Then language

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Native to China
Region Pingtang County, southern Guizhou
Native speakers
20,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tct
Glottolog tenn1245[2]

The Then language (also known as Yánghuáng 佯僙语 in Chinese; alternate spellings: T'en and Ten) is a Kam–Sui language spoken in Pingtang County, southern Guizhou. It is spoken by the Yanghuang 佯僙 people, many of whom are officially classified as Maonan by the Chinese government.


The Yanghuang people called themselves ai˩raːu˩, except for the Yanghuang of Huishui County, Xiayou District 下游地区, and Xiguan Shangmo 西关上莫, who called themselves ai˩thən˧˥ (Bo 1997). According to the Guizhou Ethnic Gazetteer (2002:846),[3] their autonyms include jiŋ˨zau˨˦ (印绕) and ai˨au˨˦ (哎绕).

"Yanghuang" was mentioned in a Ming Dynasty record, the Dushi Fangyu Jiyao (读史方舆纪要).[3] According to it, "the Man people of Sizhou are Yanghuang, Gelao, Muyao (Mulao), and Miaozhi (Miaozi). (思州蛮自佯僙、仡佬、木瑶(老)、苗质(子)数种。)


Bo (1997) lists three main dialects of Yanghuang.

  • Hedong 河东: spoken east of the Pingtang River 平塘河 in the townships of Kapu 卡蒲乡 and Zhemi 者密镇, in Pingtang County; parts of western Dushan County
  • Hexi 河西: spoken west of the Pingtang River 平塘河 in the western part of Zhemi Township 者密镇, Pingtang County, and neighboring areas
  • Huishui 惠水: spoken in Huishui County. This is the most divergent dialect, and is most heavily influenced by Chinese.


Yanghuang of Kapu Township (卡蒲乡) has 71 consonants total, including those with secondary articulations. There are a total of 71 rhymes, 9 vowels, and 8 codas (Bo 1997).


  1. ^ Then at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "T'en". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b Guizhou Province Gazetteer: Ethnic Gazetteer [贵州省志. 民族志] (2002). Guiyang: Guizhou Ethnic Publishing House [貴州民族出版社].
  • 薄文泽 / Bo, Wenze. 1997. 佯僙语研究 / Yanghuang yu yan jiu (A Study of Yanghuang [Then]). Beijing: 中央民族大学出版社 / Zhong yang min zu da xue chu ban she.

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