|Region||Luocheng County, Hechi, Northern Guangxi|
|Ethnicity||210,000 (2000 census)|
< 10,000 monolinguals
The Mulam language (Chinese: 仫佬; pinyin: Mùlǎo) is a Kam–Sui language spoken mainly in Luocheng County, Hechi, Northern Guangxi by the Mulao people. The greatest concentrations are in Dongmen and Siba communes. Their autonym is mu6 lam1. The Mulam also call themselves kjam1, which is probably cognate with lam1 and the Dong people's autonym "Kam" (Wang & Zheng 1980).
The Mulam language, like Dong, does not have voiced stop, but does have a phonemic distinction between unvoiced and voiced nasals and laterals. It has a system of eleven distinct vowels. It is a tonal language with ten tones and 65% of its vocabulary is shared with the Zhuang and Dong languages.
The language of Mulam leads to a comparison between two languages as Graham Thurgood states, "For 'headlouse', the KS forms are highly irregular: Kam, Mulam…" (Oceanic Linguistics, Vol. 33, No 2). This relates to the way in which one language can be interpreted through another language, which displays a level of diversity as they may derive different meanings from the translations. Within Mulam Phonology, there is a display of the syllables for Mulam that seems very difficult to decipher without having much knowledge of how they communicate with the dialect. The Mulam ethnic group traces back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), differing from the current society they have now as the people of Mulam eventually split in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912).
The majority of the Mulam population are bilingual in the Zhuang languages.
The following Mulam dialects are described by Wang & Zheng (1980) (all of which are spoken in Luocheng Mulao Autonomous County).
The following comparison of Mulam dialects is from Ni Dabai (2010:221-222).
|English gloss||Chinese gloss||Qiaotou 桥头||Huangjin 黄金||Siba 四把||Dongmen 东门||Long'an 龙岸|