Qabiao language

RegionHà Giang, Vietnam; Wenshan, Yunnan, China
Native speakers
710 (2009 census)[1]
  • Kra
    • Yang–Biao
      • Qabiao
Latin script in Vietnam
Language codes
ISO 639-3laq

Qabiao, or sometimes Laqua (autonym: qa biau˧; Chinese: Pubiao 普标, Vietnamese: Pu Péo) is a Kra language spoken by the Qabiao people in northern Vietnam and Yunnan, China. Alternative names for Qabiao include Kabeo, Ka Beo, Ka Bao, Ka Biao, Laqua, Pubiao (Pupeo or Pu Péo) and Pen Ti Lolo (Bendi Lolo). The meaning of the name "Qabiao" is unknown.

The Qabiao language is highly endangered. Also, most of its speakers lack access to nearby potable water.[2]

Maza, a Lolo–Burmese language spoken near the Qabiao area, is notable for having a Qabiao substratum (Hsiu 2014:68-69).

Geographic distribution

In Vietnam, Qabiao is spoken in Đồng Văn District, Hà Giang Province in Phố Là and Sủng Chéng villages, and perhaps also in Yên Minh and Mèo Vạc Districts.[2]

Tran (2011:15) reports that Qabiao is spoken in the following locations of Ha Giang Province.

The Pu Péo (Qabiao) of Vietnam claim that they had traditionally lived in the following villages in Vietnam and China (Tran 2011:16).

  • Đồng Văn District, Vietnam
    • Phó Bảng (Mó Biêng)
    • Phó Cáo (Mó Cao)
    • Phó Là (Mó Nê)
    • Phó Lủng (Mó Căn)
  • Malipo County, China
    • Phú Trú (Mó Nương)
    • Phú Trác (Mó Căn)
    • Phú Pliông (Mó Phuông)
    • Phú Trao (Mó Rào)

In China, Qabiao is spoken in Tiechang Township 铁厂镇 and Donggan Township 懂干镇 in Malipo County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan (Liang, et al. 2007). Many Qabiao people have shifted to Southwestern Mandarin, although it is still spoken in villages such as Pufeng 普峰.[3]


The Qabiao language has the following tones: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2.[2][4]

Like White Gelao and Buyang, Qabiao has sesquisyllables, which are not present in most Kra-Dai languages.


  1. ^ Qabiao at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ a b c Diller, Anthony, Jerold A. Edmondson, and Yongxian Luo ed. The Tai–Kadai Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Psychology Press, 2008.
  3. ^ 麻栗坡县铁厂乡董渡村委会新民寨自然村
  4. ^ See Proto-Tai language#Tones for an explanation of the tone codes.


  • Hsiu, Andrew. 2014. "Mondzish: a new subgroup of Lolo-Burmese". In Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics (IsCLL-14). Taipei: Academia Sinica.
  • Liang Min, Zhang Junru & Li Yunbing (2007). Pubiao yu yanjiu. Beijing: The Ethnic Publishing House.

Further reading

  • Nguyen, Thu Quynh. 2019. Characteristics of Pu Peo: A language at risk of endangerment. Presentation at the Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology, the CALA 2019, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia.
  • Trần, Văn Ái. 2011. Văn hóa dân gian của dân tộc Pu Péo ở Việt Nam. Hanoi: Nhà xuất bản văn hóa thông tin. ISBN 978-604-50-0048-9
  • Various. 2012. Dân ca các dân tộc Pu Péo, Sán Dìu, Dao, Lô Lô, Cao Lan. Hanoi: Nhà xuất bản văn hóa dân tộc. ISBN 978-604-70-0153-8

External links

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