Bouyei is a member of the northern branch of the
Tai-Kadai language family. It has about 2.6 million
speakers and is spoken mainly in southern Guizhou
Province in China. There are also some Bouyei speakers,
who are known as Giáy, in northern Vietnam. Bouyei is also
known as Buyi, Puyi, 布依语 (bùyī
yǔ) in Chinese, and tiếng Bố or
tiếng Giáy in Vietnamese. Bouyei has official
status in China and Vietnam.
Bouyei used to be written with a script based on Chinese
characters similar to the Sawndip script used for Zhuang. In 1956 a way of writing Bouyei using the Latin
alphabet was developed, and was based on the Latin alphabet
for Zhuang. It was approved by the Chinese government in 1957,
but was only used until 1960.
A new Latin-based script for Bouyei was developed in 1981
and experimental use began in 1982. It was officially
adopted in 1985 and continues to be used. It is based
on the dialect of Wangmo County (望谟县).
Bouyei alphabet and pronunciation
- p, t, k, q, z and c are only used in Chinese loanwords.
- sl and hr occur only in certain dialects
- v = [w] before u
Bouyei has eight tones. The letters below are added to the ends on
words to indicate the tones. Where there are two letters, the second
is used for loanwords.
Information about Bouyei suggested and compiled by Wolfram Siegel
Information about the Bouyei language and people
Basic vocabulary of Bouyei
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet