Tai Ya


A language of China

Alternate Names
Cung, Daiya, Huayao Dai, Multi-colored Waistband Tai, Tai Cung, Tai-Chung, Tai-Cung, Ya, Yuanxin Hongjin Dai

50,000 in China (2000 census). Ethnic population: 50,000 (2000 census). Based on county level Dai populations. Total users in all countries: 50,400.


Yunnan province: Honghe Hani and Yi autonomous prefectures, Honghe and Yuanyang counties; Yuxi prefecture, Xinping Yi-Dai autonomous county, Mosha district; Dai, Yi, and Yuanjiang Hani autonomous counties.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Dai.


Tai Ya, Tai Sai (Dai Sai), Tai Kha (Dai Ka), Tai Chung (Cung, Dai Zhong). Dialects mutually intelligible, though speakers of the latter 3 may understand Tai Ya dialect (the largest) more easily than speakers of Tai Ya understand the other 3 dialects. Some linguists have analyzed Tai Ya as most similar to Tai Nüa [tdd], others have grouped Tai Ya with other non-Buddhist Southwestern Tai groups. Tai Ya is probably not easily intelligible with other varieties of Tai.


SVO; tonal, 6 tone categories in unchecked syllables, 2 (split into 4 according to vowel length) in checked syllables; nasal and stop finals.

Language Use

Most domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes.

Language Development

Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1922.


Tai Tham (Lanna) script [Lana], no longer in use.

Other Comments

Called Daiya or Huayao Dai (Multi-colored Waistband Dai) in China. Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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