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Zaiwa

A language of China

ISO 639-3: atb

Population 80,000 in China (1999 Xu Xijian). 20,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 110,000.
Region Yunnan Province, Luxi, Ruili, Longchuan, Yingjiang, Bangwa districts in Dehong Dai-Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture. Also spoken in Myanmar.
Alternate names   Tsaiwa, Atsi, Atzi, Aji, Atshi, Aci, Azi, Atsi-Maru, Szi, Xiaoshanhua
Dialects Zaiwa, Langwa, Polo. Close to Maru, Lashi, and Pela. Related to Phun, Achang. Dialects have only minor phonological differences.
Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Northern
Language use Vigorous. Speakers of other languages in the area also speak Zaiwa. All domains. All ages. Used less by young people and children. Positive language attitude. Intellectuals are concerned about preservation of Zaiwa. Most speakers are trilingual in Chinese, Lisu, or Bai. Others can speak Lachi, Maru, Jingpho, or Chinese as second language.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 60%. 50,000 can read and write it. A Roman script orthography was developed in 1957, based on the speech of Longzhun in the Xishan District of Luxi County. Both oral and written in some primary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1939–1951.
Comments Part of the Jingpo nationality. They call themselves 'Tsaiva'. Distinct from the Ahi group under Yi. SOV; 3 tone categories in unchecked syllables and 2 in checked; tense-lax vowel contrast. Valley, riverine. Agriculturalists; beekeepers; animal husbandry: chickens, pigs, sheep, cattle. Polytheist, Daoist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

Myanmar

Language name   Zaiwa
Population 30,000 in Myanmar (1997).
Region Kachin State, Sedan, Kentung.
Alternate names   Zi, Tsaiwa, Atsi, Atshi, Atzi, Azi, Aci
Language use They use Jingpho as lingua franca.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: below 1%. Literacy rate in second language: 50% to 75%.
Comments Their name and the Chinese name is Tsaiwa, the Jingpho name is Atsi, the Burmese name is Zi. Mountain slope, interfluvial. Tropical forest. Peasant agriculturalists.