Lewu language

Native to China
Region Yunnan
Ethnicity Yao
Native speakers
(extinct cited 1985)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)

Lewu 乐舞 is an unclassified extinct Loloish language of Jingdong Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan, China. The Lewu are officially classified by the Chinese government as ethnic Yao people.


According to the Jingdong County Almanac (1994:519), ethnic Yao numbered 3,889 individuals in 1990, and lived mainly in Chaqing 岔箐[1] and Dasongshu 大松树[2] Villages of Taizhong Township 太忠乡. Yao language speakers, known as the Lewu Yao 乐舞瑶族, are found in Puya Village 普牙村, Chaqing Township 岔箐乡 (Jingdong County Ethnic Gazetteer 2012:144).[3][4][5]


Lewu may have been related to the Lawu language of Xinping County, Yunnan, but classification remains uncertain due to the paucity of data.[6]


A word list of the Lewu Yao language is transcribed using pinyin in the Jingdong County Ethnic Gazetteer (2012:144-145). The language is already extinct, and was recorded in 1985 from 85-year-old Zhu Zhaojin 祝兆金 of Puya Village 普牙村, who could remember only some words.

Chinese glossEnglish glossLewuPage
吃饭eat ricezuǒ zuó liē144
猪心肺pig heart and lungscī ber144
这里来come (from) herewū lài lai144
什么东西What thing?māi yuō144
蚕豆broad bean (Vicia faba)nuó suō144
豌豆pea (Pisum sativum)nuó sǎi144
回来,回来你回来come back, come back, you come backgǔ lāi gǔ lai gǔ lāi144
白酒liquorzhī zhí144
清酒rice winea zhì144
筷子chopsticksa zhu144
knifebiě tuo145
斧子axeshì cuo145
bowllin hua145
spoonyì geu145
to hitch wō145
没有了There is no more.mā ia lāi145


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