Waic languages

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EthnicityWa people
Burma, China
Linguistic classificationAustroasiatic

The Waic languages are spoken in Shan State, Burma, in Northern Thailand, and in Yunnan province, China.


Gérard Diffloth reconstructed Proto-Waic in a 1980 paper. His classification is as follows (Sidwell 2009). (Note: Individual languages are highlighted in italics.)

  • Waic
    • Samtau (later renamed "Blang" by Diffloth)
      • Samtau
    • Wa–Lawa–La
      • Wa proper
      • Lawa
        • Bo Luang
        • Umphal

The recently discovered Meung Yum and Savaiq languages[2][3] of Shan State, Burma also belong to the Wa language cluster.

Other Waic languages in Shan State, eastern Myanmar are En and Siam (Hsem),[4][5] which are referred to by Scott (1900)[6] as En and Son. Hsiu (2015)[7] classifies En, Son, and Tai Loi in Scott (1900) as Waic languages, citing the Waic phonological innovation from Proto-Palaungic *s- > h- instead of the Angkuic phonological innovation from Proto-Palaungic *s- > s-.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Waic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ http://ic.payap.ac.th/graduate/linguistics/theses/Myint_Myint_Phyu_Thesis.pdf
  3. ^ http://ic.payap.ac.th/graduate/linguistics/theses/Wendy_Phung_Thesis.pdf
  4. ^ Shintani Tadahiko. 2016. The Siam (Hsem) language. Linguistic survey of Tay cultural area (LSTCA), 107. Tokyo: ILCAA.
  5. ^ Shintani Tadahiko. 2016. The Va (En) language. Linguistic survey of Tay cultural area (LSTCA), 108. Tokyo: ILCAA.
  6. ^ Scott, J. G. 1900. Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States. Superintendent, Government Printing, Rangoon.
  7. ^ Hsiu, Andrew. 2015. The Angkuic languages: a preliminary survey. Paper presented ICAAL 6 (6th International Conference on Austroasiatic Linguistics), Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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