The Info List - Pazeh Language

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Pazeh (also spelled Pazih, Pazéh) is the extinct language of the Pazeh, a Taiwanese aboriginal people. It was a Formosan language
Formosan language
of the Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
language family. The last remaining native speaker of Pazeh proper, Pan Jin-yu,[4] died in 2010 at the age of 96.[1] Before her death, she offered Pazeh classes to about 200 regular students in Puli and a small number of students in Miaoli and Taichung.[5] Kulun (sometimes also spelled Kulon) was a dialect that became extinct earlier. The insulting name "fan" was used against Plains Aborigines by the Han Taiwanese, and the Hoklo Taiwanese speech was forced upon Aborigines like the Pazeh.[6] Hoklo Taiwanese has replaced Pazeh and driven it to near extinction.[7] Aboriginal status has been requested by Plains Aboriginals.[8]


1 Phonology 2 Phonotactics 3 Sound changes 4 Grammar

4.1 Morphology 4.2 Affixes 4.3 Syntax 4.4 Pronouns

5 Numerals 6 References

6.1 Notes 6.2 General references

7 Bibliography 8 Further reading 9 External links

Phonology[edit] Pazeh has 17 consonants, 4 vowels, and 4 diphthongs (-ay, -aw, -uy, -iw).[9]


Labial Coronal1 Palatal Velar Glottal

Nasal m n


Stop p b t d

k ɡ3 (ʔ)2


s z4

x h5




l j w

/t/ and /d/ do not actually share the same place of articulation; /d/ is alveolar or prealveolar and /t/ (as well as /n/) is interdental. Other coronal consonants tend to be prealveolar or post-dental. The distribution for the glottal stop is allophonic, appearing only between like vowels, before initial vowels, and after final vowels. It is also largely absent in normal speech /ɡ/ is spirantized intervocalically /z/ is actually an alveolar/prealveolar affricate [dz] and only occurs as a syllable onset.[11] /h/ varies between glottal and pharyngeal realizations ([ħ]) and is sometimes difficult to distinguish from /x/

Although Pazeh contrasts voiced and voiceless obstruents, this contrast is neutralized in final position for labial and velar stops, where only /p/ and /k/ occur respectively (/d/ is also devoiced but a contrast is maintained). /l/ and /n/ are also neutralized to the latter.[12] Voiceless stops are unreleased in final position.


Front Central Back

Close i


Mid (ɛ) ə (o)



Mid vowels ([ɛ] and [o]) are allophones of close vowels (/i/ and /u/ respectively).

Both lower when adjacent to /h/. /u/ lowers before /ŋ/. [u] and [o] are in free variation before /ɾ/ Reduplicated morphemes carry the phonetic vowel even when the reduplicated vowel is not in the phonological context for lowering.

/mutapitapih/ → [mu.ta.pɛ.taˈpɛh] ('keep clapping').[14]

/a/ is somewhat advanced and raised when adjacent to /i/. Prevocally, high vowels are semivocalized. Most coronal consonants block this, although it still occurs after /s/. Semivowels also appear post-vocally.[15] Phonotactics[edit] The most common morpheme structure is CVCVC where C is any consonant and V is any vowel. Consonant
clusters are rare and consist only of a nasal plus a homorganic obstruent or the glide element of a diphthong.[12] Intervocalic voiceless stops are voiced before a morpheme boundary (but not following one) .[16] Stress falls on the ultimate syllable.[12] Sound changes[edit] The Pazih language merged the following Proto-Austronesian phonemes (Li 2001:7).

*C, *S > s *D, *Z > d *k, *g > k *j, *s > z *S2, *H > h *N, *ñ > l *r, *R > x

Pazih also split some Proto-Austronesian phonemes:

*S > s (merged with *C); *S2, *H > h *w > ø, w *e > e, u

Grammar[edit] Like Bunun, Seediq, Squliq Atayal, Mantauran Rukai, and the Tsouic languages,[17] Pazeh does not distinguish between common nouns and personal names, whereas Saisiyat does (Li 2000). Although closely related to Saisiyat, the Pazeh language
Pazeh language
does not have the infix -um- that is present in Saisiyat. Morphology[edit] Pazeh makes ready use of affixes, infixes, suffixes, and circumfixes, as well as reduplication.[18] Pazeh also has "focus-marking" in its verbal morphology. In addition, verbs can be either stative or dynamic. There are four types of focus in Pazeh (Li 2000).

