Intha-Danu language

Native toBurma
RegionInle Lake, Shan State
EthnicityIntha, Danu
Native speakers
ca. 200,000 (2000–2007)[1]
  • Danu
  • Intha
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
dnv – Danu
int – Intha

Intha and Danu constitute southern Burmish languages of Shan State, Burma, spoken by the Danu and Intha people. They are considered dialects of Burmese by the Government of Myanmar.

Danu is spoken by the Danu people, Intha by the Intha, a group of Bamar descendants who migrated to Inle Lake in Shan State. Both are spoken by about 100,000.[1] Both are characterized by a retention of the /-l-/ medial (for the following consonant clusters in Intha: /kl- kʰl- pl- pʰl- ml- hml-/). Examples include:

  • "full": Standard Burmese ပြည့် ([pjḛ]) → ပ္လည့် ([plḛ]), from old Burmese ပ္လည်
  • "ground": Standard Burmese မြေ ([mjè]) → မ္လေ ([mlè]), from old Burmese မ္လိယ်

There is no voicing with the presence of either aspirated or unaspirated consonants. For instance, ဗုဒ္ဓ (Buddha) is pronounced [boʊʔda̰] in standard Burmese, but [poʊʔtʰa̰] in Intha. This is probably due to influence from the Shan language.

Furthermore, (/θ/ in standard Burmese) has merged to /sʰ/ () in Intha.


Rhyme correspondences to standard Burmese follow these patterns:[2]

Written Burmese Standard Burmese Intha Notes
-ျင် -င် /-ɪɴ/ /-ɛɴ/
-ဉ် /-ɪɴ/ /-ɪɴ/
ိမ် -ိန် ိုင် /-eɪɴ -eɪɴ -aɪɴ/ /-eɪɴ/
-ျက် -က် /-jɛʔ -ɛʔ/ /-aʔ/
-တ် -ပ် /-aʔ/ /-ɛʔ/
-ည် /-ɛ, -e, -i/ /-e/ /-i/ if initial is a palatal consonant
ိတ် ိပ် ိုက် /-eɪʔ -eɪʔ -aɪʔ/ /-aɪʔ/
Open syllables weak = ə
full = i, e, ɛ, a, ɔ, o, u
Closed nasal = ɪɴ, eɪɴ, ɛɴ, aɴ, ɔɴ, oʊɴ, ʊɴ
stop = ɪʔ, aɪʔ, ɛʔ, aʔ, ɔʔ, oʊʔ, ʊʔ


  1. ^ a b Danu at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
    Intha at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. ^ Barron, Sandy; John Okell; Saw Myat Yin; Kenneth VanBik; Arthur Swain; Emma Larkin; Anna J. Allott; Kirsten Ewers (2007). Refugees From Burma: Their Backgrounds and Refugee Experiences (PDF) (Report). Center for Applied Linguistics. pp. 16–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2010-08-20.

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