Language of La Chi People in Ban Diu, Ha Giang, Vietnam

Author: Duong Thu Hang (Thai Nguyen University)
Speaker: Duong Thu Hang
Topic: Ethnographical language work
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


The La Chi people reside in the Hoang Su Phi and Xin Man districts of Ha Giang province and Ma Quan district of Van Nam, as well as the Yunnan province in China. Altogether, seven La Chi local groups exist: Four groups in China and three groups in Vietnam.

The language of the La Chi once belonged to the La Chi in the Lao, Kra, and Tai-Kra Dai communities. Here, La Chi is at high risk of extinction. In the Ma Quan communitieis of China, La Chi Hoa people (Luohua) residents speak the mother tongue, where the other three groups have switched to Chinese, or Choang. In Vietnam, La Chi Toc Dai (La Chi Long Hair) in Ban Phung, La Chi Den in Ban May, Ban Pang also speak La Chi; but the La Chi Trang in Ban Diu moved to speak another language.

This report presents the phonetic, lexical, and grammatical features of the La Chi language in Ban Diu, in comparison with the language of La Chi Den in Ban Pang and La Chi Toc Dai (La Chi Long Hair) in Ban Phung. The report concludes that, due to linguistic contact, the La Chi Trang in Ban Diu have shifted in their linguistic practices, moving from La Chi to Kra into Tai Trung tam, and to Tay Thai. Data has allowed for the production of a computerized database of word tables and language grammars of La Chi groups in Ban Diu, Ban Pang, and Ban Phung. The methods used included fieldwork, and computer data analysis (WINCECIL, ASAP, PRAAT).

Keywords: La Chi, China, Vietnam, Language contact