Ai-Cham language

Native to China
Region Qiannan Prefecture, Guizhou Province
Native speakers
2,700 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aih
Glottolog aich1238[2]

Ai-Cham (autonym: ʔai˧tʲam˩; Chinese: 锦话) is a language spoken mainly in Diwo 地莪 and Boyao 播尧 Townships, Jialiang District, Libo County, Qiannan Prefecture, Guizhou, China. Alternative names for the language are Jiamuhua, Jinhua and Atsam. Fang-Kuei Li first distinguished the language in 1943. Nearby languages include Bouyei and Mak. However, Yang (2000) considers Ai-Cham and Mak to be different dialects of an identical language.[3]

Ai-Cham has six tones.

The mythical patriarch and hero of the Ai-Cham people is the demigod Wu Sangui, who is celebrated during the Ai-Cham New Year.[4]


  1. Ai-Cham at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ai-Cham". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 杨通银 / Yang Tongyin. 莫语研究 / Mo yu yan jiu (A Study of Mak). Beijing: 中央民族大学出版社 / Zhong yang min zu da xue chu ban she, 2000.
  4. Lin, Shi and Cui Jianxin. 1988. "An investigation of the Ai-Cham language." In Jerold A. Edmondson and David B. Solnit (eds.), Comparative Kadai: Linguistic studies beyond Tai, 59-85. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics, 86. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.

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