About Biao Min

Page Index

The content of this page was developed from the data of Dr. David Solnit , in consultation with Dr. Martha Ratliff.


Biao Min is a Mienic language of southern China from the Hmong-Mien family. It is spoken by a population of approximately 40,000 speakers, most of whom are bilingual with the dominant language, Chinese.

Morphology and phonology

Biao Min is an isolating language. The morphology is minimal, consisting only of a dual/plural distinction in personal pronouns, complex serial verb constructions, and a set of numeral classifiers. Its phonology, however, is very complex. There are 6 distinctive tones, which show contrasts of both pitch and phonation types.


The Biao Min documentation consists of lexical lists and texts, as well as extensive annotations on cognates in other Hmong-Mien languages and on the Proto-Hmongic forms to which they correspond. Because Biao Min does not have a unique orthography, the Chinese characters representing loan words for many lexical items have also been included.

Apart from passing mentions in Chinese, there is only one known descriptive article about Biao Min, which was written by our data-provider, Dr. David Solnit, of the Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus project at the University of California at Berkeley.

Follow the digitization path of the Biao Min data

  1. Get Started: Summary of Biao-Min Conversion
  2. Digitize Images: Digitizing Images page (Classroom)
  3. OCR or Keyboard Entry: OCR or Keyboard page (Classroom)
  4. Digitize Text: Lexical Analysis page (Workroom)
  5. Store Text: XML page (Classroom)
  6. Present Text: Stylesheets page (Classroom)
  7. Create Metadata: Metadata page (Classroom)

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