Hlai
Li
Native toChina
RegionHainan
EthnicityHlai
Native speakers
667,000 (1999)[1]
Early form
Proto-Hlai (reconstructed)
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
lic – Hlai
cuq – Cun
Glottolognucl1241
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Hlai languages (Chinese: 黎语; pinyin: Líyǔ) are a primary branch of the Kra–Dai language family spoken in the mountains of central and south-central Hainan in China by the Hlai people, not to be confused with the colloquial name for the Leizhou branch of Min Chinese (Chinese: 黎话; pinyin: Líhuà). They include Cun, whose speakers are ethnically distinct.[2] A quarter of Hlai speakers are monolingual. None of the Hlai languages had a writing system until the 1950s, when the Latin script was adopted for Ha.

Classification

Norquest (2007) classifies the Hlai languages as follows.[3] Individual languages are highlighted in bold. There are some 750,000 Hlai speakers.

The Fuma 府玛 dialect is spoken in one village north of Changjiang 昌城, Hainan. It had about 800 speakers in 1994.[4]

Jiamao 加茂 (52,000) is a divergent Kra-Dai language with a Hlai superstratum and a non-Hlai substratum.

Reconstruction

Main article: Proto-Hlai language

The Proto-Hlai language is the reconstructed ancestor of the Hlai languages. Proto-Hlai reconstructions include those of Matisoff (1988), Thurgood (1991), Ostapirat (2004), and Norquest (2007).

Phonology

The following displays the phonological features of the modern Hlai dialects:[5][6][7]

Consonants

Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Alveolo-
palatal
Velar Glottal
plain lab. plain lab. pal.
Plosive voiceless p t ȶ k ʔ
aspirated kʰʷ
voiced ɡ ɡʷ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Affricate voiceless t͡s
aspirated t͡sʰ
Fricative voiceless f s x h
voiced v z ɣ
lateral ɬ
Nasal m ɱ n ȵ ŋ ŋʷ
Trill r
Approximant l ˀj ˀw

Vowels

Front Central Back
High i ɯ u
Mid e ə o
ɛ ɔ
Low a

History

Liang & Zhang (1996:18-21)[9] conclude that the original homeland of the Hlai languages was the Leizhou Peninsula, and estimate that the Hlai had migrated across the Hainan Strait to Hainan island about 4,000 years before present.[9]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Hlai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Cun at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ethnologue mistakenly lists Cun among the Kra languages.
  3. ^ Norquest, Peter K. (2007). A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai (Ph.D. thesis). University of Arizona. hdl:10150/194203.
  4. ^ Funa (PDF) – via asiaharvest.org
  5. ^ Ostapirat, Weera (2008). "The Hlai Language". In Diller, Anthony V. N.; Edmondson, Jerold A.; Luo, Yongxian (eds.). The Tai-Kadai Languages. London & New York: Routledge. pp. 623–652.
  6. ^ Yuan, Zhongshu 苑中树, ed. (1994). Líyǔ yǔfǎ gāngyào 黎语语法纲要 [An Outline of Li Grammar] (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhongyang minzu daxue chubanshe. pp. 1–10.
  7. ^ Ouyang, Jueya 欧阳觉亚 (1980). Líyǔ jiǎnzhì 黎语简志 [Description of the Li language] (in Chinese). Beijing: Minzu chubanshe.
  8. ^ Norquest (2007), p. 106
  9. ^ a b Liang, Min 梁敏; Zhang, Junru 张均如 (1996). Dòng tái yǔzú gàilùn 侗台语族概论 [An Introduction to the Kam–Tai Languages] (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe. ISBN 9787500416814.

References

  • Ostapirat, Weera (2005). "The Cun Language, by Ouyang Jueya. Shanghai Far East Publishers. 1998" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 28 (1): 99–105.
  • Ouyang, Jueya 欧阳觉亚; Zheng, Yiqing 郑贻青 (1983). Líyǔ diàochá yánjiū 黎语调查研究 [Li Language Investigation and Research] (in Chinese). Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe.

Further reading