Then language

Native to China
Region Pingtang County, southern Guizhou
Native speakers
20,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 tct
Glottolog tenn1245[2]

The Then language (also known as Yánghuáng 佯僙语 in Chinese; alternate spellings: T'en and Ten) is a Kam–Sui language spoken in Pingtang County, southern Guizhou. It is spoken by the Yanghuang 佯僙 people, many of whom are officially classified as Maonan by the Chinese government.


The Yanghuang people called themselves ai˩raːu˩, except for the Yanghuang of Huishui County, Xiayou District 下游地区, and Xiguan Shangmo 西关上莫, who called themselves ai˩thən˧˥ (Bo 1997). According to the Guizhou Ethnic Gazetteer (2002:846),[3] their autonyms include jiŋ˨zau˨˦ (印绕) and ai˨au˨˦ (哎绕).

"Yanghuang" was mentioned in a Ming Dynasty record, the Dushi Fangyu Jiyao (读史方舆纪要).[3] According to it, "the Man people of Sizhou are Yanghuang, Gelao, Muyao (Mulao), and Miaozhi (Miaozi). (思州蛮自佯僙、仡佬、木瑶(老)、苗质(子)数种。)


Bo (1997:138-139) lists three main dialects of Yanghuang.


Yanghuang of Kapu Township (卡蒲乡) has 71 consonants total, including those with secondary articulations. There are a total of 71 rhymes, 9 vowels, and 8 codas (Bo 1997).


  1. Then at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "T'en". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. 1 2 Guizhou Province Gazetteer: Ethnic Gazetteer [贵州省志. 民族志] (2002). Guiyang: Guizhou Ethnic Publishing House [貴州民族出版社].
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