600 Phrases in the Liangshan Yi Dialect

Lesson 3 : Family Circumstances (Part 1)


New Vocabulary

  1. suo : three
  2. ꀁꇬ ix go : family, household
  3. ꃆꂮ mup mit : situation, circumstances
  4. ꈍꑋ kep nyix : how many ?
  5. shyp : seven
  6. yuot : [measure word for people used with the number seven]
  7. hxit : eight
  8. yuop : [measure word for people used with the numbers six and eight]
  9. cyx : this
  10. nit : your
  11. nge : to be
  12. ꀉꁌ ax pu : grandfather
  13. ꀊꂵ a mat : grandmother
  14. ꀉꄉ ax da : father
  15. ꀉꂿ ax mo : mother
  16. ꃺꃶ vyt vu : elder brother
  17. ꀁꑳ ix yi : younger brother
  18. ꅫꃀ hnip mop : sister
  19. ꌋꆀ si nip : and
  20. ma : [measure word for one or two people]
  21. tot : above, older
  22. ddap : or
  23. ꇂꃴ lap vut : below, younger
  24. ngat : my
  25. kur : year, years old
  26. ci : ten
  27. kut : year, years old
  28. nra : over, more than
  29. nge : five
  30. ly : four
  31. ꑍꊏ nyip zi : twenty
  32. ꀿꃶ pat vu : paternal uncle
  33. ꀉꁧ ax bbo : paternal aunt
  34. ꀑꑌ o nyi : maternal uncle
  35. ꃀꑌ mop nyi : maternal aunt

























Munyox : How many people are there in your family ?

Muqie : There are seven or eight members of our family.

Munyox : And what is the relationship of these people to you ?

Muqie : Grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, elder brother, younger brother, sisters and myself.

Munyox : How many sisters do you have ?

Muqie : I have one sister.

Munyox : Is she older or younger than you ?

Muqie : She's younger than me.

Munyox : How old are your grandfather and grandmother ?

Muqie : My grandfather is more than seventy years old, and my grandmother is also seventy years old.

Munyox : How old are your father and mother ?

Muqie : As to my father, he is fifty years old. As to my mother, she is forty-five years old.

Munyox : How old are your older brother and younger brother ?

Muqie : As to my older brother, he is twenty-five years old. As to my younger brother, he is not yet twenty years old.

Munyox : Do you have you any paternal uncles ?

Muqie : I have two paternal uncles.

Munyox : Do you have you any paternal aunts ?

Muqie : I don't have any paternal aunts.

Munyox : Do you have you any maternal uncles ?

Muqie : I have one maternal uncle.

Munyox : Do you have you any maternal aunts ?

Muqie : I have two maternal aunts.


1. ꏃꑹꉆꑼ (shyp yuot hxit yuop) : The measure word for people undergoes tone mutation depending upon the tone of the preceding numeral :

2. ꑞꀕ (xix w) : The reduplication of the interrogative pronoun (xix) adds emphasis. Cf. Lesson 12 Note 2.

3. ꅫꃀ (hnip mop) : In the Yi language there are different words for the siblings of males and females, which must not be muddled up :

4. ꅽꄩꅀꅽꇂꃴ ( nit tot ddap nit lap vut) : Literally "your older or your younger ?", i.e. "older or younger than you ?"

5. (kur) : The word for "years old" undergoes tone mutation depending upon the tone of the preceding word :

6. ꉠꀉꄉꆹ (ngat ax da li) : The particle (li) is used to emphasise the preceding clause. It may be used after the subject of a sentence, as in the text, or after the object of a sentence as in this example :

Note that if the word preceding (li) is a single syllable word in the Mid level tone, then it mutates to the Secondary High tone. Thus is the above example the word (she) "meat" should be read as (shex).

7. ꑍꊏꀋꈎꌦ (nyip zi ap kut sy) : The negative particle (ap) is not normally applied to a measure word, but this expression is an exception. The same meaning could have been expressed as ꑍꊏꈎꀋꑟꌦ (nyip zi kut ap xi sy) "not yet reached twenty years of age".

8. ꑍꂷ (nyip ma) : (ma) is the measure word for one or two people. For three or more people the word (yuot), (yuo) or (yuop) is used (see Note 1).

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