Zaiwa is a member of the Burmish branch of the Tibeto-Burman language family. It is spoken by about 100,000 people in China and Myanmar (Burma). The majority of Zaiwa speakers, about 70,000, are found in Longchuan, Yingjiang and Mangshi counties in Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in the west of Yunnan province in the southwest of China. In Myanmar, Zaiwa is spoken by about 30,000 people in Kachin State in the northeast of the country.
Other names for Zaiwa include Tsaiwa, Tsaiva, Atzi, Azi, Aci, Aji, Atshi, Atsi-Maru, Maru, Zi and Szi. The native name is Zaiwa mying [tsai²² ʋa⁵¹ mʲiŋ³⁵]. There are three dialects of Zaiwa in China: Bangwa, Longzhun and Tingzhu, and one main dialect in Myanmar: Sadon (Sadung).
Ways to write Zaiwa with the Fraser alphabet and Latin alphabet were devised by missionaries in the 1930s. The Fraser alphabet was used until the 1950s, and the Latin alphabet has been used since then. The Latin alphabet for Zaiwa was revised in 1957 and 1981.
Zaiwa has five tones which can be indicated with numbers, diacritics or letters. However this is optional.
Information about Zaiwa
Page created: 30.10.23. Last modified: 06.11.23
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