Nung language (Sino-Tibetan)

Native to Fugong County, China
Ethnicity Nung[1]
Native speakers
450 (2000–2007)[2]
7,000 in China
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nun
Glottolog nung1282[3]

Fuche Naw or Anong [ɑ˧˩nuŋ˧˥] (Derung: Vnung [ə˧˩nuŋ˥˧]), is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken by the Nung people in Fugong County, China and Kachin State, Burma. Anong language is closely related to the Derung and Rawang languages. Most of the Anong people in China have shifted to Lisu. In Myanmar, Anong is considered one of the clans of the Lisu family. in 2014, the whole Myanmar census, the Government did official catalogue all the majorities and minorities groups. In that census Naw people were identified as one of the ethnic people in Kachin group. Currently, the number of Anong speakers are increasing. In Myitkyina town and Putao town, there are literacy and language trainings in every year. About the Anong population, Naw is still mixed with the Lisu population. The majority of Anong speakers in Myanmar are mainly found in Kachin State; Myitkyina township, Putao township, Naungmun township, Machanbaw township, Tannai township, and Khaunglangphu township. Some naw people live in Shan State but it is not clear whether they still use anong or not. There are also many living in different cities such as Yangon, Khanti, and Taunggy etc. The language use situation is still low. Therefore, Anong language is an endangered language. Besides in China and Myanmar, there are Anong people in Thailand and India.

According to the Anong Cultural and Literature Committee in Myanmar (2009:1) Naw Pha used to be a big clan consisting at least 23 family groups. Among them, Nawsu, one of the biggest family groups under Naw Pha clan, consists of Zi Li Naw, Sa Wa Naw, Ga Meu Sa Naw, Tho Kyay Naw, Nyay Gu Naw, Yi To Lo Naw and Jay Kho Naw.Although Anong Cultural and Literature Committee in Myanmar says that Nawsu is one of Anong family groups, Nawsu language is totally different from Anong language.Actually,Nawsu language is closely related to Lisu language. Another biggest Naw Pha family is Kha Li Zi (forefather of this group) which consists of the families of La Meu Teu Naw, Kyi Zo Lo Naw, La Wu Naw, Co Lo Naw, Geu Jay Naw, Mi Kaw Naw, Chi Zu Naw, Mi Chey Naw, Da Phu Lu Naw, Li To Naw, Li Beu Naw, Kwa Zu Naw, Ta Ga Naw and La Pheu Naw.


Anong is spoken by over 7,000 people in China in the following townships (Sun & Liu 2005).

  • Shangpa 上帕镇: 2,200 people
  • Lijia 里甲乡: 1,100 people
  • Lumadeng 鹿马登乡: 2,100 people
  • Lishadi 利沙底乡: 2,200 people

There could be many more Anong speakers in neighboring Kachin State, Burma, although their current status is unknown.



Nung has 43 single consonants.

Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal voiceless ɳ̥ɲ̥ŋ̊
voiced mnɳɲŋ
Plosive aspirated ʈʰ
tenuis ptʈkʔ
voiced bdɖɡ
Affricate aspirated tsʰtʂʰtɕʰ
tenuis ts
voiced dzɖʐ
Fricative voiceless fsʂɕxh
voiced vzʐʑɣ
Lateral voiceless
voiced lɭ
Rhotic voiced ɹ



  1. The spurious "Ayi" is a misreading of Chinese 阿侬 Anong as *阿依 Ayi
  2. Anong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nung (Myanmar)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. 孙宏开,刘光,p.26-31.

  • 孙宏开; 刘光坤 (2005). 阿侬语研究. 民族出版社, 北京. ISBN 978-7-105-06814-2. 

This book in English:

  • Sun Hongkai; Liu Guangkun (2009). A Grammar of Anong. Language Death Under Intense Contact. Brill, Leiden • Boston. ISBN 90-04-17686-1. 
  • Wu, Nye. 2013. A Sociolinguistic Study of the Vitality of Anung (Anong) In Myanmar. Master’s thesis, Payap University.
  • Shintani, Tadahiko. 2018. The Khwingsang language. Linguistic survey of Tay cultural area, no. 113. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA).

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