Taloid languages

Yunnan, China
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
Glottologkuan1251  ((partial))[2]

Taloid is a cluster of languages in the Lisoish branch of Lolo–Burmese.


Yang, et al. (2017)[3] lists the following languages as belonging to the Taloid cluster of languages, whose speakers are descendants of soldiers sent by the Nanzhao Kingdom from the Dali region to be stationed in northwestern Yunnan. Taloid languages are most closely related to Lalo, Lolopo, and Lipo, all of which share the lexical innovation a¹toL[clarification needed] for 'fire'. They are spoken primarily in Yongsheng County and Heqing County. Popei 泼佩 is spoken in Huaping County, while Gomotage is spoken in Eryuan County.

Andy Castro, et al. (2010)[4] have reported the discovery of 5 languages in Heqing County, Yunnan that are most closely related to Talu (他留话) of Yongsheng County. Autonyms are from Castro (2010:25). Sonaga is the most divergent, while the other four languages comprise a core subclade.

  • Kua-nsi (khua˧n̩˨˩sɨ˥; 跨恩斯话): 5,000+ speakers
  • Kuamasi (khua˧ma˧sɨ˥; 跨玛斯话)
  • Laizisi (lai˨˩dzɨ̠˥sɨ˥; 莱兹斯话)
  • Zibusi (zɨ˨˩pu˥sɨ˥; 子逋斯话)
  • Sonaga (so˨˩na˧ka̠˧; 锁内嘎话): 2,000+ speakers

Gomotage (ɣɔ˨˩mɔ˧ta˥ɣə˨˩; also known as ɣɔ˧˩mɔ˧zɔ˧˩ or Emaorou 俄毛柔[5]) of Eryuan County is also probably related to Kua-nsi (Yang 2010:7).

Other languages that may belong to the Taloid cluster include:[6]

  • Awu, Northern 阿乌(北): 3,000 speakers in Peiyuan 培元村,[7] Shuiping 水坪村,[8] and Yongle 永乐村[9] Villages of Da'an Township 大安彝族纳西族乡, Yongsheng County
  • Liude 六得: 500 speakers in 3 villages of Liude Township 六德乡, Yongsheng County.[10]
  • Liwu 里乌: 4,000 speakers in Yongsheng County, in Liang'e 良峨[11] and Jifu 吉福[12] Villages of Xinghu Township 星湖村
  • Tazhi: spoken by a few hundred people in Puwei Township 普威镇, northern Miyi County 米易县, Sichuan. The Tazhi claim they came from northern Yunnan centuries ago. It is moribund or extinct, and is perhaps related to Talu, Tagu, or other languages of Yongsheng County.[10]
  • Ta'er 塔尔 of Ninglang County, spoken by about 1,000 people[13][14]


Some Taloid lexical innovations are:[3]

  • head hair (头发) > fur (毛) + hair (头发)
  • 'sky' > my²di¹mo³
  • 'mouth' > kʰa²bi²

Taloid phonological innovations are:[3]

  • *a > u
  • *ak > a̱
  • *(-)rwe > ua
  • *(-)r/way > ua


  1. ^ Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012:145), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kuansi-Kuamasi-Sonaga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c Yang, Cathryn; Kwok Wailing 范秀琳 Zhou Decai 周德才; Yang Wenjing 杨文静. 2017. The Taloid Cluster of Northwestern Yunnan: Loyal Soldiers of the Nanzhao Kingdom / 滇西北彝语他留土群:忠诚的南诏战士. Presented at ICSTLL 50, Beijing, China.
  4. ^ Andy Castro, Brian Crook, Royce Flaming. 2010. A sociolinguistic survey of Kua-nsi and related Yi varieties in Heqing county, Yunnan province, China. SIL International.
  5. ^ Duan Ling [段伶]. 1998. A sketch of Emaorou Yi [彝语俄毛柔话概说]. In Dali Normal University Journal [大理师专学报], Vol. 3.
  6. ^ "People Group Profiles - Asia Harvest". asiaharvest.org.
  7. ^ "永胜县大安彝族纳西族乡培元村委会". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  8. ^ "永胜县大安彝族纳西族乡水坪村委会". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  9. ^ "永胜县大安彝族纳西族乡永乐村委会". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  10. ^ a b Bradley, David. 2004. Endangered Central Ngwi Languages of Central Yunnan. Keynote Presentation, 37th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Lund University, Sweden.
  11. ^ "永胜县程海镇莨峨村委会". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  12. ^ "永胜县程海镇吉福村委会". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2017-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2017-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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