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The Lakkja language (Chinese: 拉珈语; pinyin: Lājiāyǔ), also spelled Lakkia, is a Tai–Kadai language spoken in Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County, Laibin, east-central Guangxi, China. Lakkja people are also known as the Chashan Yao, or Tea Mountain Yao, since they were traditionally considered by neighboring peoples to be a Miao–Yao (Hmong–Mien) people. The name Lakkja means "mountain people". All Lakkja dialects have 5 tones.

Native to China
Region Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County, Guangxi
Native speakers
9,000 (2007)[1]
  • Northern
    • Lakkja–Kam ?
      • Lakkja
Language codes
ISO 639-3 lbc
Glottolog lakk1238[2]

Lakkja speakers are thought to have migrated from further east, possibly from the Biao-speaking areas of northwestern Guangdong province. Today, they live mostly in the Dayaoshan (Chinese: 大瑶山; literally: "Big Yao Mountain") region of Jinxiu County.



The genetic affiliation of the Lakkja language within the Tai–Kadai family is uncertain, although its position could be coordinate with the Kam–Sui languages.

Dialects of Lakkia include (L.-Thongkum 1992):

  • Jintian 金田
  • Liula 六拉
  • Jinxiu 金秀
  • Lingzu 岭祖
  • Changdong 长峒


Lakkja is spoken in the following locations.[3]

  • Jinxiu Township 金秀镇: Jinxiu 金秀, Baisha 白沙, Liula 六拉, Xidi 昔地, Changtan 长滩, Chang'er 长二, Zhaibao 寨保, Yangliu 杨柳, Liuduan 六段, Jiangjun 将军, Sanpian 三片, Tiancun 田村, Liucun 刘村, Shecun 社村, Mengcun 孟村, Meicun 美村, Jincun 金村, Jintian 金田, Luomeng 罗梦
  • Changdong Township 长洞乡: Changdong 长洞, Gufang 古放, Pingdao 平道, Daojiang 道江, Dishui 滴水, Rongdong 容洞
  • Sanjiao Township 三角乡: Liuding 六定
  • Zhongliang Township 忠良乡: Lingzu 岭祖, Bale 巴勒
  • Luoxiang Township 罗香乡: Pingzhu 平竹

The Lingzu dialect still preserves /kl/ clusters, which corresponds to /kj/ in most other dialects. Additionally, Changdong 长洞 and Jintian 金田 tone /51/ corresponds to Jinxiu 金秀 tone /231/.[4]


  1. ^ Lakkja at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lakkia". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Guangxi Minority Languages Orthography Committee. 2008. Vocabularies of Guangxi ethnic languages [广西民族语言方音词汇]. Beijing: Nationalities Publishing House [民族出版社].
  4. ^ L.-Thongkum (1992) reports that Jintian 金田 is a less conservative dialect.


Further readingEdit

  • Haudricourt, André-G. 1967. "La langue lakkia." Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient 57 / Bulletin de la Société Linguistique de de Paris 62:1:165-182.
  • Solnit, David B. 1988. "The position of Lakkia within Kadai." In Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai, Jerold A. Edmondson and David B. Solnit (eds.). pages 219-238. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics 86. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Su Defu / 苏德富, et al. 1992. 茶山瑤研究文集 / Chashan Yao yan jiu wen ji. Beijing: Minzu University: 中央民族学院出版社.

External linksEdit