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Full text of "Handbook of the Lisu (Yawyin) language"

Wason 

PL4001 

L7F84 




CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




Cornell University Library 
PL 4001.L7F84 

Handbook of the Lisu Yawyin) language. 



3 1924 022 354 462 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924022354462 



HANDBOOK 



OF THE 



LISU (YAWYIN) LANGUAGE 




RANGOON 
SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRINTING, BURMA 

192a 



TL UOO/ 
LIST OF AGENTS 

FOR THI 

SALE OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS. 

In India: 

American Baptist Mission Press, i Rangoon. 

Rangoon Times Press, Rangoon. 

Maung Lu Gale, Law Book DepSt, 42, Ayo-o-gale, Mandalay. 

Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta and Simla. 

W. Newman & Co., Calcutta. 

Butterworth & Co. (India), Ltd., Calcutta. 

Thacker & Co., Ltd., Bombay. 

* D. B. Taraporevala, Sons & Co., Bombay. 

Higginbotham & Co., Madras. 

In England : 

Henry S. King & Co., 65, Cornhill, E.C. 

A. Constable & Co., 10, Orange Street, |Leicester Square, W.C. 
Kegan Paul, Trrnch, Tr&bner & Co., Ltd., 68-74, Carter Lane, E.C, 

and 39, New Oxford Street, W.C. 
Bernard Quaritch, ii. Grafton Street, New Bond Street, W. 
P. S. King & Son, 2 & 4, Great Smith Street, Westminster, S. W. 
Grindlat & Co., 54, Parliament Street, S.W. 
T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., 1, Adelphi Terrace, W.C. 
W. Thacker & Co., 2, Creed Lane, Ludgate Hill, E.C. 
Luzac & Co., 46, Great Russell Street, W.C 
Wheldon & Wesley, Ltd., 28, Essex Street, Strand, W.C. 
Oliver & Boyd, Tweeddale Court, Edinburgh. 
E. Ponsonby, Ltd., 116, Grafton Street, Dublin. 

B. H. Blackwell, 50 & 51, Broad Street, Oxford. 
Dbighton Bell & Co., Ltd., Trinity Street, Cambridge. 

On tub Continent : 

Ernest Leroux, 28, Rue Bonaparte, Paris, France. 

Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Holland. 

Otto Harrassowitz, Leipzig, Germany. 

R. Friedlander & Sohnt, 11, Carlstrasse, Berlin, Germany. 

* For the sale of officii! publications excluding those of the Legislative 
Department of the Government of Burma. / 1 ) f / -TT^ £> — 



/o' 



A 



NOTE ON THE ORIGIN, DISTRIBUTION, 
CUSTOMS, ETC., OF THE LISU. 

The origin of the Lisu race, as is the case with so many races in 
this part of Asia, is uncertain. The uniform testimony of the people 
themselves, from widely separated districts, is that they come from the 
" head of the river," which they refer, very vaguely, to either the 
N'mai Hka, Salween, or Mekong Rivers. It is certain that Lisu are 
found in considerable numbers around the upper reaches of these three 
Rivers, and as it can be observed that even the present tendency of 
Lisu migration is in a southerly direction, it seems probable that their 
tradition is correct.* Hence we may suppose that their original home 
is in or near Eastern Tibet. This would seem to be borne out by the 
strong resemblance between the Lisu language and the Burmese and 
Atsi Kachin languages, the latter races also being supposed to have 
migrated from the eastern part of Tibet. If these surmises are correct 
we may, perhaps, hazard the further supposition that the southern 
migration of the Lisu was a later one than that of the Burmans and 
Kachins, for whilst the latter seem to be thoroughly acclimatised in 
their lower altitudes, the Lisu are seldom found at altitudes of less 
than 5,000 feet above sea-level, and flourish best at altitudes of 6,000 
and more feet. They are usually to be found, whether in Yunnan or* 
Burma, in the higher and colder regions of the mountains. 

There are, however, many Lisu who have Chinese surnames and 
claim Chinese origin. Though all Lisu clan surnames have their 
Chinese equivalents, some have Chinese surnames without Lisu equi- 
valents : these are usually descendants of Chinese adopted into Lisu 
families. But even Lisu with ordinary Lisu clan surnames will some- 
times claim to be of Chinese extraction, averring that their ancestors 
originally came from Eastern China, usually from the province of 
Kiangsi — the ancestral home of most of the Chinese living near the 
Burma frontier. Such Lisu do not, however, boast of their Chinese 
Origin. No Lisu is ashamed to own his race, whereas the aborigines 
of Eastern Yunnan, where Chinese influence is stronger, are often 
ashamed to admit that they are not Chinese, and indeed tend to become 
absorbed in the latter race. In the Tengyueh District there is a saying 
that the Chinese sometimes " turn into tribespeople " but that the 
tribespeople never " turn into Chinese." 

It is impossible to speak with any accuracy of the Lisu> for they 
are a widely scattered and comparatively little known race. In China 
there are probably very few Lisu to be found elsewhere than in the 
province of Yunnan. In Yunnan they are found along 'practically the 
whole length of the Burma frontier from Wei Hsi down to Szemao, 
those in British territory following, in general, the same line from the 
North-East extremity of the Putao District down to the Southern 

• Their nam* *• Li Su " means "the people who have come dow." 



( iv ) 

Shan States. They are also found along the Valley of the Mekong 
down to about Lat. 26°N and along the Upper Yangtse nearly as fat 
as the longitude of Yunnanfu. Those in the Yangtse Basin in the 
vicinity of Yuanmowhsien speak a dialect so widely differing from the 
dialects of the Burma frontier as to be unintelligible to the latter, 
scarcely 50 per qent. of the wprds being the same. ,In fact it is 
questionable whether they are the same race or not, for only the 
Chinese call them Lisu, their Own name for themselves being Linpaw. 
In physical appearance the Lisu are of medium height, with a some- 

S hat darker complexion than the, Chinese* and Mongoloid features. 
ot.h men and 1 women shave their heads entirely but for a patch three 
or four, inches across at the back of their heads, the long hair of which 
they piait into a queue —evidently in imitation df the Chinese. The 
men wear the same kind of loose jacket as the Chinese, whilst the 
trousers (worn by both sexes) are made, as the latter is, of plain blue 
cloth and come down to an inch or two above the knee, a blue cloth 
turban is the usual headgear and white cloth stockings are sometimes 
worn by both sexes. The footwear, if any thing at all, usually consists 
of cheap sandals made of bamboo bark. 

The dress of the women varies very considerably according to the 
district. In the parts of Yunnan where the Lisu come more directly 
under Chinese influence the women often dress so like Chinese women 
as to be only distinguishable from the latter by their Unbound feet. 
Between this plain style of dress and the gay and much bejewelled 
costume worn by the Lisa women on the Burma China Frontier near 
Tawgaw and Sadon there are several grades of omateness. The 
turban is usually several feet long, plain in the middle but ornamented 
•with strips of coloured cloth at both ends, from which hang tassels, 
beads, cowries or other pendants according to the fancy of the wearer 
or the customs of the district. Ear-rings are usually worn, also 
necklaces of many different kinds — in the district near Sadon several 
cqils of ordinary brass wire being worn, sometimes even by the men. 
The dress consists of a tunic reaching Only to the waist in front but 
long behind. The shortness of the tunic in front is made up for by 
an apron fastened to the body by an embroidered waistband. Both 
the tunic and the apron are ornamented by square or oblong patches 
of red, yellow and green cloth, the lower edges being trimmed with 
cowrie shells. 

In disposition the Lisu are mild and easy-going, are affable, 
hospitable, and almost invariably friendly to Europeans. Whereas thfc 
Chinese and Kachins are aften suspicious of strangers, the Lisu are 
seldom so. Their frank geniality is more agreeable, to Europeans 
at least, than the blunt boorish manner of the Kachins on the one 
hand, or the obsequiousness of the Chinese on the other. They 
are lovers of peace; law and order, do not engage in raiding or 
inter- tribal warfare if it can possibly be avoided and are scarcely ever 
known either to rob or beg, Their love of peace begets a timidity 
and dependence which forces them under the overlordship of the 
Chinese, Kachins, or any stronger race near whom they happen to 
live. They are capable of sincere friendship and make loyal and 
devoted servants. They have their superstitions and their prejudices 
of course, but a stranger of another race need not be afraid of incurring- 



( v ) 

displeasure by unwittingly offending them. This is an important 
ffoint fbr the traveller, ^Ho knows how easy it Is to get into trouble 
in Kachin Villages— the KacHitls taking their superstitions so much 
ftbftS seriously than the Listi. 

Lisu women and girls are apt to be shy, but when on familiar terms 
they are frank and natural. They are not bold as the Kachin women 
-are, nor prudish and self-conscious as the Chinese. In morality whilst 
not, perhaps, Sd strict as the Chinese, they are on a distinctly higher 
level than the Kachins. An uniriarfied Lisu girl is supposed to behave 
herself, and in the majority of cases, perhaps, does so, but districts 
vary considerably in their morals. When breaches of morality occur, 
ihe offenders of either sex are at least as often married as unmarried 
persons. In cases where an unmarried girl is guilty of misconduct the 
Offence is not considered a very serious one ahd is often passed Over. 
Adultery with a married woman is, however, considered to be a serious 
offence, and if proved is punished by fining; the lawful husband often 
divorcing his wife and compelling her paramour to marry her. To 
the credit of the Lisu it may be said that they have a strong sense of 
decency and shame. Out and Out prostitution is unknown among 
"them. 

The Lisu are everywhere addicted to the drinking of rice beer, 
which they seem unable to drink (as the Chinese usually do) in mode- 
ration. Not to speak of the waste of good grain, the moral effect of 
the habit on the race is wholly bad. It is a fruitful cause of quarrelling 
and trouble among an otherwise peaceably disposed people. They do 
not distil the strong spirit called "shao tsiu" by the Chinese, but they 
buy arid drink this also at the Chinese markets they attend. The old. 
people of both sexes are more given to drinking than the young. On 
such occasions as weddings, He. an enormous quantity of liquor is 
consumed. The Chinese have a saying. " The Lisu for liquor ; 
leeches for blood." « 

Opium-smoking is not very prevalent in most districts, though a 
village would seldom be found which did riot contain at least one 
smoker. Sbme Lisu seem to be able to " play with " opium, as they_ 
say, i.e. to smoke it when they get the opportunity without acquiring 
tHe habit. The Chinese never seem to be able to do this. .Poppy 
cultivation is well-nigh universal among the Lisu— at least in districts 
whfcre its growth is permitted. 

Lisu houses are nOt built off the ground as Kachin houses are, but 
have plain mud floors in all the rooms. If, as usually happens, the 
grdund it sloping, a stone plinth is erected in front of the house to 
sup-pdft the mud verandah. THe posts are made sometimes of hewri, 
sometimes of tlrijiewn trees, ahd the partitions, both outside and inside, 
are made Of bamboos, split into laths and WoVen As a rule there are 
only three rooms } the middle one (htang* Waw s -Cl>.) is the " common " 
room, where around the fireplace either the family or outsiders are free 
it any tlrrie to sit on Idw benchei of logs ahd vvarm themselves ; here 
alsd visitors' sleeping accomriiddation is provided. At the back of the 
room, facing the door, is a shelf oh which cuj.i arid incense bowls are 
pl&ced for offering to the ancestral spirits ; visitors should not place 
articles on this. The bedrodrn (Kfergrte* gaw* j is otie of the side robms, 
usually entered from the" centra loom, Whe^e. the family themselves 



{ vi ) 

sleep on raised bedsteads and where the grain, valuables, etc., are- 
kept. A guest is not supposed to enter the bedroom, and will never 
be invited to do so unless for some special purpose, e.g., to see a sick, 
person. The kitchen (tsao* h'i*) is on the other side, has a raised 
brick " kitchen range," into which islet a big iron pan or two. Water 
is usually both fetched and kept in bamboo cylinders. The building 
and arrangements of most Lisu houses are so much like the Chinese 
as to form one of the many proofs of the influence of the latter race 
on the Lisu. 

Though fond of hunting— chiefly the barking deer, of which there 
is generally a plentiful supply in Lisu country — and though often 
helping to make a living by selling firewood, timber, vegetables, 
incense, hempen cord, etc., to the Chinese when living near their 
markets, the Lisu live almost entirely by agriculture. Comparatively 
few have irrigated paddy-fields, and the majority live in districts which 
are too cold to cultivate highland paddy. Their chief crops are maize 
and buckwheat. Both these crops— in fact most crops of any kind raised 
by the Lisu — are grown by clearing and burning the jungle. This most 
wasteful method — " taungya cultivation " — is practised because, so the 
the Lisu say, their soil is too poor to raise crops by any other method. 
It seems probable, however, that most of the soil cultivated by the 
Lisu would produce fairly good crops if adequately supplied with 
nitrogenous manure, which the Lisu are either too poor or too lazy to 
apply in sufficient quantities. In some villages each family has its 
own preserve — a large tract of mountain land whereon that family 
alone has the right to cut down and burn the forest. The same plot 
•of ground is seldom sown even two years in succession, for after the 
first year the fertility has so far decreased and the weeds grown so 
rank (sic) that it will not pay to cultivate it. Hence it is fallowed for 
a long period — usually till the jungle has again grown thick upon it, 
when it may be again cut do.vn and cultivated. The land is thus 
used in rotations of from ten to twenty years. Ploughing is not 
resorted to very much except, of course, where irrigated paddy is 
cultivated, partly because the land is too steep, but more often because 
the stumps and roots of recently felled trees would oppose the 
progress of the plough. The implement used is the ordinary native 
hoe. Men and women both work in the fields. Beside maize and 
buckwheat, subsidiary crops of potatoes, hill sesamum, hemp, indigo 
and other things are grown where soil and climate will permit, also, 
as above stated, opium where its cultivation is not prohibited. 
There is little in the way of co-operative or commercial farming : 
each family grows what is sufficient for its own immediate needs and 
no more. The wealthy farmer, the large landowner, though found 
everywhere among the Chinese, is practically non-existent among 
the Lisu. 

The method of taungya cultivation described, above cannot, of 
course, keep on for ever, especially with an increasing population. 
So little is returned to the soil for what is taken out that in process of 
time old settlements tend to get worked out — the hills bare and 
sterile. The' Lisu will then cast about for new districts to devastate, 
and will migrate forest-wards. The path of least resistance is always, 
removal to a lower attitude near Kachin or Shan country, and there 



( vii ), 

is even a small colony of Lisu down by the Irrawaddy on the 
Myitkyina Plain. It is far easier to make a living at such altitudes, 
ivnere the soil is> rich arid the climate warm, but it does not suit the 
Lisu, arid they know it. They readily fall victims to malaria and 
Other diseases prevalent in warm climates and the death rate is high, 
especially among children. Fear of this prevents many of them 
moving to warmer districts. In one district known to the author 
they have a saying : " If you are not afraid of hunger, go up and 
live in high altitudes : if you are not afraid of death go down and live 
in low (altitudes)." But even those who can stand living in warm 
climates seem to degenerate ; they get lazy, shiftless, and physically 
weak— in appearance sallow and pasty-looking. The Lisu ' par 
excellence' are those who live in cold climates, where even the winds 
and vapours from hot plains are shut out by mountain ranges ; where 
the men and women are strong, active and intelligent, the children 
healthy and rosy-cheeked. 

In religion the Lisu are animists, though influenced to some 
extent by Chinese religious notions. Idolatry is very seldom practised 
but ancestor worship is universal. The latter, as with many of the 
Chinese, is quite as much in the nature of propitiation of the ancestral 
manes from a motive of fear as pure worship from principle. Where 
Chinese influence is strong three large strips of red paper will be 
seen pasted on the partition at the back of the centre room just over 
the altar-shelf. The centre one of these will bear the six Chinese 
characters " t'ien ti chiiin ts'in si uei " (the altar of heaven, earth, 
emperor, parents and teacher) in front of which will be an incense 
bowl. The strip on the left hand will be for the ancestors and that 
on the right for the kitchen god, each with its incense bowl in front" 
of it. Incense is burned before these on various occasions and bows 
made to them by the men of the family. Lisu women seem to have 
no part whatever in any religious ceremony, whilst among the 
Chinese religious observances are often left almost entirely to them. 
It is not many Lisu, however, who worship as elaborately as the 
Chinese. Their worship, as indeed everything connected with them, 
is simple and primitive. Indeed the major part of a Lisu's "religion" 
seems to consist of propitiation of evil spirits whose " bite " causes 
sickness. Not all sickness is attributed to such evil influences, but if 
a Lisu priest is consulted in time of sickness and decides by drawing 
lots (sa s sye+ sye*) that the disease is caused by the bite of a demon, 
a sacrifice — usually a chicken, sometimes a pig, but never a cow or 
buffalo as among the Kachins — must be offered, the priest helping by 
muttering incantations, and a meal (with rice beer) being eaten by all 
concerned. The priest does not, as a rule, receive wages, but gets a 
free meal only. 

Beside the spirits of the ancestors (ni s bigh 6 ) and other wander- 
ing homeless spirits in general (ni s ) the Lisu recognise other spirits 
in a vague kind of way e.g. mu s -kwa 3 -ni s (a heavenly spirit) ; mi 3 sp 
(" the god of the hills," who has to be propitiated ff horses, cattle, 
sheep, etc., get lost or killed by wild beasts on the hills) and others. 
But the creator of heaven and earth, also called upon in priestly 
ministrations and acknowledged to be the supreme head of all spirits, 
good and evil, is wu^-sa*. 



( viii ) 

\Vitchcraft (rghe>h'a« sye* or tai» hjj») is little he^rd of jfl most 
district?, bu'$ Jp pfhers it is ifirmjy belieyep: jjj. \yhen a pprsqo of 
either sex is suspected of being able to bewitch others, whether 
through direct accusation of a fellow villager or by random statements 
of a sick person irj delirium, etc., the Ljsu will sometimes throw all 
Bense of justipe tp the winds and W 'U summarily expel (or eveq kill) 
the suspected person without a shadow of a triaj. Some of these 
unfortunate suspects are baqdied about from village to village. An 
accusation of witchcraft is not lightly made, for if proved to be false 
it renders the accuser liable to a heavy fine. But in any case the 
safest thing for a person suspected of witchcraft to do is to flee the 
village immediately - When witchcraft |s suspected, as e.g. when 
there is an unaccountable amount of sickness in a village, recourse is^ 
sometimes hqd to trial by ordeal * This may consist of the handling 
of hot irons, or more usually to the bringing up of a piece of silver 
from the bottom of a huge iroq pan filled with boiling water or oil. 
In either case no harm is supposed to result if the person is innocent. 
The author has seen a man's arm in a terrible condition after passing 
through the latter ordeal. But, as said above, witchcraft does not 
seem to have much hold on the Lisu in most districts. 

On the death of a Lisu it is the custom in some places to fire 
three guns immediately. 'J'he corpse is laid out in the centre room 
and covered by a sheet of hempen cloth. A coffin is provided unless 
the corpse is that of a child ; sometimes the coffin is evep prepared 
several years before death and kept in readiness in the house. If the 
deceased is a married woman or widow it is necessary to send for 
some member or members of her own family to be present at the 
burial. Her husband's family would not dare to bury her otherwise, 
for her family mjght bring an accusation that she died by other than 
natural means, or else that she was not buried properly and would 
hence return to "bite "her relatives, etc., which would involve a 
lawsuit and perhaps the payment of a fine. They must be present to 
see that every thing is alright. As a rule the burial takes place 
within two or three days after death — sometimes within a few hours. 
Auspicious days for burial are either not chosen at all or else chosen 
in a much simpler way than the Chinese, who will sometimes keep 
their dead waiting a year or more for interment. In any case incense 
will be burnt and offerings made to the departed spirit before the 
coffin is carried out of the house — in some districts a ceremony con- 
sisting of walking slowly around the coffin several times and striking 
it sharply with a stick each time, chanting, being performed by the 
mourners. At least one meal is served to the guests and helpers. 
The coffin is carried out without much ceremony f and buried two or 
three feet deep on some spot on the hill side. A subsequent ceremony 
of " pointing the way" — to the spirit in the unseen world— may not 
be performed for even several years afterwards ; this depends on the 

* This method of trial is also employed sometimes in other cases, t.g. theft,, 
when a direct proof is impossible. 

t Sometimes even with levity and mirth. The total absenceof a reverent 
spirit at Chinese or Lisu funerals is repugnant to a European observer. 



( ix ) 

ability or otherwise of tie survivors to provide the means, for the 
sacrificial ceremonies involve the expenditure of a considerable sum 
of money. Cremation is practised only in cases where there is 
considered to be pollution, death being caused by e_vfil spiritual 
influences. < v 

Betrothal and marriage ceremonies vary considerably in different 
districts. When a man wishes to get a bride for his son, who may be 
anything up to about twenty years of age, he has first to find a 
middleman to carry his proposal to the girl's family. If consent is 
obtained a small deposit of a rupee or two is given to the girl's 
parents, a mutual bow is made and the betrothal is accomplished. 
The boy's own wishes in the matter are seldom consulted, and the 
girl's never. Indeed it would not be easy, because of the young 
people's bashfulness, to get an expression of opinion out of either of 
them, even if any Lisu parent were to try to do so. The bridal price 
is fixed at the time of the betrothal, and will usually be from Rs. 50 
to Rs. 150. Sometimes an exchange will be made between two 
families, a man giving his daughter to another's son in exchange for 
the Iatter's daughter for his own son : this arrangement cancels the 
bridal prices and none is given by either party. In most cases a 
Lisu will require the same sum of money for his daughter that he 
himself gave for his wife, her mother. This is often tantamount to 
an exchange, for the custom in most districts is that the girl, or at any 
rate one girl in the family — be given back in marriage to her mother's 
people. But she must never be given to a member of her own clan, 
even if the relationship is too remote to be traced. Indeed if two 
Lisu families live in widely separated districts between which there is 
no intercommunication, so that it may be safely inferred that 
they are not related at all, they must not intermarry if they happen to 
have the same clan surname. Possibly this custom also is to be put 
down to Chinese influence, for the Chinese are equally strict in this 
regard. Yet a Lisu may marry his father's sister's daughter * without 
any thought of inconsistency. t £-g- a Lisu Macdonald will give his 
sister in marriage to a Lisu Macgregor. His son may marry a 
daughter of the latter marriage, because she is a Macgregor and he 
a Macdonald. That such a union is undesirable from the standpoint 
of consanguinity does not occur to him, yet by some peculiar mental 
kink he would stoutly object to marrying his son to a Miss Macdonald, 
even though the actual relationship might be nil, because he and she 
are both Macdonalds. In some districts certain clans are said to 
be related to certain other clans, and they are not supposed to 
intermarry. But there is no arrangement whereby a certain clan is 
permanent parent-in-law to another clan, as there seems to be among 
some tribes of Kachins. 

Betrothals are binding and cannot be broken off at will. Should 
either party break the contract without the consent of the other a 
heavy fine is imposed ; cases sometimes occur, however, where a 
betrothal is cancelled by consent of both parties. 



* There are cases of Lisu rrmrrying their own father's sisters, but this is rare 
and looked down upon. 



( * ) 

Marriage takes place when the bridegroom's family are able to- 
afford it, and usually alter rice harvest when grain is* plentiful. The 
bridegroom is, as a rule, at least fifteen or sixteen years old when 
he is married. An auspicious date for the wedding is selected, and 
tfee^day prevkpsly some members of the bridegroom's family go to the 
bride's house with presents of rice beer, rice, pork, salt, etc., for the 
entertainment of the guests of the bride's family. The next morning 
they all repair to the bridegroom's house to the accompaniment of gun 
firing. The bridegroom's people come out to meet them and bows 
are exchanged. Then the bride is led into the house, usually by the 
womenfolk of the bridegroom's family, the crossing of the threshold 
constituting, perhaps more than anything else, the actual marriage. 
The young couple have yet, however, to bow to the bridegroom's 
parents and senior relations, or even to kneel on the floor and knock 
their heads on the ground to them. The bride will then retire to the 
bedroom and perhaps not be seen until the next morning, but she is 
supposed to help in serving the next day, which is the principal day 
of the feast. A large amount of rice-beer is consumed, often result- 
ing in what we should consider both unseemly and unseasonable 
quarrelling. When all the guests have left, and after the lapse of 
some days, the bride and bridegroom have to pay a return visit to the 
bride's home, which is an occasion for more feasting. Altogether, 
with the expenses of entertainment, the bridal price, various fees or 
presents, etc., a Lisu wedding is an expensive affair, often costing 
several hundreds of rupees. 

Polygamy is rare among the Lisu, not so much from principle as 
for economic reasons. Probably no Lisu would ever take a second 
wife while his first was living if he had children already by the first. 
It is considered a great calamity to be childless. Sons are more 
prized than daughters, and if a man is unfortunate enough to have 
several daughters but no sons he will usually adopt a son-in-law into 
his family. When this is done, the son-in-law is said to '' shang 
men"(Ch.). 

Elopement is quite common in some districts, but scarcely heard of 
in others. When it occurs the parties concerned are as often married 
as unmarried persons. They will run away together to a place at 
least a day or two's journey from their village, and will remain there 
until, if possible, the case has been settled in their absence by the 
payment of a fine by the man's relatives to the woman's parents or 
husband as the case may be. Sometimes the couple remain in the 
village to which they first ran away to hide ; in other cases they 
return, somewhat shamefacedly, to their own village. If the woman 
in the case be married, her husband may pursue and kill the eloper, 
but this is not often done ; it is more usual to settle the case by fining 
the eloper and allowing him to keep the woman. Less trouble is 
caused by the elopement of unmarried young men and girls, but even 
such cases are looked askance upon by the Lisu generally, and, we 
'may say, rightly so. However desirable it may seem from a European 
point of view that the young people should be allowed to choose their 
own partners, and however great the saving effected by the avoidance 
of all the ruinous feasting and nuptial red-tape incidental to an 
orthodox marriage, it remains that it is not the best type of Lisu who 



( xi ) 

elope. Nor do they always " live happily ever after." Elopers are 
those whose morals before eloping are, to say tVie least of it, doubtful, 
and they are not always faithful to each other subsequent to their 
elopement. The best type of Lisu, with his genuine respectability 
and with the wholly admirable pride common to honest and in- 
dependent country-folk, would be ashamed of having obtained his 
wife in anything but the recognised way. It is deemed unfilial for a 
son to do anything but abide by the parent's choice for him* and we 
may agree that — for him at any rate — his views are sound on a subject 
where, if anywhere, East is East and West is West. 

Slavery is unknown among the Lisu. No Lisu, however poor, 
would sell his son or daughter to an outsider even for a large sum of 
money, and the sentiment of the race is against even the mild form of 
slavery practised by the Chinese and Kachins. 

As regards Government the Lisu have little or no independent 
territory and are subject to the domination of the Chinese, Kachins, 
or other races in the vicinity of their villages. They are as a rule 
docile, and patient under injustice. Though influenced so much by 
the Chinese they have no love for them at heart. They have a 
tradition of the first Chinese supplanting the first Lisu and gaining an 
ascendancy over him, reminding one of Jacob robbing Esau of his 
birthright and they are looking for the coming of a Lisu King who 
will win back the ascendency for them. Needless to say, they are too 
few and scattered ever to be a serious menace to the Chinese. Some 
Lisu living in Chinese territory have been conscripted into the 
Chinese Army, but the Lisu do not naturally relish military service.. 
The ten or eleven Lisu who served with the British Army in 
Mesopotamia seem, however, to have rendered a very good account, 
of themselves.* 

Protestant mission work among the Lisu has been successful out 
of all proportion to their numbers, though the work has not, up-to-date, 
been developed very far. The Lisu, though timid and superstitious, 
are not loth to cast away their demon-worship and put themselves 
under the wing of the missionary. Their motives, at first, are largely 
temporal: they have confused ideas of becoming immune from sick- 
ness, prosperous in making a living, etc., of learning to read and write 
and thus gain an ascendancy over the Chinese by becoming Christians. 
But however earthly and temporal their motives may be, they are 
genuine as far they go in the great majority of cases, and the 
missionary finds their vague hopes of betterment a good stepping- 
stone to its higher realisation. In the east of the province of Yunnan, 
about a thousand families of Lisu are under Christian instruction, 
and along the Burma frontier near Tengyueh and Longling 
some six hundred families. These are connected with the China 
Inland Mission. In Burma there are about a hundred Lisu families 
who have embraced the Christian faith in connection with the 
American Baptist Mission. These are located in the Myitkyina 
District and the Northern Shan States. 

