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Hlai language

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Title: Hlai language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Li people, Hainan, Names of China, Languages of China, List of official languages by state, Voiceless dental fricative, Hainanese, Hainan people, Hlai languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hlai language

Native to People's Republic of China
Region Hainan
Native speakers 750,000  (1999)Template:Infobox language/ref
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
cuq – Cun
Linguist List Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
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  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
  Template:Infobox language/linguistlist

Hlai (Chinese: 黎语) is one of two languages of the Hlai or Li people, the other being Jiamao. It is spoken by 600,000 people (not counting Jiamao), a quarter of them monolingual, in the mountains of central and south-central Hainan Island. It forms one of the primary branches of the family of Tai–Kadai languages.

Hlai did not have a writing system until the 1950s, when the Latin script was adopted.


Hlai has several dialects, some perhaps divergent enough to be considered separate languages. According to Ethnologue, the main divisions are Ha 哈 (the prestige dialect), Qi aka Gei 杞, Meifu aka Moifau 美孚, and Bendi aka Zwn, in addition to Jiamao aka Kamau 加茂, which is not mutually intelligible with the others. Norquest (2007) gives a different classification.


External links

Template:Tai-Kadai languagesTemplate:Tk-lang-stub

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