Bugan language

Native to China
Region Yunnan
Native speakers
2,700 (2005)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bbh
Glottolog buga1247[2]

Bugan, Bogan, Pakan, or Bugeng (布甘语, 布干语, or 布赓语) is an Austroasiatic language.[3] The existence of the Bugan language was not known by the rest of world until recently. There are about 3000 speakers, mostly in some villages in southern Guangnan (广南) and northern Xichou (西畴), Yunnan Province, China. Bugan is an analytic language, and word order and auxiliary words have important functions in the grammar.[4]


Li Jinfang (1996)

According to Li Jinfang (1996), the Bugan-speaking population is distributed in seven villages across southern Guangnan (广南) and northern Xichou (西畴), Yunnan Province, China. As the language is highly uniform, it is not divided into any dialects.

Li Yunbing (2005)

According to a more recent survey by Li Yunbing (2005), the Bugan people, comprising a total of 500+ households and 2,700+ individuals, live in the following locations.

Li Yunbing also uses the term Bùgēng (布赓) in place of Bùgān (布甘).


The Bugan people's autonym is pə˥ka̱n˧, while the surrounding Han Chinese call them Huazu (Chinese: 花族; literally "flower people") or Hualo (Chinese: 花倮) due to their colorful clothing (Li 1996). Other autonyms are pu˥qe̱ŋ˦ (in Manlong, Xichou County) and pə˥qe̱ŋ˦ (in Nala and Xinwalong in Guangnan County). They are an unrecognized ethnic minority, and are currently classified as Yi. The Bugan are endogamous, and thus do not usually marry people from other ethnic groups (Li 2006).

The Bugan people also hold their own New Year's Day celebration in April of the Chinese lunar calendar, which is separate from that of the Han Chinese New Year.

Common Bugan surnames include Li 李, Wang 王, Guo 郭, Luo 罗, Yan 严, Lu 卢, Pu 普, and Yi.


Bugan is a tonal SVO language. Unlike the Bolyu language, Bugan distinguishes between tense and lax voice qualities. In current linguistic publications on Bugan, tense voice is indicated by underlining vowels. Bugan has a total of 49 onsets (including various consonant clusters) and 67 possible rimes (Li 2005).



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