A language of China

Alternate Names
Hainan Cham, Hui, Huihui, Poi Tsat, Sanya Hui, Utsat, Utset

4,000 (Bradley 2007a). Ethnic population: 5,000 (2000 D. Bradley).


Qinghai province: Hainan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture, Yaxian (Sanya) county, Yanglan district, Huixin and Huihui villages.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Hui.


None known. Reportedly most similar to Northern Roglai [rog], but very different. Tsat is structurally changed to be like Chinese.


SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; classifiers; dual number; no articles; monosyllabic, isolating language; aspect; 19 consonants, 7 vowels, 9 diphthongs and 3 triphthongs; tonal (5 tones: 2 level, 3 contour).

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Some young people, all adults. Positive attitudes. Most also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], particularly the Southwest Mandarin Chinese dialect, for school (Thurgood et al 2014). Most also use Min Nan Chinese [nan], particularly the Hainanese dialect, for school (Thurgood et al 2014). Some also use Hlai [lic] (Thurgood et al 2014).


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

The phonology suggests a history of some independence from other Chamic languages (Maddieson 1991). Their name for themselves is Utsat, for their language Tsat. Huihui or Hui is the Chinese name. Muslim.

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