Jiamao language

Native to People's Republic of China
Region Hainan
Native speakers
(52,000 cited 1987)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 jio
Glottolog jiam1236[2]

Jiamao (加茂, or Kamau) is a divergent Hlai language spoken in southern Hainan, China.


Jiamao has many divergent words, and this lexical aberrancy is still a matter of debate. Graham Thurgood (1992) suggests that it might have an Austroasiatic substratum. Norquest (2007) identifies various lexical items in Jiamao that do not reconstruct to Proto-Hlai.


In the 1980s, Jiamao was spoken by 50,000 people in central and south-central Hainan Island, mostly in Jiamao Township (加茂镇), Baoting County (保亭县). It shares less than half of its lexicon with standard Hlai.[3]

There are four Jiamao dialects.[4][5]


  1. Jiamao at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Jiamao". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Norquest, Peter K. 2007. A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto-Hlai. Ph.D. Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona.
  4. http://lizu.baike.com/article-1004623.html
  5. http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_49d8b2980100c9nf.html

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