Agent-focus (AF): mu-, me-, mi-, m-, ma-, ∅- Patient-focus (PF) -en, -un Locative-focus (LF): -an Referential-focus (RF): sa-, saa-, si-

The following affixes are used in Pazeh verbs (Li 2000).

-in- 'perfective' -a- 'progressive' -ay 'actor focus, irrealis', -aw 'patient focus, irrealis' -i 'non-agent-focused imperative'

The following are also used to mark aspect (Li 2000).

Reduplication of the verb stem's first syllable – 'progressive' lia – "already"

Affixes[edit] The Pazih affixes below are from Li (2001:10–19).


ha-: stative ka-: inchoative kaa-: nominal kai-: to stay at a certain location kali- -an: susceptible to, involuntarily m-: agent focus ma- (ka-): stative ma- (pa-): to have (noun); agent-focus maa[ka]- (paa[ka]-): – mutually, reciprocal maka- (paka-): to bear, bring forth mana- (pana-): to wash (body parts) mari- (pari-): to bear, to give birth (of animal) maru- (paru-): to lay eggs or give birth masa-: verbal prefix masi- (pasi-): to move, to wear mata-: (number of) times mati- (pati-): to carry, to wear, to catch matu- (patu-): to build, erect, set up maxa- (paxa-): to produce, to bring forth; to become maxi- (paxi-): to have, to bring forth; to look carefully me-, mi- (pi-), mi- (i-): agent-focus mia- (pia-): towards, to go mia- which one; ordinal (number) mu- (pu-): agent-focus (-um- in many other Formosan languages); to release pa-: verbalizer; causative, active verb paka-: causative, stative verb papa-: to ride pu-: to pave pu- -an: locative-focus, location sa- ~saa-, si-: instrumental-focus, something used to ..., tools si-: to have, to produce; to go (to a location) si- -an: to bring forth, to have a growth on one's body ta-: agentive, one specialized in ...; nominal prefix; verbal prefix tau-: agentive tau- -an: a gathering place taxa-: to feel like doing; to take a special posture taxi-: to lower one's body taxu-: to move around ti-: to get something undesirable or uncomfortable tu-: stative xi-: to turn over, to revert


-a-: progressive, durative -in-: perfective


-an: locative-focus, location -an ~ -nan: locative pronoun or personal name -aw: patient-focus, future -ay: locative-focus, irrealis -en ~ -un: patient-focus -i: patient-focus, imperative; vocative, address for an elder kinship CV- -an: location

Syntax[edit] Although originally a verb-initial language, Pazeh often uses SVO (verb-medial) sentence constructions due to influence from Chinese. There are four case markers in Pazeh (Li 2000).

ki Nominative ni Genitive di Locative u Oblique

Pazeh has the following negators (Li 2001:46).

ini – no, not uzay – not kuang ~ kuah – not exist mayaw – not yet nah – not want ana – don't

Pronouns[edit] The Pazeh personal pronouns below are from Li (2000). (Note: vis. = visible, prox. = proximal)

Pazeh Personal Pronouns

Type of Pronoun Neutral Nominative Genitive Locative

1s. yaku aku naki yakuan, yakunan

2s. isiw siw nisiw isiwan

2s. (prox.) imini mini nimini iminiyan

3s. (vis.) imisiw misiw nimisiw misiwan

3s. (not vis.) isia sia nisia isiaan

1p. (incl.) ita ta nita (ta-) itaan

1p. (excl.) yami ami nyam(i) yamian, yaminan

2p. imu mu nimu imuan

2p. (prox.) yamini amini naamini yaminiyan

3p. (vis.) yamisiw amisiw naamisiw yamisiwan

3p. (not vis.) yasia asia naasia yasiaan

Numerals[edit] Pazeh and Saisiyat are the only Formosan languages
Formosan languages
that do not have a bipartite numerical system consisting of both human and non-human numerals (Li 2006).[19] Pazeh is also the only language that forms the numerals 6 to 9 by addition (However, Saisiyat, which is closely related to Pazeh, expresses the number 6 as 5 + 1, and 9 as 10 − 1.)

