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The Kam–Tai languages, also called Zhuang–Dong in China or Be–Kam–Tai, are a proposed primary branch of the Tai–Kadai language family, and include all major languages of that family. Ethnologue lists 76 languages in this branch. This makes it the largest branch of the Tai–Kadai language family containing over 80% of those languages.[2]

Southern China, Southeast Asia, Hainan
Linguistic classification Tai–Kadai
  • Kam–Tai
Glottolog kamt1241[1]

Based on the large number of vocabulary they share, three of the five branches of Tai–Kadai, namely Kam–Sui, Be, and Tai, are often classified together as Kam–Tai or Be–Kam–Tai. However, this is negative evidence, possibly due to lexical replacement in the other branches, and morphological similarities suggest that Kam–Sui should instead be grouped with Kra, one of the other branches, as Northern Tai–Kadai, and that Tai should be grouped with the final branch, Hlai, as Southern Tai–Kadai (Ostapirat 2005).


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kam–Tai". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^
  • Ostapirat W (2005). "Kra–dai and Austronesian: notes on phonological correspondences and vocabulary distribution." pp 107–131 in Sagart L, Blench R & Sanchez-Mazas A (eds.) The peopling of East Asia: putting together archaeology, linguistics and genetics. London/New York: Routledge-Curzon.