Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Taiwan

21,507,000 (1995); 349,120 tribal people, or 2% of the population; Han Chinese 97.8%. Republic of China, Chung-hua Min-kuo. Formerly Formosa. Literacy rate 90% to 92%. Also includes Iu Mien, Mongolian 6,000, Tibetan 2,000, Uyghur, from the Philippines 50,000. Information mainly from C. McGill CPM 1983, Wurm and Hattori 1981. Data accuracy estimate: A2. Also includes Iu Mien, Mongolian 6,000, Tibetan 2,000, Uyghur, from the Philippines 50,000. Chinese traditional religion, secular, Christian, tribal traditional religion, Muslim. Deaf population 30,000 or more (1986 Gallaudet University). Deaf institutions: 8. The number of languages listed for Taiwan is 29. Of those, 22 are living languages and 7 are extinct.

AMIS (AMI, AMIA, PAGCAH, PANGTSAH, BAKURUT, LAM-SI-HOAN, MARAN, SABARI, TANAH) [ALV] 130,000 (1986 Virginia Fey TEAM). Plains in the valley along the railroad between Hualien and Taitung, and on the east coast near the sea between Hualien and Taitung. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: CENTRAL AMIS (HAIAN AMI, HSIUKULAN AMI), TAVALONG-VATAAN (KWANGFU, KUANGFU), SOUTHERN AMIS (PEINAN, HENGCH'UN AMIS, TAITUNG), CHENGKUNG-KWANGSHAN, NORTHERN AMIS (NANSHI AMIS). The Chengkung-Kwangshan dialect is closest to Central Amis. Roman script. There is a dictionary. 'Amis' is their name for themselves; 'Ami' is the Chinese name. Traditionally matrilineal. Many are migrating to cities and industrial areas. Plains. Agriculturalists: rice. NT 1972-1981. Bible portions 1957-1981.

AMIS, NATAORAN [AIS] Villages in the Hualien area and north of Fenglin. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialect: SAKIZAYA (SAKIRAY). About 50% lexical similarity with Central Amis. Not generally understood by other Amis. Sakizaya is even more divergent from Central Amis. It is on the verge of extinction. Survey needed.

ATAYAL (TAYAL, TYAL, TAIYAL, ATAIYAL, ATTAYAL, TAIJYAL, BONOTSEK, SHABOGALA, TAKONAN, TANGAO, YUKAN) [TAY] 63,000 (1993 Johnstone). Mountains in the north, south of the Ketagalan area. Austronesian, Formosan, Atayalic. Dialects: SQOLEQ (SQULIQ), TS'OLE' (CI'ULI). People in some areas are quite bilingual; in others the language is in active use. NT 1974. Bible portions 1964.

BABUZA (BABUSA, FAVORLANG, FAVORLANGSCH, JABORLANG, POAVOSA) [BZG] A few speakers (1987 I. Dyen). West central coast and inland, Tatu and Choshui rivers and beyond, around 24'N. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialect: POAVOSA. Sinicized. Bible portions. Nearly extinct.

BASAY (KAWANUWAN) [BYQ] North around Tam Shui to near Kungliao, Fengtzulin, Taipei, Sangchung, and northeast around Suao and east of Ilan. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: TROBIAWAN, LINAW-QAUQAUL. Sinicized. Older people can remember a few words. Extinct.

BUNUN (BUNTI, VONUN, BUNAN, BUBUKUN, VUNUM, VUNUN, VUNUNG, BUNUM) [BNN] 34,000 (1993 Johnstone). East central plain, south of the Sediq (Taroko). Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: RANDAI, TONDAI, SHIBUKUN (SIBUKUN, SIBUKAUN, SIBUCOON, SIVUKUN), NORTH BUNUN (TAKITUDU, TAKETODO, TAKEBAKHA, TAKIBAKHA), CENTRAL BUNUN (TAKBANUAO, TAKIVATAN, TAKEVATAN), SOUTH BUNUN (ISHBUKUN, ISHBUKUN), TAKOPULAN. Also spoken by the Kanakanabu and the Saaroa in everyday life. NT 1973. Bible portions 1951-1962.

CHINESE, HAKKA [HAK] 2,366,000 in Taiwan (1993), 11% of the population; 34,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Pingtung counties. Mainly Kwangtung Province, south China, other countries. Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. Settled in Taiwan for 200 years. Bible 1916. NT 1883-1993. Bible portions 1860-1995.

CHINESE, MANDARIN (KUOYU) [CHN] 4,323,000 in Taiwan (1993), 20.1% of the population; 885,000,000 in all countries. Mainly in Taipei and 5 provincial cities. Also mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, other countries. Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. National language. Braille Bible portions. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1874-1983. NT 1857-1981. Bible portions 1864-1986.

