Cao Miao language

Cao Miao
Native to China
Region Guizhou, Hunan, Guangxi
Native speakers
64,000 (2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cov
Glottolog caom1238[2]

Cao Miao (Chinese: 草苗; autonym: mjiu˥ɲaŋ˧[3]) is a variety of Dong (Kam) according to Shi Lin (2012).[4] Dialects include Liushi ("Sixty") Miao 六十苗, Sishi ("Forty") Miao 四十苗, and Ershi ("Twenty") Miao 二十苗 (also known as Flowery Miao 花苗). The Flowery Miao 花苗 do not consider themselves to be Cao Miao 草苗, although their language is similar to Sixty Miao and Forty Miao (Shi 2012).


There are various ethnic subgroups within Cao Miao (Shi 2015:7).

Other ethnolinguistic groups living near the Cao Miao include the Han 汉族, Dong 侗族, Yao 瑶族, Suantang 酸汤人, Sanqiao 三撬人,[7] Bendi 本地人, Kejia 客家人, Chuanmin 船民 (a Guibei 桂北 Yue Chinese lect[8]), Naxi 那溪人, Liujia 六甲人,[9] and Liuse 六色人.[10]


There is a total of 58,900 Cao Miao people (Shi 2015:9). The following population statistics are from Shi (2015:9).

By ethnic subgroup:

By county:


Below are languages and their respective locations studied by Shi Lin (2012).[4]

Ethnic Cao Miao also live in the following townships.[13]

Sishi Miao 四十苗 is spoken in these townships:[4]

The Flowery Miao live in Luoxiang 洛香镇, Congjiang County; Guochong 锅冲乡 and Dagaoping 大高坪, Tongdao County; Deshun 德顺乡, Liping County. In Liping County, they are also known as the "Flowery-Clothed Miao" (花衣苗) (Liping County Almanac 1989:153). According to Shi Lin (2012), Flowery Miao 花苗 (Ershi Miao 二十苗) is spoken in these townships:[4]


  1. Cao Miao at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Cao Miao". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Shi (2015:1)
  4. 1 2 3 4 Shi Lin [石林] (2012). The Cao Miao language of three provinces and its relationship to Dong [三省坡草苗的语言及其与侗语的关系]. In Minzu Yuwen [民族语文] 2012, no. 4. Beijing: China Social Sciences Academy [中国社会科学院].
  5. 1 2 3 4 Shi (2015:42)
  6. Shi (2015:43)
  7. "三锹人与清水江中下游的山地开发——以黔东南锦屏县岑梧村为中心的考察 - 豆丁网". (in Chinese). 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  8. "桂南置家话的归属 '" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  9. Hou Jingrong [侯井榕] (2009). "Phonological System and Linguistic Typology of Liujia Chinese Dialect in Sanjiang of Guangxi Autonomous Region [广西三江县六甲话的语言特点]" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  10. "三省坡草苗的语言及其系属调查研究-《贵州民族大学学报(哲学社会科学版)》2013年01期". Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  11. Shi (2015:8)
  12. Shi (2015:44)
  13. "草苗/草苗之窗/草苗论坛". Archived from the original on 2013-08-25. Retrieved 2016-02-11.


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