Hani languages

This article is about the more inclusive political grouping of all languages spoken by the Hani nationality of China. For the Hani language proper, see Hani language.
Southern Loloish
Southern China and Indochina
Linguistic classification:


Glottolog: None
haya1251  (Ha-Ya)[1]
honi1244  (Hao-Bai)[2]

The Hani languages is a group of closely related but distinct languages of the Loloish (Yi) branch of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group. Approximately 1.5 million people speak these languages, mainly in China, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), and Vietnam; more than 90% of the speakers of these languages live in China. Various ethnicities that use Hani languages are grouped into a single class recognized nationality named Hani after the largest subgroup. In China, the languages of this group—which include Hani proper, Akha, and Hao-Bai (Honi and Baihong)—are considered dialects. Western scholars, however, have traditionally classified them as separate languages.


In China, Akha and other related languages are considered to be derivatives of Hani. They are not mutually intelligible, which means that speakers of one language do not necessarily understand speakers of the other language. In 2007, according to Ethnologue, there were almost 1.5 million speakers of all Hani varieties. Slightly more than half (760,000) of these speakers can speak Hani properly (considering age etc.). Lama (2012) groups the principal varieties of the Hani languages identified by Bradley (2007) as follows: Yunnan locations and speaker populations are from Haniyu Jianzhi 哈尼语简志 according to information from 1986.

In China, all of the Bi-Ka languages (Chinese: 碧卡) are considered to form a single Hani dialect cluster (Chinese: 方言 fangyan), and the speakers are officially classified as ethnic Hani (Haniyu Jianzhi 哈尼语简志 1986). Recognized dialects include Biyue 碧约 (autonym: bi31 jɔ31), Kaduo 卡多, and Enu 峨努. In Yunnan, China, they are spoken in Mojiang, Jiangcheng, Jingdong, and other counties, with a total of 370,000 speakers. The representative dialect is that of Caiyuan 菜园, Mojiang County.[6][7]

Yunnan Provincial Gazetteer

The Yunnan Provincial Gazetteer (云南省志:少数民族语言文字志, p. 113) classifies the Hani languages as follows. Additional dialects and datapoints from Zhang (1998)[8] are also included.



In China, Hani languages are spoken mostly in areas east of the Mekong River in the south-central Yunnan province, concentrated in the Pu'er and Honghe prefectures as well as in parts of other surrounding prefectures. Hani is also spoken in Lai Châu Province of northwestern Vietnam, northern Laos, and Shan State of northeastern Burma.


Edmondson (2002) reports that the Hani of Vietnam is distributed in 2 provinces of northwestern Vietnam. The earliest Hani pioneers to Vietnam probably numbered around 5 to 6 families, and arrived in Mường Tè District from Jinping County and Lüchun County in Yunnan about 325 years ago. The Hani of Phong Thổ District and Bát Xát District arrived later, about 175 years ago from Yunnan. The Hani of Vietnam claim to be able to communicate in the Hani language with ethnic Hani from different areas of Vietnam despite significant geographical barriers. Edmondson (2002), however, reported different Hani speech varieties in various parts of northwestern Vietnam, which differ mostly lexically.

Further reading


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ha-Ya". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Honi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=120979
  4. Xu Shixuan [徐世璇] (1991). 缅彝语几种音类的演变. Minzu Yuwen.
  5. 1 2 http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=159370
  6. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=159437
  7. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=159438
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Zhang Peizhi [张佩芝]. 1998. Comparative vocabulary lists of the Ha-Ya dialects of the Hani language [哈尼语哈雅方言土语词汇对照]. Kunming: Yunnan Ethnic Publishing House [云南民族出版社].
  9. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=198192
  10. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=197316
  11. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vindex.aspx?departmentid=188709
  12. 云南省编辑委员会编. 2009. "金平县一区马鹿塘哈尼族社会调查", p.44. In 哈尼族社会历史调查, p.43-60. 民族出版社. ISBN 9787105087754
  13. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vindex.aspx?departmentid=162571
  14. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=114781
  15. Lan Qing [澜清]. 2009. Fertility: The kinship of China Yicyu [丰饶:哈尼族奕车人的亲属关系]. Yunnan People's Press [云南人民出版社]. ISBN 9787222058439
  16. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=141999
  17. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=267473
  18. 1 2 3
  19. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vdefault.aspx?departmentid=163931
  20. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=178219
  21. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=198280
  22. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=188712
  23. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vindex.aspx?departmentid=188115
  24. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=185288
  25. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=189229
  26. http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=122905

External links

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