Kam
Gaeml
Native toChina
RegionGuizhou, Hunan, Guangxi
EthnicityKam people
Native speakers
1.5 million (2003)[1]
Latin, Kam characters
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
doc – Northern Dong
kmc – Southern Dong
cov – Cao Miao
Glottologkami1255
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 Kam language, also known as Gam (autonym: lix Gaeml), or in Chinese, Dong or Tung-Chia, is a Kam–Sui language spoken by the Dong people. Ethnologue distinguishes three Kam varieties as separate but closely related languages.[1]

Dialects

The Kam language can be divided into two major subdivisions, Southern Kam and Northern Kam (Yang & Edmondson 2008).[2] Northern Kam displays more Chinese influence and lacks vowel length contrast, while Southern Kam is more conservative. Language varieties closely related to or part of Kam include Cao Miao and Naxi Yao. A northern Pinghua variety called Tongdao Pinghua, spoken in Tongdao County, Hunan, has also been significantly influenced by Kam.

Southern Kam
Northern Kam

Long (2012:19-20)[4] classifies the Kam lectal areas (dialects) as follows.

Southern Kam
Northern Kam

In Congjiang County, Dong consists of three dialects: Jiudong 九洞 (similar to Chejiang 车江 Dong), Liudong 六洞 (similar to Liping 黎平 Dong), and another dialect spoken in Xishan 西山, Bingmei 丙梅, and Guandong 贯洞 (similar to Sanjiang 三江 Dong) (Congjiang County Gazetteer 1999:109).

In Suining County, Hunan, Dong is spoken in Lianfeng 联丰 (including Duolong 多龙村), Huangsangping 黄桑坪, Le'anpu 乐安铺, and other nearby locations.[5] In Chengbu County, Hunan, Dong is spoken in Yanzhai 岩寨, Chang'anying 长安营, and Jiangtousi 江头司.[6]

Kam is also spoken in the single village of Đồng Mộc, Trung Sơn Commune, Yên Sơn District, Tuyên Quang Province, northern Vietnam,[7] where there are about 35 Kam people (Edmondson & Gregerson 2001).[8] The Kam of Đồng Mộc had migrated to Vietnam from China about 150 years ago. The Kam variety spoken in Đồng Mộc is most similar to that of Lípíng Shuǐkǒu (黎平县水口镇) in southeastern Guizhou, China.

In China, a total of six counties designated as Dong Autonomous Counties (侗族自治县).

Others

Further information: Naxi Yao language

According to the Shaoyang Prefecture Gazetteer (1997), language varieties closely related to Southern Kam are spoken in Naxi 那溪, Dongkou County (which had 4,280 ethnic Yao in 1982 (Chen 2013:39)) and Lianmin 联民, Suining County. However, they are officially classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Yao, not Dong. Chen Qiguang (2013:39)[9] reports that the ancestors of Naxihua 那溪话 speakers had migrated to their current location from Tianzhu, Liping, and Yuping counties of southeastern Guizhou during the early 15th century.

Sanqiao 三锹 (三橇) is a mixed Dong–Miao language spoken in Liping County and Jinping County, Guizhou, China by about 6,000 people.[10]

Phonology and orthography

Kam has two main orthographies: The Chinese academic developed system and the independently developed system by Ngo Van Lyong for Southern Kam as spoken in Rongjiang.[11] The Chinese system is most commonly used by linguists and has similarities to other Chinese Kra–Dai language orthographies (Such as Zhuang). The Ngo Van Lyong system was inspired by the Vietnamese alphabet and is made for speakers and learners. While the Chinese system is the most well known, most Kam speakers are not literate.

Initials

The Chinese orthography for Kam orthography has 32 syllable-initial consonants; seven of them (tʃ-, tʃʰ-, ʃ-, ɻ-, f-, ts- and tsʰ-) only occur in recent loanwords from Chinese.

IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml
p b t d j k g zh
p t tɕʰ q k tʃʰ ch
m m n n ny ŋ ng ʃ sh
w w l l ly h h ɻ r
bi s s ɕ x gu f f
pʲʰ pi j y kʷʰ ku ts z
mi ŋʷ ngu tsʰ c
wi

The Ngo Van Lyong orthography for Southern Kam has 28 syllable-initial consonants.

IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm
p b t d k g h h j y s s ts z
p t k f f w w ɕ x tsʰ c
j ŋ ng ʎ ly ɲ ny l l n n m m
tɕʰ q ŋʰ ngh ʎʰ lhy ɲʰ nhy lh nh mh

Finals

The Chinese orthography for Kam has 64 syllable finals; 14 of them occur only in Chinese loans and are not listed in the table below.

IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml IPA Gaeml
a a ə e e ee i i o o u u/uu
ai əɪ ei oi ui
ao eeu iu ou
am am ɐm aem əm em em eem im im om om um um
an an ɐn aen ən en en een in in on on un un
ang ɐŋ aeng əŋ eng eeng ing ong ung
ap ab ɐp ab əp eb ep eb ip ib op ob up ub
at ad ɐt ad ət ed et ed it id ot od
ak ag ɐk ag ək eg ek eg ik ig ok og uk ug

The phonetic value of the vowel in the finals spelled -ab, -ad and -ag, is [ɐ] in syllables that have the tones -l, -p and -c (see table below); in syllables with tones -s, -t and -x, it is [a]. The phonetic value of the vowel in the finals spelled -eb, -ed and -eg, is [ə] in syllables that have the tones -l, -p and -c; in syllables with tones -s, -t and -x, it is [e].

The Ngo Van Lyong orthography for Southern Kam has 116 syllable finals.

IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm IPA Gảm
a a ɔ o e e u u i i
ɐ ă o ô ə ơ ɿ ư y ü
ai ai oi oi ɐi ei əi ơi ui ui
au au ɐu ou ɛu eu əu ơu iu iu
ʲa ia ʲo io ʲe ie ʷa ua ʷo uo ʷe ue
ʲai iai ʲoi ioi ʲɐi iei ʲəi iơi ʲui iui ʲau iau
ʲɐu iou ʲeu ieu ʲəu iơu ʷai uai ʷoi uoi ʷɐi uei
ʷau uau ʷɐu uou ʷeu ueu ʷəu uơu ʷiu uiu ʷəi uơi
an an am am ang ak ak ap ap at at
ʲan ian ʲam iam ʲaŋ iang ʲak iak ʲap iap ʲat iat
ʷan uan ʷam uam ʷaŋ uang ʷak uak ʷap uap ʷat uat
ɐn ăn ɐm ăm ɐŋ ăng ɐk ăk ɐp ăp ɐt ăt
ʲɐn iăn ʲɐm iăm ʲɐŋ iăng ʲɐk iăk ʲɐp iăp ʲɐt iăt
ʷɐn uăn ʷɐm uăm ʷɐŋ uăng ʷɐk uăk ʷɐp uăp ʷɐt uăt
ɔn on ɔm om ɔŋ ong ɔk ok ɔp op ɔt ot
ʲɔn ion ʲɔm iom ʲɔŋ iong ʲɔk iok ʲɔp iop ʲɔt iot
ʷɔn uon ʷɔm uom ʷɔŋ uong ʷɔk uok ʷɔp uop ʷɔt uot
on ôn om ôm ông ok ôk op ôp ot ôt
ʲon iôn ʲom iôm ʲoŋ iông ʲok iôk ʲop iôp ʲot iôt
ʷon uôn ʷom uôm ʷoŋ uông ʷok uôk ʷop uôp ʷot uôt
en en em em eng ek ek ep ep et et
ʲen ien ʲem iem ʲeŋ ieng ʲek iek ʲep iep ʲet iet
ʷen uen ʷem uem ʷeŋ ueng ʷek uek ʷep uep ʷet uet
ən ơn əm ơm əŋ ơng ək ơk əp ơp ət ơt
ʲən iơn ʲəm iơm ʲəŋ iơng ʲək iơk ʲəp iơp ʲət iơt
ʷən uơn ʷəm uơm ʷəŋ uơng ʷək uơk ʷəp uơp ʷət uơt
un un um um ung uk uk up up ut ut
ʲun iun ʲum ium ʲuŋ iung ʲuk iuk ʲup iup ʲut iut
in in im im ing ik ik ip ip it it
ʷin uin ʷim uim ʷiŋ uing ʷik uik ʷip uip ʷit uit

