Zhuang, Nong


A language of China

Alternate Names
Daez, Kau Nong, Khau Nong, Noangx, Nong hua, Phu Nong, Phu Tei, Tei Nong, Yan-Guang Southern Zhuang, Zhuangyu Nanbu fanyan Yan-Guang tuyu, puj Daez, puj Noangz, puj Nuangz
kauq Daez, kauq Noangz

500,000 (Wang and Johnson 2008). 125,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 600,000 (2007).


Yunnan province: Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, central and west Guangnan, Maguan, Malipo, north Wenshan, Xichou, and east Yanshan counties; a few in Funing and Qiubei counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Language of recognized nationality: Zhuang.


Western Guangnan, Liancheng, Central Zhuang, Southern Zhuang. Reportedly most similar Tày [tyz], and Min Zhuang [zgm]. Some Tày dialects near Viet Nam-Yunnan border reportedly mutually intelligible. Nong Dialects mutually intelligible for simple topics. Not intelligible of Dai Zhuang [zhd], Min Zhuang [zgm], Yang Zhuang [zyg], Guibian Zhuang [zgn], or Qiubei Zhuang [zqe]. Lexical similarity: over 70% with Nong, Yang [zyg], Yongnan [zyn], and Zuojiang [zzj]; about 67% with Dai [zhd]; 54% with Yongbei Zhuang [zyb]. A member of macrolanguage Zhuang [zha].


SVO; modifiers follow nouns, directional verbs precede objects; phonemic distinction between aspirated, unaspirated voiceless, and preglottalized voiced plosives; 6 tones on unchecked, 3–4 on checked syllables.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Most also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Used as L2 by Bugan [bbh], Dai Zhuang [zhd], Guibian Zhuang [zgn], Qabiao [laq], Thopho [ytp], Zokhuo [yzk].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: A few teachers and linguists can read the recent Yunnan government approved experimental orthography. Literacy rate in L2: Rapidly increasing due to free education begun in 2008, including women and girls. In 2011, 300 Nong 7th graders received a few hours of Nong instruction. Taught in primary schools, pilot projects. Radio. Texts.


Han (Hanzi, Kanji, Hanja) script [Hani], dating from Han dynasty, mainly used in non-official domains, gaining popularity. Latin script [Latn], used in 1984–1990s and from 2006, experimental use in education and official publications.

Other Comments

Over half the Nong live in Guangnan and Yanshan counties. Nong represent a majority of Zhuang in all their counties except for Funing and Qiubei, where mostly northern Taic Zhuang languages are spoken. Traditional religion.

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