Jiamao language

Sai 塞
Native toChina
Native speakers
(52,000 cited 1987)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jio

Jiamao (Chinese: 加茂; pinyin: Jiāmào, Jiamao; also Tái or Sāi) is a Kra-Dai language or possible language isolate spoken in southern Hainan, China.[2][3] Jiamao speakers' autonym is tʰai1.[4][5]


Jiamao was long thought to be one of the Hlai languages, which are a subgrouping of the Kra–Dai family, but its many divergent words eventually lead Graham Thurgood (1992) to suggest that it might have an Austroasiatic substratum. Norquest (2007) identified various lexical items in Jiamao that do not reconstruct to Proto-Hlai and later firmly established it as a non-Hlai language.[6] Hsiu (2018)[7] notes that Jiamao also contains various words borrowed from an unknown, currently extinct Tibeto-Burman branch.


In the 1980s, Jiamao was spoken by 50,000 people in central and south-central Hainan, mostly in Jiamao Township (加茂镇) in Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County. It shares less than half of its lexicon with the Hlai languages.[8]

In Lingshui Li Autonomous County, Jiamao is spoken in Benhao 本号, Nanping 南平, Wenluo 文罗, Zuguan 祖关, Longguang 隆广, and Tianzi 田仔.[9] In Lingshui County, Jiamao is known as Tái 台, and is also known as Sāi 塞 or Jiāwǒ 加我.[citation needed] In Qiongzhong Li and Miao Autonomous County, it is spoken in Zhongping Town 中平镇 and Shengpo Farm 乘坡农场, in a total of 30 villages.[10]

There are four Jiamao dialects,[11][12] namely Jiamao 加茂, Liugong 六弓, Tianzi 田仔, and Qunying 群英.[citation needed]

Jiamao is spoken in the following villages and townships of southern Hainan.[13]

  • Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County 保亭黎族苗族自治县
    • Jiamao Township 加茂乡
    • Liugong Township 六弓乡
    • Shiling Town 什玲镇 (in Jie 介村 and Shisheng 什胜村 villages)
  • Lingshui Li Autonomous County 陵水黎族自治县
    • Longguang Town 隆广镇
    • Benhao Town 本号镇
  • Sanya 三亚市
    • Haitangwan Town 海棠湾镇 (northeastern part: in Longtoucai 龙头菜村, Xiepei 协配村, and Maohou 毛喉村 villages)

The Liaoergong 廖二弓 dialect is documented in Huang (2011).[14]

Further reading

  • Hsiu, Andrew. 2017. The origins of Jiamao.
  • Lang, Alang 郎啊朗. 2006. “保亭加茂黎族”是真的黎族吗?
  • Dong, Yaling 董亚岭. 2012. 欣赏过黎族赛方言长调吗?.
  • Huang, Quan 黄权. 2011. Chinese-Hlai dictionary (Sai dialect) [汉黎字典(赛方言)]. Kunming: Yunnan People's Press 云南民族出版社. ISBN 978-75367-4971-9
  • Yang, Wenping 杨文平. 2016. Chinese-Hlai dictionary: Tai dialect (Lingshui) / 汉黎字典: 台方言 (陵水). Nanhai Publishing Company 南海出版公司. ISBN 978-7-5442-8130-0
  • Zeng, Kewen 曾科文; Liang Zhenzhen 梁珍珍. 2016. The Li ethnic group: Sai dialect / 黎族: 赛方言. Nanhai Publishing Company 南海出版公司. ISBN 978-7-5442-8364-9
  • Yang, Yiqi 杨遗旗. 2014. A Study of Core Personal Pronouns in Li Language 黎语核心人称代词研究. Journal of Hainan Normal University No. 145, Vol. 27.

See also


  1. ^ Jiamao at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Miyake, Marc (September 20, 2011). " Is Jiamao Hlai?". www.amritas.com.
  3. ^ Norquest, Peter (2015). A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-30052-1.
  4. ^ See Proto-Tai_language#Tones for an explanation of the tone codes.
  5. ^ 刘, 援朝 (2008). "黎语加茂话概况". 民族語文. 5.
  6. ^ Norquest, Peter (2015). A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. BRILL. p. 3. ISBN 978-90-04-30052-1.
  7. ^ Hsiu, Andrew. 2018. The origins of Jiamao.
  8. ^ Norquest, Peter K. 2007. A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. Ph.D. Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona.
  9. ^ Lang, Alang 郎啊朗. 2006. 保亭加茂黎族”是真的黎族吗?
  10. ^ Dong Yaling 董亚岭. 2013. 想了解琼中县的语言和方言分布吗.
  11. ^ Xing Shibiao 辛世彪. 2013. "《加茂黎语的四大方言》一文看过吗 - 黎族百科". lizu.baike.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  12. ^ Xing Shibiao 辛世彪. 2009. "加茂黎语的四大方言_辛世彪_新浪博客". blog.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  13. ^ Dong Yaling 董亚岭. 2012. 想了解海南黎族方言及其分布吗?
  14. ^ 杨, 遗旗 (2014). "黎语核心人称代词研究". 海南师范大学学报: 社会科学版. 27 (7): 118–123.
  • Norquest, Peter K. 2007. A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. Ph.D. dissertation. Tucson: Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona.
  • Thurgood, Graham. 1992. The aberrancy of the Jiamao dialect of Hlai: speculation on its origins and history. In Ratliff, Martha S. and Schiller, E. (eds.), Papers from the First Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, 417-433. Arizona State University, Program for Southeast Asian Studies.

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