Tones

Kam is a tonal language. Open syllables can occur in one of nine different tones, checked syllables in six tones (so-called entering tones), so that the traditional approach counts fifteen tones. As with the Hmong alphabet, the Chinese orthography marks tones with a consonant at the end of each syllable.

tone contour: high high rising low dipping low rising low falling high falling peaking mid
/˥/ (55) /˧˥/ (35) /˨/ (11) /˨˦/ (24) /˩˧/ (13) /˧˩/ (31) /˥˧/ (53) /˦˥˧/ (453) /˧/ (33)
Orthography: -l -p -c -s -t -x -v -k -h
example
(open syllable)
bal pap bac bas qat miax bav pak bah
"fish" "grey" "rake" "aunt" "light" "knife" "leaf" "destroy" "chaff"
example
(checked syllable)
bedl sedp medc bads pads bagx
"duck" "seven" "ant" "can"? "blood" "white"

The Ngo Van Lyong orthography marks tones via diacritics written above or below the vowel as with the Vietnamese alphabet and only features 6 tones.

tone contour: high flat low flat high falling low falling high rising low rising
/˧/ (33) /˨/ (11) /˥˩/ (51) /˧˩/ (31) /˧˥/ (45) /˨˦/ (24)
Example: ba bạ bả

References

  1. ^ a b Northern Dong at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
    Southern Dong at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
    Cao Miao at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ Yang Tongyin and Jerold A. Edmondson (2008). "Kam." In Diller, Anthony, Jerold A. Edmondson, and Yongxian Luo ed. The Tai–Kadai Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Psychology Press, 2008.
  3. ^ Tu, Guanglu 涂光禄; Yang, Jun 杨军. 2008. Jinpingxian Han, Dong, Miao yu fangyan zhi 锦屏县汉侗苗语方言志. Guiyang: Guizhou University Press 贵州大学出版社. ISBN 9787811260441
  4. ^ Long Yaohong [龙耀宏]. 2012. A study of Dong dialectology Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine [侗语方音研究 Dongyu fangyin yanjiu]. Ph.D. dissertation, Shanghai Normal University [上海师范大学]. http://www.taodocs.com/p-5926320.html
  5. ^ Suining County Gazetteer (1997)
  6. ^ Shaoyang Prefecture Gazetteer (1997)
  7. ^ danviet.vn. "Những hương vị thân thương gần gũi ở quê nhà mà không nơi nào có". danviet.vn. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  8. ^ Edmondson, J.A. and Gregerson, K.J. 2001, "Four Languages of the Vietnam-China Borderlands", in Papers from the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, ed. K.L. Adams and T.J. Hudak, Tempe, Arizona, pp. 101-133. Arizona State University, Program for Southeast Asian Studies.
  9. ^ Chen, Qiguang [陈其光] (2013). Miao and Yao language [苗瑶语文]. Beijing: China Minzu University Press.
  10. ^ Yu Dazhong [余达忠]. 2017. "Ethnic Interactions and the Formation of the Sanqiu People in the Borderland of Modern Hunan,Guizhou and Guangxi Provinces [近代湘黔桂边区的族群互动和“三锹人”的形成]". In Journal of Guizhou Education University [贵州师范学院学报], Vol. 33, No. 1 (Jan 2017).
  11. ^ Article in Omniglot

Further reading