CHINESE, MIN NAN (MIN NAN, MINNAN) [CFR] 14,345,000 in Taiwan, 66.7% of the population (1993); 49,000,000 in all countries (1991 WA). Tainan, eastern region, southwestern and coastal area. Also in USA. Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. Dialect: TAIWANESE (FORMOSAN). Taiwanese is close to Amoy dialect; intelligibility is not very difficult. There are two subdialects in Taiwan: Sanso and Chaenzo, with some difficulty in intelligibility. The Taiwanese people are called Hoklo. Chinese traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1884-1933. NT 1872-1916. Bible portions 1852-1990.

HOANYA (HOANNYA, KALI) [HON] West central, from Taihsi to Peimen to Tsou language area, south of 24'N. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: LLOA (LOA), ARIKUN, HOANYA. Sinicized. Extinct.

JAPANESE [JPN] 10,000 in Taiwan (1993); 125,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Japanese, Japanese. Trade language among aboriginal speakers and some Chinese. Bible 1883-1987. NT 1879-1993. Bible portions 1837-1992.

KANAKANABU (KANABU, KANAKANAVU) [QNB] (160 in 1977; Lincoln). Central Taiwan around Minchuan. Austronesian, Formosan, Tsouic, Southern. On the verge of extinction in 1990. The people speak Bunun in daily life. Older people speak Taiwanese mainly. A few older people know Kanakanabu. Nearly extinct.

KAVALAN (KUWARAWAN, KIWARAWA, KUVARAWAN, KIBALAN, KIWARAW, KUVALAN, KAVARAUAN, KVALAN, SHEKWAN, CABARAN, KABALAN, KABARAN, KAMALAN, KAVANAN, KBALAN) [CKV] Fewer than 100 speakers (1987). Northeast coast, above Toucheng to Ilan, nearly to Suao, and inland to Tayal language area. No longer spoken in the original area; a few migrants to the east coast, Hualien, one small village (1990). Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialect: KAREOVAN (KAREOWAN). Used only as a home language in 1930. Still spoken in Atayal territory (1987). Sinicized. Dictionary. Nearly extinct.

KETANGALAN (KETAGALAN, TANGALAN) [KAE] North central, around Panchiao and to the northwest, west, and southeast. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Sinicized. Extinct.

KULUN (KULON) [KNG] North central, between Taoyuan and Panchiao. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Sinicized. Extinct.

PAIWAN (PAIUAN, PAYOWAN, LI-LI-SHA, SAMOBI, SAMOHAI, SAPREK, TAMARI, KADAS, KALE-WHAN, KAPIANGAN, KATAUSAN, BUTANGLU, STIMUL) [PWN] 81,000 (1993 Johnstone). Southern, southeastern mountains. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. NT 1973-1993. Bible portions 1959-1993.

PAPORA (BUPURAN, HINAPAVOSA, VUPURAN, PAPOLA) [PPU] North central coast around Lishui, Chingshui, Shalu, and inland to Taichung. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Sinicized. Extinct.

PAZEH (PAZZEHE, PAZEHE, PAZEX, PAZEH-KAHABU, SHEKHOAN, SEK-HWAN, LEKWHAN) [PZH] Near the west coast just north of 24'N, east of Tayal, around Cholan, Houli, Fengyuan, Tantzu, Taichung, Tungshih. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: KAHABU, PAZEH. Used only as a home language in 1930. Known only by a couple of old people in 1990 (P. Li). Sinicized. Nearly extinct.

PYUMA (PUYUMA, PILAM, PELAM, PIYUMA, PANAPANAYAN, KADAS, TIPUN) [PYU] 7,225 (1973 census). Along the east coast south of Taitung and inland. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: NANWANG, PINAN. The people speak Pyuma in daily life.

RUKAI (DRUKAY, DRUKAI, DYOKAY, DUKAI, RUTKAI, TSARISEN, TSALISEN, SARISEN, BANGA, BANTALANG, BANTAURANG, TALOMA, KADAS) [DRU] 8,000 (1994 UBS). South central mountains, west of the Pyuma, 11 villages around Ping Tung, and 2 or 3 villages near Taitung. Austronesian, Formosan, Tsouic. Dialects: BUDAI, LABUAN, TANAN, MAGA, TONA, MANTAURAN. Some linguists classify it as Paiwanic. There is Paiwanic influence. Speakers of most dialects speak Rukai in daily life. Some speak Pyuma. Some older people speak Japanese or Rukai; some are monolingual in Rukai. Budai people speak Taiwanese in daily life. 3 dialects are reported to be divergent. Typology: VSO. Work in progress.

