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SIL Language and Culture Documentation and Description 1

Survey of the Guizhou Bouyei Language

Authors  Liang Yonghsu
Snyder, Wil
Wu Wenyi
Abstract 

The Bouyei are a large ethnic group living mainly in China's Guizhou province, with a population of roughly 2.5 million. The Bouyei language is of the Kam-Tai family, and is comprised of many different lects, some mutually unintelligible.

This report details a language survey conducted over the entire Bouyei area in 1995–1996. The data for this survey was collected from 24 different points. An earlier survey was done by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in the 1950s. The 24 data points of this more recent survey were chosen from among the data points of the 1950s survey in order to ascertain change in phonology and lexicon since that time. A word list of 500 items of basic vocabulary, some tailored to the Kam-Tai culture, was used in this recent survey, with a large percentage of items included from the 1950s survey word list.

This report includes 5 chapters, describing the phonology of each data point, an estimation of intelligibility among the 24 data points, an analysis of historical variation of Bouyei initials and tones, comparison of this survey data with the 1950s data, and finally a comparison of the speech of older speakers versus younger speakers. The data from each point is also included.

The original series enumeration of this work, "2007-001", has been changed by the publisher to "1", though the posted PDF document retains the original form; either designation unambiguously refers to this work.

  Survey of the Guizhou Bouyei Language
Published  2007
Language  Bouyei [pcc]
Country  China
Subjects  Language surveys
Linguistics
Phonological descriptions
Sociolinguistics
Tone
Word lists
Keywords  phonology; tone; language change; dialectal intelligibility; Phonological descriptions; Tone; Word lists; Language surveys