Bit language

Native toLaos, China
Native speakers
(2,200 cited 1994–2005)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bgk

Bit (Khabit, Bid, Psing, Buxing) is an Austroasiatic language spoken by around 2,000 people in Phongsaly Province, northern Laos and in Mengla County, Yunnan, China (Ethnologue).


In China, the Buxing people (布兴, 布幸, or 布醒; IPA: [puʃiŋ]) are also called Kami 佧米人 or Kabi 佧比人 (IPA: [khabit]) (Gao 2004).

Yan & Zhou (2012:157) list the following names for Khabit.

  • pu siŋ, kʰa bet (autonyms)
  • xa13 vit55 (Dai exonym)
  • kʰaʔ mĭt (Khmu exonym)
  • Kami 卡咪 (Chinese exonym)

The Khabit name for Khmu is ta mɔi.


Paul Sidwell (2014)[3] and Svantesson (1990) classify Bit as Palaungic. It is most closely related to Kháng and Quang Lam.



In Laos, Bit is spoken by 2,000 people in the following villages (Gao 2004). The speakers call themselves "Laubit."

  • Nam Lie
  • Nam Lan
  • Nam Liaŋ
  • Nam Pauk
  • Bɔn Tsɛm Mɑi
  • Nam Tha
  • Bɔn Hui Huo
  • Bɔn Bɔm Phiŋ
  • Nam Nɔi

Kingsada (1999) covers the Khabit (khaa bet) language of Nale village, Bun Neua District, Phongsaly Province, Laos.[4]


In Mengla County, Yunnan, China, Bit (Buxing) is spoken by 539 people as of 2000, in the following villages (Gao 2004).

  • Nanqian 南欠村, Manzhuang Village 曼庄村, Mohan Township 磨憨镇[5]
  • Kami 卡咪村, Huiluo Village 回洛村, Kami Township 卡米镇 / Mengban 勐伴镇[6]

In Menghai County, Yunnan, China, there is a group of people known as the Bajia 八甲人 of Menghun 勐混 (not to be confused with the Tai-speaking Bajia of Meng'a Township 勐阿镇, Menghai County), which is close to the border with Shan State, Myanmar (Zhou 2013). They live in Manbi Village 曼必村,[7] Menghun Town 勐混镇, Menghai County, Yunnan (comprising 48 households and 217 persons), and have recently been classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Bulang people.[8] Their autonym is Manbi 曼必 or Bi 必. The Bajia of Menghun believe that their ancestors had migrated from Laos. They are variously referred to by other ethnic groups as Kabi 卡必, Laos Bulang 老挝布朗, and Manbi people 曼必人. They do not consider themselves to be Bajia 八甲人, which is a name given to them by government officials, since they do not believe they are related to the Tai-speaking Bajia of Meng'a. Yunnan (1979)[9] considers Bajia 八甲 to be a dialect of Tai Lue based on the group's autonym and language, with 225 Bajia people counted as of 1960. The Bajia had originally migrated from Bajia 八甲, Laojian Mountain 老肩山, Jinggu County.[9] Yunnan (1979) documents the location of Bajia as Jingbo Township 景播乡,[10] Meng'a District 勐阿区, Menghai County.

Yunnan (1979)[9] reports that in Mengla County, the Khabit (Kabie 卡别) have close relations with a group called the Bubeng 布崩, who numbered 15 households with about 100 people as of 1960, and speak a Hani language. Yunnan (1979) classifies both the Kabie 卡别 and Bubeng 布崩 as ethnic Hani people.

Further reading

  • Badenoch, Nathan. 2015. Phonological sketch of the Bit language of Luang Namtha, Laos. Presentation at SEALS 25. Chiang Mai.
  • Gao Yongqi [高永奇]. 2004. A study of Buxing [Buxing yu yanjiu 布兴语研究]. Beijing: Minzu University Press [民族出版社].
  • Yan Qixiang [颜其香] & Zhou Zhizhi [周植志] (2012). Mon-Khmer languages of China and the Austroasiatic family [中国孟高棉语族语言与南亚语系]. Beijing: Social Sciences Academy Press [社会科学文献出版社].

External links


  1. ^ Bit at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bit". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2014. "Khmuic classification and homeland". Mon-Khmer Studies 43.1:47-56
  4. ^ Kingsadā, Thō̜ngphet, and Tadahiko Shintani. 1999 Basic Vocabularies of the Languages Spoken in Phongxaly, Lao P.D.R. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).
  5. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=160513
  6. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=203717
  7. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=157200
  8. ^ Zhang Yanju 张艳菊. 2013. 试论民族识别与归属中的认同问题-以云南克木人、莽人、老品人、八甲人民族归属工作为例. 广西民族研究2013年第4期 (总第114期).
  9. ^ a b c Yunnan minzu shibie zonghe diaocha zubian 云南民族识别综合调查组编 (1979). Yunnan minzu shibie zonghe diaocha baogao (1960 nian) 云南民族识别综合调查报告(1960年). Kunming: Yunnan minzuxue yanjiu suoyin 云南民族学研究所印.
  10. ^ 勐海县勐阿镇贺建村民委员会景播老寨村

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