SAAROA (SAROA, SAARUA, RARUA, LA'ALUA, PACHIEN, PAICHIEN, SISYABAN) [SXR] (370 in 1977; Lincoln). West central mountains, south and southeast of Minchuan, along the Laonung River. Austronesian, Formosan, Tsouic, Southern. On the verge of extinction in 1990. The people speak Bunun in everyday life. Older people speak Taiwanese; some know Saaroa. Nearly extinct.

SAISIYAT (SAISET, SEISIRAT, SAISETT, SAISIAT, SAISIETT, SAISIRAT, SAISYET, SAISYETT, AMUTOURA, BOUIOK) [SAI] 3,200 (1978). Western mountains, west of the Atayal. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: TAAI (NORTH SAISET), TUNGHO (SOUTH SAISET). Taai people are nearly assimilated to Atayal; only a few speak Taai. Tungho people have more active use of their language. Many young people speak Hakka Chinese. Survey needed.

SIRAIYA (FORMOSAN, SIRAIA, SIRAYA, SIDEIA, SIDEIS, SIDEISCH, BAKSA, PEPOHOAN, PEPO-HWAN) [FOS] Southwestern, around present-day Tainan, from Peimen to Hengchun to Tapu. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: SIRAYA, MAKATAO (MAKATTAO, TAKARAYA, TTA'O), PANGSOIA-DOLATOK, TAIVOAN (TEVORANG), LAMAI. It was still spoken in 1908. Sinicized. Dictionary. Bible portions 1661. Extinct.

TAIWANESE SIGN LANGUAGE (ZIRAN SHOUYU) [TSS] 30,000 users (1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Deaf sign language. Dialects: TAIPEI, TAINAN. 2 major dialects. The sources from which the sign language developed were indigenous sign systems before 1895, Japanese occupation and education 1895-1946, Mainland Chinese Sign Language brought by refugees in 1949 and some from Hongkong since. 50% lexical similarity with Japanese Sign Language. Quite distinct from (Mainland) Chinese Sign Language; only a few signs are the same or similar. Not related to Taiwanese languages. Some signs are borrowed from Mandarin through palmwriting. There is also a Signed Mandarin (Wenfa Shouyu).

TAOKAS (TAOKA, TAOKAT) [TOA] Northwest coast and inland, Touchien River to Taan River and beyond. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Sinicized. Extinct.

TAROKO (SEDIQ, SAEDIQ, SEEDIK, SEJIQ, SEDEQ, SEEDEK, SEEDEQ, SHEDEKKA, SEDEK, SEDIAKK, SEDIK, SAZEK, BU-HWAN, CHE-HWAN, DAIYA-ATAIYAL, HOGO, IBOHO, PARAN, TOROKO, TODA) [TRV] 28,000 (1993 Johnstone). Central, eastern and coastal; northern mountains in the Puli area and along the coast south of Hualien, south of the Atayal. Austronesian, Formosan, Atayalic. The people are called 'Sediq', the language 'Taroko'. NT 1963-1981. Bible portions 1956-1960.

THAO (SAU, SAO, SHAO, CHUIHWAN, CHUI-HUAN, VULUNG) [SSF] A few older speakers out of 300 in the ethnic group (1990). Central, around Sun Moon Lake, 1 village. Austronesian, Formosan, Paiwanic. Dialects: BRAWBAW, SHTAFARI. Sinicized. The people speak Taiwanese in daily life. Nearly extinct.

TSOU (TSU-U, TSOO, TSUOU, TSU-WO, TZO, TSO, NAMAKABAN, NIITAKA, TIBOLA, TIBOLAH, TIBOLAK, TIBOLAL) [TSY] 5,000 (1982 McGill). West central mountains southeast of Kagi around Mt. Ali. Austronesian, Formosan, Tsouic, Northern. Dialects: DUHTU, LUHTU, TAPANGU, TFUEA, IIMUTSU. Some linguistic work has been done. Iimutsu is extinct (1981 Wurm and Hattori). The people speak Tsou in daily life. Young people speak Mandarin. Work in progress.

YAMI (BOTEL TABAGO, BOTEL TOBAGO) [YMI] 3,000 (1990 UBS). Orchid Island, Botel Tobago (Lanyu) Island, southeast coast. Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Western Malayo-Polynesian, Northern Philippine, Bashiic-Central Luzon-Northern Mindoro, Bashiic, Yami. Dialect: IMURUT (IMURUD). Closely related to Ivatan of northern Philippines. Traditional religion, Christian. NT 1994. Bible portions 1970-1990.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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