitely should be updated. Labeling the orange area "N & C" could be a temporary solution, but Central and Northern really should be separated. If anything SW and C could be together. Some (e.g. Gedney "Speculations on Early Tai Tones" 1978) have suggested a single SW/C node which then splits into SW and C, but nobody to my knowledge has proposed grouping C and N in opposition to SW. I also put Turung in Southwestern. It's an interesting case of language shift, but it surely has nothing to do with Central Tai; see Morey's article in the Tai-kadai Languages book cited above. Abhideja (talk) 18:18, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I updated the map to match. kwami (talk) 20:42, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Yay language[edit]

What is Yay language? I am a native Thai person but I have never heard about that name. We have also pronunciation problem for the word 'Yay' either.--Octra Bond (talk) 14:34, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I believe this refers to the language of Tai Yai people, which is Shan. Thai readers can look at th:ภาษาไทใหญ่. Since Shan language is already on the list here, I have removed the entry for "Yay". Tim Shuba (talk) 18:03, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
No, this is a different group also called Giay or Nhang/Nyang. It's not Shan, it's a Northern Tai language. William Gedney (1965, "Yay, A Northern Tai Language of North Vietnam", Lingua 14:180-193) places it in Vietnam near the Chinese border. --Taivo (talk) 18:15, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Ethnologue actually counts both "Giay" and "Nhang/Nyang" as dialects of Bouyei, so Yay is still a dialect, but not of Shan. --Taivo (talk) 18:27, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
What of iso3=Yoy? It's the only N. Tai lang E. lists for Thailand. — kwami (talk) 01:36, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Yoy isn't Yay despite the similarity of name. I suspect that Ethnologue has confused it for something else. Gedney is the authority on Tai (and did fieldwork on Yay) and he's very clear in his description of where Yay is spoken and what the alternate names are. If you look at the Ethnologue entry for Bouyei, you see both Giay and Nhang/Nyang listed as dialects. This also fits within the geographical range where Gedney places Yay (Vietnam on the Chinese border), while Ethnologue's Yoy is outside that range (Thailand/Laos). Linguasphere lists a Yo as part of Lao-Isan and a Tay-yo as part of Phu-Tai, both with ranges in Laos and Vietnam. It's possible that Ethnologue's entry may be a confusion of Yay with Yo, but I'm not certain. As you know there is much confusion among the mass of dialect names floating around the Tai languages. One can't always be certain about either the exact meaning or origin of any of these more obscure names. In the case of Yay, however, we have a very precise description from Gedney. --Taivo (talk) 02:16, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Chiang Saen or Chiang Saeng[edit]

This article says the subgroup to which Thai belongs is called "Chiang Saen", but Ethnologue says it is called "Chiang Saeng". Is Ethnologue wrong or are we? --JorisvS (talk) 19:28, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

It would appear to refer to Chiang Saen District, or maybe the Lanna Kingdom which also went by that name. That's a final -n in Thai script. "Chiang Saeng" crops up primarily for languages; I don't know if that's a standardized spelling or a typo on E's part that's been copied a lot. It does occur elsewhere, but is uncommon, suggesting it may be an independent typo? Here, for example, there's one instance of "Chiang Saeng" but six of "Chiang Saen", and it looks like they may be referring to the same place. "Chiang Saeng" is large enough for an air terminal,[1] so it would be odd if it were a separate place and didn't show up in a search. I tried dong a search in Thai and didn't find anything, but there are so many possible spelling changes that would be transliterated the same that that doesn't mean much.
Got the -n spelling in ling too,[2] though it's rare, so it could be a typo the other way. But the only occurrence of Kadai + -ng on GBooks is E and quotes taken from E. The term does not seem to appear in Diller (2008) The Tai-Kadai Languages[3] except as the place name "Chieng Saen". — kwami (talk) 20:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Tai sub-branching[edit]

(The new articles were created by Kwami)

Pittayaporn's tree is still a very provisional, and "iffy," one, though there is probably a lot of truth to it simply because there's more data available in 2009 than in, say, the 1970's. In the academic literature, "Yongnan" is never referred to as a branch that includes Northern Tai, but rather as one of the 13 dialect groupings of Zhuang that can be subsumed under one of the three primary branches of Tai. Zuojiang Zhuang languages and Chongzuo Tai languages should also be redirected or deleted. Instead, there should be an article on Central Tai languages, since that is a well-accepted grouping.

Central Tai is not supported by Pittayaporn, but nearly all prior publications in the field of comparative Tai linguistics support or assume the existence of Central Tai. Thus, Central Tai merits an article far more than the newly made-up Chongzuo Tai, Zuojiang Zhuang, and Yongnan.

The following articles are unsound, and should be redirected to a new article on the Central Tai languages.

Stevey7788 (talk) 08:41, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

The latter two have ISO codes, and so are relevant if only for that reason. I think Pittayaporn would argue that Central Tai is not sound.
I restructured the Yongnan article so as to not imply that it's the name of a branch of Tai, but rather a putative language. Zuojiang already read that way. The Chongzuo article is clear that it's a proposal specific to Pittayaporn. If you have a preference for a different name, let us know. — kwami (talk) 08:48, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

history of Tai language migration[edit]

Academic experts recommended consulting the works of Joe Pittayaporn

Rajmaan (talk) 21:47, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Tai languages/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I classified the article as a stub, even though right now it looks more like a list. This is because I think a lot more can be done with this topic than just listing the member languages (although I might add, as a list, it looks pretty complete). Things that can make it a full-article might be common features of the languages, discussion of the clades and subclades, history of the language family, etc. If I have some time, I'll help with this.

Last edited at 10:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 07:33, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

some more sources[edit]

A French version (2014) of Michel Ferlus' Formation of Ethnonyms in Southeast Asia (2009) which contains more information about ethonyms. [4].

Read further Kra-Dai and the Proto-History of South China and Vietnam (2016) by James R. Chamberlain [5].

I am thinking of adding Chamberlain's paper to this article, but haven't yet got time. Maybe somebody else would do this. Dirtolin1234 (talk) 13:05, 28 November 2016 (UTC)