Some phonological criteria for Palaung subgrouping

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Weera Ostapirat

Abstract

In this paper, the selected phonological changes shared by several Palaung dialects are discussed. The tentative subgrouping, based on innovations among the dialects, suggests that we recognize the primary split between Ta-ang and the Rumai-Darang groups. The Rumai-Darang group is further split into Rumai and the Darang groups, which include such dialects as Na-ang, Darang, Da-ang, and Daraang. This subgroup scheme implies that the center of early Palaung settlement is likely to be in the northern-Shan State, west of Salween as well as the adjacent areas of Yunnan. The Palaung settlements scattered further south in the southern-Shan State may have resulted from relatively more recent migrations, especially in case of the Darang group of dialects.

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