Red Karen language

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Red Karenni
Kayah
Karenni
Native to Burma
Ethnicity Kayah
Native speakers
190,000 (2000–2007)[1]
Sino-Tibetan
Kayah Li alphabet (eky,kyu)
Latin alphabet (kyu,kxf)
Myanmar alphabet (kyu,kxf)
unwritten (kvy)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
eky – Eastern Kayah
kyu – Western Kayah
kvy – Yintale
kxf – Manumanaw (Manu)
Glottolog kaya1317  (Kayah)[2]
yint1235  (Yintale Karen)[3]
manu1255  (Manumanaw Karen)[4]

Red Karen or Karenni, known in Burmese as Kayah, is a Karen dialect continuum spoken by over half a million Kayah people (Red Karen) in Burma.

The name Kayah is "a new name invented by the Burmese to split them off from other Karen".[5]

Eastern Kayah is reported to have been spoken by 260,000 in Burma and 100,000 in Thailand in 2000, and Western Kayah by 210,000 in Burma in 1987. They are rather divergent. Among the Western dialects are Yintale and Manu (Manumanaw in Burmese).

Distribution and varieties[edit]

Eastern Kayah is spoken in:[1]

Eastern Kayah dialects are Upper Eastern Kayah and Lower Eastern Kayah, which are mutually intelligible. The speech variety of Huai Sua Thaw village (Lower Eastern) is prestigious for both dialect groups. The Eastern Kayah have difficulty understanding the Western Kayah.

Western Kayah is spoken in Kayah State and Kayin State, east of the Thanlwin River. It is also spoken in Pekon township in southern Shan State.[1]

Western Kayah dialects are part of a dialect continuum of Central Karen varieties stretching from Thailand. They include:[1]

  • Northern dialect of Western Kayah
  • Southern dialect of Western Kayah
  • Dawtama
  • Dawnnyjekhu
  • Sounglog
  • Chi Kwe
  • Wan Cheh

Yintale, reportedly a variety of Western Kayah, is spoken in 3 villages of Hpasawng township, Bawlakhe district, Kayah State.[1]

Yintale dialects are Bawlake and Wa Awng.

Kawyaw, reportedly similar to Western Kayah, is spoken in 23 villages along the border of Bawlake and Hpruso townships, in the West Kyebogyi area of Kayah State.

Kawyaw dialects are Tawkhu and Doloso, which have been reported to be difficult to mutually understand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Eastern Kayah at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Western Kayah at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Yintale at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Manumanaw (Manu) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kayah". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Yintale Karen". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Manumanaw Karen". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  5. ^ Christopher Beckwith, International Association for Tibetan Studies, 2002. Medieval Tibeto-Burman languages, p. 108.

External links[edit]