RegionShan State, Myanmar and Thailand
Native speakers
4,700 (2018)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mqt

Mok (/mɔ̀k/ ‘mountain people’[2]), also known as Amok,[3] Hsen-Hsum, and Muak, is an Angkuic language or dialect cluster spoken in Shan State, Myanmar[4]

7 speakers in Lampang province, Thailand were reported by Wurm & Hattori (1981).


Hall & Devereux (2018) report that five varieties of Mok are spoken in Shan State, Myanmar, providing the following comparative vocabulary table.[4] These varieties have some lexical similarity (the lowest being 88%) with each other, but very low lexical similarity with the other Angkuic languages.[5]

Gloss Mok A Mok B Mok C Mok D Mok E Muak Sa-aak Pa Xɛp U Hu
die [jɛ́m] [n̩jém] [jám] [jɛ́m] [jɛ̂m] jâm jàp jám
weep [jàːm] [jàːm] [jàːm] [jàːm] [jàːm] jâːm jâm jàm
chicken [ʔèa] [ʔeàː] [ʔìa] [ʔeàː] [ʔeàː] ʔɛ̂l jɛ́ -
silver, money [mûi] [nèŋ][6] [ŋə̀n][6] [muí] [p.sí muî] mûl mùn mm̥úl
fly (v.) [tʰə̀ːŋ] [tʰiaŋ] / [pʰiaŋ] [ntʰíaŋ] [mpʰîang] [ntʰîaŋ] pʰ.jûl mpʰə̀ phɨ́ʁ
louse [síʔ] / [nsíʔ] [síʔ] / [nsíʔ] [nsíʔ] [síʔ] / [nsíʔ] [síʔ] / [nsíʔ] cʰíʔ nchí nsíʔ

Owen (2018) names these varieties Hwe Law, Chieng Kham, Pha Lam, Punglong, and Hwe Koi.[7]

A Mok dialect of Shan State has been documented by Shintani (2019).[8]

Geographic distribution

Tannumsaeng (2020)[5] describes three locations for Mok: between Mong Khet and Mong Yang and south of Kengtung in Myanmar, and on the Thai-Burmese border in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. The main Mok-speaking areas in Shan State include an area just to the south of Kengtung, and another area situated between Mong Khet and Mong Yang.[2]


Tannumsaeng (2020),[5] citing Hall & Devereux (2018), provides the following phonology for Mok.

The consonants are /pʰ p m f w tʰ t n s l r c ɲ j kʰ k ŋ ʔ h/, with reduced /m̩ n̩ ɲ̩ ŋ̩ pə tə kə sə/. /f/ and /r/ only appear in certain varieties. The vowels are /i e ɛ u ɯ o ɤ ɔ a/, with the diphthongs /ia ɯa ua/. Mok has two tones, one low and one high.

References and notes

  1. ^ Mok at Ethnologue (24th ed., 2021) Closed access icon
  2. ^ a b Tannumsaeng, Phakawee. 2020. A Preliminary Grammar of Mok, Hwe Koi Variety, Chiang Rai, with Special Focus on The Anaphoric Uses of tɤ́ʔ. M.A. dissertation. Chiang Mai: Payap University.
  3. ^ OLAC Resources in and about the Mok Language,
  4. ^ a b Hall, Elizabeth and Shane Devereux (2018). Preliminary Mok Phonology and Implications for Angkuic Sound Change. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, held May 17-19, 2018 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  5. ^ a b c Phakawee Tannumsaeng (2020). A Preliminary Grammar of Mok, Hwe Koi Variety, Chiang Rai, With Special Focus on the Anaphoric Use of tɤ́ʔ. Payap University.
  6. ^ a b Tai loanword
  7. ^ Owen, Robert Wyn. 2018. Initial findings from Mok KIQ and DMT. Unpublished manuscript.
  8. ^ Shintani, Tadahiko. 2019. The Sen Tsum (I-Mok) language. Linguistic survey of Tay cultural area (LSTCA) no. 121. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).

Further reading