* See pamphlet entitled "The Yawyins " by Major C. M. Enriquez. 



HANDBOOK 

OF THE 

' LISU (YAWYIN) LANGUAGE. 

(J. O. Fraser, China Inland Mission, TengyUeh, Yiinhan.) 

The dialects of Lisu represented in this handbook are those of 
the T^ngyiieh and Longling districts (China), and Myitkyina, Bhamo 
and the Northern Shan States at least. How far this handbook will 
represent Lisu as spoken in east and central Yunnan, the districts of 
Putao, Mogok, and the Southern Shan States, I am unable to say : 
it will probably, however, be fundamentally correct for these also. 
It is the result of several years' study of the language in the district 
of T6ngyiieh, Yunnan (near Bhamo and Myitkyina). The word 
" Lisu " is used uniformly, both for the people and their language, in 
preference to the word " Yawyin " ; for the former is the people's own 
word for themselves, whilst the latter is the not very complimentary 
name given to them by the Kachins and Burmese (it is evidently a 
corruption of the Chinese "ie ren " = wild men, savages). The 
Chinese refer to them as " Lisaw." The Lisu language is allied to 
the Lolo dialects of Yunnan, and will be found to resemble Burmese * 
in not a few particulars. It has been said that the Lisu language 
resembles Yunnanese — the Chinese dialect of the province of Yunnan. 
This is a mistake. It is undoubtedly true that the Lisu — even those 
who cannot speak a word of the Chinese language as such— use a 
large number of Chinese words in their ordinary speech, but these 
are evidently of comparatively recent adoption. In the Upper 
Salween district, where the Lisu are more independent and less 
influenced by the Chinese than they are further south, few Chinese 
words are used. It is the uniform testimony of the Lisu who live 
around Lat. 25 N. that the Lisu living in the upper reaches of the 
Mekong, Salween, and N'Mai Hka (which large sections of territory 
the Lisu look upon as their " old home ") use no Chinese words, and 
that their language is a " well of Lisu undented." The Chinese words 
used by the Lisu living further south usually express ideas connected 
with civilisation, for which the Lisu in their primitive state would 
have little use. They are the " Norman " words of the Lisu language : 
the pure "Anglo-Saxon" Lisu words resemble Burmese far more 
than Chinese, and Lisu should be classed with the Kachin dialects in 
the Burmese family of languages. 

Table of Sounds. — Below is given a list of the initial and final 
letters which combine to form Lisu words. It should be mentioned 
that no Lisu syllable has a consonantal ending (not even the Chinese 
ng), and as the language is here treated as monosyllabic every Lisu 
word may be said to be the simple combination of a consonant and a 

I 



( a ) 



vowel. There are few polysyllabic combinations in Lisu in which 
the component syllables may not be used separately or in other 
combinations ; hence it seems best to regard every syllable as a 
separate entity and indicate polysyllabic combinations by hyphens. 
It goes without saying that the descriptions of the sounds given below 
are only approximate; they should be learnt from the living voice. 
iV i For the sake of the greatest possible simplicity in teaching Lisu 
Christian converts to read and write, missionaries on both sides of the 
frontier have agreed to use a specially simplified script. Each initial 
(consonantal) or final (vowel) sound has a Roman (capital and unorna- 
mented) letter assigned to it. Owing to the necessity of using thirty- 
eight such letters some have had to be inverted and given arbitrary 
values. These letters are given below by the side of the letters as 
used in this handbook : — 



! 
i 
i 
i 
i 



B 
P 

d 
D 
T 

JL 
G 

K 

J 
C 

3 
Z 

F 

M 
N 
L 
S 
R 

A 
X 

w 

Y 

O 

V 

H 



V 
E 



3 



b 

P 

hp 

d 

t 

ht 

g 
k 

hk 

J 

ch 

hch 

dz 

ts 

hts 

m 

n 

1 

s 

r 

ng 
sh 
w 

y 

h 
h' 

hh 



(W) v 



a 
a 



As in English. 
Unaspirated p. 
Aspirated p. 
As in English. 
Unaspirated t. 
Aspirated t. 
As in English. 
Unaspirated k. 
Aspirated k. 
As in English. 
Unaspirated ch. 
Aspirated ch. 
As in English. 
Unaspirated ts. 
Aspirated ts. 



" ^-As in English. 



Nasal h. 

Guttural h. 

As in English. It is not always clearly 
pronounced, however, and sometimes 
resembles it. 

As in "father." 

As in " cat." 

As in " yet." In combination the y is some- 
what suppressed. 

As e in " get " but pronounced with lips 
puckered. 

As ee in " deed." 



u 


u 


n 


ii 
rgh 


a 
a 


rgha 
rghe 



( 3 ) 

i' ... The plain colourless vowel sound used when 

pronouncing the consonants " ch," 
"ts," etc. 
O aw ... As in "law." Many Lisu words have vowe 
sounds somewhat between this "aw" 
and the long" o" (as in "go"). They 
are difficult to distinguish and so not 
indicated here. 

oo as in " boot." 
. Rather like u in French " du." 

A plain guttural- vowel sound, difficult to 
describe. Approximated in involuntary 
retching. 

Do. plus a. 

Do. plus e. 

Notes on Sounds. — (i) The consonants /, ch and hch followed 
by the vowels a, o and u are often changed to dz, ts and hts respec- 
tively, especially in Burma. Where this pronunciation obtains sha is 
usually pronounced sa. In some districts si is pronounced shi. It 
must be borne in mind that much in this handbook is subject to 
differences of dialect. 

(ii) The words/?, chi and hchi could equally well be written 
gyi, kyi and hkyi respectively. 

(iii) The words si, dzi, tsi and htsi are often pronounced like 
si, dzi, tsi and htsi respectively. In one village known to the writer 
all the old people make a distinction between these sounds) but the* 
young people none. The difference is only a slight one in any case, 
the " i " here being scarcely a pure " ee " sound. 

(iv) The words waw, wu and yi resemble re-inforced vowels, i.e. 
41 aw-aw," " uu " and " ii" respectively, and the w and y should not 
be given consonantal emphasis. The simple vowels aw, u and i, like 
a, e, i and ii, only occur in combination with consonants or in their 
nasal forms. When, however, re-inforced (as above) they only occur 
alone, with the one exception of the .word " nyi " (day, two, etc.) 
which must be carefully distinguished from the word "ni" (evil 
spirit, red, few, etc.). 

(v) In some districts be s pe and hpe are pronounced bye, pye 
and hpye respectively. 

(vi) '*« slurred" which has a definite grammatical force to be 
explained (§8 ) should neither be given its full sound value nor 
entirely omitted. In this handbook it will be represented by " (a) " ; 
in the script devised for the use of the natives it is represented by a 
short dash at the foot of the letter. 

(vii) With the exception of " a " and "rgh" no simple vowel 
sound can stand alone in Lisu except in its nasal form. E.g. the Lisu 
cannot even pronounce d, e, i, aw and u as they stand, 'whereas when 
given a nasal pronunciation (represented herein by an inverted 
comma after the letter) d' means a duck, / to scoop, i to rap, aw' to 
swell and it' to count. A and rgh have their nasal forms also, a' mean- 
ing to halt and rgh' to hover. But no nasal vowel ever combines 
with aconsonant (see, however, note on V belotv) in a pure Lisu word. 



( 4 ) 

Such combinations may always be put down as Chinese words ending; 
in n or ng corrupted to nasal sounds ; e.g. kwa' = to control (from 
Chinese kwan), law' = to meet (from Chinese long), Taw' — a clan 
surname (Chinese Tong), etc. All Chinese words are indicated in this- 
handbook by " (Ch.) " after the word. 

(viii) A somewhat nasal sound is given to the tetter n in the 
words nya and nwa, but it seems scarcely worth while to represent 
this. 

(ix) The consonant h has three values, plain, guttural and nasal, 
represented by A, hh and h' respectively. Nasal words with h might 
equally well be represented by a plain h and a nasal vowel ; e.g. 
h'a (soul) could be~ equally well written ha' ; hi (house) written hi' , 
etc. In other words it makes no difference whether the nasal inflec- 
tion is referred to the consonant or to the vowel, but if it is referred 
to the consonant (as in this handbook) the above rule (vii) is left 
intact. 

(x) There are no consonantal endings to Lisu words. Every 
Lisu word — regarding Lisu as a monosyllabic language — consists of a 
vowel sound with an initial consonant. Hence the paucity of sounds 
(there are only about 250 separate sounds iu the Lisu syllabary) 
compared to Chinese or Kachin, and the consequent need of care in 
pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. The Lisu language is not a 
very rich one, perhaps, but it is not an easy language to speak 
correctly either, partly for this reason. 

. Ton&s. — There are six tones in Lisu: two upper, two middle, and 
two lower. In this book they will he indicated by numbers at the 
right-hand top corner of the word. They are as follows : — 

. First tone ... High and even. E.g. ma 1 = to teach; 

cha T =to feed (animals) ; sha' = difficult! 
, Second tone ... Abrupt, rising, tone. E,g. htsye 2 =stag; 

hkaw 2 =to break in two; ti 2 = to soak. 
.. Third tone ... Medium, even, tone. E.g. jaw 3 = to fear ■ 

daw 3 = to go out ; hpu 3 = to open. 
., Fourth tone ... Very slightly lower than the third. E.g. 

jaw* = to have ; dawt = to drink ; hpu4 = 

white. 
: Fifth tone ... Low, even, tone. E.g. ma 5 =not ; baw s = 

deaf ; hku s '=to steal. 
; Sixth tone ... Low, abrupt, tone. E.g. ma 6 = soldier; 

hta 6 = to scold ; ji 6 = to sew. 

The punctuation marks as given above are those used by the 
missionaries to represent the tones in the native script. The equals- 
( — ) sign is in that system arbitrarily employed as a punctuation 
mark. 

In their use of Chinese words the Lisu generally mutilate the tones 
as well as the pronunciation. This mutilation is, however, systematic 
The two " even " tones in Chinese, " shang p'ing ",and " hsia p'ing," 
are hot changed, being given the third and sifcth Lisu tones respec- 
tively, of which they are equivalents. The Chinese oblique tones. 



are, however, changed as follows: the Chinese " shang sheng" 
becomes the Lisu fifth tone ; the Chioese " ch'ii sheng " the Lisu first, 
and the Chinese," ruh sheng " the Lisu second. It is very remarkable 
that the Lisu in using Chinese words distinguish between the Chinese 
" hsia p'ing" and "ruh sheng" tones, whilst the local Chinese them- 
selves make no such distinction. In most parts of central and, eastern 
China the distinction is observed, however, and will be found in any 
Chinese dictionary. 

The learner is strongly recommended to learn all the tones in 
Lisu and use them. They are at least as important in Lisu as they are 
in Chinese — certainly more important than in the Kachin languages. 
Ambiguities will occur frequently if they are neglected ; e.g. wu* = to 
buy, wu s = to sell ; sa 1 (as pronounced in some places) = difficult, 
sa 4 = easy; Waw 4 = Bear (clan name), Waw 5 = Vegetable (clan 
name) ; a 2 taw 3 = uselessly, a 1 taw 1 = fire ; si 3 hpa 5 = owner, si* hpa s 
= official, chief; nyi 1 nyi 4 = today, nyi 5 nyi 4 = two days; ngwa 1 
nyi 5 ma 4 = two fish, ngwa* nyi 4 ma 3 = my younger sister, ngwa 5 nyi 4 
ma 3 = the one pertaining to the fifth day ; etc-, ad inf. 

No attempt has been made to represent accentuation, this being 
best learnt from the lips of the natives. The following two sentences 
will be useful when learning the language from the Lisu : — 

hte 4 ma 4 a 1 shi 5 nga 4 law* ? = what is this ? 

gaw 4 ma 4 a 1 shi 5 ta 1 ba 3 law 5 ? = what does that mean ? 



GRAMMAR AND SYNTAX. 

Intraductoxy Note. — In the outline of this Lisu grammar it 
has proved inconvenient to adhere strictly to parts of speech as 
•understood in English. The structure of a language such as Lisu runs 
athwart the lines of English grammatical construction to such an 
extent that it would be unnatural and cause needless repetition to 
attempt to force it into an English mould. It would be confusing, 
however, to use no system at all, hence the English parts of speech have 
■been used as a rough framework. It is hoped that the peculiarities 
-of Lisu idiom have been explained adequately without causing undue 
difficulty to the beginner. Comparisons are frequently made with 
Chinese andKachin (both Chingpaw and Atsi dialects) for the sake 
of those speaking these languages, In the examples English words 
not in the Lisu but necessary to make the meaning clear have been 
invariably enclosed in brackets. Compound words have been written 
.as separate syllables joined by hyphens, whether these syllables can 
be used separately or not. 

(i) Nouns. 

(i) Number. — There is, generally speaking, no method of express- 
ing the plural in Lisu : it has to be inferred from the context. The 
particle bu* is sometimes used, but only for persons and with the idea 



( 6 ) 

of definiteness included. It hence resembles the Chinese particle 
"men," though the latter is used with pronouns, whilst 6u* is not ; 
t.g.— 

htaw s -rghe s saw 3 su 3 ("book study person") may mean " a 

student" or "students"; whilst " htaw*-rghe s saw 3 su 1 

bu 6 " means " the students." 
a 3 -raw 3 lo 1 su 3 bu* (" sheep tend persons ") = the shepherds. 
Ngwa'-pha* (" fish male ") = a man or men belonging to the 

Fish clan, i.e. Mr. (or Messrs.) Fish ; Ngwa^hpa* bu* =- 

the Fish clan, or " the Fishes." 

(ii) Gender. — This is expressed by the suffix hpat or pa 1 for the 
male, and ma 3 for the female (unless, of course, the gender is already 
expressed by the nature of the word, as e.g. htsawt-pa'-ra* = man ; 
ra 5 mrgh' s ra s = woman ; a 3 -bi 3 = boy; a'-mi 5 = girl, etc.). 

With persons and birds Apa i is the usual male suffix; e.g. — 

Hrghs-hpa* = Chinaman. Hrgh s -ma 3 = Chinese woman. 

Hchaw 5 -hpa* = Kachin man. Hchaw s -ma 3 = Kachin woman, 
a'-rgha'-hpa 5 = cock. a'-rgha'-ma 3 = hen. 

etc. 

With animals pa 1 is the usual male suffix ; e.g. — 

a'-muS-pa 1 = horse. a'-mu^-ma 3 = mare. 

a'-vaS-pa" = pig (male). a'-va^-ma 3 = sow. 

etc. 

(iii) Case. — (a) Nominative. — The subject of a Lisu sentence 
usually precedes the verb. It is unindicated and must be inferred 
from the context. When once introduced, the subject and even the 
object are often omitted from Lisu sentences where the sense will 
permit ; e.g — 

ngwa 4 yi* ta 1 maw*(a) law 3 = I see (or saw) him, , 

ngwa 4 = I. 
yi 1 = he or him. 

ta 1 = objective particle (see below), 
maw* = see [(a) used in affirmation]. 
law 3 = a final particle. 

If there was no doubt regarding the pronouns referred to, they 
might be omitted as follows : — 

yi 1 ta 1 maw'(a) law 3 = (I) see him, or 
maw 4 (a) law 3 = (1) see (him). 

The subject.and object may be transposed, though it is not usual 
unless the object is to be emphasised or qualified in some way ; e.g. — 

hte 1 -ma* ngwa* nu*(a) law 3 = I want this {lit. this I want). 
a-mu s gaw*-ma + ngwa* dz'p(a) law 3 = I ride that horse {lit* 
horse that I ride). 



( 7 ) 

Often the expletives nya* (Kachin gaw) and na* nyi* (Kachin 
chyawn gaw — see § 8), whilst devoid of grammatical force in them- 
selves, halp to make the subject of the sentence stand out in clearer 
relief. This is especially the case where there might be ambiguity 
with the possessive case (see Possessive Case below) ; e.g. — 

ngwa 4 nya 3 a'-mu* dzi>'(a) law 3 = I ride (a) pony. 

If the nya 3 were omitted the sentence might mean " (he — or other 
subject understood) rides my pony," for. the possessive pronouns are 
the same as the personal : — 

ngwa 4 nya 3 yi' ta" maw 4 (a) law 3 = I see (or saw) him. 

In the case of transitive verbs the particle lye 3 (in some districts 
la 1 ), denoting agent or instrument, is sometimes used especially when 
emphasis or distinction is desired ; eg. — 

yi 1 lye 3 a'-nga 6 hti« hka' sye 6 kaw 3 = he has killed a buffalo. 
yi 1 = he. 
lye 3 denotes agent. 
a'-nga 6 = buffalo. * 
hti s = one. 
hka a = classifying particle (used with numerals) for 

large animals. 
sye 6 = to kill. 
kaw 3 denotes perfect tense with some verbs. 

(b) Accusative. — The direct object of a vtrb is usually followed 
by the particle td 1 (Kachin hpe) : — 

yi 1 ngwa 4 ta' drgh*(a) law 3 = he strikes (or struck) me. 
ngwa 4 a'-yi 6 ta 1 ba 3 grgh* = tell ray elder brother {lit. my elder 
brother . . . say give). 

"This particle is often omitted, however, with neuter objects and 
in common expressions of a general nature. It seems impossible to 
lay down a rule as to when it should be used and when not : — 

si'-dzi 3 hke a = to cut' down trees (lit. trees cut down). 
h'i 4 ye 3 = to build (a) house (lit. house make). 
la s -htsaw 4 hwa 3 = to look for a man (lit. man seek). 

(c) Dative. — Jhe indirect object of a verb — " to " or " for " any* 
body or anything — is followed by the same particle td: — 

ngwa 4 ta* ru 4 ta.' grgh s la 4 = bring it to me (lit. me to take 

bring give come). 
ngwa 4 ta 1 wu s grgh 5 la 4 = sell (it) to me (lit. me to sell give 

come). 
ngwa 4 ta 1 wu 4 grgh* la 4 = buy (it) for me (lit. me for buy give 

come). 



( 8 ) 

In these examples note how the word v grgh? " (give) i& used in 
an auxiliary sense. This is quite common, e.g. ba 3 grgh* {lih say give) 
= tell ; ma 1 grgh* (teach give) =? teach, etc. 

Where a direct object a* well as an indirect object occurs in the 
sentence the direct object comes first : — 

a'-nyi* ngwa 4 la 1 gaw* grgh* 14* = lead the cow (here) to me 
(or for me) \_lit. cow me to lead give come]. 

a?--bi 3 hte 4 -ma 3 ngwa 4 ta x grgh* la 4 = give me this boy (boy this 
me to give come). 

(d) Possessive.— It is usual, and more correct, to use the third 
person singular pronoun (yi 1 ) after the noun to indicate possession : 

La. s -Mas-Ta* yi' a'-muS = La-Ma-Number-One's pony. 
A'-y^-si* yi 1 hchis-hpa' = Elder-Brother-Number-Four's foot. 
a'-rgha 1 yi 1 ni*-ma 3 = the chicken's heart. 

In indefinite expressions the yi is omitted. Comp. the last two 
examples with the following : — 

la^-htsaw* hchiS-hpa' = a man's foot, 
a'-rgha* ni a -ma 3 = chicken's heart. 




ngwa 4 -nu s dye 3 -mi« = our (irrigated) fields {lit. we fields) ; nu 4 -wa« 
ba a -ba« = your (pi.) father {lit. you father) ; yi'-wa* dza*-ma 4 -si' s = 
their paddy {lit. they paddy). 

In a predicative sense, however, either rgfa (in some districts 
grgfc) or td'-ma 3 is used : — 

hte 4 -ma 3 nya 3 ngwa 4 rgh s nga 4 law 3 = this is mine. 
gaw 4 -ma 3 yi' ta'-ma 3 ma* nga 4 = that is not his. 
as-ji* nu 4 -w« ta'-ma 3 lye* ngaw 4 * = (it) all belongs to you only 
{lit. all you belong only is). 

Td l -ma 3 can be used in a non-predicative sense : — 

Ngwa'-Lye' ta'-ma 3 ma s maw 4 = (I) don't see that belonging 
to Fish-Numbar-Two {i.e. the second brother of the Fish 
family). 

(e) Instrumental. — As stated above the particle lye 3 (or la 3 ) is 
used to denote the instrument as well as the agent ; e.g. — 

a'-hta* lye 3 hch'i 3 sye 6 = to hack to death with the dah. 
ma 4 -da 3 lye 3 pi' = to carry with (a piece of) bamboo. 

* Ngaw is a contraction of nga* law\ 



( 9 ) 

(f) L&cative.-^ Bath -the ideas of position (at, in) and motion 
4owards (to) are expressed- by the particle kwa 3 (Kachin de) : — 

.Sye 3 -Kai 3 * kwa 3 tya* law*. = (he) is at Bhamo. 
yi* h'i 4 kwa 3 dza 4 dza* tya 1 law 3 = (he) is eating (his) rice in 

his house {lit. his house in rice eat is- present). 
Sa 3 -Ya 3 -Kaw 3 kwa 3 jyeMaw 3 = he went to Myitkyina' [lit. 

Sayakaw to go). 

(g) Ablative. — "From" is expressed by kwa 3 bye 3 (or kwa 3 bd 3 
ic some districts) : — 

Hche 5 -Le 3 -Mu 5 kwa 3 bye 3 la* law 3 = (I) have come from 
Tengyueh. 

(iv) Formation of Verbal Nouns. — 'a) The chief method of 
•forming nouns from verbs is by the addition of " (a) ma 3 ." The "( a )" 
is omitted if the verb is in the negative ; e.g. — 

/ htsaw 4 -bye* baw 3 = to photograph (lit. write man-picture). 
\ htsaw^bye 5 baw 3 (a) ma 3 = photography. 

{rghe'-la 6 mu 4 = to trade, do business. 
rghe'-Ia 6 mu 4 (a) ma 3 = business, trade. 

a'-hta* lye 3 hch'f 3 sye 6 krgh 3 (a) law = (he) hacked (hirri) to 

death with (a) dah. 
a'-htas lye 3 hchi' 3 sye 6 krgh 3 (a) ma 3 nga 4 law 3 = (it) was e a 

with-dah-hack-kill affair. 

i 

The Lisu are fond of this idiom and will often use it in preference 
■to a direct statement ; e.g. instead of paying " h'i 4 kwa 3 lye 6 jye* na* 
law 3 " = (we) "had better return home," they will often say : — 
" h'i 4 kwa 3 lye 6 jye 4 na a (a) ma 3 nga 4 law 3 " = " it s a had-better- 
return-home (affair)." 

Verbal nouns formed by the addition of " (a) ma 3 " may be 
abstract words, or may refer to persons or things, or the " (a) ma 3 " 
may be added to adjectives as well as nouns. When they refer to 
persons or things they are not so definite as those formed by the 
addition of su 3 and du 3 respectively (see below) ; e.g. — 

yi 6 mrgh' 3 tya*(a) ma 3 (a) bye 3 hwa 1 hchi 5 (a) ma 3 = those who 

are asleep and those who are awake. 
wuS(a) ma 3 ma* t nu 4 ; raw 3 (a) ma 3 lye s nu 4 (a) law 3 = (I) do 

not want big (ones) ; (I) only want small (ones). 
sya 6 ma s jaw 4 ma 3 ma* jaw 4 = there are no weak ones (lit. 

strength-not-have ones not have). 

* A corruption of the Chinese '' Sin-Kai" (new street). 

f Ma' = no, not. The tone should be learnt correctly. In some districts 
'this is pronounced " n " like the Kachin, and probably influenced by it. 



( io ) 

Sometimes, though rarely, " du 3 -ma 3 " is added instead of " (a) 
ma 3 "; it is somewhat stronger and more definite than the latter : — 

yi' ye 3 du 3 -ma 3 = what he did. 

htsaw 4 jaw 4 wa s jaw* du 3 -ma 3 = all mankind (lit. man-have- 
man-have-ness). 

(*) The " one who," " person who ....," is expressed by the 
addition of su 3 * ; e.g. — 

jye 4 su 3 ma s jaw* =» there is no one going (lit. go person not 

have). 
maw 4 su 3 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = there were people who saw (it) 

(lit. see-persons have). 

If, one wishes to speak of a person who does a definite thing by 
trade or profession hpa* is sometimes used instead of su 3 . It is male 
and usually singular: — 

hwa s ga 6 hpa s = a hunter (lit. flesh-chase-er). 
htaw s -rghe s ma 1 hpa s = a teacher (lit. book teach-'er). 
ni* hpa s = a wizard or priest (lit. spirit-er). 

Either su 3 or hftf can sometimes be added to adjectives ; e.g.— 

wu s su 3 = (the) big people. 

da 4 hpa s = a brave or clever man. 

(c) The object of a verb (" a thing to ....") or the instru- 
ment by which it is done ("a thing to ... . with ") is expressed by 
th"e particle du 3 ; e.g. — 

dea s = to eat ; dza s -du 3 = a thing to eat ; food. 

gwa s = to wear ; gwa s -du 3 = a thing to wear ; clothes. 

a'-shi' ba 3 -du 3 ma s jaw 4 = there is nothing to be said (lit. 

" what [or any] say-thing not have). 
mi 3 -na 3 ma 5 -du 3 = a thing to plough with ; a plough (lit. earth 

plough-thing). 
htaw 5 -rghe* baw 3 -du 3 = a thing to write with-; a pen or pencil 

(lit. paper write-thing). 

This particle is thus the opposite of su 3 , which denotes the 
subject, du 3 the object, of a verb ; e.g. tsi 3 = to command, control, 
"order about," etc.; tsp-sti 3 would mean the person who commands, 
tsi 3 -du 3 the person commanded, for du 3 can sometimes be used for 
persons as well as things. 

Du 3 can sometimes be used in a causative sense (" a thing to make 
you ... . ") ; e.g.— 

wu s -la 4 du 3 = a thing to make one grow (lit- big come 

[= grow] thing). 
htye 4 la 4 du 3 = a thing to make one capable (or well-behaved). 

* 5a 3 is often used to mean " others," " other people," in a general way ; t.g. 
su 3 h'i> = others' houses, ether homes. 



( II ) 

Dtt 3 is sometimes added to adjectives too ; e.g. — 

bi 4 -du 3 = en ornament {lit. beautiful-thing, i.e. a thing used 
for the purpose of beauty). 

(d) " Place where" is expressed by the particle gu s ; e.g. — 

pya^-nya' gu s ma* jaw 4 = there is no place to hide [lit. hide 

place not have). 
yi 1 tya'-gu 3 kwa 3 jye 4 la* = let us go to where he is {lit. he 

present-place there go come). 

With the prepositions kwa 3 (at, in, to) or kwa 3 -bye 3 (from), the 
gu 3 is sometimes loosely omitted, or else a ma 3 put in its place. This 
construction can then be used with adjectives as well as verbs; e.g. — 

nu 4 tya 1 kwa 3 jaw*(a) law 3 = there are (some) where you live 

(///. you present there have). 
paw 3 la 6 -hkaw 4 kwa 3 ma s jye 4 ni 2 -sh'i 4 = (I) do not want to 

go where (they) are fighting {lit. shoot each-other there 

not go want). v 

yi 1 tya' ma 3 kwa 3 jye 4 la 4 = let us go to where he is ... , the 

ma 3 here replacing the gu $ ... in ...the sentence above. 

With adjectives : — 

aS-hkrgh 1 htsa 4 (a) ma 3 Ifwa 3 tya 1 ny 3 , shi 4 ma 5 srghe 1 = if (we 
were to) live in a very hot place, perhaps (we should) die— » 
lit. very hot there live if, die not know. 

a 3 ti'(a) htu 4 (a) ma 3 kwa 3 htaw 6 = tread where it is rather 
thick (lit. a little thick there tread). 

{e) "Occasion for" is sometimes, though not very often, 
expressed by the particle " prgh 1 " {lit. "end ") ; e g. — 

sya 6 Ia 6 -hkaw 4 prgh 1 ma*. jaw 4 = there is no occasion for 
quarrelling {lit. breath each-other occasion not have). 

yi 1 h'i 4 kwa 3 jye 4 prgh 1 ma s jaw 4 = there is no occasion for 
going to his house (lit- his house there go occasion not 
have). 

(2) Pronouns. 

(i) Personal, — I = ngwa 4 

you (sing.) = nu 4 
he, she, it = yi 1 
we = raw 5 , ngwa 4 -nu s 
you (plur.) = nu 4 -wa s 
Chey = yi'-waS 

There are no dual pronouns in Lisu. The two words for the first 
person plural have different uses, and must be carefully distinguished. 



( 12 ) 

Haws includes the. person addressed; ngwa^-nu 1 excludes Mm. This 
rule is invariable and may apply to any number of persons. E.g. if 
yoju. and your two Lisu, servants, are out together and r one of them says 
to you, " raw« nyi* raw 3 . . . ," etc (we two), he means, you and he ; 
if he says, « ngwa 4 -i "" ' ' n ' "'"" " f ,w ' m 

i.e. the two Lisu. i 
for " we Lisu, " vvhi 
among themselves. 

The plural pronouns are sometimes corrupted to a'*-ttu s , na s and 
yaw'-wat respectively, but these should be avoided by the learner. _ 

The third person singular pronoun is often used after the subject 
of a sentence to add definiteness. With common nouns it often has 
the force of the definite article : — 

La s -Ma*-Sa 3 yi' ma« srghe' = La-Ma Number-three does not 

know, 
a'-mu* yi 1 ma* dza* = the horse does not eat (it). If the^t' 

were left out in this sentence — "a*-mu s raa s dza* " — it 

might mean " a horse does not eat " or "horses do not 

eat." 

As stated above i'in){d) pronouns in Lisu have no possessive case 
as they have in Chinese and Kachin, the simple personal pronouns 
being used to indicate possession. 

(ii) Reflexive. — For "self" or "selves" after a personal 
pronoun, tsV-hchyaf> or chi 1 -hchya i ape used. This seems to be a 
corruption of the Chinese ts'i-chi, or ts'i-hchi as it is pronounced in 
the Tengyiieh District ; e.g. — 

ngwa 4 -nu* chi 1 hchya 5 jye\a) law 3 = we are going ourselves. 

(iii) Demonstrative. — The demonstrative pronouns are :— 

hte 4 or a-hte 4 = this. 
gaw 4 = that (on same level as speaker) . 
nye 4 = that (above level of speaker). 
je 4 = that (below level of speaker). 

The two latter, though frequently used, are not so common as 
gaw* which is often loosely employed where nye or je* would be more 
correct. A-hte'* differs from hie* in its generally being used without 
a noun to qualify, and in its meaning anything right in front of one's 
eyes. * Possibly it is the equal of the Kachin " n'dai," hte' corre- 
sponding to the "dai." 

The demonstrative pronouns in Lisu, unlike Chinese, Jinghpaw 
and Atsi, follow the nouns they qualify ; e.g. — 

a'-va 6 htc 4 -ma 3 = this pig. 

h'i 4 gaw 4 -ma 3 = that house. 

a-hte-ma 3 yi 1 ma> dza s = he doesn't eat this. 

* It is also used alone as an interjection : "There you are 1" " I told you so 1 " etc. 



( 13 ) 

The derrionstrative pronouns cannot stand alone. An adjunct of 
some kind must be affixed, the commonest of which is the ma 3 given 
above, tite^-ma 3 for 'this' and gaio^-ma 3 for 'that' are very 
commonly applied to objects of any kind in a loose way, afid may be 
either singular or plural. But when definiieness is desired, or a 
number stated, the number plus the appropriate classifying particle * 
should follow the demonstrative pronoun, after which ma 3 may then be 
omitted or inserted at will ; e.g. — 

la 3 -htsaw 4 hte 4 ma 3 = this man or these people ; la 3 -htsaw^ 
hte 4 hti 3 raw 3 (ma 3 ) = this man (in particular). 

a'-mu 5 gaw 4 ma 3 = that horse or those horses ;' a'-mu 3 gaw 4 " 
hti 5 hka 3 (ma 3 ) = that (particular) horse. 

h'a 4 -mi 4 nye 4 Mi* Ik 6 (ma 3 ) = that " taungya " up there. 

dye 3 -mi 4 je 4 hti 3 hpu 4 (ma 3 ) = that (paddy) field down there. 

mrgh' 3 hte* nyi 5 daw 3 (ma 3 ) = these two rolls of cloth. 

htaw 5 -rghe 3 gaw* sa 3 hpya 1 (ma 3 ) = those three sheets of paper. 

As as { that } isex P ressedb y{ gaw 4 } ' - hchi3: — 

hte 4 mya 3 hchi 3 (ma 3 j = as many as this, 
hte* wu ! hchi 3 (ma 3 ) = as big as this. 
gaw 4 rgh 5 hchi 5 (ma s ) = as far as that. 

Or it could be expressed dv using the phrase 1 „ 4 J hkrgh 4 hchi 3 

= t0 {that} eXtent '^- 

hte 4 hkrgh 4 hchi 5 wu 5 (a) ma 3 h'i 4 = a house as big as this. 
gaw 4 hkrgh 4 hchi 3 rgh 5 (a) ma 3 ja 3 -gu 3 = a road as long as that.-. 

(iv) Interrogative. — What? = a'-shi 5 ; e.g. — 

yi* a'-shi' 5 la 5 -'htsaw 4 nga 4 law 5 = what man is he ? 
nu 4 a'-shi' 5 ye 5 tya 1 law 3 = what are you doing? 

Note the tone of the final particle law, which is law 3 in "affirmative 
sentences, law s in interrogative. 

In non-interrogative form a'-shi" = any, anything, whatever, 
every, everything (with negative), no, nothing, etc., according to 
context : — 

a'-shi' 5 na 4 jaw 4 nya 3 , na'-htsi 6 daw 4 = if (you) have any disease, 

drink medicine. 
a'-sh'i 3 (a) mi 4 da 4 law 5 = anything will do. 
a'-shi' 5 jaw 4 nya 3 a-shi' 3 grgh 5 la 4 = give (me) whatever yom 

have (lit. what have what give come). 



* See next section on Numerals. 



( 14 ) 

a'-shi's si* dzi 3 (a) mi* yi» hpyaS ne*(a) law 3 = every tree gives 

forth leaves. 
a'-stm(a) mi* srghe 1 (a) law* = (he) knows everything, 
a'-sh'i^a) mi* ma s srghe 1 = (he) knows nothing. 

Who? = a s -ma*: — 

a 5 -ma* lye 3 ba 3 grgh* la* law* ? =• who told (you) ? {lit. who — 

say give come — ?), 
as-ma* tya 1 laws ? = who is there? (/it. who present ?). 

In non-interrogative form a*-ma* = anyone, whoever, everyone 
{with negative), no one, etc : — 

as-ma* la* nya 3 , " h'i*-si 3 -hpa* ma* tya 1 " ba 3 grgh* = if anyone 
comes, tell (him) that the master of the house is not at 
(home' 1 . 

a-'-ma* gaw* le 3 ba 3 (a) mi*, ngwa* ma* j'i* = whoever says so, 
I do not believe it. 

a*-ma*(a) mi* srghe 1 (a) law 3 = everybody knows (it). 

a 5 -ma*(a) mi* ma s srghe 1 = no one knows. 

Which? = a 3 li 3 -ma 3 . This by itself may be used as an equivalent 
for as-ma* = who ? (a 3 -l: 3 ? = how ? ) 

nu* a 3 -li 3 -ma 3 nu*(a) law 5 ? = which one (or whom) do you 
want ? 
« a 3 -li 3 -ma 3 ji*(a) law* ? = which one is best? {lit. is good). 

When, however, it is desired to be more definite — " which .... 
in particular ? " — the idiom of "this" and "that" (above) must be 
used ; e.g. — 

aMi 3 hti s raw 3 ma 3 ? = which (particular) person ? 

aMi 3 hti 5 hpya 1 ma 3 ? = which page (in a book) ? 

a 3 -li 3 hti s hkaw 2 ma 3 ? = which garment, blanket, mattress, etc.? 

a 3 -h 3 hti s chu s ma 3 ? = which particular kind ? 

As with the expressions a'-s/ip (what) and a s -ma* (who) a^h^-ma 3 
is also used in the affirmative to mean any . . . . , every . . . . , 
no , whichever .....: — 

a 3 -li 3 hti* h'i* ma 3 kwa 3 jye 4 (a) mi*, hti 5 lye 3 lye* ngaw* = it is 
the same whichever house (you) go to [lit. which one house 
there go -ever, the same only is) ; ngart>* is shortened from 
nga* law 3 . 
a 3 -li 3 htis chuS ma 3 (a) mi* da* law 3 = any kind will do. 
aMi 3 htft raw 3 ma 3 (a) mi* gaw* le 3 ba 3 = every (individual) 
person said so (/*'/. which one person -ever thus say), 
etc. 
" What sort of ? " = a 3 -Ii 3 -lu 3 shi* :— 

a 3 -li 3 -lu 3 -shi'S la'-htsaw* nga* law s ? = what sort of a man is he ? 



( >5 ) 

Similarly "this sort," " that sort, " (spoken in a general way), are 
hti* li 3 sh'p snd^gaw* le 3 shft respectively : — 

» 

hte*-le* shi"* nga* law 3 = it is this kind of thing (or affair), 
gaw* 164 shi* ma* jaw* = (I) haven't got anything of that sort. 

(v) Relative Pronouns.— There are none in Lisu, but they are 
expressed by the addition of ma 3 , forming a verbal adjective ; 
' g — 

a s -nyi* baw 3 (a) ma 3 htsaw* bye* = the photograph which (I) 
took yesterday {lit. the yesterday-written picture). 

a*-nyi*shis hta* tya'(a) ma 3 la* htsaw* = the man who was 
here some days ago {lit- the, some-days -ago here-present 
man). 

a 3 -saw* yi 1 saw 3 tya J (a) ma 3 htaw s -rghe s = the book which he 
was studying j'ust now {lit. the just-now he studying book). 

Where in such cases the ma 3 makes tfie whole preceding clause 
adjectival, the (a) precedes it, but it is difficult to detect it when the 
word it follows ends in ' a' too. 



(3) Numerals and Classifying Particles. 



{a) Cardinal Numbers.- 


—These are :- 




1 


.. htis 


23 •• 


. nyi s tsi 3 sa 3 


2 . 


. . ny t 5 


30 •• 


sa 3 htsi* 


3 • 


. . sa 3 


40 .. 


. li 3 htsi* 


4 • 


,. li 3 


100 .. 


. htis h'ya* 


5 ■ 


. . ngwa 5 


IOI 


. htis h'ya* htis 


6 . 


, . hchaw 6 


102 


. htis h'yd* nyi 2 


7 • 


. . ehis 


103 .. 


. hti* h'ya* sa 3 


8 ., 


,. h'i 6 


lib .. 


. htis h'ya* hti* htsi* 


9 • 


.. ku 1 


in 


. hti 3 h'ya.* htis htsi* hti 3 


10 


.. htsi* 


112 .. 


. htis h'ya* htis htsi* nyi* 


11 


.. htsi+ti 1 


200 .. 


. nyis h'ya* 


12 


, . htsi* nyi* 


300 .. 


. sa 3 h'ya* 


13 • 


, . htsi* sa 3 


1. 000 .. 


. hti« tuj 


14 ., 


,. htsi* li 3 


1,001 


. htis tu 3 hti 3 


20 .. 


. nyi s tsi 3 


1,100 .. 


. htis tu 3 hti* h'ya 


21 


. nyi s tsi 3 hti 5 


10,000 .. 


. htsi* tu 3 


22 .. 


. nyi s tsi 3 nyi 2 







Notice the irregularity of 11 which is htsi* ti J instead of htsi* hti*, 
also 20 (hence 21, 22, etc., also) which is nyi* tsi 3 instead of Hyi* htsi*. 
All the rest are regular. The number one is used for the indefinite 
article " a." 

Like demonstrative pronouns and adjectives Lisu numerals follow 
the noun ; e.g. — 

a'-vi 6 hti* ma 3 = a pig or one pig. 

dza* hpu* sa 1 law* = three baskets of rice 



( 16 ) 

Lisu numerals up to a hundred (and often above a hundred) cannot 
stand alone. Some kind of suffix has to be attached. .The commonest 
of these is the adjunct maK It would be well if the learner wore to 
memorise the numbers with this adjunct affixed ; e.g. i = hti 5 ma 3 ; 
2 = nyi s -ma 3 ; 3 = sa 3 -ma 3 , etc. This is the way the Lisu themselves- 
usually count 

a'-rgha 1 hti^-ma = a chicken. 
a'-na s sa 3 -ma 3 = three dogs. 
shi' s -sh'i 3 nyp-ma 3 = two watches. 

grgh s pa 3 ngwa s -ma 3 = five carrying baskets (fine woven and 
covered). 

And so for many other common articles. 

Like Chinese, Atsi, and some other languages in this part of Asia, 
however, the Lisu language uses many other numeral suffixes beside 
the adjunct ma 3 . They are used for distinction and may be called 
classifying particle?. They correspond to such English words as 
" three f-ieces of cloth," " four sheets of paper," " two blades of grass," 
etc. Generally speaking every article has its appropriate classifying 
particle which should be used correctly if the speaker is to be readily 
understood. Unlike ma 3 , which is a mere colourless adjunct, these 
classifying particles often carry meaning with there and are used in 
other connections; e.g. most large animals, from the goat upwards ,. 
take the particle hka? : — 

a'"-nga 6 hti s hka 2 = a buffalo. 
* a'-mu 5 nyi s hka 2 = two ponies. 

la s -ma 3 sa hka 2 = three tigers, etc. 

Persons need raw 3 , hence :— 

la s -htsaw+ sa s -raw 3 = three persons. 
Hchaw s -hpa s hti s -raw = a Kachin. 
raS-mrgb'S-ra nyi s -raw 3 = two women. 

Fruit of any kind (and other things usually small and round) need 
sp ; e.g.— 

nga'-si* hti s -si s = a banana. 
siMichr* hti$-si' s = a pear. 
a'-rgha'-hu 3 hti 3 -s'i s = a hen's egg. 

Clothing, bedding, etc, often take hkav> z l hence : — 

bu'-htsi' 5 htis-hkaw 2 s= a coat. 
yi4-bu 3 nyi s -hkaw 2 = two blankets. 

And so on* for all the other classifiers, a list of which is given 
here : — 

Persons ... ... raw 3 

Brothers .,. ... shi 1 

Father and son ... paMa* 



I i7 ) 



Mother and son 

'Grandfather and grandson 

Husband and wife 

Wives 

Animals (big) ... 

Sheet (of paper, etc.) 

Garment, blanket, etc. 

Road, long thing 

Piece of 

Tree 

Pencil, gun 

Stick 

Time, occasion ... 

Village 

Length, section of 

River 

Stream 

Mouthful, sentence 

Kind, sort 

Fruit, anything globular 

Coin, bowl 

Grass, hair 

Field (irrigated) 

„ (dry) 
Book 
Fireplace 
Garden 

Cloth (roll of) ... 
Parcel 
Spot, place 

,, (where seed is sown) 
Room in house ... 
Meal 

Shower of rain ... 
Lifetime 

Work (day's) ... 
Turban, hat 
Trousers 
Nap (sleep) 
Heap (as of grain) 
Pile (as firewood) 
Stack (straw) 
Set {e.g. coffin boards) 
Pair 

One of pair 
End 
Side of 

Change . . 

Harvest, crop ... 
Plain 
Gully 
Mountain range 



ma 3 -la* .,. 

piMi* 
ma 3 
mrgh'* 
hka J 
hpya. 1 
hkaw 3 
die" 
hku 1 
dzi< 
htrghe 3 
da 3 

• hwa a , hkaw ! 
hka a 
hte 3 

law* or du s 
keo 3 (Ch.) 
hkrghs 

chus (Ch.), shi* or ji« 
si* 

hpa 5 
cha 3 
hpu 3 
14* 

pa' (Ch.) 
be 6 
be* 
daw 3 
hte s 
taw 1 
tsaw* 
kaw 3 
dza s 
dzaw* 
zi« 
wa s 
tsu' 
rgh 6 
me 3 
pe 3 
ju s 

hpa a 

dzye 6 

dzye« 

baS or hp4 3 

prgh 1 

hche s or hpaw" 

lrgh» 

pa 3 

pa» (Ch.) 

hku* 

chi» 



( i8 ) 

Downhill ... ... ra' 

Uphill ... ... ta' 

Half ... ... brgh*. 

Step ... ... htaw* 

Load (man's or animal's) ... rghe* 

Man's height ... ... h'i* 

Length of hand ... (la 6 ) hta 4 " 

„ „ outstretched arms baw 3 

,, „ stride ... hha s 

,, „ gunshot ... paw' 

Handful of (single) ... la 6 chaw 3 

„ „ (double) ... la«je* 

„ ,, (held in one hand) mya' 

„ „ (clenched in fist)... nya* 

Bundle of ... ... hrghe* 

„ „ (paddy sprouts) .,. tu 1 

Basket (grain) ... ... law* 

Basketful (small, carried on 

back) . . . ne'-te* 

„ (large, carried on 

back) ... hka'-tu* 

Pinch of ... ... htsu 3 

Cupful of ... ... krgh 1 

Jar of ... bya* 

Bamboo-cylinder-ful ... htu' 

(Copper), rice potful ... ji*-be< 
etc., etc. 

It should be remarked that the use of some of these classifying 
particles varies with different dialects, 1 and in the same district more 
than one classifying particle may be used with the same article to- 
express different meanings ; e.g. — 

{htaw* rghe* hti* pa'* = a book. 
htaw*-rghe s hti* hpya" = a sheet of paper. 

If the learner is ever in doubt as to the appropriate classifying; 
particle to use for any particular object, he may fall back upon the 
adjunct ma* without doing great violence to the idiom of the language. 
This ma* may be used, at a pinch, with almost anything; e.g. "a 1 - 
nga* hti 5 -ma 4 " (a buffalo), though not so correct as " a'-nga 6 hti J - 
hka a ," is at least intelligible ; similarly " la*-htsaw* hti*-ma*" (a man) 
instead of " la 5 -htsaw« hti* raw 3 "; "nga 5 si* htis-ma* " (a banana) 
instead of " nga'-si's hti s -si*," etc. In such cases a native will usually 
give the correct word in his reply : this should be listened for and 
imitated. These classifying particles are perhaps better " picked up " 
than systematically learnt. 

The learner should be careful, however, to use these particles 
correctly where<relationships are concerned. Brothers and sisters, or 
cousins of the same clan to almost any degree (who are reckoned as 
" brothers and sisters " by the Lisu) should be referred to as " nyi* sbi 1 , 
sa s shi', li 3 shi 1 ," etc., according to number. When a person of the 
generation above is with others of the generation below him they are 



( 19 ) 

enumerated as so many fa.*-ltfi or ma*-/** according to the sex of 
person of senior generation ; e.g. a father and his two children would 
be three "paMa*" (sa* paMa s ), whereas a mother and her three 
children would be four " ma'-la* " (li s ma'-la*). Father) mother and 
three children would usually be referred to as " ngwa* ma'-la 5 ," 
though " ngwa s pa J -la J " would do equally well in this case. If three 
generations are represented, e.g. grandfather (or grandmother), father, 
mother and three children, they would be called six " pi*-li s " 
(hchaw* pi'-li s ). This expression is used when none of the inter- 
mediate generation are present, e.g. a grandparent and grandchild 
are " nyi* pi'-li*." It should be remembered that it makes no 
difference, in these expressions, whether the brothers, sisters, grand- 
parents, etc., are strictly so from a European point of view, or whether 
they only reckon so as being " co-generational " members of the 
same clan. 

To refer to father and son, or uncle and nephew, as " nyi*-raw J " 
(" two persons ") would not quite accord with Lisu ideas of propriety. 
The seniority (of generation, not necessarily age, fox the senior by 
generation may actually be the junior in years) should be recognised. 
Especially is it necessary to be careful in the use of " nyi s -ma* " (two), 
which when referred to persons means husband and wife. To refer to 
a brother and sister, or to a man and woman not related to each 
other, as " nyi s -ma«" (a " couple") would be very undesirable. 

(b) Ordinal Numbers. — These are expressed by the cardinal 
numbers followed by hti* (= one, but in this connection equivalent to 
the definite article), both taking the appropriate classifying particle, 
the last of which is strengthened by the adjunct ma* ; e.g. — 

sa* raw 1 hti s raw 3 ma< = the third man (lit. three men the 

man), 
shi* nyi< hti* nyi+ ma' = the seventh day. 
ngwa s che 1 hti* che a ma* = the fifth line (on the page). 
Observe that if the adjunct ma* is omitted, the meaning is 
quite altered, e.g. — 

sa s raw 3 hti 5 raw 3 = one man in three. 
sbi s nyi* hti s nyi* = one day in seven, 
etc. 
The first two ordinals, '' first " and "second, "are not expressed 
according to this rule but by " yi'-wu' " {lit. the head) and '' ka'-na 1 " 
{lit. after) respectively ; e.g. — 

The first (man) = yi'-wu J htis ra w 3 (ma*), 
The second (man) = ka'-na 1 hti* raw 3 (ma*). The ma* may be 
omitted from these. 
As in Chinese, the ordinal numbers are not used in expressing the 
days of the month, or the months of the year (see appendix). 

(4) Adjectives. 

Lisu adjectives usually follow the noun ; e.g. htsaw* ji« = a good 
man; a'-mu* na 3 = a black horse ; mu*da*-ma« = big place. 



( 20 ) 

Sometimes, however, especially when qualified by such words as 
" v%ty," " rather," etc., adjectives may precede the noun, the adjunct 
»i«» being then affixed. The Lisu idiom is thus identical with the 
Kachin, the Lisu ma* being equivalent to the Kachin at; e.g.— 

yi 1 na s ji«(a) ma 3 las-htsaw* nga« law 3 = he is a good man. 
aMi'(a) wu*(a) ma 3 mu* nga* law 3 = (it) is a rather big place. 
a*-hkrgh' bi«(a) ma 3 h'i« nga« law 3 = (it) is a very beautiful 
house. 

When used in affirmative sentences the final particle l*w 3 is added, 
as in the above examples ; when negatively this particle is omitted 
{this rule applies to verbs also ; see § 5) ; e.g. — 

yi' na 5 ji 4 (a) ma 3 -la s -htsaw* ma s nga* = he is not a good man. 
aS-hkrgh 1 bi+(a) ma 3 h'i* ma* nga« = (it) is not a very beautiful 

house. It would be quite incorrect to say " ma* nga< 

law 3 " for " (it) is not . . . " 

Sometimes Lisu adjectives are repeated and the particle mu s 
added. This aiakes the meaning more vivid, and may be compared 
to the English "-like " and "-ish " (e.g. " poiu ted -like " instead of 
" pointed ";" roundish " instead of " round ");e.g. — 

re s -re* mu 3 ta' law 3 = wide open, slaring (of eyes). Ta 1 = to 

be (in any state or condition). 
hpa*-hp4*mu 3 (ta 1 law 3 ) = bandy-legged. 
Ia 6 -du s -du5-mu 3 = without hands (lit. hands "stumpy"). 

Sometimes the last word of a verbal expression is repeated (see 
Miscellaneous Idioms) to form an adjectival phrase; e.g. — 

a'-shi s ma s hkaw* = quite all right, nothing the matter with, 

etc. (lit. anything not matter) ; hence 
a'-shi* ma s hkaw 4 -hkaw« lye 6 -jye* law 3 = (he) went back quite 
all right. The repetition of hkaw* makes the phrase 
mean" in-a-quite-all -right-condition," " quite-all-right-y." 
a'-shi* ma 5 ta J ta' lyeMa* law 3 = (he) came back without 
bringing anything (lit. anything-not-bring-bring come 
back). The sentence " a'-shi's-ma*- ta'-ta a " might be 
crudely rendered "in a not-bring-anything condition." 
Comparison of Adjectives.--(i) Positive. — Under this heading 
will come the expression of equality — as much as, as big as, as far as 
. . . , etc. 

With certain adjectives denoting size, quantity, etc., the word 
te % is used for " equal ; " e.g. te 3 wu 1 = of the same size (lit. equal 
big) ; te 3 mu = of equal height ; te 3 sh'i' = of the same length ; te 3 
rgh 3 = of equal distance ; te 3 mya" = equally many or much : — 

hte*-ana 3 nya 3 , gaw«-ma 3 (a) bye 3 te 3 wu 1 nga* law 3 = this is of 

equal size with that. 
ngwa«-nu s hka a (a) bye 3 yi'-wa* hka a te" rgh* nga* law 3 = our 

village is the same distance as theirs (lit. our village and 

their village equally distant is). 



( 21 ) 

Another construction is to use the particle he At' 3 (= about) and the 
\ttbjaw* (= to have) : — 

ngwa* a'-va 6 yi 1 a'-va 6 wu s hchi 3 jaw*(a) law 3 == my pig is as 
big as his (lit. my pig his pig big about has). 

wa*-chi 3 hte*-ma 3 wa*-chi 3 gaw*-ma 3 mu 3 hchi 3 jaw*(a) law* = 
this mountain is as high as that. 

Yet another construction, which, unlike the preceding, can be used 
with any adjective whatever, employs the phrase htfi-lye 3 (the same 
or together with) : — 

hte*-ma 3 nya 3 gaw*-ma 3 (a) bye 3 hti*-lye 3 ji 4 (a) law 3 = this 'is 
as good as that [lit, this . . . that with the same good). 

a J -nyi s -hwa s nya 3 , a'-hchi -6 hwa*(a) bye 3 hti s lye 3 mi*(a) law 3 = 
beef is as tasty as goat mutton. 

(2) Comparative. — This is expressed in various ways, but, unlike 
Chinese, the word for " compare " (ta 3 ) is seldom used. It is most 
usual to state the subject of comparison first, the object next, then 
some expression such as " si -3 -ma s -htsi+, hkrgh 4 -ma s -htsi+, ma J -htsi*, 
hta ! -si," etc., then the adjective last of all ; e.g. — 

hte^-ma 3 nya 3 gaw 4 -ma 3 si' 3 -ma*-htsi 4 ji 4 (a) law 3 = this is better 

than that (lit, this . . . that than good). 
dza 4 nya 3 , hkrgh*-sha 3 hkrgh* ma s htsi* mi*(a) law 3 = rice it 

nicer (to„eat) than maize. 
La* Mas-Ta 1 nya 3 , Ngwa'-Ta 1 hta.s-si* da 4 (a) law 3 = La-M4 

Number One is cleverer than Fish Number One. 

With simple adjectives expressing size, amount, etc., comparison 
is often expressed by the adjective plus " ma*-htsi* jaw*(a) law 3 ." 
It is the same idiom as that given above (positive comparison) except 
that ma*-htsi* is substituted for hchi 3 ; e.g. — 

hte 4 -ma 3 nya 3 , gaw*-ma 3 wu* ma s htsi 4 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = this is 

bigger than that, 
ngwa* h'i* nya 3 , ' nu* h'i* mu 3 ma s htsi* jayv*(a) law 3 = my 

house is higher than yours. 
yi 1 ra s -ne* ngwa* ra*-ne* mya 3 ma* htsi* jaw*(a) law 3 = he has 

more children than I. 

The expressions sp-ma^-htsi* and mat-htsi* may be used alone Jto 
mean " more so." In a question and answer such as " Is this as good 
aji that?"— "Yes, better!"— the answer would usually be given by 
a Lisu "maS-htsi*!" or "s! 3 -ma*-htsi*! " omitting the adjective 
' good. ' Or, e.g.— " I should think it was worth Rs. 100 u — " More 
than that ! "—this rejoinder would be just expressed by " ma* htsi*l " 
—whilst " much more than that 1 " would be expressed in the same 
words but with added emphasis. 



( *a ) 

A qualified comparison may be expressed by using the phrase 
«« a' ti'(a) " (= a little) ; :g.— 

hte*-ma« nya 1 , gaw«-ma» hta«-si' a'-ti'(a) ji*(a) law* = this is a 

little better than that. 
yi' hpu« nya 1 , ngwa* hpu* mya 1 a* ti'(a) ma< htai« jaw«(a) law 1 

= he has a little more money (lit. silver) than I. 

Similarly a strengthened comparison {much more, much better, 
etc.) may be expressed by using t}-hkvgh l ( — very) : — 

hte*-ma J nya 3 , gaw«-ma 3 hta*-si" a'-hkrgh' ji*(a) law 1 = this (is) 
much better than that. If the " ma*-htsi " construction is 
used, the same meaning may be conveyed by emphasising 
the " ma*-htsi* " (see example above). 

Comparison, as in English, may he inverted, in which case the 
expression " hkrjjM-hchi 1 " (= to -the point of, to the degree of) is 
used; t g. instead of saying " this is better than that" one may say 
" that (is) not so good as this " : — 

gaw 4 -ma 3 nya 3 , hte 4 -ma* hkrgM-hchi 5 ma s ji 4 (lit. that .... 

this, to the degree of, not good). 
Ngwa'-Sa 3 nya 3 , Naw J -Lye J hkrgM-hchi 1 ma* sha 1 = Fish No. 3 

is not so poor as Bean No. 2. 
nyi'-nyi* nya 3 , a*-nyi« hkrgh 4 -hchi 3 ma s htsa 4 = to-day is not 

so hot as yesterday. 

Or with adjectives expressing size, amount, etc. (see above) : — 

gaw* ma' nya 3 hte* ma 3 mu s hchi 3 ma 5 jaw 4 = that is not so big 

as this, 
nu* h'i* nya 3 ngwa* h'i* mu 5 hchi 3 ma s jaw* = your house is not 

so high as mine. 

Further comparison, e.g. '' this is good but that is better," is 
expressed by the phrases "myis-mya 3 , mya s -nyi 3 , ji*-hkrgh«," etc., 
according to dialect ; e.g. the last sentence could be rendered 
" hte*-ma 3 nya 3 ji*(a) law 3 , gaw* ma* na s roya s -nyi 3 ji 4 (a) law 3 " : — 

hte*-ma 3 mya s -nyi 3 nu'(a) law 3 = this is still softer. 
raS-mrgh'Ma 1 gaw*-ma 3 mya s -nyi 3 bi*(a) law 1 = that girl is 
prettier. 

In such sentences as these last two the " mya s -nyi 3 " may be 
Omitted and the comparison implied instead of expressed. 
This idiorn, may be used with verbs too : — 

• 
wu'-htrghe^hte^-htiMsu'-ma 1 mya s -nyi 3 nu*(a) law 3 = (I) prefer 

this turban (lit. more want), 
a'-va'-hwa* mya'-nyi 3 d«a s ni*-shi 4 (a) law 1 = (I) prefer to eat 
pork (lit. more like to eat pork). 



( '3 ) 

The more the more is expressed by the repeti- 
tion of " «»-hkrgh' " (very) :— 

a'-hkrgh' myA', a'-hkrgh 1 ji« = the more the better (lit. very 

many very good), 
a'-hkrgh' tya', a'-khrgh 1 h'i 6 -mrghe 6 = the longer (we) stay the 

hungrier (we) get (lit. very stay very hungry). 

(3) Superlative. — The superlative is expressed by the use of 
Ji a'-hkrgh'," plus the adjective, plus the adjunct ma s ; e.g. — 

hte*-ma 3 nya 5 a'-hkrgh ji*(a) ma 3 nga* law 3 = this is the best 
one. 

Though this conveys the meaning correctly there is a possibility of 
-ambiguity with " this is a very good one." To turn the sentence 
round, e.g. — 

a'-hkrgh 1 ji 4 (a) ma 1 nya 1 hte«-ma 3 nga 4 law 3 (lit. [the] very 
good one — this is) 

xemoves all doubt as to the meaning, and so is the preferable 
construction. Similarly — 

a'-hkrgh* wu'(a) ma 5 nya 3 , yi 1 nga* law 3 = he is the biggest. 

a'-hkrgh 1 sya 6 jaw*(a) ma 3 nya 5 , Tsaw '-Si 1 yi 1 a'-nga 6 nga* law* 
= Mr. Tsaw No. 4's buffalo is the strongest (lit. very 
strength-have one .... Tsaw. Four his buffalo is). » 

(5) Verbs. 

Lisu verbs have no inflections, consequently variations of voice, 
mood, tense, person, etc., are either expressed by suffixes or left to be 
inferred. 

(1) The simple past, present, or future tenses are expressed by 
the simple verb, plus (affirmative only) the suffix "(a)-law 3 ." With 
the past tense the " (a) " is often omitted ; e.g. — 

ngwa«-nu' ye 3 (a) law 3 = we do, did, or will do (it) ; ngwa* nu' 
ma' ye 3 = we do not did not, or will not do (it). 

y'-wa' dza'(a) law 3 = they eat, ate, or will eat ; yi'-wa' ma' 
dza' = they do not, did not, or will not eat. 

The context is usually sufficient to determine the tense ; if not a 
temporal clause may be inserted. The dropping of the " (a) " is 
not invariable for the past tense, and in any case is difficult to catch in 
ordinary conversation :— 

gaw*-hta* ngwa«-nu' ye 3 law 3 = we did it then. 

a'-ni'-shi' yi x -wa' dza' law 3 = they ate it over a year ago. 

na'-h'a' ngwa«-nu' ye 3 (a) law 5 = we shall do (it) next year. 
In this sentence the final law 3 might be changed to ngu?, 
which particle implies futurity or indefiniteness, i.e. na'- 
h'a* ngwa*-nu* ye 5 (a) ngu 5 . 



( *4 ) 

(2) The continuous tense, past or present, is expressed by the 
addition of tytf* (to be present, at, in, of persons). As *>» "» 
simple tenses, time must either be inferred or expressed Dy a 
temporal clause :— • 

ngwa«-nu s ye 3 tya 1 law 3 = we are or were doing (it). 
yi J -wa* dza* tya 1 law 3 = they are or were eating. 
a*-nyi 3 ngwa4-nus ye 3 tya 1 law 3 = we were doing it yesterday. 
shi 3 -nyi 3 yi'-was dza* tya 1 law 3 = they were eating the day 
before yesterday. 

(3) The Perfect Tense, in the affirmative, invariably adds the 
vowel sound " aw " either to the verb itself or to its suffix. This 
seems to be the only instance of inflection in the Lisu language, 
unless " (a) " be regarded as such. In the negative, however, this 

inflectional termination is omitted, and ma* sye* (not .... 

yet) used : — 

(a) With simple verb — 

jyaw* ( = jye-aw) = (he) has gone; ma* j;e*syeS — (he) has 

not gone yet. 
law* (= la-aw) = (he) has come ; ma« la+sye* = (he) has not 

come yet. 
shi*-aw = he has died, or is dead ; ma« shr* sye* = (he) is not 

dead yet. 

(b) With suffix " krgh\"—M.zny verbs add the particle Argk' 
(Kachin kau) in the perfect tense affirmative, whilst usually omitting 
it in the other tenses and the negative ; e.g. — 

dza* = to eat; dza* kaw*( = krgh 3 -aw) = (I) have eaten ; 

ma* dza* sye* = (I) have not eaten yet. 
ba 3 = to say; ba 3 kaw 3 (= krgh 3 -aw) = (I) have said; raa< 

ba 3 sye* = (I) have not said yet. 
trgh 3 = to plant ; trgh 3 kaw 3 (krgh 3 -aw). = (he) has planted ; 

ma* trgh 3 sye* = (he) has not planted yet. 

This particle krgh* is more firmly attached to some verbs, in 
which cases it may be used with the negative as well as the affirma- 
tive ; e.g. — 

hpya'-krgh 3 = to pull down, destroy ; hpya'-kaw 3 (krgh 3 -aw) = 

(I) have pulled down ; ma s hpya 2 krgh 3 sye* = (I) have 

not pulled down yet. 
hu 3 -krgh 3 = to send away; hu 3 -kaw 3 (krgh 3 -aw) = (I) have 

sent* away; ma* hu 3 -krgh 3 sye* = .(I) have not sent away 

yet. 

* This idiom is often carried over by the Lisu and Kichins into their "pidgin" 
Chinese, where it sounds rather 'ridiculous. It is never advisable, by the way, to 
learn Chinese from any of these non-Chinese races, however fluently they may 
t$eak it. 



( *5 ) 

(c) The indefinite perfect is expressed by the addition of the 
word nyi 3 in the negative and heilce nyiaw' in the positive. It differs 
from the ordinary perfect tense in tfciat it usually refers to more or 
less distant time : — 

a'-mu s dz'i* nyiaw 3 = (I) have (at some time or other) ridden a 

horse, 
a'-mu* ma s dzi s nyi 3 sye s = (I) have never (yet in my life) 

ridden a horsfe. 

{jye* nyiaw* = (I) have been (there) — perhaps some years ago. 
ma s jye* nyi 3 = (I) have never been (there). 
rhtsaw*-bye s yi 1 ma s maw* nyi 3 = he has never seen a picture 
y (lit. man-likeness). 

"l ngwa* na 5 maw* nyiaw 3 = I, however, have seen (one) .... 
(_ at some time or other. 

It should be observed that in none of the examples of the perfect 
tense given here is any temporal clause included. If it were it would 
practically change the perfect into a simple preterite; e.g. — 

jyaw 4 = (he) has gone ; a 3 -saw'-na 6 jyaw 4 = (he) went just 

this morning. 
dza s kaw 3 = (I) have eaten ; a 3 -saw'-lye 5 dza* kaw s = I ate 

(it) just now. 
a'-mu* dzi' s nyiaw 3 = (I) have ridden a horse; a s -ni 2 hti* hwa" 

a'-mu ! dzii s nyiaw 3 = (1) rode a horse once last year {lit, 

last year one time, etc.). • 

(4) The Imperative. — In the positive, and when there is no idea 
of motion toward the speaker, the simple verb is used ; e.g. — 

jye* ! = go ! a'-mi' jye ! = go quickly ! 
yi 1 ta 1 grgh 5 ! = give it to him ! 

In some districts the word Jia s is used as an imperative suffix with 
such sentences. It makes the command more peremptory; e.g. — 

jye*(a) ha s ! = go at once ! 

yi 1 ta 1 grgh s (a) ha* ! = give it to him at once ! 

The only verb in the Lisu language which has a special imperative 
form is la* (to come) which in the imperative is Id*; e.g. — 

ngwa* la*(a) law 3 = I come ; but — 
hta* la* ! = come here ! 
a'-mi 1 la* = come quickly ! 

This Id* is often used as an imperative auxiliary to other verbs* 
but only when motion towards or action in refertnce to the sfettoer 
is concerned ; e.g. — "•» 

ngwa* ta 1 grgh 5 la* \. = give it to m j ! 

ngwa*-nus ta* maw 1 grgh* la* ! = show it to us ! (lit. us to 

show give come), 
ngwa* ta J ba s grgh* 14*1 = tell me (lit. me to say give come), 
(raw*) jye* &* 1 = let's go I . . . come on ! etc. 



( «6 ) 

After any imperative verb, whether motion is toward the speaker 
-or not, the particle otk* may be used. It softens tne command, and 
gives it a familiar, coaxing, tone ; e.g.— 

jye 4 mu 5 ! = please go ! — do ! 

yi 1 t4' grgh 5 mu 5 ! &> give it to him — please do ! 

ngwa 4 ta b4 s grgh 5 14* mu 5 ! = come now — tell me ! 

The negative imperative particle is Mat (Kachin hkum ; Atsi 
M*):— 

hta s jye 4 mu s ! = don't go, please ! 

hta 5 14* ! = don't come.* 

yi' t4' hta 5 ba 3 grgh 5 ! = don't tell him ! 

In some districts and in some connections the particle md* is used 
-as a suffix to the verb with the negative imperative. It pre-supposes 
familiarity between the speaker and the person addressed and is, 
perhaps, better not used by a European ; e.g. — 

hta 5 jye 4 m4 6 !=don't you go, now ! 

a s -ma 4 t4' hta 5 ba 5 grgh* m4 6 ! = don't you go and tell any- 
body, now! 

(5) The Interrogative. — (a) Where a question has already been 
put by an interrogative pronoun or adverb, the only change is in the 
tone of the final law* which becomes law s (Burmese //; ; e.g.— 

* 

4Mi 3 -kwa 3 tya' law 5 ? = where is ihe)? 

h'i 4 kwa 3 tya 1 law* = (he) is at home. 

a'-shi 5 nga 4 law* ? = what is (it) ? 

hpu 4 hti 5 hp4 s nga 4 law 5 = (it) is a rupee. 
a s -raa' la 4 law 5 ? = who is coming ? 

ngwa 4 hchawS-hpa* hti 5 -ma 4 la 4 law 3 = a friend of mine has 
come {lit. my friend one comes). 

The substitution of daw* for law* at the end of such sentences 
emphasises the interrogative, being the equivalent of the addition of 
4 ' -ever " to the pronoun or adverb in English ; e.g. — 

a'-shi' 5 nga 4 daw 5 = whatever is (it) ? 

a 5 -ma 4 b4 3 daw 5 = whoever said (that) ? 

yi* 4Mi s srghe' daw 5 = however could he know ? 

The word na s is used chiefly with 4 3 -/*" 3 (how?) to express strong 
dissent ; e.g. — 

4Mi 3 nga 4 na 3 ? = how can (that) be ? — meaning " nonsense !" 
" impossible ! " 

* The learner should be careful in the tone of the hta in this sentence, for 
hta* Id* (come here) has a precisely opposite meaning. 



( a7 ) 

(&) In a simple question expecting yes or no, the final particle 
U> (Burmese /«,) in the place of the usual word law 1 renders it inter- 
rogative. The negative form of the interrogative {e.g. isn't he . . . ?) 
is more common than the positive (e.g. is he . . . ?) ; e.g.— 

Ngwa'-Ta' ma* tya« la* ? = isn't (= is) Mr. Fish No. i in? 

tya* law 5 = (yes, he) is in. 
hta 4 tya* la* ? = is (he) here ? 

hta 4 ma* tya' = (no, he) is not here. 
nu 4 ma* maw 4 la* ? = didn't ( = did) you see (him) ? 

maw 4 (a) law* = (yes, I) saw (him). 
yi' ma* jye 4 sye* la* ? = hasn't ( = has) (he) gone yet ? 

jyaw 4 = (yes, he) has gone. 

Instead of using this /«*, which is the strictly correct interrogative 
form, it is even more common merely to use the suffix " (aj " (or via* 
when euphony demands it) after the verb. It is rather more abrupt 
than the former, and here again the negative form is the more 
usual : — 

hpu 4 ma* jaw 4 (a) ? = have (you any) money ? (lit. " haven't.") 

hti* nyi* hpa* jaw 4 (a) law' = (I) have a rupee or two. 
gaw 4 -le* ma* nga 4 (a) ? = isn't that (/*'/. thus) so? 

nga 4 law* = (yes, it) is. 
a'-nyi* ma* maw*(a) ? = did (you) see the cow ? 

ma* maw 4 = (no, 1) did not see (it). 
jyaw wa* ? = has (he) gone ? 

jyaw 4 = (yes, he) has gone. 
yi 1 r4 6 -lyaw* wa* ? = has he come down ? 

ma* ra 6 -lye+-syeS = (he) has not come down yet. 

The " (a) " should be given a low tone in the above examples. 

Other final particles connoting interrogation are na^da' or na i - 
Ifa (in some districts n&day 1 , chya*-dayi or simply day' alone) ; 
Pa 1 (a) ; nyi s ; »*' and syeK 

Na s -dJ or na^-lfa rather expect the answer no ; e.g. — 

ma* tya' na*-la* ? = oh, isn't (he) in ? 

ma* jaw 4 na*-da* ? = (you) haven't got (any), then ? 

Pa l (a) (Ch.) expresses a doubt in the speaker's mind as to the truth 
of his statement, and asks your opinion : — 

ma* nga 4 pa'(a) = surely (it) is not (so), is it ? 
htsi 4 -raw 5 hchi 3 jaw*pa'(a) = there are about ten people, aren't 
there ? 

Nyfi or b&* merely ask for confirmation of a statement just 
made : — 

ma* srghe' nyi* ? = you say (you) don't know ? 
ma* jaw* nyi* ? = you say (you) are not afraid ? 
ma* wu 4 ba J ? = (you) do not buy, you say ? 



( *8 ) 

Sjfe s or m'{Ch.) express expostulation : — 

ya'-hpye 9 ma* hkwa 5 nya 3 , a'-ship dza* sye* ? = if (we) do not 

plant opium, what do you expect (us) to eat ? (lit. opium 

not dig . . . what eat . . ?). 
jwa 4 ma* jye 4 nya* a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 jye 4 syfeJ? = if (I) don't go down 

there, where am (I) to go?-t'.?. I have no alternative. 
htaw 4 -htsie 4 ma* jaw* nya 3 , a 5 -li 3 ye 3 ni* = if (I) haven't (any) 

money, whatever do you think 1 am to do? 

For other final particles and their uses see § 9 

(6) Subjunctive. — Hypothesis is frequently expressed by the 
elastic expression " law 3 -shi*-nga 4 -law 3 " after the statement : — 

gaw 4 -ma 3 srghe 1 hla 5 na s , yi* h'i+ kwa 3 jye 4 (a) law 5 -shi s -nga- 
law 3 = if (I) had known that, (I) would have gone to his 
house. 

a 3 -saw* yi'-waS ma s ru 4 ta* jye 4 gu 3 nya 3 , a 3 -mrgh' 3 jaw 4 (a) law 3 - 
shi 5 -nga 4 -law 3 = if they had not taken them all away a 
few minutes ago, there would be some now {lit. a-few- 
minutes ago they not take carry go all ... , now have 
might). 

j*i 3 kwa 3 hti s -htrghe'-ra s du 5 -jye 4 na 3 law 3 -shi 5 -nga 4 -law 3 = I was 
thinking of going into the market for a moment {lit. 
market there a- moment enter good might). 

• This expression is used not only of possibility, but of an idea in 
the speaker's mind as opposed to actual fact ; e.g. — 

bu 4 -htsi s hu 3 (a) law 3 -sh'i s -nga 4 -law 3 = the clothes seemed to be 
dry. Here, as very often, " law 3 -shi=-nga 4 -law 3 " is not 
affixed to a verb but to an adjective, the verb " to be " 
being understood. 

ji 4 (a) law 3 shi' s nga 4 law 3 = it would be or would have been 

a good thing, 
yi' hpyi ! -mya 3 ma* na 3 nya 3 , bi 4 (a) law 3 shi'5 nga 4 law 5 = if her 

face was not (so) dark (she) would be pretty. 

A curious turn is given to this expression by substituting kwa* 
(some Lisu say " kwaMs'i'-ha 5 ") for the final law 3 , where it has an 

adversative force = "but," e.g.— "ji 4 (a) law 3 -shi* kwa 3 " = 

" it would have been a good thing, but " 

a s -nyi 4 hti s hwa 4 la 4 na' la\v 3 -shi' s kwa 3 , syA 6 ma s jaw 4 nyi 3 , 
la 4 ma 5 hku 4 = (I) ought to have come once yesterday, 
but I had no strength. and so was unable to come. 

htaw 5 -rgheS saw 3 nya 5 , a 3 -hkrgh* ji 4 (a) law 3 shi* kwa 3 , ngwa* 
ba'-tfas ma s saw 3 tsi 1 nyi 3 , a 3 -li 3 ye 3 ma« na 3 = it would be 
a very good thing to study, but my father won't let me 
and so 1 can do nothing {lit. " how do not well "). 

(7) Potential Mood. — This is expressed by the addition to the 
verb of auxiliary particles or phrases denoting ability, but with 



( 29 ) 

different shades of meaning. In the negative ma* may precede the 
verb or come between the verb and the particle. 

(a) Kit 1 iru.ans simple ability, knowledge how to do a thing: — 

{ngwa 4 ye 3 ku*(a) law 3 = I can do (it) or— knew how to do (it). 
ngwa 4 ye s ma* ku 1 or ma* ye 3 ku 1 = I cannot do (it) ; do not 

know how to do it. 
mu 5 -gwa* bu 4 ma s ku 1 = cannot sing songs. 
hchi 3 -ni 3 ma 5 drgh* ku* = cannot make sandals. 

(b) Wa s has reference to time, leisure, etc. (in some districts hche s 
—^[Chinese hcheng\ —is used iustead of wa 3 ) : — 

ngwa* 'j we* ma s wa ! = I have no time to go. 

yi* htsa* nyi 8 , gaw 4 mrgh' 3 tya' ma s wa 3 jaw 3 = he says he is 

busy, and >o cannot stay that long (for javv s = *' he says " 

-see § 8). 
ngwa 4 -nu J htaw s -rghe s saw 3 ni a -shi' 4 law' ship kwa J , saw 3 ma* 

wa 3 = we would like to study (books) but we have no 

time (to study). 

(c) Hku* has reference to resources — physical strength or money. 
It may be used either alone or to strengthen the three particles given 
below under (d), (e) and (/) : — 

ngwa 4 na« ja 3 -gu 3 sye s hku 4 (a) law 3 = I {lit. as for myself I) 

am strong enough to walk. 
nu 4 nya 3 mi 5 ye 3 ma 5 hku 4 = you haven't strength to wojrk 

{i.e. cultivation). 
kaw a -yi s li s nyi 3 , ngwa 4 ta' ma s hku* = I can't lift (it), (it) 

is too heavy (kaw'-yi* [Ch.] = too). 
hka a nyi 3 wu 4 ma* hku 4 = (it is) expensive, so (I) cannot" 

afford to buy (it). 
hpu+ ma* jaw 4 hku 4 = we are (too) poor to have money (lit. 

silver not have can). 

(d) Ba*-la* has reference to accomplishment : the ability or other- 
wise to "get through "a thing requiring considerable time or 
numbers: — 

h'at-mi 4 hie* hti* la 6 nya 3 , ngwa* htiS-maMu 1 hkwa 3 ba 4 la*(«) 
law = I could cultivate (lit. dig) this patch of taungya 
alone (lit. taungya this one patch— 1 alone dig can). 

h'i* ma s ye 3 ba 4 -la 4 sye s = we haven't been able to build a 
house yet (not enough people to help build — too much 
other work on hand — insufficient store of grain to feed 
builders, etc., etc.). 

a'-mu s kaw'-yi s mya s nyi 3 , ma* law 1 baMa 4 =^here were (or are) 
too many horses, and so (he) was not able to tend them all. 

yi* na 5 si*-hpa 5 ma s ye 3 ba 4 -la 4 = he is not able («.«. has not the 
intelligence, savoir-taire, etc.) to be a chief (for the use of 
ntf see § 8). 



nir 



( 30 ) 

(e) Hpye'~!a< refers to the overcoming of a difficulty or to success 
in any line : — 

ngwa" na' ya''-re' (Ch.) ngaw' ma' saw' hp'ye* la 4 = I am 
no good at (will never make anything at) learning tne- 
foreigners' language, 
u* nya 3 ma 4 -ju' hchi 3 -ni 3 drgh' ma' hpye«-la 4 = you make a 
poor show at making [lit. striking) bamboo-bark sandals. 
ia' ye 3 hpye* la*; hta' ye 3 tsi 3 = (he) will make a mess of it 

-don't let (him) do (it) ! 
yi'-wa' gwa 3 -dzye* hpyeMa* ngu s = they will be able to come 
to an agreement successfully (gwa'-dzye* = to consult 
discuss), 
maw' nyi 3 , htaw'-rghe' ma* saw 3 hpye 6 -la hku« = (I am) old. 
and so will not succeed in studying (books). 
Hpyt* la* is often used without a verb, the verb being under- 
stood : — 

ma' hpyeMa*! = it's no good ! (i.e. you will never succeed). 
hpyeMaw* ! = (we; have succeeded ! 
hpye*-la* ngu 3 ! = it's going to be a success ! 

(f) Hwtf-lye 3 ( = to win), though an independent verb, is often 
used as a potential auxiliary ; e.g.— 

yi' ta 1 ba 3 ma' hwa'-lye 3 = you can't beat him in talk. 
ngwa* ta 1 rgh 1 hwa'-lye 3 -aw = (he) beat me in wrestling. 
maw 6 ta' ma' ye 3 hwa'-lye 3 hku* = (we) can't get the upper 
hand of the weeds (lit. weeds . . . not do beat can). 
Some few other particles, though not strictly potential, follow the- 
same rules and may be given here : — 

Z?«* = may. This is a very common word and is often used alone-; 

e.g.— 

da* ngu 5 = that will do ; that is enough, etc. 
ma' da* = it will not do ; (you) must not, etc. 

As an auxiliary particle it has the force of " may " in the positive 
and " must not" in this negative : — 

jye* da* law 3 = (you) may go (i.e. no one will forbid you), 
h'i* na'-kwa 3 du'-la* da* law 3 = you may (are allowed to) enter 

into the house. 
gaw*-le 3 ba 3 ma' da* = (you) must not talk like that. 
si'-si"' gaw*-ma 3 dza' ma' da* = that fruit is inedible (must not 

be eaten), 
yi' ta' maw* ma' da* = he must not (or cannot) be seen. 

[The idiom for " must," " have to," in the positive, is " na*-ta' (or 
ka*)-law 3 ," after the verb ; e.g. — 

nu* jye* na*-ta'-law 3 = you will have to go. 
h'a*-mi hkwa 3 na*-ta'-law = (I) must cultivate my taungya. 
sa'-hkwa 3 yi 6 -ta' na*-ta I -law 3 = (we) must sleep in the night- 
time.] 



( 3» ) 

Hckt* in the positive = may; it denotes a loose concurrence 
(" may as weJ) ") and is not so strong and definite as da*. In the- 
negative it means" need not " ; *.£.—» 

gawMe 3 ye 3 hch'r*(a) law 3 = (you) may as well do so. 
yi 1 ta- ba 3 grgh* hchi«(a) law 3 = you may as well tell him. 
ngwa« ta, 1 na 3 -nyi 3 hchi(a) law 3 = all right ! you may ask me I 
jye* ma* hchi* = (you) need not go. 

hpu 4 jaw*(a) hta 5 na ! , mi* ma s ye 3 hchr* = if (we) had money 
there would be no need for us to do cultivation work. 

Na* conveys the idea of convenience, expediency, desirability, 
favourable circumstances, etc. ; t.g. — 

yi 1 si 3 -hpa s ma ! tya' nya 3 , na 3 -nyi 3 ma ! na 3 = (we) cannot very 

well make enquiries when the person concerned (lit. he 

owner) is not at (home). 
yi J a'-mi* ngwa* ra s -mrgh'* nga*nyi 3 , yi 1 h'i* kwa 3 jye* ma s na* 

= as his daughter is my fiancee * it is not convenient for 

me to go to his house. 
h'u« hts'r* wu 5 na 3 law 3 == there is a good sale for hill-sesamum 

oil (lit. hill-sesamum oil sell good), 
maw* na 3 (a) bye 3 grgh s (a) law 3 = (I)' gave it to (him) in such 

a nay that he could easily see it. 

To use the adjective ji* (good) instead of the particle na? in the 
foregoing examples would make the meaning stronger and add 
definiteness, *>. whereas " jye* ma s na 3 " = it is not desirable to go,. 
" jye* ma s ji*" would mean " it is bad to go," etc. 

Under this heading comes the particle ckye 6 = "lucky to . . . ." 
The Lisu have no word for " luck " in the abstract (though syd 6 - 
mya 3 — lit. " life " may also mean fate or destiny) or even an adjective 
exactly equivalent to "lucky." Often in their use of ma s ji* (not 
good) a superstitious idea underlies their meaning, though not, oL 
course, invariably. A European might understand a Lisu to have a 
straightforward reason for saying that a certain course of action would 
be wa* ft*, whereas it might easily be due to a mere superstitious 
foreboding. It is easy to " think at cross purposes " with these 
people. 

No ambiguity, however, attaches to the particle chye 6 ; e.g. — 

gaw 4 -le 3 ba 3 ma 5 chye 6 = it is unlucky to talk like that {e.g. 

referring to one's death). 
ra J -mrgh' s -ra s si 3 -dzi 3 da 3 ma s chye 6 = it is unlucky for women- 

to climb trees. 
ra s -ne 3 -ra s si 3 ma s chye 6 =.itis unlucky for children to whistle, 
etc., etc. 



* Lit. wife. The Lisu have no words for fiance and fiancie : a betrothed couple - 
are "husband" and ''wife" though they may never have seen each other. In 
any case a betrothal is practically as binding as a marriage. A betrothed couple 
are bashful in each other's presence and avoid one another whenever possible. 



( 32 ) 

(8) Causative. — To cause, allow, make (do), etc. = tsi 3 :— 

hta s jye* tsi' = don't let (him) go. 

ngwa*(a) ba« ngwa« ta' htaw s -rghe s ma s saw 3 tsi 3 = my father 

will not let me study (books). 
la« tsi' hchi'4(a) la*? = (you) tgfcy let (him) come. 

Purpose is expressed by the conjunctive particle (a) bye 3 (see 

4 ) ; e.g.— 

nu* ta' maw*(a) bye' la+(a) law' = (I) have come for the 

purpose of seeing you. 
a'-mu 5 hwa'(aj bye 3 daw'-jye* law' = (he) went out to find 

the horse, 
nu* ta'dzas tsi^a) bye 3 ta' grgh s la«(a) law' = (I) brought (it) 

here lor you to eat {lit. to make you eat {ir}). 
na'-htsi 6 hte 4 -ma 3 nu 4 da* ye' tsi'(a) bye' grgh 5 daw*(a) law' = 

(I) am giving you this medicine to drink to make you 

hettet {lit. medicine this you better-get make purpose give 

drink ; da* ye 3 is to recover from illness). 

(9) Passive Voice. — This is frequently expressed by using the 
instrumental particle lye 3 after the subject, using ta 1 with the verb 
and making it a noun ; e.g. — 

h'i 4 hte*-ma 3 nya', L&MaS-Sa 3 lye' ye' ta 1 ma' nga* law' = 

this house was made by La-Ma No. 3 {lit. is La-Ma 

No. 3's making), 
si'-dzi' hte*-ma 3 nya 3 , To 2 -Wu s lye' trgh' ta 1 ma' nga* law 3 = 

this tree was planted by Tong-No. 5. 
mu*-k\va 3 mi 3 na 3 nya' = Wu* Sa* lye' chye 6 ta 1 ma' nga* 

law 3 = heaven and earth were created by God. 

(10) Participles. — The present participle is expressed by the 
addition of tya 1 with animate and da* with inanimate objects after the 
verb [see § 5 (2) — on Continuous Tense]. Sometimes, however, when 
two verhs in the pres&nt participle occur in the same sentence they 
are followed by nyi 3 ; e.g. — 

a'-hta* de s -nyi3, paw' pi'-nyi* la* law' = (they) came wearing 

dahs and carrying guns. 
ngu4-nyi 3 a 3 hchya'-je'-nyi' ye'(a) law = (they) were weeping 

and wailing {lit. [they] made a weeping and wailing). 

Some verbs when used to imply continuous action or state affix the 
particle htsa\ This, however, is not without exceptions, for htsa* is 
sometimes used for the present imperative, and in some districts it is 
not used at all 

a'-myao» hte4-ma' h'a 2 hti« ma' hkaw 6 htsa a (a) law' = this cat 
has a rat between her teeth {lit. is biting a rat) 

yH-hkir-- kwa' chi'-htsa' tya 1 law' = leaning against the pillar 
{lit. pillar there lean-ing present). 

a»-ii s su' h'i 6 -htsa a tya 1 law' = all standing up. 

h'i"«-htsa' 1 = stand up ! 



( 33 ) 

The use of /«* to express the past participle passive has already 
been illustrated: It is sometimes used as a mere adjunct to the verb 
to strengthen it ; e.g. — 

na 3 -na* ta 1 ! = listen ! 
ma s tu* ta 1 ! = silence ! 

hchi 3 -ni 5 de s ta 1 law 3 = (I) have got (my) sandals on (hchi 3 -ni 5 
= sandals ; de s = wear). 

(i i) Verbal Auxiliaries. — (a) krgh* meaning " away," "finished," 
as a verbal auxiliary has already been mentioned [§ 5 (3)]. One or 
two other such auxiliaries may be given here: — 

(b) hkrgA* has the force of " go away " or " off " ; e.g. — 

sh'i* hkrgh* lye 3 = to die ; shi* hkrgh* lyaw 3 = dead. 

le 3 hkrgh* ye 3 = to roll away ; le 3 hkrgh* yaw 3 = rolled away. 

hchye* hkrgh* yaw 3 = run away, absconded. 

It may be used alone = to run away, but it is only used when 
more or less annoyed, and is not very polite : — 

a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 hkrgh* yaw 3 , ma s srghe 1 ? = I wonder wherever 
(he's) run off to ? 

(c) Hu 3 has the meaning of "send" and conveys that idea in 
combination : — 

ngwa* ta. 1 grgh 5 hu 3 la*(a) law 3 = sent as a present to me {lit. 

give-send), 
wu* l£ 6 -hkwa 3 hu 3 la*(a) law 3 = bought and sent along (by 

another person), 
ngwa* ta 1 ba 3 hu 3 la* = send word to me. 

(d) #'«*, like krgh*, conveys the idea of " away " : — 

de s h'a 4 la s -hkaw* = to lay the blame on each other (lit. 

mutually push away). 
ru* h'a* krgh 3 = to put away, put aside. 



(6) Adverbs. 

Adverbs are generally formed by repeating the adjective and 
adding the particle bye 3 ; e.g. : — 

nu 5 = soft. nu s -nu s -bye 3 = softly. 

shii 3 = long. sh'i 3 -shi' 3 (aw)-bye 3 = slowly (lit. long-ly}. 

lis = heavy. li s -li 5 (a)-bye 3 = heavily. 

rghe* = indistinct. rghe+-rghe+(a) bye 3 = indistinctly. 

With compound adjectives the last word only is repeated ; e.g.— 

ni z -ma 3 h'rgh* =^angry ; ni 2 -ma 3 -h'rgh*-h'rgh*(a) bye 3 = angrily 
hchi 5 -du s law 3 ,= prompt ;£hchi s -du 5 -law 3 -law 3 (a) bye 3 = 
promptly. 

3 



This applies to verbal adjectives also : — 

chu«-yi' jaw* = wise, intelligent {lit. ideas have) ; chu*-yi J jaw* 
jaw*(a) bye 3 = wisely, intelligently. 

In a few cases the word is not repeated ; e.g. — 

htsa'-bye = hurriedly ; trghe 6 -bye 3 = exactly; hprgha*-bye 3 = 
from beginning to end, etc. 

N.B. — There are just a few adverbs that cannot be fgrmed directly frorn their 
corresponding adjectives as are the, foregoing, e.g. " quick " = ( tsrghe 9 , bu 
" quickly " = a'-roi 1 o/ai-mi 1 (not tsrgheO-tsrgheMjye 3 ) j "slow " = hpi' (Ch.) 
but "slowly" - shi 3 -shi 3 (aw)-bye»o»'a'nfaMraS)-bye3(Moi hpi s -hpr(a)-bye 3 ). 

(i) Adverbs of Place ; Prepositions. — A miscellaneous list of 
these is given below. Many of thern are followed by the locative 
particle kwa 3 = at, in, to, (Kachin de) : — 

Here (or hither) = hta* or hte*-kwa 3 . 
There (or thither) = gw* or gaw+-kwa. 3 . 
Up there = nwa< or ne*-kwa 3 . 
Down there = jwa* or je-kwa 3 

In the examples just given, the combinations with kwa 3 are 
generally used when the object in question is pointed to; the single 
words are somewhat less definite : — 

• Where? or whither? = a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 * (in some districts a 3 -kwa s 
or a 3 -/« 3 ). 

Anywhere; everywhere = a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 (a)-mi 4 . 
Everywhere ; all over = hti s -muS-hti^-mu s . 

{Higher up = ga 6 -paw I . 
Lower down = wu^-paw 1 or wuS-pe^-si 1 ). 
f Above = hta s -si". 
(. Below = na'-hkwa 3 . 

/ Outside (a house) = ni a -sh'i 3 -ma 3 (of article) = hta^-si 1 . 
X Inside = na'-(kwa 3 ). 
/This side = hta*-bas. 
(.That side = kaw 3 -ba s . 

Alternative expressions for these two words are "hte* hti s hche s 
kwa s " and " gaw* hti s hche s kwa 3 " respectively ; the word hche* refers 
to the two sides of a thing, right and left, east and west, etc. " Hte* 
htis hpaw* kwa 3 " and "gaw* hti s hpaw* kwa 3 " also mean "this 
side" and "that side," but the word hpaw' means "to turn over," so 
these expressions refer to two faces of a flat thing as, e.g., a piece of 



* This expression may be split and any desired particular concerning locality 
inserted ; i.g. — 

a 8 -H 3 hti 6 h'r 1 kwa? = in which house P 
a 8 -Ir 3 hti 6 hka 8 kwa 3 = in which village P 
aS-li 3 hti' taw 1 kwa 3 ss in which spot? etc. 



i 

i 



< 35 ! 

paper, garment, or even the two sides of a mountain range : — 

On right-hand side = la 6 -ja 3 hti 5 hchi 3 kvysa 3 . 
,On left-hand side = la 6 rgh 1 hti 3 hche 5 kwa 3 . 

By the side of; next door = ba s -si\ 

In front of = hrgh'-hta 5 ; a'-va 6 si 1 ; or a'-muS-hta 5 si 1 . 

Behind = ka 1 na'-si 1 ; krgh 1 tsi r (a). 

In presence of = chaw 3 chi 3 (a). 

Around = ga 3 -la 5 -ga 5 -ji, 4 (see Appendix) or chawMaw 3 . 

With (in company with) = (a) -bye 3 . 

Together = hti 3 -lye 3 bye 3 . 

As far as = kwa 3 hchi 3 . 

From = kwa 3 -bye 3 
("North = law 4 -wu" ta'-si 1 kwa 3 {lit. river-head direction*). 
: South = law 4 hchi 3 du 5 ta'-si kwa 3 {lit. rivejr-bottom direction). 
J East = mi 5 -mi 4 daw 3 -hkrgh 5 kwa 3 [lit. sun-come-out-edge) or 
; brgh 3 daw 3 hkrgh 3 . 

West = mi 5 -mi 4 du 3 hkrgh 3 kwa 3 {lit. sun-enter-edge) or 
brgh 3 da 3 hkrgh 5 . 

Examples : — 

gaw 4 ma 3 ht&si 1 kwa 3 krgh 3 -ta J = put it on top of that. 

h'i4 vvu s pe 1 kwa 3 da 2 t law 3 = it is (on the slope) below the 
house. 

si 3 grgh 3 na 1 kwa 3 h|ju 4 htsi* hpa 3 da 3 f a) law 3 = there are ten 
rupees in the box. 

ngwa 4 la 6 ja 3 hti 5 hche 3 kwa 5 tya 1 la 4 = come here on my right- 
hand side. 

Bva 3 hpa 3 nva 3 ngwa 4 h'i 4 ba 4 -si' kwa 3 tya 1 law 3 = the Honey 
family live next door to me. 

gaw 4 hti 5 haw 5 ma 3 (a) bye 3 jye 4 hchi 4 (a) law 3 = you may as 
well go with that crowd. 

na'-yi 3 hta 4 ba 5 (a) mi 4 , Li 3 -Su 3 hka 2 hti 3 hka 3 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = 
there is a village of Lisu on this side of the river too. 

(ii) Adverbs of Time. — Many of these adverbs of time given 
below may take the expression hti 1 chi 3 (the time), after them, just 
as the adverbs of place may take kwa* : — 
a'-mrgh' 3 = now. 
a 3 -mrgh' 3 -hchi 3 ? = how long? 
"a 1 hta 5 ? = when? 

a I -hta 3 (a)-mi 4 = whenever, any time, always. Followed by 
negative = never. 
^gaw^hta 4 = then, at that time. 

{^a'-hta 5 hti 5 chi 3 kwa'?* = at what (particular) time? 
gaw 4 hti 5 -chi 3 kwa 3 * = at that (particular) time. 

hta 4 (following a verb) = at the time of ; when .... 

nya 3 (expletive) = often ; when 

tsrghe 3 (Ch. tsai) = again. 

sye* (at end of sentence) = yet; again. 

* Owing 10 the fact that nearly all the large rivers in Lisu country flow from 
N.toS. ; ta'-si 1 = direction. 

t See Miscellaneous Idioms for the uses of da* and da*. 



( 36 ) 

(htiS-ku^ma 3 ) or hta*-paw J = since. 
hta*-paw" or tsi*-tsi J = until. 

a s -hwa 2 = presently; soon. 

hti s -htrghe a -ra s = a moment; in a moment. 

hrgh'-hta* = before. 

ka'-na'-si 1 = after(wards). 

a+ne 1 (hta 4 ) = long ago ; in ancient times. 

hti s -hwa s -hti s -hwa 2 (lit. one time one time) = sometimes, occa- 
sionally. 

hteMe 3 gaw 4 -paw" = henceforth. 

a^-saw 1 (lye s ) = a little while ago (usually a few minutes 
only). 

hti 3 -htsi 6 -(le') or hti s -htsi 6 -hl.i s -pa I = for ever, perpetually. 
Tna 6 = morning. 
\ mawMaw 3 = day-time* 

i mrgh' 5 -hkrgh 3 = evening (mrgh' s -hkrgh s -dzia J = dusk). 
V.sa J -hkwa 3 = night. 

na 6 -na 6 -hti5-ku' = very early in the morning. 

mi s -hti 5 -ji+ (or shya 2 ) la* = dawn. 

mrgh' 3 -hkrgh 5 -na 6 -te 3 = every morning and evening. 

{nyp-na 6 = this morning. 
a 5 -saw'-na 6 = just this morning. 

a 5 hwa 2 mrgh' s -hkrgh s or nyi J -nyH mrgh' 5 -hkrghs = this evening. 
a s -me 4 = yesterday evening, 
shi' 3 -me 4 = day before yesterday evening. 
sa'-na 6 = to-morrow morning. 

{sa'-grgh 3 wa 3 -(nyi 4 ) or sa'-gw 3 = later on (days). 
sa'-grgh 3 na'-ha 5 = later on (years). 
f nyi'-nyi 4 = to-day. 
j sa'-grgh s = to-morrow. 
«{ wa 3 -nyi+ = the day after to-morrow. 
j hpa s -nyi 4 = three days hence. 
l__htsye 2 -nyi* = four days hence. 
a s -nyi 4 = yesterday. 
sh'i 3 -nyi 4 = the day before yesterday. 
sh"i 3 -wu s -nyi 4 = three days ago. 
a s -nyi 4 -sh'i5-nyi 4 = an indefinite number of days (but not years) 

ago. 
tsi'-ni 2 * = this year. 
ni'-ha 5 = next year. 
naw'-ni 2 = the year after next. 
■{ a$-ni 2 = last year. 
shi 3 -ni 3 = the year before last. 
shl 3 -wu 5 -ni 2 = three years ago. 

a s -ni 2 -sh'i s -ni 2 = an indefinite number of years a°-o (see 
above). 



* These forms may be used with more definite periods of time, viz.- 

a^hta^ hti hkaw 11 hti B kwa 9 f = in which year P 
gaw* hti 6 hkaw^ kwa9 = in that year. 

a 1 -hta 5 hti 5 nyi* kwa 8 ? at which day P 

gaw hti* nyi* kwa 9 = (on) that day. etc. 



( 37 ) 

Exam f Us ; — 

a s -mrgh' 3 hti* chi 3 jye* ma 5 wa J = (I) can't (haven't time to) 

go just" now. 
hchi 3 -la* ma 5 -hte 5 , la'-hpd'-tsa 1 la* law 3 = on (his) arrival (he) 

at once came and shook hands (ma 5 -hte 5 = immediately 

on . . . .). 
waw 5 -hpya 5 sh'f 1 hte*-ma 3 a J -hta s hti 5 chi 3 kwa 3 trgh 3 (a) law 5 = 

just when are these vegetable seeds (to be) planted? 
ni 5 ye 3 hta*, nrgh'S-hwa 3 hti 5 -ma 3 -du 5 la* law 3 = while (we) 

were offering to (lit. doing) the nats, a guest came in. 
hte*-le 3 gaw*-paw J ma* jye* = (he) will not go after this. 
ra 5 -ne 3 ma 5 h'i* sye 5 = (she) has not had any children yet. . 
tsrghe 2 htis-hwa* 14+ sye 5 = come once again ! 
a 5 -hwa 2 hti'-htrge 3 -ra s nya 3 la 4 law 3 = (1) will come in a 

moment (lit. soon in a moment), 
hta* hchi 3 -la* tsi'-tsi 1 h'u 3 -ny& 3 sye 5 = wait until (he) arrives 

here (lit. here arrive until wait yet). 
yi'-htjH-le 3 jye* ! = go at once ! 
lye 6 -jye* htU-ku'-ma 3 sa 3 hkaw 6 jaw*(a) law 3 = it is three years 

since (he) went back. 
na 6 hti s -chi 3 nya 1 , a^hkrgh 1 ma 5 na* ; sa'-hkwa 3 na 5 a^-hkrgh 1 
na*(a) law 3 = it does not pain very much (lit. very not pain) 

in the morning, (but) it is very painful at night- 
sa'-grgh 3 hti 5 -hwa 3 la* sye* ngu 3 = (I) will come again 

another time (lit. to-morrow-one-time). 
a 5 -nyi*-shi 3 lye 5 gaw*-le 3 b4 3 law 3 = (you) said so several days 

ago (lye 5 = "only" — has here the force of "as long ago 

as" et.al). 

hti 5 -htsi 6 -le' htsaw 3 ma 5 na 3 pa T (a)? = (they) can't very well tie 

(me) up for ever, surely ? 
gaw*-hta* a 5 -ma 3 (a) ma 5 tya 1 = no one was (here) then. 

In all the above examples note the tendency to omit the pronouns. 

(iii) Adverbs of Manner. — 

How ? = a 3 -li 3 or a 3 -li 3 -bye 3 -(si"). 
/Thus (in this manner) = ht€*-le 3 . 
(..Thus (in that manner) = gaw* le 3 . 

Very = a* hkrgh'. 

Extremely (= very very) = a*-likrgh x bye 3 a*-hkrgh*. 

Why? = a' shi" 5 -wu' (nyi 3 ) or a 3 -li 3 krgh 3 -lye 3 nyi 3 (= how has 
it come about that ....?) 

As . . . . as to . . . . ; so . . . . that = na 3 -hchi 3 . 

Only = lye s . 

For ; on behalf of = be*-rghe 3 or ta 1 . 

Instead of = ti 3 -wei a (Ch.) (wu J -ju s has a slightly different 
meaning and is only used with verbal nouns). 



* This word nfl for year is only used in this and the following combinations. 
The usual word for "yeai " is hkai»\ 



( 3» ') 

Like; similar to (used with nouns too) = lye 3 -bye 3 (see 

Miscellaneous Idioms for hfye*-rghe*). 
Perhaps; possibly = ma* srghe 1 {lit. not know). 
Well;properky =yi I -dzi 3 -(dzP)-(bye3).* 
Uselessly ; to no purpose = a* taw 3 -(lye 3 ) (this should be 

distinguished from a 3 taw 1 = fire). 
Easily = sa*-sa 4 -bye 3 . 
Really ; truly = ma* krgh 1 {lit. not deceive) or a^-chi'-thcni*) 

orchi 3 -chi 3 (Ch.). 

Examfles : — 

a 3 -li 3 ba 3 law* = what did (he) sa> ? (lit. how say?). 

a 3 U 3 bve 3 ye 3 ta 1 la« s = how was it done? 

yi'-dzi' 3 ba 3 grgh ; la* mu 3 = tell (me) properly now ! 

fen 3 (Ch.) haw 3 (a) mi* a 3 -taw 3 -lye 3 nga*law 3 = it is quite useless 

even though you apply manure. 
nu+ a 3 -chi' jye* ni 2 -sh'i 3 nya 3 . . , . = if jou really want to 

6° • • • • 
gaw* le 3 nga+, ma 3 srghe 1 = ii may be so ; perhaps it is so. 

ngwa* baw 3 (a) ma 3 lye 3 bye 3 baw 3 na+ ta 1 law 3 = (you) n.ust 
write like me (lit. I write like must write). 
' a 1 shi' 3 wu 1 ngwa 4 ta 1 ma 3 ba 3 grgh 3 la* = why did jou net tell 
me? 

htaw s -rghe 3 hte+-ma 3 nu+ bg*-rghe 3 nga* law 3 = this tetter is for 
you. 

To 2 -Lye 3 ti'-wei* Tsaw 3 Lu" jye* na+ ta 1 law 3 = Tsaw No. 6 
must go instead of Tong No. 2. 

mrgh'4ngc 5 -le'(a) ma 3 nya 3 , chya 3 -prghe 3 -hwa 2 (a) ma 3 wu'-ju 3 
nga* law 3 = dumb-show serves the purpose of conver- 
sation. 

(iv) Adverbs of Quantity. — The prefix a 1 , a 3 , or a 3 (according 
to meaning) is characteristic of these, AcAr 3 being usually added to 
the interrogative forms: — 

a 3 -mya 3 -(hchi 3 ) ? = how much or many? It may also be used 

relatively + ».!*(= however many or much) or correlal < « 
lively (as many .... as). 

a 3 -wu 3 -hchi 3 = how big? 

a s -rgh 3 -hchi 3 = how far ? 

jetc, for many other adjectives. Note that the tone of the adjective , ,, 
changes to agree with the interrogative particle a 1 by a kind of tonal 
synesis. 

ye 3 -hpa 3 (Ch.) = so much the more. 

kaw'-yi 5 (Ch.) = too. 

hchi 3 Vr ga 3 -la 3 -ga s -ji* or wu'-dB 3 (= head) = about. 

mu 3 = of sufficient sire (or quantity) to 

* This yii'dei 3 can be also used as an adjective (ae "proper"), i.g. yi'-dzP 
ma 3 hti' 1 ma 9 nga 4 law 8 = (it) is a real proper one. 



( 39 ) 

» c ■ ' ' '• , 

It would be appropriate to state here -that tbe Lisu expressions 
for "how much.?*' "how big? " "how far? " etc. (given above) may 
bectime strenjgflieBeff aHjectrves by a 'st ill' ttifthSf change of tone. 
Strictly these stioiiia not Be given under Adverbs of Quantity, but jt is 
convenient to insert them here ; e.g.— 



{ 



a 3 -mya 3 hchi 3 jaw 4 (a) law* = how much (or many) Js there? 
a 5 -mya J jaw 4 (a) law 3 = there is very much (or many). 

The simple adjective is irfyji 5 = much (6r many).' 

a 3 -wu 3 hchi 3 jaw'(a) law* = how big is it ? 
aS-wu 1 jaw*(a) law 3 = it is very big. 

The simple adjective is wu s = big. 

a 3 -rgh 3 hchi 3 jaw* sye s law 5 = how far is it yet ? 
a s -rgh' jaw 4 (a) sye* law 3 = it is a long way yet. 



The simple adjective is rgh s = far. 
Examples :— 



{ 



yi' ta" hta 6 grgh nya 3 , yi' ye"-hpa s ngu 4 (a) law 3 = if (you) scold 

him he will cry afl the rriore. 
kaw'-yi 5 hi 2 -wii s (a; law 3 = too careless {1ft. too heart big). 
sa 3 h'ya 4 hchi 3 = about three hundred. . 

sa 3 h ya 4 ga s -la s -ga 5 -ji 4 = in the neighbourhood of three 

hundred. 
sa 3 h'yi 4 ffia 3 wu'-da 3 = somewhere about three hundred. 
ngwa 4 -nu s ta riyi 3 ma s mu 3 == (they) look down oh us (///. us 

. . . look not big-enough). 
a'-rgha 1 htl 4 -ma 3 a*-tr(a) dza s ma s mu 3 sye* = this chicken is 

not quite big enough to eat yet (lit. chicken this a-little 

eat not big-enough yet). 

(8) Conjunctions and other Particles. 
And, or, (connecting nouns or noun phrases only) = (a) bye 3 . 
Extmfles— 

Su»-TyeS-su 3 {a) bye 3 Law 6 -Taw*-su 3 aS-jP tya 1 law 3 I = The 
people of Sutien and Longto were all there .£*«>«, i 

hte 4 -ma*(a) bye 3 gaw*-ma. s , a s r Ii»-ma* wu s (a) law s ? == "which is 
(the) bigger, this or that ? 

" Either or " is best expressed by " if not 

» . . . then " ; etgi*- 

A 3 -Ta" ma* nga 4 nyaYA^Lye' ftga 4 law 3 == it is either No. i 
(son) or No. 2 (lit. if it is not No. i it is No. 2). 



( 40 ) 

Similarly " neither nor " is expressed by a 

negative in both clauses :— 

A 3 -Ta»(a) ma* nga 4 , A 4 -Lye s (a) ma« nga 4 = it is neither No. i 
nor No. 3 (lit. it is not No. i ; it is not No. 2). 

With questions " or " is best expressed by making two questions 
of the sentence ; e.g. — 

A 3 -Ta» nga 4 la* ? A 4 -Lye 2 nga 4 la* ? = is it No. 1 or No. 2 ? 
• {tit. is it No. 1 ? is it No. 2 ?) 

Sometimes the Chinese mtf-shP is used, but it is not really 
necessary. As in Chinese it is prefixed to the latter paft of the 
question only and renders the interrogative particle la* unnecessary 

h'i 4 kwa 3 tya» la* ? ma s -shi 4 -dye 3 -mi* kwa 3 tya 1 law s ? = is (he) 
in the house or in the paddy field ? 

And ; then ; and then, (with verbs, indicating sequence) = si 1 or 
si'-nyi 3 ; e.g.— 

ngwa* h'i* kwa 3 la* si 1 , dza* dza s si'-nyi 3 , tsrghe 2 htis hwa* 
daw 3 -jye« law 3 = (he) came to my house, ate (his) rice, 
and went out again. 

The phrase gav^-le^-nya 3 = thereupon, is also used to indicate 
sequence, especially to connect sentences in continuous narration : — 

gaw*-le 3 -nya 3 yi'-wa 5 h'i* gaw* ma 3 hpya' krgh 3 nya 3 = and so, 
when we had broken down their house 

gaw*-le 3 -nya 3 yi 1 tsrghe* hti« hwa 2 la* si 1 hte*-le 3 ba 3 law 3 = 
thereupon he came again and said 

If = nya 3 (the expletive) at the end of the sentence : — 

nu« yi J ta 1 maw* nya 3 , " ngwa* hchi 3 law 2 ," ba 3 grgh s , ma 5 
nga* ! = if you see him, tell him that 1 have come back, 
eh ! 

Htd*, strictly meaning " when," is sometimes loosely used for 
"if":— 

yi' ra s -mrgh'* ma* la* hta* yi 1 ta, 1 hpu* hta 5 hchis grghs = if his 
wife does not come (in the event of his wife not coming) 
do not lend him money. 

But, however = na s , a very common disjunctive. In some 
districts the somewhat cumbrous expression " gaw-le 3 nga*(a) mi* " 
is used : — 

yi*-bu 3 hte* hti s hkaw" ma 3 a 3 ti'(a) ba s (a) law 3 ; gaw* hti s 
hkaw 3 ma 3 na s htu*(a) law 3 = this blanket is a little thin 
but that one is thick. Notice the position of ua s ; after 
not before, the word it disjoins. 



( 4i ) 

hpu* nya 3 ma" jaw*; gaw*-le 3 -nga*(a)-mi* a*-hkrgh J jye* ni»- 
shi 3 (a) law 1 = (we) have no money, but (we) very much 
want .to go. 

Also ; too = (a) mi* or simply (a). Either of these may be 

repeated in the same sentence as a correlative = some 

others : — 

yi"(a) mi* htis-ma* jaw*(a) law 3 -shi*-nga*-law 3 = (I should have 

thought) he would have one too. 
dza s -su 3 (a) jaw*; ma s dza*-su 3 (a) jaw* = some eat (it)'; others 

do not (lit. eat-people have ; not eat people have). 

Chya* (Ch.) is used in some districts for " also," " in addition,'' 
but it cannot be used with the negative to wean ''neither" : — 

ngwa* ta 1 chya 3 wu 1 grgh* 14* mu^ = call for me too. 

Even = si'^usually with negative : — 

ngwa* si 1 ma* srghe 1 = even I didn't know. 

ngwa* ta 1 ba 3 si 1 ma* ba 3 grgh* la* = (he) didn't even tell me 

(lit. me to say even not say give come) . 
hpu* hti 5 hpa 5 si 1 ma* ta a grgh 5 la* = (he) did not even bring 

a single rupee. 

(A)'tni* may be used for " even " both in the positive and negative 
but it is not so definite a word as si 1 : — 

hti s -raw 3 (a) mi* ma 5 tya 1 = there was not even one (person)* 

present. 
ngwa*(a) mi* ye 3 ku"(a) law 3 = even 1 can do it. 

Although = (a)-mi* after the verb : 

yi' nya 3 Ngwa'-hpa s ma s nga*(a) mi* = ngwa*-nuS(a) bye 3 hti 
sh'i* la 5 -htsaw* nga*-law 3 = although he does not belong 
to the Fish clan, he is our kith and kin. 

a 3 -li 3 ye 3 (a) mi* ngwa* ma s jye* = I (will) not go whatever 
happens (Hi. how do although I not go). 

Here should be mentioned the word du 3 which may be called an 
admissory particle. It has no equivalent in English : — 

nga* du 3 nga*(a) mi* = although (that) is so (lit- 

r is-yes-is although). 

yi" gaw*-Ie 3 ba 3 du 3 nga*(a) mi* = in spite of the fact that he 
says that , 

The expression taw'-shi* (Ch.) is used in some^ districts in a 
mildly adversative sense : — 

gaw*-ma 3 taw'-sh'^-La^-Ma^-Ta 1 ma s srghe 1 nyi 3 nga* law 3 = 

that, however, was because La- Ma No. i did 

not know. 



( 42 ) 

With ; together with = (a)-bye 3 or (a)-bye 3 -ta'-h s (Ch.)— usually- 
indicating state ; (a)-bye 3 -hti s -lye 3 implies motion v as a rule, and 
may also mean " the same as " : — 

ngwa*(a)-bye 3 hti« chi 3 tya 1 nya 3 = if (you) will be with me 

for a while. 
ngwa*-nu s (a) bye 3 ta'-ho s tya 1 la* = come and live with us. 
yi*-wa s (a) bye 3 hti s -lye 3 jye 1 == go with them. 
yi'-waS(a) bye 3 htiMye 3 nga* law 3 = (he) is the same as them. 

Then ; then only = si'-lye 5 (= Cb. ts'ai).„ 

nu* ba 3 grgh* la* si 1 lye s srghe^a) law 3 = you tell (me) then 

(I) will know, i.e. you must tell, me before I can possibly 

know. 
yi'-wa= ta 1 sye 6 gu 3 si'-lye 5 ji*(a) law 3 = the only good (thing 

to do) is to kill them ail (lit. kill them all, then only 

good). 

Because = nyi 3 after thejverb : — 

a'-nga 6 ma s jaw* nyi 3 , dye 3 -mi 3 ma 5 re s = because (we) have no 
buffaloes (we) do not cultivate paddy fields. 

yi 1 na*^a) ma 3 nya 3 , rii s hkaw 6 nyi 3 nga* law 3 = his sickness is 
because of nats biting (him). 

This nyi* should be carefully distinguished from nya*, which is a 
mere expletive and has no causal force. An exception to this rule has, 
however, to be made when nyi* follows any of the three particles si 1 
"and— see above § (8), byn* (and, with), and lye* instrumental, for in 
these three instances nyi* drops its causal force and becomes a 
colourless expletive ; e.g.— 

hte* hti s raw 3 ma 3 bye 3 -nyi 3 gaw* htis raw 3 ma 5 nya 3 , fcghe*- 
h'a*-sye 6 ku'(a) ma 3 las-htsaw* nga* law 3 = this person 
and that person are men who are able to bewitch (lit. 
able to kill souls). 

yi'-wa 5 lye 3 -nyi 3 ngwa*-nu s bu*-htsl s hku s ta 2 jye* gu 3 (a) law 1 = 
they stole all our clothes. 

gaw*-le 3 gWa 3 -dzye* si'-nyi 3 a 5 -ma* h'i* kwa 3 a 5 -ma* lye 6 jye*(a) 
law 3 = (they) thus discussed, and then each one returned 
to his own home. 

Therefore = gaw*-le 3 -nyi 3 (lit. thus because) :— 

yi 1 nya 3 na'-htsi 6 a*-hkrgh' daw*(a) law 3 ; gaw*-le J -nyi 3 da* ye* 
law 3 -shi'-nga*-law 3 = (he) drank a lot of medicine ; that 
is why he got better (I suppose). 
gaw*-le 3 -nyi 3 nga* law 3 = that is why it is (so). 
Quotation.— In quoting a saying or a thought, the conjunction 
bye' may be irte"d in the place where final inverted commas would be 
used in English writing ; e.g. — 

hte*-kwa* tya 1 ma s da* (bye 3 ) ba 3 la* nya 3 = if (they) say we 

must not live here (lit. " here must not live " 

say come if). 



( 43 ) 

baw 6 -law 3 dza s ma s srghe 1 (bye 3 ) du 5 -ja s fiyi 3 = j-ang'-yi* (Ch.) 
ma s trgh 3 = we think that perhaps the ants will eat (them) 
and sd do not plant potatoes (lit. ants eat not know 
think because, potatoes not plant). 

The bye 3 may be omitted, especially in short sentences ; e,g. — 

ma* jaw*, ba 3 law 3 ! = (I) tell (you) (I) have none ! 
ja 3 -gu 3 ma 5 srghe 1 , ba 3 law 3 ! = (he) does not know the way, 
(I) say! 

In short sentences when quoting a third person or fersont, the 
words j'ane s (Kachin da) and fa 3 are used. They differ in their use, 
jaw'= being used chiefly with the third person singular, and when the 
person or persons are definitely known, whilst ja 3 is used chiefly with 
the third person plural and in an indefinite way — "they say" 
(cp. Fr. "on dit "). 

Examples : — 

ma 5 jaw* jaw 3 = he says there is not any (lit. not have says). 
yi 1 hy'i 3 -ra s nga* jaw 5 = 'he says it is his younger brother. 
a s -hkrgh' na« ja 3 = I hear (he) is very ill [lit. very 111-^ — they 



y 1 

a-< .. 

say). 
gaw*-le 3 nga* ja 2 = they all say it is so. 



Compound quotation is expressed by ba 3 before the jaw % or ja 2 : — 

* 

ma s tya 1 ba 3 jaw 5 = he says (they) say (he) is not at (home). 
saMitsi* hpa 5 nga* ba 3 ja s = they say (he; says it is thirty 
rupees. 

(9) Interjections and Final Particles. 

Reference has already been made to several final particles 
(§ -5» Verbs) indicating affirmation, interrogation, command, etc. Some 
others are given herewith. It should be remarked that many of 
them sound ridiculous if used by anyone not thoroughly at home in 
the language, and hence are hardly suitable for the use of a European 
1 earner. They should be understood, however. 

Of interjections proper the following may be mentioned : — 

nga*(a) ! or ngay ! or ma s -nga*(a) ! or mai ! = eh ! or you 
will, won't you — you see, don't you, etc. (soliciting 
assent). 

ha ! answering a call. 

way ! (Ch.) — old thap ! 

lyaw ! = come along, all of you ! (or) all together, now ! 

a 3 -ka ! expressing pain or surprise, 

a'-maw 1 or a'-brghe 3 ! expressing surprise. 

a»-lye 3 -daw 3 ! or a 3 -li 3 -ye 3 -daw 3 ! expressing surprise or bewil- 
derment. 



( 44 ) 
And others which should be learned locally. 

Of final particles the following are important : — ■ 

Ma (Ch.) adds a certain emphasis. It is most common with the 
negative : — 

ma* jaw* ma ! = (but I) haven't got any (don't you see !). 
ngwa*-nu s ma s srghe" ma ! = we don't know (anything at all 
about it). 

The addition of ga* rather enhances the emphasis, and infers that 
the person addressed ought to have known the fact stated : — 

yi'-wa* ma s tya 1 ma-ga 4 ! = don't you see they are not at 
(home) ? 

Ga* alone is used either as an initial or a Anal particle to introduce 

a thought, call attention, etc. It almost = the English "er " 

of a hesitant speaker. Gu 3 shi s has a similar use, being only 
employed in a hesitant way at the beginning of a sentence. 

Lye i is rather strongly emphatic and may express warmth of 
feeling against the previous thing said : — 

ma s jaw* Iye s ! = but there aren't any ! (there aren't any, you 

stupid !). 
ma 5 nga 1 lye 5 ! = it isn't anything of the kind ! 
ja 3 -gu 8 ma s srghe' lye s ! = but (/) don't know the road ! (how 

can you expect me to know it?). 

Bd s -Atd* (lit. when says) is used in some districts, incorrectly, as 
an emphatic phrase : — 

ma s jaw* bA'-hta* ! = there are none, I tell you ! 

Other final particles are syd or syaw; ckyd or chyaw ; brgha 1 Id, 
etc. These are all more or less emphatic, but their force can only 
be acquired by experience. 



(10) Miscellaneous Idioms. 

(i) " All."— The Lisu word for " all" is tf-jV ■— 

a 5 -ji*-su s = everybody. 

aS-ji's tya* law 3 = they are all here. 

aS-jIJ-le' = the whole lot ; all included. 



( 45 ) 

The idea of totality is very often expressed, however, by the 
verbal adjunct 'gu 3 = to finish*: — 

jye* gu 3 (a) law 3 = (they) have all gone. 
ma s la 4 gu 3 sye s = (they) have not all come yet. 
hpi 6 ye 4 gu 3 (a) law 8 = (it) was all lost. 
A rather curious idiom uses this gu 3 , like the Chinese uan, to 
express the impossibility of doing all of a thing; e.g. — 

ba 3 gu 3 ma s da 4 = it cannot all be said (lit. must not all be 
said), i.e. there is so much to be said on the subject you 
could never say it all. 

dza s gu 3 ma s da 4 = cannot be all eaten up, i.e. there is more 
than can be eaten. 

a'-shi' 5 gu 3 ma s da s {lit. " what must not be finished " means 
"there is no end to "), etc. 

ngwa 4 -nu s mu s kwa 3 , ngwa'-ta'-si 5 a J -shi s gu 3 ma 3 da 4 = there 

is an unlimited quantity of wild raspberries in our district. 

ni 2 -ma 3 ma 3 ji 4 ma 3 la s -htsaw 4 a'-sh'i* gu 3 da 4 daw s ? = what 
end is there to dishonest people ? (i.e. they are innumer- 
able). 

The " whole of" anything, or " all over" anywhere, is expressed 
by ht& (one) before the word and le 1 after it, or sometimes the hti= is 
repeated with the second syllable of a compound word ; e.g. — 

hti s gaw 3 -de s le 1 = all over (his) body (gaw 3 -de= = body) .or 

hti s -gaw 3 -hti s -de s . 
hti s -mu s -le J = the whole district. 
hti s -hka 2 -hti s -law 4 = the whole village. 

A general inclusion of everything of a certain kind is expressed by 
ngop-htcf-paw* (lit. is this side) ; e.g. — 

na 4 jaw 4 su 3 ngaMita^paw 1 = any and every person who has 

a disease. 
mi s ye 3 su 3 nga 4 -hta 4 -paw 1 , mu^-kwa 3 mi 3 -na 3 ta 1 h'aMe 3 na* ta 1 

law 3 = all cultivators (of any race or country) have to 

trust in heaven and earth. 

Sometimes, but more seldom, (nga*)-Ati s ~iu J or (ngcfi)-'dzP-hkm 
are used instead of (ngatyhtat-paw 1 , e.g. — 

nu 4 jaw 4 dsi' 3 -hku 4 ngwa 4 ta* wu s grgh* la 4 = sell me all you 
have. 
Ngcf-htcf-faw 1 is also used to express the idea of discrimination 
— "any"; e.g — 

la 5 -hkrgh s nga^-hta^-pavv 1 ma s nu 4 = (1) don't want just any 
plough (i.e. I am particular about the kind of plough I 
get). 



* Completed action is, however, best expressed by daw*, e.g, ye 3 daw 3 lyaw 3 = 
(I) have finished (it). 



,( 4* ■) 

(2,) Reference has already been made to the adjectival and 
adverbial words for " many " or " much," niyft being the simple 
adjective and a s -myd a the adverbial phrase. Similarly the adjective 
"few" is hi* and the adverbial phrase a 3 -tt'(a) or a 3 -ti l ra= ; e.g. — 

la s -htsaw* ni'(a) law 3 = the people are Jew. 

waw s -hpya s kaw 2 -yi s ni'(a) law 3 = there is too small an amount 

of vegetables. 
a 3 -ti'-ra* lye 5 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = there is only a little. 
la s -htsaw 4 a 3 -ti'-ra 5 jaw+(a) law 3 = there were a few people 

there. 
a 3 -ti x -ra s (a) mi 4 ma s jaw 4 = there was none at all (lit. a little 

even not have). 

(3) The words wu s (big) and raw 3 or a 3 -ti l (u) (small) are on 
used predicatively. When qualifying the noun " da 5 -ma 4 " and lr ra s 
respectively, must be employed ; e.g. — 

yi 1 a T -nga 6 a 4 -hkrgh r wu'(a) law 3 = his buffalo is very big. 
she 3 -htu s a 3 -ti'-ra 5 raw 3 (a) law 3 = the pint measure is rather 

small (a 3 -ti*-ra 3 [= few] means "rather," "a little," when 

modifying an adjective), 
yi 1 a'-mp a 3 -ti*(u) ta 1 sye 5 law 3 = his daughter is small yet 

(ta 1 or ka 4 = is — in a state or condition). 
hte 4 -ma 3 ny'a 3 yi 1 a 3 -bi 3 da s -ma 4 nga 4 law 3 = this is his big 

(i e. eldest) son. 
gaw 4 -ma 3 nya 3 yi* a 3 -bi 3 ra» nga 4 law 3 = that is his little son. 

Similarly : — 

(na 3 -yi 3 da 5 -ma** = the big river. 
na 3 -yi 3 ra 5 = the small river. 
( sa 3 -ra 3 da»-ma 4 = the big teacher (saya). 
(_sa 3 -ra 3 ra s = the small teacher. 

(4) The word h$a* is used to strengthen some adjectives ; e.g. — 

hti 3 = near ; hpa 4 -hti 3 = quite near. 

baw 3 = rich; full (of food) ; hpa 4 -baw 3 = quite full (of food). 
bi 3 = full (as water in vessel) ; hpa 4 -bi 3 = brimful. 
a 3 -mrgh' 3 = now; a 3 -mrgh' 3 -hpa 4 -hchi 3 = (not) even yet. 

(5) The use of the word lye 3 after adjectives should be noted. 
It often conveys the idea of motion, "becoming" something or 
other ; e.g. — 

raw 3 lye 3 (a) law 3 = (it) gets smaller. 
baw 3 lye 3 (a) ngu 3 = (you) will get rich. 

yi 3 -jya 3 sif .lye 3 (a) law 3 = the water (in the river) is going 
down. 

(6) The copulative verb, as will have been noticed from the fore- 
going examples, is very often omitted where we should insert it in 
English. It is included iu the adjective — i.e. wu*(a) law 3 (not wu* 
nga* law 3 ) = (it) is big; ma* wu= = (it) is not big. 



,( 4.7 ) 

The word ia 1 (in some districts ia 2 ) though meaning " to be" has 
a use ^distinct from nga*: Is usually denotes a state or condition 
more than an. inherent, quality : — 

gaw 4 -le 3 ta 1 law 3 = that is how (he or it) is. 
hrgh'-hta* na«, nteMe^ma 5 ta 1 law 3 -shi*-nga 4 -law 3 = formerly 
(he or it) did not seem to be like this. 

The phrase krgfc-lye 3 is generally used as the future of the verb 
"tobe":— 

gaw 4 -l,e 3 krgh 3 -lye 3 (a) law 3 = that is how it will be. 

nu 4 gaw 4 -le 3 ba 3 hta 4 na s yi' ma s shi s hwe 3 (Ch.) krgh 3 lye 3 (a) 

'?$£? t? if y° u sa y that ne will 110 t be pleased (lit. he not 

pleased — will come to). 

(7) The idea of necessity is expressed in two ways : — 

(a) By nq^-ta^ipr ka % )-law> [see § 5 (7) (/)] after the verb : — 

na 4 -krgh 3 -lye 3 (a) law 3 refers to the future ("will have to"). 

ngwa 4 jye 4 na 4 ta 1 law 3 = I have to go. 

nu 4 yi' ta 1 gaw 4 -le 3 ba 3 grgh s na 4 ta 1 law 3 = you will have to 

tell him that. 
paw'-la 6 hkaw 4 n a 4 - krgh 3 lye 3 nya 3 . . . . = if it comes to 

fighting. 

For negative (" must not ") see § 5 (7) (/). 

(b) By the use of ma s . . . ,.ma s da* (lit., not .... not do). 
This idiom is stronger than the former: — 

ngwa 4 ma 5 jye 4 ma s da 4 = I must go (I have no alternative). 
nu 4 yi 1 ta 1 maj ba 3 grgh 5 ma 5 da 4 = you must (are under 
strict obligation to) tell him. 

(8) A mild expression of purpose or promise is formed by the 
addition of na 2 law 3 to the verb ; e.g. — 

gaw 4 -le 3 ye 3 na 2 law 3 = (I) suppose (I) had better do that. 
saw 3 na 2 law 3 = (yes, I'll) study — some time or other. 

When used with the second and third persons — especially when 
formed into a verbal noun or with " law 3 -shi s -nga 4 -Iaw 3 " — it conveys 
the meaning of " ought ": — 

nu 4 gaw 4 -le 3 ye 3 na 3 law 3 shi s nga 4 law 3 = you ought to have 

done that, surely. 
yi 1 ngwa 4 -nu* ta 1 hta 5 je s na 3 law 3 = he ought not to have 

cursed us. * o 

dza 4 chya J dza 5 na 2 ma 3 lye s nga 4 law 3 = the only thing to do 

is to boil and eat (our) rice. 
mi s ye 3 ma s hku 4 nya 3 = rghe 2 -la 6 -mu 4 na 2 ma 3 lye s ngaw 4 * = 

as (you) have not strength to do cultivation work, business 

(trade) is the only thing you ought to do. 



( 48 ) 

(9) The word for the " time " or " season " for anything is tsi ' : — 

a'-rgha' bs 4 tsi* kwa 3 = at cock-crow {lit. at the cock crows* 

time). 
li"-ra s trgh 3 tsi' ma 5 hchi 3 sye s = the time for transplanting 

sprouts has not arrived yet. 

(10) The following idiom, strictly comparative, is often used 
without comparative signification : — 

gaw + rgh* ma s jaw* = it is not verv far (lit, it is not so far as 

that). 
gaw 4 hkrgh 4 ma= sha' = it is not very difficult (lit. it is not so 

difficult as that). 

(u) "In one dose " — " at one time," etc. = hti s shi 4 (a) bye 3 . 

(12) The expression ma'-mfi has a special use. Ordinarily it 
means old stories, legends, traditions, etc., to recount which is ma'-mi> 
cia\ But it is also used like the English word "principle": 

a^-saw 1 ba 3 ma 3 ma'-mi* nga 4 law 3 = it is the same idea or 

principle as what (I) said a moment ago. 
gaw 4 -ma 3 ma'-mi* nga 4 law 3 = it is on the same principle as 

that (or) it is just that same kind of affair. 

(13) The word j&-gu\ meaning a "road," is sometimes used to 
mean "affairs," " matters," etc. : — 

a'-saw 1 nu 4 ba 3 ma 3 ja 3 -gu 3 nya 3 hteMe 3 nga 4 law 3 = the matter 

you spoke about just now is like this. 
yi 1 ye 3 (a) ma 3 ja 3 -gu 3 ma* ji 4 ma 3 lye* nga 4 law 3 = the things 

he does are only bad. 

(14) Proportion is expressed by the word be* (to divide) in the 
following way : — 

sa 3 be 4 htis be 4 = one-third (lit. three divisions one division) 
htsi 4 be 4 hti« be 4 = one-tenth, etc. 

In one district known to the author^ 4 is used instead of be* in this 
sense. 

,* i\ 5) 7/ h A e ^? °! mUtUal aCti ° n is ex P ressed b y the addition of 
U b -hkaw* (Atsi lum) :— 

nu 4 la 6 -hkaw 4 na 4 -ta'-law = (you) must love one another 
HchawMipa* mS* kwa 3 paw'-la 6 -hkaw 4 tya' law 3 = (thev) are 
fighting (/ir. snooting each other) in the Kachin country, 
raws as-jis-su 3 gwa 3 -dzye 4 -la<-hkaw 4 na 4 -ta'-law 3 = we must all 
thlk it over together (lit. discuss with each other) In 
reflexive action the repeated pronoun is connected bv a 
special conjunction hchaw* (not hchaw* which = to- 
follow) ; e.g. — 



* Ngawi is contracted from nga* law*. 



( 49 ) 

yi'-wa* hchaw 5 yi'-wa s ti'-la 6 -hkaw 4 (a) law 3 = they were 
beating each other {lit. they with themselves were mutually 
beating). 

(16) There are, two ways of expressing the idea "other," 
u another " — either by ne'-id 6 (or ni'-bd 6 ) or by yt'-t&yi'. The former 
expresses the idea " other," " others," in a general way, whilst the 
latter denotes non-identity-" another," i.e. not this one, but another 
one ; e.g. — 

ne'-ba 6 hchaw 4 -jye 4 su 3 ma s jaw 4 = there are no others who are 

following (us). 
nS'-ba 6 mu 5 kwa 3 (a) mi 4 jaw*(a) law 3 = (they) have them in 

other districts too. 
ne'-ba 6 su s ta 1 hta s b4 3 grgh* = don't tell any others. 
LaS-Ma^-Ta 1 ma* nga* ; yi^te 3 ^! 1 hti 5 raw 3 nga 4 law' = it is 

not La-Ma No. I ; it is another person. 
hte 4 hti s chu s ma 3 ma s nga*; yi'-te'-yi 1 hti s chu* nga* law 3 = 

it is not this kind, it is another kind. 
ngwa*-nu s hka a kwa 3 ma s tya 1 ; yi'-te^-yi 1 hti s hka 3 kwa* tya 1 

law 3 = (he) does not live in our village ; he lives in another 

village (altogether). 

(17) " In between " two objects or persons is expressed by nyii-ku 1 - 
■cka 1 : — 

gaw 4 nyi s raw 3 ma 3 nyiS-ku'-cha 1 nyi'-ta 1 tya 1 ma 3 = the one 

sitting between those two people. 
si 3 -dzi 4 bte 4 nyi s dzi* ma 3 nyiS-ku'-cha 1 kwa 3 = between these 
two trees. 
In reference to time, however, hte* (or gaw*)-nytf-tsyd' is used ; 

eg-— 

yi'-wu 1 hti* hwa a la 4 (a) bye 3 ka'-na 1 hti« hwa a la 4 gaw 4 nyi* 
tsya 1 kwa 3 = between (his) first and (his) second coming. 

gwa s shi'-krgh 3 si 1 , l^-ra* ma i trgh 3 »ye s , gaw 4 nyi< tsya 1 kwa* 
= during the time between the sowing of buckwheat and 
the transplanting of (paddy) iprouts. 

(18) " In regard to," " with reference to," a particular aspect of a 
thing is sometimes expressed by td l -si* [lit. in the direction of) : — 

ni a -ma 3 ji 4 ta'-si 3 na s , a'-shi* ba 3 du 3 ma* ja'w 4 = in regard to 
his honesty, however, there is nothing to be said [i.e. no 
fault to be found). 

shi 3 na* aMikrgh 1 ma* shi 3 ; h'i 4 ta'-si 3 na* a 4 -h'i 3 -h'i 3 jaw 4 (a) law 3 
= it is not very long, indeed ; but in regard to its breadth 
it is very broad. Note the repetition of AH'h (broad) for 
emphasis. 

(19) The three words bd* (say), sAa'-hte* (talk), and chy& (speak— 
Ch) need to be distinguished. Chyfc-hkrgh* means a sentence ; 
th'ydt-frghei-hwa? (to chat) is a phrase imported bodily frcir, the 

4 



( 5o ) 

Chinese, where ekydf = speak, prghe* = white, hwa' = word* 
(literally). Absurdly enough, the Lisu use hwa'' for the verb and chy&*~ 
ffghe % for the noun : — 

gawMe 3 hta* ba. 3 = don't say that. 
hta« sha'-hte 4 = don't talk. 
chyaS-prghe* hta s hwa a = don't chat, 
chya^prghe* ma i hwa* nyi 3 = (I) wasn't chatting. 
chya ! -hkrghs gaw 4 -ma 3 ngwa 4 ma* pa'-ja* nyi 3 = I have never 
heard that sentence (pa'-ja s = hear). 

(ao) " Cleverness," " wisdom," " ideas," " ingenuity," etc., are 
expressed by the Chinese cAu s -yi* (which in Chinese, however, means 
" purpose," " intention ") ; e.g : — 

Yang s -Ren* (Ch.) nya 3 chu*-yi' jaw 4 (a) law 1 = foreigner* 

(Europeans) are ingenious. 
yi 1 na s chu s yi a ma ! jaw* ma 3 la J -htsaw 4 nga 4 law 3 = he is a- 

man without any ideas (or resource). 
ngwa 4 -nu s Li 3 -Su 3 nya 3 , a'-shi' s chu s -yi' ma* jaw 4 = we Lisu- 

have no ideas (shifts or expedients). 

(ai) In at least one dialect of Lisu concurrent action is expressed 
by htispaot-bye* or ja i -maw i -bye i : — 

ja 3 -gu 3 sye s hti s -pao s -bye 3 si J -si s hha' dza* law 3 = as he walked 

along he plucked and ate fruit. 
yi 1 h'i 4 kwa 3 jye 4 ja 3 maw 3 (a) bye 3 yi 1 ta' hku 4 grgh 5 -ma s nga 4 (a) I* 

= while (you) are going to bis house, call him (for 

me), won't you ! 

Ja*-maw 3 {a) dye 3 seems rather to refer to the doing of anything: 
" while you are about it," i.e., to the killing of two birds with one 
stone. 

Ja^-maw 1 by itself has an entirely different meaning — " promised "" 
(always past tense) : — 

ngwa 4 ta 1 a'-lu 5 hti s bpa s wu 4 grgh 5 ja 3 -maw 3 = (he) promised" 

to buy an iron pot for me. 
sa 3 h'a 4 h'a«-hpu 4 hchaw 6 nyi 4 kwa 3 li 1 grgh s ja 3 -maw 3 (a) law* 

shi s -nga 4 -law 3 = (I) thought he promised to return (it) on 

the sixth day of the third moon. 

(2a) Dza* = to eat; dsat-hkwa* = living or travelling expenses. 

(23) "Carelessly," "at random," is often expressed by the Chinese 
" pu kwan ti " corrupted to " pu'-kwa s -ne 3 ":— 

pu-kw?-ae hta s chya s = don't talk at random. 

(24) " That and nothing more " it expressed in some localities by 
hti^-gu>(fi) after the thing concerned : — 

yi' gaw 4 -le 3 ba 3 hti*-gu 3 (a) = he -just said that and nothing- 
more. 



( 5» ) 

(25) " There is plenty of time yet" is expressed by a peculiar 
idiom— " h'ya 6 ma* jaw* lye*" {lit. there is no night yet). 

(a6) To express the idea of " the way not being open " to do a 
thing— of a thing not being " feasible " or "proper," the idiom "yi 1 
chS a ma« htsye' " {lit. the road is not cut through — " no thoroughfare ") 
is used : — 

ngwa 4 ta 1 htsaw' la 4 ma 5 che' ma* htsye' = there is no proper 
occasion for coming to tie me up {lit. the road (or tying 
me up is not cut through). 

ni'-ma 3 h'rgh 4 (a) ma 1 che' ma* htsye' = there is no cause for 
anger {lit. the road for anger is not cut through). 

(27) " Custom," '' propriety," " reason," etc., are expressed by the 
Chinese word li* ; e.g. — 

yi 1 li* ma* jaw* = it is not the custom— (or) it is not reasonable 

(to do that). 
ngwa 4 -nu* Li 3 -Su 3 li* nga* law 3 = it is our Lisu custom, 
ngwa* ta 1 hrgh'-hta* ba 3 grgh* la* na' ma 3 li s nga 4 law 3 = by 

rights (he) should have come and told me first. 

(28) To think fondly of, long after another (in his absence) = 
siMya 3 (in some districts sycP-jyfa) ; e.g. — 

nu 4 ta 1 a 4 -'hkrgh' si*-jya 3 (a) law 3 = I have been longing after 
you very much. 

(29) Medium-sized = le'-le* ; e.g. — 

yj 1 da*-ma 3 ma s nga 4 ; yi ra*(a) ma* nga 4 ; yi' le'-le* nga 4 law 3 
= it was not the big one, nor was it the small one ; it was 
the medium one. 

In this example notice the use of yi 1 , which here (as often) approx- 
imates to the definite article. 

(30) " Accustomed to," " used to," is expressed by isaW-lye^ or 
shf-de* :— 

hta* la 4 tsaw 3 -lye 3 nyi 3 nga* law 3 = it is because (he) is used to 

coming here. 
ye 3 ma s she z -de* nyi 3 — a 4 -hkrgh' ye 3 ma s ku 1 sye* = (I) cannot 

doit very well as (I) am not accustomed to it. 

When the verb "to say" is employed, the expression kas-hkwtfi is 
more common : — 

gaw 4 hti* hkrgh* ma 3 ba 3 ma* ka 3 -hkwa* = (we) are not accus- 
tomed to saying that sentence — i.e. it is not used very 
much. • „ 

(31) The word for " black" is nfc or nd 3 -drgA* ; " dark," of night 
is nd*-htsP~lye> :— 

yi» bu 4 -htsi* nya 3 na 3 -drgh*-mu* ta 1 law 3 = his clothes are (or 
his coat is) black. 



( 52 ) 

h'i 4 kwa 3 hchi 3 ye* nya 3 , na 3 -htsi 4 -lye 3 (a) ngu 3 = when (we) 
reach home it will be dark. Note the us© of ngu 1 for this 
'uture tense. 

na 3 -htsi 4 -lyaw 3 ! a 3 -taw" mya 3 na 4 -ta'-law 3 = dark ! we must 
light a lamp (lit. a fire). 



(3*){S 



Ripe (grain or fruit) ; cooked through (of food) = mi 3 , 
"nripe or uncooked = cizi s . 



The former should be distinguished from mi* (tasty) which is only 
slightly different in tone. 

(33) The word sit 6 (new) is applied to persons as well as things. 
The word for " old," however, is maw i when applied to persons or 
animals, and be* when applied to things ; e.g.— 

htsaw 4 -ma\v ! -hpa J = an old man. 

htsaw 4 -maw s -ma 3 = an old woman. 

yi* na s maw s yaw 3 (= ye 3 -aw) = he is (has got) old. But— 

h'i 4 be s = an old house. 

bu 4 -hts'i s be 5 = old clothes, etc. 

(34) " J ust r 'g nt " — neither too big nor too small — neither too 
much nor too little, etc. = yi'-dzya 1 ; e.g.— 

. ma 5 slri 3 ma s nye* ; yi'-dzya 1 nga 4 law 3 = (it is), neither long 
nor short ; it is just right. 

(35) The " appearance " of a thing is its hpye*. '' Like," 
"resembling," is rghe*. Hence hpye l -rghe* = resembling in 
appearance ; e.g. — 

gaw 4 hti 5 raw 3 ma 3 Waw*-Lu 2 hpye*-rghe 4 = that person looks 

like Mr. Bear No. 6. 
ngwa 4 a'-wawS-hpa* hpye 5 ma* rghe 4 = (it) does not look like 

my uncle. 

A somewhat peculiar idiom to express a similar idea uses the 
word " hchaw s -hpa' " (companion, mate). Originally meaning a 
"companion," Kchaw i -h$&' has come to mean a "mate" — of things 
as well as persons, e.g. one shoe of a pair being the kcttaw s -hfd 2 . of the 
other. It is also used metaphorically ; e.g. — 

nis-gu 3 su 3 ta" grgh* nya 3 , shi«(a) ma 3 yi 1 hchawS-hpa : nga* 
law 3 = if I am given (in marriage) to the heathen,* it will 
be the same as being dead {lit. death its mate is). 

hkuJ-dsaf-ma 3 ma s nga*(a) mi+, hku*-dza s -ma 3 yi 1 hchaw s -hpA* 
nga* law 3 = although it is not stealing, it is just the same 
as (lit. is the mate of) stealing. 

(36) There is a slight distinction between the two words j'ye* and 
ye* for "to go." The latter can never be used alone, as an indepen- 



( 53 ) 

dent verb, and seems to be les,s definite than j'ye* as regards direction, 
purpose of going, etc. ; e.g.— 

httf h'i* htis h'i* b4 3 grgh« jye* = go to every house and tell 

(them) (Itt. one house one house, etc.). 
hti*-htrghe»-ra* nyi 3 ye* = go and look for a moment, 
a'-mi* hwa 3 ye*, hchaw*-hpa a bu*l = hurry up, go and look for 

(it), friends ! 
yi^ta 1 ye* la* = let's go (o bed {lit. sleep go come). 

The proper use of these two words can only be acquired by 
experience. Another use of ye 3 is to express the idea of action with 
a view to future requirements (Ch. hsia) : — 

gaw*-le 3 ba 3 ta 1 ye*(a) law* = (he) said that {i.e. left the 

information). 
yi 1 h'i* kwa 3 krgh 3 ta" ye 3 (a) law 3 = (I) put it down (for him) 

in his house. 

(37) The expression ti 1 ye* is often used instead of tya 1 (to be 
anywhere, to be present, to live), but seems more to refer to tempo- 
rary sojourn anywhere than permanent residence ; e.g. — 

ngwa* a'-yi* h'a*-mi* kwa 3 ti 1 ye*(a) law 3 = my elder brother 

is staying behind on the taungya. 
ngwa* a'-waw'-si' MuS-Chi 3 -Na ,! kwa 3 li 1 hkaw 6 ti* ye 4 law 3 = my 

fourth uncle lived at Myitkyina four years. 

The word/aw 4 is also used instead of tya 1 , but it means " tcfbe an 
inhabitant of" — a village or district; e.g. — 



nu 4 a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 tya 1 su 3 nga 4 law 3 or nu* aMi 3 -kwa 3 jaw 4 
nga 4 law 3 = where do you live ? {lit. you where live pen 



su 3 
i persop 
are ?). 

hta* tya* su 3 nga 4 law 3 or hta 3 jaw*su 3 nga* law 3 = (I) am a man 
of this place. 

The word /aw 4 in this sense is, however, restricted to just a very 
few sentences of this kind, and cannot be used indiscriminately like 
tya 1 . 

It must be borne in mind that the use of tya 1 , ti J -ye\ and jaw* is 
strictly confined to human beings, animals, and living things generally 
The corresponding words for inanimate things is cfa 1 (on) and do? 
(inside) ; e.g.— 

pa s -trgh' nya 3 mi 3 -na 3 kwa 3 da a law 3 = the bench is on the 

ground. 
lrgh 3 -krgh J (a) bye 3 kaw'-pa' nya 3 , chaw'-tsi 3 (Ch.) htaS-si 1 kwa* 

da 2 law 3 = the bowls and basins are on th§ feable. 

• Lit. demon-worshippers. This statement was made to the author by a Lisu 
Christian girl who was betrothed against her will into a heathen family, and well 
lluitrates the use of hchav> h 'hp&>. 



( 54 ) 

htaw*-rghe* nya' si'-grgh* nA» kwa 5 d£' law 1 = the books are in 

. -the box (or cupboard). 
a'.hta*-pyA* gu 5 h'i* na 1 kwa 5 dA'(a) law 5 = the (sword) sheath 
is in the house. 

(38) The verbs mrgh' 3 and rd 6 (in some districts pronounced yd 6 ) 
are very important and their use should be mastered ; mrgh' 3 alone or 
before the verb means to " get" : — 

bV-ba* hti*-ma 3 wa*-hpu* sa 3 -htsi 4 hpA' mrgh' 5 (a) law 5 = he 

gets a wage of Rs. 30 per month {lit. month one wages 

thirty coins gets). 
mS*-hkaw 6 ji 4 (a) nya 5 , dza«-ma 5 -si* htiS-h'ya« law* hchi 5 mrgh' 5 (a) 

law 3 ; ma* ji 4 nya 3 , ngwa*-htsi 4 law 4 si 1 ma* mrgh' 3 = in 

good years, (we) get about one hundred baskets of paddy, 

in bad (years, we) do not even get fifty, 
nu* gaw 4 -le 3 ye 3 nya 5 , hta 6 mrgh' 3 (a) law 3 = if you do that {lit. 

thus) you will get a scolding, 
hwa* htsi 4 hti*-rghe 5 hchi 3 drgh* mrgh' 3 (a) law 3 = (we) get 

(lit. strike get) about a load of oil (out of it). 
ma* hwa 3 mrgh' 3 = (it) was not found (lit. not find get). 
yi'-ta 1 ma* mrgh' 5 = (he) did not — could not — get to bed. 
h'a 4 -mi 5 ma 5 hkwa 5 mrgh 3 = the taungya did not get dug. 

With the three words dsefi (eat), daw* (drink), and gwa* (wear), 
mrgh' 3 precedes the verb) ; e.g. — 

. dza 4 (a) ma* mrgh' 3 dza*, ba 4 -hts*i*(a) ma* mrgh' 5 gwa*, ji+- 

hprgh*(a) ma* mrgh' 5 daw 4 = (he) does not get rice to 
eat, clothes to wear, (or) liquor to drink. 

In some districts the word wa 3 would replace the mrgh' 3 in the 
last sentence (only), i.e. dza 4 ma* wa 5 dza*, etc. 

The word rd 6 (Ch. choh ; Atsi dzang) is untranslatable into English. 
Used alone "ra 6 (a) law 3 !" may mean "it has hit the mark!" (of 
shooting at a target), or " quite right ! " (i.e. you have ' hit the mark' 
in what you say), etc, : — 

paw 5 ma* rA 6 = missed the mark (shooting with gun). 
law 5 ma* ra 6 = missed the mark (throwing anything). 
bA 3 ma* ra* = to speak incorrectly, say a thing wrongly, be 

" wide of the mark," etc. 
re* r4 6 (a) law 5 = useful (re* = to use). 

Another use of the word rd 6 is to be " willing to give up " a thing, 
or, in the negative, to be " loth to do " a thing: — 

ngwa\ yi' ta» jye 4 tsi 3 ma* ra 6 = I am loth to let him go 

(lit. I him go let not feel-willing). 
nu 4 tA' wu s grgh* ma* rA 6 = (I) am loth to sell it to you (*'.#; 

loth to part with it). 
mi 4 (a) ma 1 nya 3 yi 1 dza* ma* rA 6 = he will not (i.e. is too 

parsimonious to) eat nice (things). 



( 55 ) 

(39) Desire to do a thing (Kachin mayu ai) is expressed by 
•ma*-sP or ni' shP according to locality :— 

yi'-wa* gwa 3 -hchye» m5 3 -si' jaw* = (he) says they want to 

dance. 
bAs-ngo* ma* cya 6 mu'-si 1 = (I) don't want to take over (settle) 

disputes [ba 3 ngo 4 = a " case "; cya* = to talk]. 
ji 3 ga 6 * ni a -shP(a) law* = (I) want to goto the market. 
jwa 4 ma* ra 6 -jye 4 ni'-shi 3 or jwa 4 ra 6 -jye 4 ni a ma* shp = (I) don't 

want to go down there. 

(40) The word hcha 6 is sometimes, though not often, used to 
express desire, " I wish that," " I hope that," etc. :— 

htaw* rghe* hte 4 -ma 3 nyi 3 ku 1 hcha 6 ! = I wish I was able to 
read these books. [N.B. — The locse use of hte*-ma 3 for 
" these "; gaw*-ma 3 is, similarly, used for " those."] 

ya 3 -hpye' chP(a) ma 3 kwa 3 -bye 3 Hrgh*-Tipa* bye 3 Hchaw<- 
hpa* pavy 3 la 6 -hkaw 4 nya 3 , Hchaw*-hpa* hwa* lye 3 hcha 6 = 
if the Chinese and the Kachins fight over the uprooting 
of opium, (we) hope the Kachins will win (lit. opium 
pulling from, Chinese with Kachins shoot each-other, 
Kachins win — hope). 

(41) The expression tf-hwa 1 meaning "soon," "in a short time," 
etc., is also used to mean "perhaps," "sometimes," etc. ; e.g.— 

a 4 -hwa 3 ni s hpa* ma* la+ ma* srghe* ? = but perhaps the priest 
(lit. demon-er) won't come! .. . what if he doesn't come?).* 

nyi*-hpa* mrgh' 3 (a) ma 3 h'ya 6 -nyi 4 (a) jaw 4 ; hti* hpa* mrgh' 3 (a) 
ma 3 h'ya 6 -ny 4 fa) jaw 4 ; a*-hwa* hti* hpa* si 1 ma* mrgh' 3 
ma 3 h'ya 6 -nyi 4 (a) jaw 4 = some days (we) get two rupees 
(lit. two-coins get days have) ; some days (we) get one 
rupee; some days (we) perhaps do not even get a single 
rupee. 

a*-hwa 3 a 3 -nyi 3 -ma 3 -mu 3 tya ma* srghe 1 ? = but perhaps (she) 
will be in confinement (after childbirth) ? 

(42) Uncertainty is expressed by a distortion, both in tone and 
meaning, of the Chinese word su-mu (a number) ; e.g. — 

yi 1 su'-mu 1 ma* jaw 4 = it is uncertain ; there is no fixed rule ; 

one can never tell, etc. (lit. it has not a number). 
yi 1 su'-mu 1 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = there is a rule to go by; you can 

always tell; a decision has been come to, etc. (lit. it has a 

number). 

T43) Fate, destiny, is expressed by syif-myd* (lit. life) • — 
sya 6 -mya 3 ma* ji 4 = (I) am ill-fated (lit. life is b.ad). 

*J%3 = market ; ga 6 (lit.) s to drive, pursue. The compound expression ji 
ga 6 means to attend n market such as are held in China every five days. In some 
districts the expression is not known, the Chinese kaP-ts* ( = market) being used 
instead. 



( 56 ) 

Affinity between two persons, especially husband and wife, is 
expressed by their " destinies " being "wrapped" ; e.g.— 

yi'-wa s nyi*-ma' sga°-la 6 -hkaw 4 (a)-ma s , sya 6 -mya 3 ma J ht8* nyi* 
nga 4 law 3 = their (husband and wife) quarrelling is due to 
their havmg no affinity (lit. they couple breath-each-other- 
ness, lives not wrapped because is). 

(44) The word to " pass" — as of time, or as two persons passing 
on the road — is kaw 3 (Ch.) ; e.g. — 

hte 4 nyi s sa 3 hkaw 6 kaw 3 krgh 3 nya 3 a 4 -ti'-ra s sa 4 jye*(a) ngu 5 = 
after these (next) two or three years things will get a little 
easier (lit. these two three years having — passed ... a 
little easy go will). 

ja 3 -gu 3 kwa 3 ma* kaw 3 ra 6 = (I) didn't pass (lit. pass hit) (him)- 
on the road. 

To " cross " over, is hkaw* ; e>g. — 

htsa 6 -bye 3 trghe 3 hkaw 4 jye+(a) law 3 = (he) suddenly jumped 

over (it). 
wa« chi 3 hte*-ma 3 hkaw* jye* nya 3 hka a kwa 3 hchi 3 je 3 (a) law 3 = 

when we have crossed this (mountain) range (we) shall 

reach the village. 

(45) "There is nothing the matter" (with anyone); "nothing 
.has happened (to anyone); "no harm has come" (to anyone), is 

expressed by "a'-shi'S ma* hkaw*." This "hkaw*" does not seem to 
be used with this meaning in the positive, or in any other connection. 

(46) There seems to be no Lisu word for to "feel." The idea is, 
however, often expressed by repeating the last word of a verbal 
phrase and adding ta l (or ka*)-law s for the present and krgh^lye^a)- 
/aw 3 for the future ; e.g. — 

f yi J ta sbi* tsi 3 m a s ra 6 = (I) am loth to let him die. 

lyi 1 ta shi* tsi 3 ma 3 ra 6 ra 6 ta 1 law 3 = (I) feel loth to let him die. 

!mi 3 ye 3 ma 3 hku* = (1) have not strength to work, 
mi* ye 3 ma 3 hku* hku* krgh 3 -Iye 3 (a) law 3 = (1) shall not feel 
strong enough to work. 
C wu'-du 3 aMi'-ra 3 na*(a) law 3 = (my) head aches a little. 
< wu'-du 3 a 3 -ti'-ra s na*-na*-mu 3 * ta : law 3 = (I) feel a slight 
(, headache. 

(47) The phrase dye*-lye* means to "reach top" or "reach the 
mark "; e.g. — 

hkrgh"-*htrghs 1 bye 3 dye 3 -lye 3 law 3 = it (the trigger) reaches the 

mark with a click. 
wu 3 ma* dyeMye 3 sye* = (he) is not full-groWn yet. 

* See § 4. 



( 57 ) 

(48) To " last long" is expressed by the verbal auxiliary fu* (Clu 
thing) : — 

dza* ma* pu 3 = it doesn't last long. 

h.S«-htsi« nya 3 , mi 3 -na 3 -htsi - 4 t si 3 -maS-htsi« taw 1 pu 3 (a) law 3 = 

hill-sesamum oil burns longer than kerosene (lit. more 

burn last). 

(49) The Lisu word for to "separate," ''be distant from," \skav>*, 
but the Chinese ie* is more commonly used ; e.g. — 

wa$ kaw" da 2 law 3 = (there is) snow separating (you) from your 

destination, 
gaw* rgh 3 ma 5 ke 2 = it is not separated very far. 
a*-mya 2 tai 2 ke 2 la 6 hkav\4=(we) are separated from each 

other by many generations — i.e. are 5th, Cth or 7th, etc., 

cousins. 

LJV.fi. — The word tai 3 for " generation " is a Chinese word, but is more 
commonly used by the Lisu than their own word si' 1 .] 

(50) To " remain over " is dzye 3 -lye 3 : — 

a 3 -mrgh' 3 a s -ma* ma 5 dzye'-lye 3 = no one remains now. 
dzyeMye 3 ma 3 nya 3 , a'-na* ta 1 cha 1 grgh* = what is Ieit over 
feed to the dog. 

(51) Of the two words for " carry," pi 1 and td*, pi 1 means to carry 
on the shoulder as a log of wood, a Chinese coolie's burden, or a 
sedan-chair.J Td* means to carry in the hand, and is often used, 
with ru\ (take) ; e.g. — 

ngwa* ta" ru* ta 3 grgh 5 la> = take (it and) bring it to me. 
a'-mi 1 ru+ ye* = go "(and) fetch (it) at once. 

(52) The auxiliary verb h'a* (away) sometimes gives a turn to 
the meaning of the word it follows, e.g. haw 5 = to lead ; haw s -h'a+ = 
to escort. 

(53) Capacity is indicated by the auxliary particle di\ which is 
never used alone ; e.g. — 

gaw» mya 3 krgh 3 ma* di+ = it won't hold that much {lit. that 

much place not down). 
sa 3 htsi* law 3 ma* htsi*krgh 3 di*(a) law 3 = it will hold more than 

thirty baskets. 

(54) To " try " = shi 5 nyi 3 . When the thing to be tried is stated, 
theJ^t 5 is sometimes loosely omitted; e.g — 

hti s htrghe" ra* shi^-nyi 3 mu* = have a try now! {lit. try for a 

moment). 
ye 3 shi s -nyi 3 n& 2 law 3 or ye 3 nyi 3 na 2 law 3 = f I will) have a try 

to do (it). 

t Lit. earth-pi! — a word only recently coined. 

j Pi 1 tlfl jy$* is, however, used of a cat or a dog running off with something 
in its mouth. This seems to be in imitation of the Chinese idiom. 



( 58 ) 

(55) It remains to note certain adverbial and rhythmical modes 
of expression. 

A large class of graphic adverbial expressions' are formed by 
Ihe repetition of a single or double word with Aa 3 (some districts 
prefer n*') inserted between them. Many of them are onomato- 
poetic ; e.g.— 

'hpong 5 ka 3 hpong* = the sound of a native hoe striking the 

clods in successive " thuds." 
hchus-hchus ka 3 hchu s hchu* = the sound of whispering. 
•^ hti'-hti 1 ka 3 hti'-hti 1 = the sound of giggling. 
sh\' s -lQ ! ka' shi s -lu s = the hum of people's voices — a babel of 

sound. 
^ba*-la« na 3 ba*-la* = the sound of heavy rain, 
etc., etc. 

No less vivid is the construction which prefixes chp-li* to a 
-compound word ; e.g. — 

chiMi 3 pongMong* = " ker-plunk !" (sound of a stone falling 

into water). 
chi 3 -li 3 hkrgh a -lrgh s = clumsy, complicated, etc. 
chiMi 3 hchya J -la J = tangled, uneven, etc. 
chiMi 3 hpawMaw* = turning over and over, backwards and 

forwards, etc. 
chi 3 -li 3 nga 6 -la 6 = miscellaneous ; odds and ends, etc. 
etc., etc. 

Most of these expressions can be used either singly, or with one 
-word repeated or both words repeated, without the chi*-li* at all. It 
(the chilli 1 ) merely strengthens the words it precedes and makes 
them more vivid. Cp. Eng. " all crumpled up " instead of merely 
"crumpled"; "all in a fluster" instead of " flustered," etc., etc. 

Lisu poetry, of which there seems to be an abundance, uses many 
words not in ordinary conversational use. As Lisu poetry, like Chinese, 
seems to be largely based on antithesis, a large number of dummy or 
*' match " words are used to offset real ones, and many such dummy 
words are used in common colloquial expressions too (though never 
alone). When, however, there already exist suitable words for mating 
purposes, dummy words are not used or even invented for the 
antithetical couplets and four-word phrases the Lisu love so much; 

(a) Where dummy words are not used — 

ni'-lrgh'-si^-lrgh 1 = to repent (lit. heart-change-liver-chauge. 
Here " liver" mates with " heart "). 

ni'-sha'-mjk'-sha 1 = sorrow (lit. heart-difncult-eyes-difficult). 

yi 6 -raMyi 3 -ra s = kith and kin (lit. little-elder-brothers-little- 
younger-brothers). 

hchi'+-ra5-h'ya s -ra* = game (lit. little-barking-deer-little-sharau) 

hchi 3 -tsa 3 -14s-tsa J = to serve, wait upon (lit. foot-connect-hand- 
connect) etc., etc- 



( 59 ) 
{i) Where dummy words are used — 

na*-iu»-hpyfc s -su 3 = sick people. In this, as in all such expres. 
sions, the dummy word can be at once picked out as being 
the second unrepeated word, in this instance Afiyd s . Na*r 
su* alone would mean precisely the same as ngp-svt-hpya*- 
jk 3 . Many of these expressions are capable of variation, 

l 'g — 

I na«-ra*-hpya*-ra* = sicknesses. 

I na*-jaw«-hpyk s -iaw* = to be sick (lit. have sickness).. 
ljia*(a)-ma 3 -hpya 5 (a)-ma 3 = the sick (persons or others). But in 
all cases hpyfc is the only word used with na being* 
the word to which it is, so to peak, legally married. 
Similarly — 
hchya*-krgh 3 -ngaw s -krgh 3 = hchya*-krgh 3 alone = to trans- 
gress. 
hkuS-dza*-na 3 -dza s = hku*-dza ! alone = to steal, pilfer. 
wa4-chi s -wa 4 -mu J = wa«-chi 3 alone = mountains, hills, 
htsaw* mrgh'*-htsaw«-ji s = htsav\*-mrgh'< alone = a stupid 

person ; idiot. 
lrgh*-krgh 3 -lrgh.*-mi 3 = lrgM-krgh 3 alone = cups (and basins), 

etc., etc., for a very lar^e number of expressions. In fact it 
may be said of these four-word-couplet expressions, as of the 
adverbial expressions in chilli 3 and ka* mentioned above, that they 
are practically inexhaustible. No European can ever hope to know 
even half of them, for they vary considerably in different dialects, and 
new ones seem to be easily and frequently coined. In some ways the 
Lisu language may seem to be a poor and barren one, but in these 
particular directions it grows rank and luxuriant. 

Mention should also be made of Lisu "nicknames" (ha'-ngaw*) — 
a set^of "slang" expressions which they often use either in flippant 
conversation (the children will propound them to each other as riddles) 
or to conceal their meaning when others of a different race are 
present ; e.g. — 

Salt (htsa s -baw 3 ) is also called hrgh s -ji 3 (sand) or Law J -Mye s 
ma 3 (Burmese woman), etc. 

Rice (dza 3 hpu*) is also called baw 6 -law 3 -hu 3 (ant's eggs) or 
a* m*ao 3 si 5 hchi 3 (cat's teeth). 

A pig (a'-vi. 6 ) is also called mu 3 sya a (rough bristles). 

A harrow (cya a si 5 ) is also called mi 3 naMv-u'-prgh 1 (earth- 
comb). 

A bridge (gaw s -je+) is also called yi 3 -jya 3 -ji s -hrgh* (water- 
girdle). 

The Chinese (Hrgh 5 -hpa*) are also called a 3 -na 3 (crows *). 

TheShans (Brgh 3 -Yi 3 ) are also called siS-na 3 ^ (black teeth) 

« 

and so on for a large number of words. Some of these nicknames are 
witty and amusing. 

* Because, they say, " all crows are black, and all Chinese are bad." 



{ 



( 6o ) 



APPENDIX. 
Time, Relationships, Weights, Measures, Money. 

A.— Time. 

(i) Oj Day. — Very few Lisu know anything about the hours of the 
day. When they come into contact with Europeans, they learn to 
express the time of day by the word shP-shP, which is a corruption 
of the Chinese shi then (time of day, hour). But this shP-sh& may 
mean either " o'clock " or an " hour " or a " watch " or clock, so it is 
sometimes a little ambiguous ; e.g. — 

shi'S-shi 3 sa« ma 3 = three o'clock, three hours, or three watcffes. 
shi*>sbi s li 1 ma s brgh* = half-past four, or four and a half hours. 

It usually takes a Lisu a long time to comprehend our division of 
the day. He is inclined to start his reckoning about daybreak, 
thinking it should be one o'clock by about 7-0 a.m., six o'clock by 
12-0 a.m., etc. 

(ii) Days of the Week. — Those Lisu who have become Christians, 
or are in contact with Christians, have adopted the word na s (rest, 
stop) to express the days of the week ; i.e. — 

f Sunday = na s h'ya 6 -nyi 4 (rest day). 
I Monday = na^ ka'-na 1 hti s nyi+ (one day after rest). 
I Tuesday = na* ka'-na 1 nyi* nyi* (two days after rest). 
^ Wednesday = na s ka'-na 1 sa s nyi* etc. 

I Thursday = na* ka'-na 1 li' nyi 4 
Friday = na s k4'-na' ngwa s nyi 4 
(^Saturday = na* ka'-na 1 hchaw 6 nyi* 

This word «a s is beginning to be used for a week, e.g. hti* na s = a 
week, nyi ! na s = two weeks, sa 3 na s = three weeks, etc. At present, 
however, the number of Lisu who would understand this is very 
limited. 

(iii) Months. — Most L'isu follow the Chinese lunar calendar, even 
when they live in British territory. New Year (hkaw 6 she 6 ) is mov- 
able, but it usually falls between January 20 and February 20 and 
always, of course, on a new moon. As scarcely any Lisu read Chinese 
they do not use printed Chinese calendars, but judge the day of the 
month fairly accurately by the size of the moon. For the first, second, 
and twelfth mQnfhs of their year they generally use the Chinese 
words ; i.e. — 



The first moon = cheng s -ye 5 . 

The second moon = r'i'-ye 3 . 

The twelfth (last) moon = la s -ye'. 



( 61 ) 

The other moons take the ordinary Lisu numerals and the word 
h'a* (moon) ; e.g. — 

The third moon = sa 3 h'a*. 
The fourth moon = li 1 h'a*. 
The fifth moon = ngwa* h'a*. 
etc. 

From the first to the tenth day (inclusive) of each moon the 
expression h'a*-hpu* {lit. moon open) is used after the number of the 
moon ; eg. — 

chehg 3 -ye 3 h'a+-hpu 3 hti s nyi* = the first day of the first moon. 
ri 2 -ye 3 h'a*-hpu 3 sa« .nyi* = the 'third day o^the second moon. 
sa 3 -h'a* h'a*-hpu 3 htsi*-nyi* = the tenth day of the third moon. 

etc. 

After the tenth day of the moon h'a*-hpu 3 is omitted ; e.g. — 

hchaw 6 -h'a* htsH-ti 1 nyi* = the eleventh of the sixth moon. 
shi' s h'a*htsi*-hV nyi* = the eighteenth of the seventh moon. 
la 5 -ye 3 nyiS-tsi'-ku' nyi* = the twenty-ninth of the twelfth 
moon. 

The end of a moon is expressed by the moon " breaking " ; e.g. — 

sa 3 -htsi* nyi* kwa 3 ku 3 h'a* htsye 2 -krgh 3 ngu 3 = the thirtieth 
will be the last day of the ninth moon (lit. on the 
thirtieth day the ninth moon will break). 

cheng 3 ye 3 ma s htsye 2 -krgh 3 ht£* lye« la* law 3 = (he) will come 
before the end (lit. breaking) of the first moon. 

When a number of months is to be expressed, the full word h'tf-ba* 
{moon) is used ; e.g. — 

h'a*-ba 3 sa s -ma 3 = three months (lit. moons). 

tsrghe"* h'a*-ba 3 nyi s -ma 3 nya 3 , mu s -she 3 du* la 4 (a) law 3 = in 

another two months (moons) the rainy season will be on 

(lit. enter). 