1 = ida adang 2 = dusa 3 = turu 4 = supat 5 = xasep 6 = 5 + 1 = xaseb-uza 7 = 5 + 2 = xaseb-i-dusa 8 = 5 + 3 = xaseb-i-turu 9 = 5 + 4 = xaseb-i-supat

The number "five" in Pazeh, xasep, is similar to Saisiyat Laseb, Taokas hasap, Babuza nahup, and Hoanya hasip (Li 2006). Li (2006) believes that the similarity is more likely because of borrowing rather than common origin. Laurent Sagart considers these numerals to be ancient retentions from Proto-Austronesian, but Paul Jen-kuei Li considers them to be local innovations. Unlike Pazeh, these Plains Aboriginal languages as well as the Atayalic languages
Atayalic languages
use 2 × 4 to express the number 8. (The Atayalic languages
Atayalic languages
as well as Thao also use 2 × 3 to express the number 6.) Saisiyat, Thao, Taokas, and Babuza use 10 − 1 to express 9, whereas Saisiyat uses 5 + 1 to express 6 as Pazeh does.[20] The Ilongot language
Ilongot language
of the Philippines also derives numerals in the same manner as Pazeh does (Blust 2009:273).[21] Furthermore, numerals can function as both nouns and verbs in all Formosan languages, including Pazeh. References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b Li, Ren-gui.( 李壬癸),/ Academician of the Academia Sinica (Taipei) (中央研究院院士(台北市)),"下一個消失的語言是? (Which language will be extinct next in Taiwan?)"[1], United Daily News,2010.10.29/01:39am. (in Chinese) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kulon-Pazeh". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ "臺灣原住民平埔族群百年分類史系列地圖 (A history of the classification of Plains Taiwanese tribes over the past century)". blog.xuite.net. Retrieved 2017-03-04.  ^ Blust (1999:322) ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/06/26/2003415773 ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/06/15/2003592824 ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/06/26/2003415773 ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/07/15/2003595134 ^ Blust, Robert (1999). "Notes on Pazeh Phonology and Morphology". Oceanic Linguistics. 38 (2): 321–365. doi:10.1353/ol.1999.0002.  ^ Blust (1999:325–329) ^ Blust (1999:328) ^ a b c Blust (1999:324) ^ Blust (1999:329–332) ^ Blust (1999:330) ^ Blust (1999:329) ^ Blust (1999:326) ^ Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 1997. "A Syntactic Typology of Formosan Languages – Case Markers on Nouns and Pronouns." In Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2004. Selected Papers on Formosan Languages. Taipei, Taiwan: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica. ^ Blust (1999:340) ^ Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2006. Numerals in Formosan Languages. Oceanic Linguistics, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jun., 2006), pp. 133–152. ^ http://www.sinica.edu.tw/as/advisory/journal/15-1/59-62.pdf ^ Blust, Robert. 2009. The Austronesian Languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. ISBN 0-85883-602-5, ISBN 978-0-85883-602-0.

General references[edit]

Li, Paul Jen-kuei. 2000. Some Aspects of Pazeh Syntax. Oceanic Linguistics Special
Publications, No. 29, Grammatical Analysis: Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics (2000). Li, Paul Jen-kuei and Tsuchida, Shigeru. 2001. Pazih Dictionary (巴宰語詞典). Taipei, Taiwan: Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.


Blust, Robert (1999). "Notes on Pazeh Phonology and Morphology". Oceanic Linguistics. 38 (2): 321–365. doi:10.1353/ol.1999.0002 

Further reading[edit]

Li, R., & Tsuchida, S. (2002). Pazih Texts and Songs. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics (Preparatory Office), Academia Sinica. ISBN 957-671-888-0

External links[edit]

Pazeh language
Pazeh language
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

The secret of Formosan languages
Formosan languages
(Interview clip including exclusive interviews with Pan Jin-yu) (in Chinese)

v t e

Languages of Taiwan




Atayal Seediq Truku Kankei




Luilang Kulon Saisiyat Pazeh Kaxabu Thao Hoanya Papora Babuza Favorlang Taokas


Basay Ketagalan Kavalan Qauqaut Sakizaya Amis Siraya Taivoan Makatao


Bunun Puyuma Paiwan


Tsou Kanakanabu Saaroa






Taiwanese Mandarin



Taiwanese Hokkien Teochew dialect



Matsu dialect


Putian dialect


Taiwanese Hakka

Sixian Hailu Dabu Raoping Zhao'an


Taiwanese Sign Language Taiwanese Braille

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Formosan languages




Tsou Kanakanabu Saaroa

Northern Formosan


Atayal Seediq

Northwest Formosan

Saisiyat Pazeh † Kulon † Thao Babuza † Favorlang †

East Formosan

Ketagalan † Basay † Kavalan Amis Sakizaya Siraya † Taivoan † Nataoran


Puyuma Paiwan Bunun

Bold indicates languages with more than 1 million speakers ? indicates classification dispute † indicates extinct status

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