10 thoughts on “Language Quiz

  1. Some of the sounds remind me a bit if Navajo but I am not sure why. Maybe the nasality? I do think, however it’s a North American indigenous language, maybe from the US acific Northwest US or British Columbia coast?

  2. Nasals, ejectives, and an apparent absence of /e/. Interesting phonology.

  3. I will need to listen over and over again, but on my first impressions I thought of minority languages of southwest China / the Tibetan Plateau / the Indochinese highlands, which have lots of syllabic consonants, unrounded non-front vowels, fricatives, and tone distinctions. Am I in the right region?

  4. My guess was along the same lines as Hank, something Amerindian, especially with those ejective fricatives, but I don’t know that I’m brave enough to disagree with Sameer.

  5. I wish I could narrow further, but I’m at a loss. I don’t think it’s Austroasiatic or Tai-Kadai, as those families have very characteristic sounds. That leaves Hmong-Mien and Tibeto-Burman. I also don’t think it’s in the Sinitic or Burmish branches of Tibeto-Burman, but it could still be from almost any other branch of the Tibeto-Burman. I keep coming back to the Loloish and Qiangic branches based on the very complex consonant phonologies of those branches.

  6. The answer is Hani (Haqniqdoq), a tibeto-Burman language spoken in southern China and northern Vietnam.I actually met a Hani speaker at the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava last week, which gave me the idea of chosing Hani for the quiz. I didn’t get a recording from her though.

    The recording comes from YouTube:

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