Burmish
Geographic
distribution
Myanmar
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
Subdivisions
  • Northern Burmish
  • Southern Burmish
Glottologburm1266
L1 speakers of Burmish languages and other Sino-Tibetan languages according to Ethnologue
L1 speakers of Burmish languages and other Sino-Tibetan languages according to Ethnologue

The Burmish languages are Burmese, including Standard Burmese, Arakanese and other Burmese dialects such as the Tavoyan dialects as well as non-literary languages spoken across Myanmar and South China such as Achang, Lhao Vo, Lashi, and Zaiwa.

Names

Many Burmish names are known by various names in different languages (Bradley 1997).

Names of Burmish languages
Autonym Jinghpaw name Burmese name Chinese name
Lawngwaw Maru မရူ Làngsù 浪速
Tsaiwa Atsi ဇိုင်ဝါး/အဇီး Zǎiwǎ 载瓦
Lachik Lashi လရှီ Lāqí 喇期, Lèqí 勒期
Ngochang - မိုင်သာ/အာချန် Āchāng 阿昌
Pela - ပေါ်လာ Bōlā 波拉

In China, the Zaiwa ဇိုင်ဝါး/အဇီး 载瓦 (local Chinese exonym: Xiaoshan ရှောင့်ရှန် 小山), Lhao Vo 浪速 (local Chinese exonym: Lang'e 浪峨), Lashi 勒期 (local Chinese exonym: Chashan 茶山), and Pela 波拉 are officially classified as Jingpo people (Bolayu Yanjiu). The local Chinese exonym for the Jingpho proper is Dashan 大山.

Dai Qingxia (2005:3) lists the following autonyms and exonyms for the various Burmish groups as well as for Jingpho which is not a Burmish language, with both Chinese character and IPA transcriptions (given in square brackets).[1]

Burmish autonyms and exonyms
Language Lhao Vo people

浪速

လော်ဝေါ် လူမျိုး

Jingpho people

景颇

ဂျိန်းဖောလူမျိုး

Zaiwa people

载瓦

အဇီး/ဇိုင်းဝါး

လူမျိုး


Lashi people

勒期

လချိတ်

လူမျိုး

Pela people

波拉

ပေါ်လာလူမျိုး

Lhao Vo name 浪速语

လော်ဝေါ်အမည်

Lang'e 浪峨 [lɔ̃˥˩ vɔ˧˩] လော်‌ဝေါ် Bowo 波沃 [pʰauk˥ vɔ˧˩] ပေါက်ဝေါ Zha'e 杂蛾 [tsa˧˥ vɔ˧˩] ဇိုင်ဝါး/အဇီး Lashi 勒期 [lă˧˩ tʃʰik˧˥] လချိတ် Buluo 布洛 [pă˧˩ lɔ˧˩] ပါ့လော်
Jingpho name 景颇语

ဂျိန်းဖောအမည်

Moru 默汝

[mă˧˩ ʒu˧˩] မိုရူ

Jingpho 景颇 [tʃiŋ˧˩ pʰoʔ˧˩] ဂျိန်းဖော Aji 阿纪 [a˧˩ tsi˥] အကျိ Leshi 勒施 [lă˧˩ ʃi˥] လေရှီ Boluo 波洛 [po˧˩ lo˧˩] ပေါလော်
Zaiwa name 载瓦语

ဇိုင်ဝါး/အဇီးအမည်

Lelang 勒浪[lă˨˩ la̠ŋ˥˩] လက်လင် Shidong 石东 [ʃi˥ tu̠ŋ˥] ရှီထုင် Zaiwa 载瓦 [tsai˧˩ va˥˩]ဇိုင်ဝ Lashi 勒期 [lă˨˩ tʃʰi˥] လချိ Buluo 布洛 [pă˨˩ lo˨˩] ပါ့လော်
Lashi name 勒期语

လရှီအမည်

Langwu 浪悟 [laŋ˧˩ vu˥˩] လင်ဝူ Puwu 铺悟 [pʰuk˥ vu˥˩] ပေ ပါက်ဝူ Zaiwu 载悟 [tsai˧˩ vu˥˩] ဇိုင်ဝု Lashi 勒期 [lă˧˩ tʃʰi˥˩] လချိတ် Buluo 布洛 [pă˧˩ lɔ˥˩] ပါလော်
Pela name 波拉语

ပေါ်လာအမည်

Longwa 龙瓦 [lõ˧˩ va˧˩] လုင်းငွာ Baowa 泡瓦 [pʰauk˧˩ va˧˩] ပေါက်ဝါ Diwa 氐瓦 [ti˧˩ va˧˩]တိဝါ Lashi 勒期 [lă˧˩ tʃʰi˥] လချိတ် Pela 波拉 [po˧˩ la˧˩] ပေါ်လာ

Autonyms are:[1]

The Chashan refer to themselves as ŋɔ˧˩ tʃʰaŋ˥ (Echang 峨昌), the Jingpho as phuk˥, the Lashi as tsai˧wu˧˩ (tsai˧ wu˥˩), the Lhao Vo as lă˧˩ laŋ˧˩, the Lisu as lji˧ səu˧˩, and the Han Chinese as la˧˩ xɛ˧˩ (Dai 2010:153).[2]

Languages

Lama (2012)

Based on innovations in their tonal systems, Lama (2012: 177–179) classifies the languages as follows:

External image
image icon Map of the Burmish-Loloish languages. Demonstrates the Southern, Burmese cluster vs. Northern, Achang-Zaiwa cluster classification found in Lama (2012). Languages in the Burmish group of the Lolo-Burmese group appear in shades of blue.[3]

Chashan, a recently discovered Northern Burmish language, is closely related to Lashi.

Maingtha is a Northern Burmish language whose speakers are classified as a Shan subgroup.[4]

Nishi (1999)

Based on distinct treatment of the pre-glottalized initials of proto-Burmish, Nishi (1999: 68-70) divides the Burmish languages into two branches, Burmic and Maruic. The Burmic languages changed voiceless preglottalized stops into voiceless aspirate stops and preglottalized voiced sonorants into voiceless sonorants. The Maruic languages in contrast reflect voiceless preglottalized and affricate consonants as voiceless unaspirated and affricates with largyngealized vowels, and voiced preglottalized sonorants as voiced sonorants with laryngealized vowels. The Burmic Languages include Burmese, Achang, and Xiandao. The Maruic languages include Atsi (Zaiwa), Lashi (Leqi), Maru (Langsu), and Bola. Nishi does not classify Hpon and Nusu.

Burmic

The Arakanese language retains r- separate from y-, whereas the two fall together in most Burmese dialects and indeed most Burmish languages. Tavoyan has kept kl- distinct. No dialect has kept ry- distinct from r-, but this may be an independent innovation in the various dialects. Merguiese is apparently the least well studied Burmese dialect.

Maruic

Mann (1998)

Mann (1998: 16, 137) in contrast groups together Achang, Bela (by which he probably means Bola), Lashi, Maru, and Atsi together as North Burmic.

Bradley (1997)

David Bradley places aberrant Ugong with Burmish rather than with Loloish:

Population

The total native speakers of the Burmese macrolanguage is 43,917,306 of which about 88.34% (38,800,290) speak a Burmese dialect as their native language. The estimated number of speakers globally, both native and secondary, of the larger branches of the Burmese languages are listed below (2021-22:

Branch Total speakers Pct
Myanmar Burmese 38,800,290 88.34%
Rakhine Burmese 3,500,570 7.9%
Dawei Burmese 590,790 1.34%
Marma Burmese 249,000 0.56%
Danu Burmese 224,560 0.51%
Intha Burmese[disambiguation needed] 250,000 0.56%
Zaiwa Burmese 120,610 0.27%
Lhao Vo Burmese 108,236 0.24%
Lashi Burmese 40,050 0.09.%
Achang Burmese 30,000 0.06%
Phon Burmese 1500 0.003%
Pela Burmese 1000 0.002%
Ngochang Burmese 600 >0.001%
Xiandao Burmese[disambiguation needed] 100 >0.0002%
Total 43,917,306 100%

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Dai Qingxia (2005). A study of Langsu [浪速语研究]. Beijing: Ethnic Publishing House.
  2. ^ Dai Qingxia [戴庆厦] (2010). The Chashan people of Pianma and their language [片马茶山人及其语言]. Beijing: The Commercial Press [商务印书馆].
  3. ^ "Research Foundation Language and Religion". Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  4. ^ Sawada, Hideo. 2017. Two Undescribed Dialects of Northern Burmish Sub-branch: Gyannoʔ and Thoʔlhang. Presented at ICSTLL 50, Beijing, China.

References