Native toVietnam
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Rục is a Vietic language spoken by the Ruc people of Tuyên Hóa district, Quảng Bình province, Vietnam. Rục literally means 'underground spring', and is a critically endangered language spoken by a small ethnic group that practiced a hunter-gatherer lifestyle until the late 20th century.[1]


Ruc speakers were hunter-gatherers until the late 1970s, when they were relocated into sedentary villages by the Vietnamese government. The 1985 Soviet-Vietnamese Linguistic Expedition found that there were no more than 200 Ruc people. Half of the Ruc died from a cholera epidemic in the late 1980s. Today, the Ruc live together with the Sach in villages close to the Laotian border.[1] Ruc settlements include Yên Hợp and Phú Minh.[2]


Unlike Vietnamese, Rục allows for presyllables with a minor vowel, such as cakuː4 'bear' (cf. Vietnamese gấu). Rục is notable for preserving many prefixes that have been lost in Vietnamese, including prefixes (such as *k.-) in archaic Chinese loanwords that are crucial for the reconstruction of Old Chinese[3]


  1. ^ a b Babaev, Kirill; Samarina, Irina (2021). Sidwell, Paul (ed.). A Grammar of May: An Austroasiatic Language of Vietnam. Brill. p. 13. ISBN 978-9-00446-108-6.
  2. ^ Babaev, Kirill Vladimirovich [Бабаев, Кирилл Владимирович]; Samarina, Irina Vladimirovna [Самарина, Ирина Владимировна]. 2019. Язык май. Материалы Российско-вьетнамской лингвистической экспедиции / Jazyk maj. Materialy Rossijsko-vetnamskoj lingvisticheskoj ekspeditsii. Moscow: Издательский Дом ЯСК. ISBN 978-5-907117-34-1. (in Russian). p.16.
  3. ^ Baxter, William H.; Sagart, Laurent (2014). Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction. Oxford University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-19-994537-5.