Publication details [#56400]

Enwall, Joakim. 2012. Conflicting tendencies in the influence of Putonghua on Hmu (Black Miao): orthography versus changing speech habits. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 215 : 125–139.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
De Gruyter


This paper focuses on the spelling and pronuniciation of Chinese loanwords in the Hmu dialect of the Miao language, spoken in southwest China. In 1981, Hmu writing was reintroduced on a pilot basis in primary schools and the Chinese loanwords' spelling was altered according to local Chinese pronunciation. Notwithstanding the quick spread of Putonghua use in Hmu communities since the 1980s, the spelling principles for Chinese loanwords have been preserved, whereas growing numbers of Hmu are inclined to pronounce these words corresponding to Putonghua standards.