Paha language

Region China
Native speakers
600 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 yha
Glottolog baha1256[2]

Paha or Baha (autonym: [pāhā]) is a Kra language spoken in northern Guangnan County, Wenshan Prefecture, Yunnan. The two villages are located near the border with Longlin County, Guangxi. Paha is often considered to be part of the Buyang dialect cluster and is the most divergent form. Although listed in Ethnologue as Baha Buyang (ISO 639-3: yha), Thai linguist Weera Ostapirat considers Paha to be a separate language.[3]


Within Guangnan County (广南县), Yunnan, the Paha language is spoken in the two villages of Yangliancun (央连村)[4] (from Zhuang jaaŋ24 lɛŋ31, or "lonely Buyang [village]") in Dixu Township (底圩乡) and Anshecun (安舍村)[5] in Bada Township 八达乡. While Yanglian has around 500 Paha speakers, Anshe only has about 100 speakers left. Paha speakers are shifting rapidly to Zhuang and Southwestern Mandarin, particularly in Anshe village. Many Buyang men in Yanglian village are also married to Zhuang women.[6]



Paha Buyang has the following consonants.[7]

Labial Coronal Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
plain pal. lab. plain lab. plain lab. plain lab. plain lab.
Plosive plain voiceless p t tʃʷ k q ʔ
voiceless aspirated pʲʰ pʷʰ tʃʰ kʷʰ
plain voiced b d ɡ ɡʷ
voiced aspirated bʲʱ ɡʱ
Fricative voiceless f θ θʷ ʃ ʃʷ χ h
voiced ð ðʷ ɣ
Nasal voiceless aspirated m̥ʰ n̥ʰ ɲ̊ʰ ŋ̊ʰ
voiced m n ɲ ŋ ŋʷ
Laterals voiceless
voiced l
Approximant voiceless ȷ̊
voiced j ɥ w


Paha Buyang has the following vowels.[7]

front central back
High i ɯ u
Hi-Mid ɥ ə ɯ
Lo-Mid ɛ ɔ
Low ɡ

The three high vowels and the low vowel can be long.


Unlike the Buyang dialects of Langjia, Ecun, and Yalang, Paha negatives (such as pi45) precede the verb, whereas the Buyang dialects always place negatives at the end of a sentence. This phenomenon in Paha is probably due to Chinese influence.[8]


  1. Paha at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Baha Buyang". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Ostapirat, Weera. 2000. 'Proto-Kra', LTBA 23.1:1-251
  6. Li Jinfang and Luo Yongxian. The Buyang language of South China: grammatical notes, glossary, texts and translations. Pacific Linguistics Publishers, Australian National University, 2010.
  7. 1 2 Li, J., & Luo, Y. (2006). Notes on Paha Buyang. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Vol. 29, No. 1, p. 1-40.
  8. 李锦芳/Li, Jinfang and 周国炎/Guoyan Zhou. 仡央语言探索/Geyang yu yan tan suo. Beijing, China: 中央民族大学出版社/Zhong yang min zu da xue chu ban she, 1999.

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