Pronunciation[pa31 ŋ̊ŋ35]
Native toChina, Vietnam
Native speakers
(34,000 cited 1995–2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3pha

Pa-Hng (also spelled Pa-Hung; Chinese: 巴哼语 Bāhēng yǔ) is a divergent Hmongic (Miao) language spoken in Guizhou, Guangxi, and Hunan in southern China as well as northern Vietnam.


Pa-Hng has long been recognized as divergent. Benedict (1986) argued that one of its dialects constituted a separate branch of the Miao–Yao family. Ratliff found it to be the most divergent Hmongic (Miao) language that she analyzed.[2] This Bahengic branch also includes Younuo (Yuno) and Wunai (Hm Nai).[3]


Pa-Hng speakers are called by the following names (Mao & Li 1997).

In Liping County, Guizhou, the Dong people call the Pa-Hng ka31 jiu33 (嘎优), while the Miao people call them ta55 tia52 ju33 (大达优).[4] In Tongdao County, Hunan, the Pa-Hng (xeŋ33) are also known as the Seven Surname Yao 七姓瑶, since they have the seven surnames of Shen 沈, Lan 兰, Dai 戴, Deng 邓, Ding 丁, Pu 蒲, and Feng 奉.[5]

In China, Pa-Hng speakers are classified as Yao, even though their language is Hmongic rather than Mienic.


Mao & Li (1997) splits Pa-Hng into the following subdivisions, and most closely related to Hm Nai:

Vocabulary word lists for these three Pa-Hng varieties can be found in Mao & Li (1997). An additional dialect is found in Vietnam.

The Na-e dialect (also known by the Vietnamese rendition of Pa-Hng, Pà Then [Pateng]), is a geographic outlier. Paul Benedict (1986) argued that it is not actually Pa-Hng, or even Hmongic, but a separate branch of the Miao–Yao language family.[6] However, Strecker (1987) responded that it does appear to be a Pa-Hng dialect, though it has some peculiarities, and that Pa-Hng as a whole is divergent.[7]

Jerold A. Edmondson has reported Pa-Hng dialects in Bac Quang District and Hong Quang Village of Chiem Hoa District in northern Vietnam, and found that they were most closely related to the Pa-Hng dialect spoken in Gaoji Township 高基, Sanjiang County, Guangxi.[8]



Pa-Hng speakers are distributed in the following counties in China. Most of the counties have 1,000 - 6,000 Pa-Hng speakers (Mao & Li 1997).


Main article: Pà Thẻn people

Pa-Hng is also spoken in small pockets of northern Vietnam. In Vietnam, the Pa-Hng are an officially recognized ethnic group numbering around a few thousand people, where they are called Pà Thẻn. Na-e as reported by Bonifacy (1905) is also found in northern Vietnam.

According to Vu (2013:12-15),[13] the ancestors of the Pà Thẻn had first migrated from Guangxi to Hải Ninh (now Quảng Ninh Province), and then from Hải Ninh to the Thái Nguyên area. The Pà Thẻn then split off to settle in three main areas.

See also


  1. ^ Pa-Hng at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Ratliff, Martha. 2010. Hmong–Mien language history. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics.
  3. ^ 毛宗武, 李云兵 / Mao Zongwu, Li Yunbing. 1997. 巴哼语研究 / Baheng yu yan jiu (A Study of Baheng [Pa-Hng]). Shanghai: 上海远东出版社 / Shanghai yuan dong chu ban she.
  4. ^ Guizhou Province Gazetteer: Ethnic Gazetteer [贵州省志. 民族志] (2002). Guiyang: Guizhou Ethnic Publishing House [貴州民族出版社].
  5. ^ a b Tongdao Dong Autonomous County Ethnic Gazetteer 通道侗族自治县民族志 (2004).
  6. ^ Benedict, Paul. 1986. "Miao–Yao Enigma: The Na-e language". Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 9.1:89–90.
  7. ^ Strecker, David. 1987. 'Some Comments on Benedict's "Miao–Yao Enigma: The Na-e language".' Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 10:22–42; and Addendum, pp 43–53.
  8. ^ a b[dead link]
  9. ^ a b 毛宗武 / Mao Zongwu. 优诺语研究 / Younuo yu yan jiu (A Study of Younuo). Beijing: 民族出版社 / Min zu chu ban she, 2007.
  10. ^ Niederer, Barbara. 1997. Notes comparatives sur le pa-hng. Cahiers de linguistique Asie orientale 26(1), p.71-130.
  11. ^ Niederer, Barbara. 2004. Pa-hng and the classification of the Hmong-Mien languages. In Tapp, N. and Michaud, J. and Culas, C. and G. Yai Lee (eds.), Hmong/Miao in Asia, 129-146. Bangkok: Silkworm Books.
  12. ^ a b 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.
  13. ^ Vũ Quốc Khánh. 2013. Người Pà Thẻn ở Việt Nam [The Pa Then in Vietnam]. Hà Nội: Nhà xuất bản thông tấn.