(iv) Seasons. — The Lisu do not, as we and the Chinese do, divide 
the year into four seasons. The only seasons they speak of are the 
rainy season (mu 5 -she 3 hta*) and the dry season (mu s -htsu* hta*). 

(v) Years. — In the enumeration of years the Lisu, at least those 
who have been born or have lived any length of time in China, 
theoretically follow the Chinese in numbering every year, past or 
present, by the reign of a Chinese emperor, but in practice very few 
of them are able to do this. A much simpler method by which every 
intelligent Lisu can reckon years is by the Chinese duodecennary 
cycle, each year of which is presided over by one of twelve animals. 
Unfortunately this cyclical method of reckoning -leaves it quite 
uncertain whether 12, 24,36, etc., years should be added or subtracted 
from the year in question, when the presiding animal alone is stated ; 
e.g. a Lisu may tell you he was born in the " dragon year " (luS hkaw 6 ) 
and leave you to guess whether he means 1856, 1868, 1880 or 1892, 
etc., which are all equally " dragon years." 



( 62 ) 
The cycle runs as follows : — 





Years. 




Presiding animal. 


1876 


1888 


1900 


1913 ... 


Rat (ha"). 


IB77 


1889 


1901 


1913 ... 


Buffalo (a'-nga 8 ). 


1878 


1890 


190a 


1914 — 


Tiger (la R -ma3). 


1879 


1891 


1903 


1915 ... 


Hare (htaw^-U 4 ). 


I ISO 


189a 


1904 


1916 ... 


Dragon (lu 5 ). 


1881 


1893 


»go5 


1917 ... 


Snake (hu 3 ). 


1 85 a 


1894 


»i)o6 


1918 ... 


Horte (a'-mu 5 ). 


18S3 


189S 


1907 


1919 ... 


Goat (a'-hchi 3 ). 


1884 


1896 


1908 


1990 


Monkey (chya'-mye 8 ) 


1885 
1886 


1897 


j 909 


1991 ... 


Chicken (a'-rgha 1 ). 


1S98 


1910 ■ 


199a 


Dog (a'-na B ). 


1887 


1899 


191 1 
etc 


tgaj ... 


Pig (a s -va 3 ). 



E.g.- 

nu* a'-sbi* hkaw 3 su 3 nga 4 law s = what year do you belong to ? 

{tit. what year's person are you ?). 
htaw s -la 4 hkaw 5 su 3 nga 4 law 3 = (1) am the hare year's person, 

i.e. was born in a year presided over by the hare, 

which may be 1903, 1S91, 1879, 1867, 1855, or 1843, etc: which of 
these has to be guessed by the man's apparent age. It is very seldom 
that a Lisu does not know the animal which presided over his natal 
year, but it is often impossible (in the case of older persons) to tell 
which particular year it should be. Very old people often lose count 
entirely and cannot tell you themselves whether they are, e.g., 83, 95, 
•or 107 years old. 

Among the Chinese these " presiding animals " are important for 
use with their horoscope in arranging betrothals, determining 
•' lucky days," etc., etc., but the Lisu do not seem to use them to that 
extent. Days are, however, roughly determined as favourable or 
unfavourable for certain purposes by reference to the presiding 
animal, for these twelve animals preside over cycles of twelve days 
as well as twelve years. 

The straightforward way of asking a person's age is : — 

nu 4 a 3 -mya 3 hkaw 6 jav\^a) law* = how old are you [lit. how 

many years have you?). 
sa 3 htsi* ngwa 5 hkaw 6 jaw 4 (a) law 3 = I am thirty-five years old 

{lit. have thirty-five years). 

B. — Relationships, etc. 

(i) Names. — The Lisu give names to their sons when only a few 
days old ; thes 6 e 'names are usually called a?-chP mye 3 (milk names). 
Curiously enough these names are never, or should never, be used 
during the person's lifetime. Though all a man's relations and 
neighbours know his " milk name " they will never mention it in his 
presence, or great offence would be given. An outsider would never 
get to know a Lisu's " milk name " unless he made special enquiry 



( 63 ) 

(and the information would probably be given sotto voce ever 
if the man concerned were miles away from the spot) or else over- 
heard the name used in a quarrel where it was intended to give an 
insult. A certain amount of superstition seems to underlie thisr 
peculiar custom. 

When a youth is married he is given another name ending in hptfi 
(man, male,. His wife thence bears the same name except that the- 
hpa % is changed to ma? (mother, female) ; e.g. a youth will be called 
Nrgh's-Trghe'-Hpa* and hence his wife Nrgh'J-Trghe* Ma. 5 , or the 
youth Hku*-Mya s -Hpas and his wife Hku«-Mya s -Ma 3 . 

Even this method of naming is, however, far from general. By 
far the larger number of Lisu are commonly known by their surname 
plus their number. Every Lisu, without exception, numbers his sons 
in order and calls them by their number. This is invariably the case 
before marriage, and usually after marriage too. The eldest son is- 
given the word ta 1 (Ch. big, eldest), the second son lye', the third sm 3 , 
and the rest the Chinese numerals (nevtr the Lisu) in order; e.g. Mr- 
Honey's (Bya s ) ten sons will be— 



Eldest ... 


Byis-Ta 1 . 


Sixth 


.. Byis-Lu'. 


Second ... 


Bya*-Lye J . 


Seventh . 


.. Bya.s-Hchi J . 


Third 


Bya*-Sa 3 . 


Eighth 


.. Bya*-Pa'. 


Fourth ... 


Byis-Si' 1 . 


Ninth 


.. Bya s -Chyu s 


Fifth ... 


Byas-Wu*. 


Tenth ... ByiS-Shl'. 



The daughters are numbered separately and not with the sons, as- 
the Chinese and Shans sometimes do. The method of enumeration 
is, however, the same except that the particle mrgh's (woman) i& 
prefixed to the number. Hence Mr. Honey's ten daughters are : — 

Eldest ... Byas-Mrgh's-Ta 1 . Sixth ... Bya.s-Mrgh'S-Lu J . 

Second ... Bya.S-Mrgh'*-Lye 2 . Seventh ... ByaS-Mrgh'S-Hchi'- 

Third ... Byas-Mrgh's-Sa 3 . Eighth ... Bya^-Mrgh'S-Pa 3 . 

Fourth ... ByaS-Mrgh'S-Si 1 . Ninth ... ByaJ-Mrgh's-Chyu^ 

Fifth ... ByaS-Mrgh'<-WuS. Tenth ... By;M-Mrgh'$-Shi\ 

tf 5 __j n some districts the eldest girl is called na^-du^ and in others mrgh'6- 
w« 5 (wii 5 = big) instead of mrgh' s -tai ; and from the sixth daughter downwards 
(sometimes even from the third downwards) the word me 1 is often used instead of 
mrgh'\ the number then preceding instead of following the word ; e.g. the- 
" Honey " girls from the sixth downwards would usually be called Bya 6 -Lu»-Me ! , 
ByaS-Hchi-Me', etc. 

Here again the strictly correct name for a married woman is her 
husband's name plus ma 3 , but it is at least as common to call her by 
her maiden name even up to old age, especially by those with whom 
she is familiar. Certainly no offence is ever given by calling a married 
woman by her maiden name; e.g. Miss Honey No. 3 is married to 
Mr. Fish No. 2 (Ngwa'-Lye"). Her correct name, is now Ngwa 1 - 
Lye'-Ma 3 , but her fellow-villagers, men or women, will probably 
continue to call her Byas-Mrgh's-Sa 3 as they did before her marriage. 

As might be expected considerable ambiguity is caused by this? 
habit «f numbering sons and daughters, especially in villages where 
all the families are of the same clan ; e.g. in a village where all belong to 



( 64 ) 

the Fish clan, every eldest son is Ngwa'-Ta 1 , and many of the fathers 
themselves may be eldest sons too. This confusion is r partly relieved 
Ijy the addition of discriminating phrases or nicknames; t.g. Ngwa 1 - 
Ta'-Maws-Hpas (Old Fish No. i), Ngwa^Ta'-DaJ-Ma 3 and Ngwa 1 - 
Ta'-Ra* (Big Fish No. i and Little Fish No. i), Ngwa'-Ta'-Myi*- 
Hrghs (Fish No. i— Squint-Eyes), Ngwa'-Ta'-Na'-Baw* (Fish No. I — 
Deaf), etc. 

Either a boy or girl may be loosely referred to by « 3 plus his or 
her number, the surname being omitted ; e.g. — 

A 3 -Ta J = the eldest boy; Na J -Du s = the eldest girl. 

A'-Lye 4 = the second boy or girl. 

A 3 -Sa 3 = the third boy or girl, 
etc. 
These numbers are used for other relationships also ; e.g. the 
■uncles (father's brothers) are : — 

A 3 -Waw s -Hpa* = eldest uncle. 

A 3 -Waw 3 -Lye 2 = second uncle. 

A 3 -Waw 5 -Sa 3 = third uncle. 

A 3 -Waw 3 -Si J = fourth uncle, 
etc. 
(ii) Relttionshifs. — A few Lisu terms for relationships are given 
herewith. __ It should beobserved that cousins to the first, second, third 
or any other degree are all " brothers and sisters," unless they are on 
the mother's side and hence of a different surname. If a Lisu says that 
a certain man is his "brother" one can ask him " a5-chl a -hti s -paw 3 
ma* nga« la s ? " (= "of the same teat ? " — i.e. were you born by the 
same mother?). 

It should also be noted that the Lisu has no term for any relation- 
" in-law," except daughter-in-law (hchi 6 -ma s ) and elder sister-in-law 
(ma'-las). A daughter-in-law refers to her father and mother, 
brothers and sisters-z*-/«w as her own father, mother, brothers and 
sisters respectively. Her awn brothers, after her marriage, are 
referred to as her kfa s -mu*, and her own sisters as her tte'-ma 3 :— 

Father = ba'-ba*, a*-baS, or hpa*. 

Mother = a 3 -ma 3 . 

Son = a 3 -bi 3 {lit. boy) or ra s . 

Daughter = a 1 - mi 5 {lit. girl). 

Elder brother = a J -yi 6 or kaw 3 (Ch.). 

Elder brother's wife = ma 3 -la s . 

Younger brother = nyi 3 -ra*. 

Elder sister = a'-tsi 3 . 

Younger sister or younger brother's wife = nyi 3 -ma 3 . 

Daughter-in law = hchi s -ma 9 . 

Grandfather = a 3 -pa 3 . 

Great-grandfather = a s -hpi s . 

Great-gr^art -grandfather = aMa 2 

Grandmother = a'-ra s . 

Great-graodmother = a s -hpi a -ma 3 . 

Great-great-grandmother = a s -la*-ma 3 . 

Ancestors = aS-hpu 5 -a 3 -pa 3 . 

Posterity = htsi 6 ra s -la a -ra s . 



( 65 ) 

Grandson = Ii'-pa*. 

Great-grandson = la'-ra 3 . '' ! 

Grand-daughter = li'-ma 3 . ; ; ' 

Great-grand-daughter = la J -ma\ 

Uncle (father's brother) = a'waw'. 

„ (mother's brother) = a»-va*. 
• Aunt (father's brother's wife) = a 3 -waw 3 -ma J . 

„ (father's sister) = a s -nyi*. 
Nephew = ra 5 -dir». 
Niece = mrgh' s -du«. 
Cousins on mother's side = kwa 3 -hchaw s or hchaw 5 -hchaw s 

(male) ; kwa 3 -hchaw s -ma 3 (female). 
Sister's son = sa s -ra*. 
Sister's daughter = sa 3 -ma 3 .* 

{Wife = ra s -mrgh'« ("your wife " is more politely expressed by 
" nu* h'i«-si s -ma 3 " — lit. the mistress of your house). 
Husband = ra 5 -gu* ("your husband" = nu+ h'i+-si 3 -hpa s ). 
First wife = muS-wu s -ma 3 . 
Second wife = mu s -raw 3 -ma 3 . 
First husband = mu*-wu s -hpa s . 
Second husband = mu 3 -raw 3 -hpa s . 
Stepfather = a s -ba s -raw 3 . 
Stepmother = ma 3 -raw 3 . 

C. — Weights and Measures. 

(i) The Lisu Weights follow the Chinese as a rule, though the viss* 
is commonly employed even in China. Their unit of weight is the 
Chinese ounce {law 1 — Kachin rawng), of which about twelve go to the 
English lb. and forty to the viss. This law- is subdivided decimally, 
i'ijth part being a htsye* (Ch.), and T £ ff th part a hrgh*\ e.g.— 

ya 3 -hpye 3 li 3 law* ngwa 5 htsye* shii 5 hrgh* = 4^5 7 (Chinese) 

ounces of opium. 
shi'-shi 3 htsi* ngwa s law 5 nyi* htsye* = 15*20 (Chinese) ounces 

of wormwood. 

Above the ounce there is the Chinese catty (cht*, Ch.) which may 
be either 16 or 20 ounces, and a weight of ten catties (hchr*) which 
is used in some districts. Neither of these weights are used as much 
as the viss (hte a ) ; e.g. — 

lu 3 -tsi 3 hti s hte a = a viss of (Lisu) betel-nut- 
sa 3 -tsi -3 nyi s -tsi x hte a = 20 viss of (Lisu) cutch. 

(ii) Measures of Capacity . — These are the Chinese pint (she 3 , Ch.), 
two pints (hpe 6 ) ; ten pints (teo s , Ch.) ; twenty pints or basket {law*; 
Ch.). Of these the hpe 6 and the law* are the most commonly used by 
the Lisu. It should be observed that the word for basket is the same 
as the word for ounce except for the tone, and that the Chinese (hence 



• A Lisu can demand her in marriage for his son ; to refuse to give her 
means a lawsuit and the payment of a fine. 
5 



I. 66 ) 

Lisu) basket, which varies indifferent localities, is usually smaller than 
the Burmese. A Chinese basket of (hulled) rice usually weighs about 
1 8 viss 

la 5 -htsaw 4 hti*-raw 3 nya s , hti 5 hkaw" ma 1 dza* ma*-sM sa 3 htsi* 
law* hchi-" dza 5 law*(a) ngu 3 = about 30 baskets of paddy 
are enough for one man to eat for a year. 

wa 5 -hpa 5 nya s , hti 5 nyi 4 dza*-hpu* hti 5 hpe 6 nga* law 5 = the 
wages are ^th basket of (hulled) vice per day. 

{Hi) Measures of Length. — The Lisu have no exact measures of 
length. Such rough measures as hti 5 cha 3 = one length of out- 
stretched fingers, hti } baw 3 = one length of outstretched arms, and 
hti 1 paw 1 = one gunshot distance, are used, but the Lisu do not seem 
to engage in any form of occupation needing exact measures of length. 
They seldom use the Chinese It (about J mile) orthe European mile, 
though the more intelligent ones in British territory call the mile 
a htrgAe' — one mile being hti s htrgke 2 , two miles nyi* htrgke'', etc. 
They usually measures distance very roughly by the time taken to 
traverse it ; i.e. — 

hti 5 na 6 ja 3 -gu 3 (one morning's road) or dza 4 -hchi' 5 hti 5 ga* (one 
get-there-f or -breakfast) would be about two hours' walk, say 
five or six miles. 

hti 5 mawMaw 3 ja 3 gu 3 (= one noon's road) would be about 
ten miles. 

hti 5 nyi 4 ja*-gu 3 (one day's journey) would be fifteen to twenty 
miles; nyi 5 nyi* sye s — two days' journey; sa 5 nyi* sye 5 = 
three days' journey, etc. (sye 5 or sye 5 = to walk). 



D. — Money. 

In China copper cash are used, six or seven hundred of which 
usually change for a rupee. These " cash " are called Ataw* Atsye* 
(" money") or more accurately ji^htaw^Atsye* (" copper money ") ; 

i'-vi'-hwa 5 hti j law 5 nya s , ji 5 -hta\v 4 -htsye 4 nyis-tsi 1 hpA 5 nu 4 (a) 
law 3 = (they) want twenty copper cish for an ounce of pork 
{lit. pig-flesh one ounce— copper cash twenty coins wanti. 

hti 5 h'ya 6 yi'-ta' nya 3 , htaw*-htsye 4 sa 3 h'ya 4 hwa 3 (a) law 3 = 
they ask (lit. look for) 300 cash for one night's board and 
lodging (lit. sleep). 

When dealing with larger sums, the average " jungle " Lisu still 
usually thinks of money in terms of Chinese ounces of lump-silver 
weighed on the fiative steelyard, e.g. his paddy fields will have been 
mortgaged for fifty Chinese ounces of silver (hpu 4 ngwa 5 -htsi 4 lavv 5 ) or 
the fine he pays for an abduction will perhaps be a hundred ounces 
of silver (hpu 4 hti 5 h'ya 4 ). The Lisus' " deeds "—which in China 
are roughly scrawled in Chinese characters by some local Chinese 



( 67 ) 

M scribe " — usually deal in these two quantities only — ounces of silver 
-and baskets of paddy ; e.g. — 

yi'-wa* ngwa 4 ta 1 hpu 4 h'i 6 -htsi-ngwa* law*, sa» htsye 4 , hchaw* 
high* rghe'-la 6 -bu3 ta 1 law3 = they owe me 85-36 ounces of 
silver (rgheMa'-bu 3 = to owe a debt). 

hpu 4 hti s law* sa* htsye 4 li' hrgh« ra 6 (a) law 3 = it comes to * 
1 34 ounces of silver. 

In Burma, however, and in China near the Burma frontier, rupees 
.are the chief coins in actual use. They are sometimes called " hpu 4 - 
htaw 4 -htsye 4 ," though if the classifying particle hpfc (coin) is used; 
the phrase Ataw A -htsy** can be dispensed with ; eg. — 

hpu 4 hti 5 hpa s = one rupee (lit. silver one coin). 
hpu 4 htsi 4 hpa 5 = ten rupees (lit. silver ten coins). 

The value of the rupee in Chinese ounces of silver fluctuates, but 
•Jor convenience in calculation both Chinese and Lisu assume its value 
to be "40 of a Chinese ounce of silver, which is not a bad average. 
Hence the following multiples and subdivisions of the rupee, though 
not strictly accurate, are everywhere used : — 

hpu 4 hti 5 hte 4 = Rs. 100 (lit. a viss of silver). 

hpu 4 nyi 5 htsye 4 = 8 annas (lit. T \ = £ ounce of silver). 

hpu 4 hti* htsye 4 = 4 annas (lit. ^ ounce of silver). 

hpu 4 ngwa* hrgh 4 ov hti s mu s = 2 annas. 

hti* pye 3 = 1 anna. 

pai (or pi)-htsan hti 5 hpa s = one pice. 

In Chinese territory there is a tendency to use only whole rupees 
smaller Indian currency being used less and at a discount. 

* See Miscellaneous Idioms. 



( *9 ) 



ENGL1SH-LISU VOCABULARY. 



Abandon (v.t.) ., 
Abase (v.t.) 
Abate (v.t.) 
„ (».«.) 
Abdomen («.) .. 
Abhor (»./.) 
Abide; dwell 
Able be, (p.) 
Abode (*.) 

Abound 

About {pr*p.) .. 



„ (»dv.) 

Above (frtp.) ... 
Absent, to be 
Absorb (v.t.) 
Abstract (vJ.) ... 
Abundant 
Abundantly 
Abuse ; revile ... 
Accept {v.t.) 
Accompany (v.t.) 
Accord, to be in 
According to 
Accuse ... 

Ache (= pain) ... 
Acquiesce (lit. listen) 
Acquainted, to be 
Active, be 
Add (p./.) 
Adhere (v.i.) 
Adjacent 
Admonish ... 

Adore ; worship 
Adultery (n.) 

Advance (v.t.) ... 
Advantage 
Affair ••• 

Affix (v.f.) 
Afraid, be ... 



lawMcrgh 3 

ya'(Cb.) 

ni'-lye 3 tsi s 

raw 3 -lye 3 ; si*-lye' 

ni 2 -ma 3 (lit. heart) 

hrghe" (Ch.) ; ni a dzaw 3 

nyi'-ta 1 ; tya 1 

ku 1 (etc., see Grammar) 

h'i 4 (house) ; tya* gu 3 (place where 

live) 
a s -my4 a jaw 4 ; hti J mO' hti J ma 5 

jaw 4 
chaw* law 3 law 3 (= all around) ; 

gaM4 s -ga s -ji 4 (in neighbourhood 

of) 
a*-la 4 («.g. about twenty people = 

a 5 -la 4 nyis tsi' raw 3 ) 
ht4*-si' 
ma* tya* 
hchi 6 
ru 4 -krgh 3 

my4 s ; a*-mya" jaw 4 
a J -mya' my4 a 
je« ; htsao' (Ch.) 
ru 4 

hchaw 4 -jye 4 

ni 3 -ma 3 haw' (l4«-hkaw 4 ) 
lye 3 -bye s 

di 3 ; kaw* ; wa'-kaw* 
na 4 

na 3 na' 

srghe* 14*-hkaw 4 
ma s bu 4 ; hchi J -du j law 3 
chya 3 (Ch.) 
nrghe 6 
hpa 4 -hti' 
hchyen 3 (Ch.) or yi 6 nyi« grgh* (lit 

awaken) 
wu'-dil 3 hte 6 
h'y4 s -hchaw s hwa 3 (a) ma 3 ; su 3 ra*- 

mrgh' 4 hchya 4 -krghi(a) ma 3 
hrgh'-hta* jye 4 ; 4*-v4s-si' jye 4 
ji 4 -gu 3 

si'-htsye* (Ch.) 
nrghe* 
jaw 3 



( 7° ) 



After {prep.) ... 

Afternoon 

Again 

Age ... ... 

Agent (middleman in arrang- 
ing a match) ... 
Agree 
Aid 

Aim (gun) 
Air 
Alike 

Alive, to be 
All 
Allow ... ... 

Allure 
Alone 
Also 
Alter 
Alternate 
. Although ... • ... 

Always ... ... 

„ (withoujt end) 
Amazed 
Amber 
Amount (w.t.) 
.Ancestors 
Ancient 
And 
Angry 
Animal (cattle) ... 

„ (game) ... 
Annoyed, to be 
Annually 
Another 
Answer 
Ant 
Anus 
Anxious 
Any (person) 

„ (thing) 
Anyhow 
Anywhere 
Aperture, to have 
Appear 

Appearance ... 
Approve . ... 

Arise 

Arm ... ... 

Armpit 

Arouse ... 

Arrest {lit. tie) 

Arrive 



ka'-naMsi") 
mayf?-}aw 3 k£'?n£' ' 
tsrghe" (Ch.' hat') 
htsi 6 

dzi s -maw s 

Kaw< (Ch.) 

ye 3 ja» 

maw 1 

mis-h'i* (wind) ; sya 6 (breath) 

hpye s -rghe 4 ; rghe* li'-h'kaw* 

sva 1 tya 1 

a-'-ji 5 (see Miscellaneous Idioms) 

tfti 3 

krjjh' 

b^-maMa 1 

(a)-mi 4 ; chya 3 

Irgh' 

pa* la 5 -hkaw* 

(a)-mi 4 ; du 3 nga*(a) mi* 

hti s -htsi 6 ; a" hta*(a) mi 4 

hti 3 -htsi 6 hti s -pa 3 

da 3 -ja s -mrgh' 4 

hui prghe" (Ch.) 

kjghMye 3 ; ra 6 

a'-hpa 3 -a 3 -pa 3 

a'-ne'-ma 5 

(a) bye 3 (or ba 3 ); si" (with verbs) 

ni a -ma 3 h'rgh 4 ; ni'-dzaw 3 

je s -ra 5 

hchi 4 -ra 3 -h*ya 3 -ra 3 

ni'-dzi 3 

hti 3 hkaw 6 bye hti 3 hkaw* 

nS' (ni v )-ba 6 ; yi'-te'-yi' 

ta 3 -taw' ; taw 5 -taw J 

baw ? law 5 

h.chi>-hku 4 

hchi 1 ; rnya 3 -pya 5 

a 3 -ma+(a) mi 4 

a'-shi^ajmi 4 

a 3 -li 3 ye s (a) mi 4 

a 3 -li 3 kwa 3 (a) mi 4 

yi 1 hku 4 h'e 4 

hpye*-rghe 4 

(yi') hpye 3 

na 3 -na' 

tu 3 (krgh 3 lye 3 ) 

ia 6 hprgh 4 

li 6 du 3 -hku 4 

yi 6 nyi* gigh 3 

htsaw' 

hchi 3 (ye 4 ) 



C V ) 



Arrow 

As-; like as * ... 

Ascend 

Ashamed 

Asties 

£ sk (question) ... 

,. for 
Asleep, be 
Assemble, to 
Assent 
Assist 

Astonished, be 
At {firef.) 
Attach, to (v.t.) 
Aunt (see Relationships) 
Avoid (hide) ... 
Awake [v.t.) ... 

,, (f.».) 
Awry 
Axe 



hchya*-che» or cha»-ch€* 

lye»bye 5 

dA?(jye») 

sha'-taw 1 

hku'h'a* 

na'-nyi* 

dye* 

yt 6 -mrgh ,J 

law's (Ch.) 

na» na" 

ja* j ye 5 ja s 

da s -ja s mrgh'* 

kwa* 

nrghe 6 

py£» nyi* 

yi 6 -nyi*-grgh« 

hwa*-hchi s 

hpyi' 

as-htsaw' 



B 



Baby 

Back («.) 

Bad 

Bag (or sack) ... 

Bake 

Balances 

Bamboo 

Band (waist) ... ... 

Bank (of river) ... 
Bark (as dog) ... 

„ (of tree) ... 
Basket (rough, loosely woven, 

carried on back) 
Basket (large and closely 

woven, with cover) 
Basket (small and closely 

woven, without rover) 
Basket (measure of capacity) 
Bastard 

Bat (ft.) ... 

Bathe (v.t.) 
Bazaar (».) 

DC ... ... 

Beads ... ... 

Beans ... ... 

Bear (».) ... ... 

,, to (endure) ... 



htsaw*-shi 6 -ra s 

ka 5 kaw' or kk'-ni'-hku* 

ma* ji* 

mu*-nu 5 

hchu* (burn) ; kaw 5 (roast) 

htsye 4 du J 

ma*-da* 

ji'-hrghe' (in some districts /«*« 

hrghe*) 
pens hkans (Ch. ?) ; bya 5 -maMikrgh« 
lu> 
si*-kaw'-ji« 

hka'-tu* 

grgh s ba* 

ne'-te' 

law* 

dis-ras 

wa 4 -la* 

gaw s de J htsi* 

ji» ; kai'-tsis (Ch.) * 

nga* ; tya* 

H'-ti* 

a*»naw 5 

waw* 

dzi« ; re* (Ch.) 



( 7» ) 



Bear, to (give birth to) 


h'fi« 


Beard 


• •■• • • * 


mfl'-tti* 


Beat (with stick) 


• •• 


ti 1 


Beautiful 


> •• •• • 


bi 4 


Because 


• • • * • • 


a 3 -lyawM>4*-nya 3 ; nyi 5 , etc. (see 
Grammar) 


Beckon 


• 4 • > » » 


14 6 -me 6 


Become 


• 1 • • t • ' 


hpye 6 -!a 4 ; hpye 6 jye 4 


Bed (stead) 


■■• • • 


hchwa* (Ch.) ; hka'-hcha* 


„ (sleeping place) 


yi 6 -ta x gu 3 


Bedding 


•• ■ •• • 


yi a -bu 3 


Bee 


• • f • • * 


by& s (raw 3 ) 


Beehive 


... ••• 


by4 5 -si 8 -htu* 


Beef 


• •• ••* 


a'-nyi 5 hwa* 


Beer (native brewed) 


jiMiprgW 


Beeswax 


• • • •• ■ 


byk s shaw 1 


Befall 


-•• ••• 


ju 4 -r4 6 


Before 


• » » . ■ • 


hrgh'-hti* ; & s -v4 A -si 


Beg 


• • • • > • 


dye* 


Beggar 


... 


dxa 4 dye 5 su 3 


Begin 


... 


(yi) wu 1 tu 3 


Behead 


... ••• 


wu'-du 3 drgh 3 krgh 3 


Behind 


... 


ki'-ni'-si 1 ; krgh 3 -tsy4 I 


Behold 1 


... • •• 


je 4 ! ne 4 ! naw 4 ! etc. 


Believe 


• ■ • • • • 


ji 4 


Bell 


... »•• 


chawMaw 5 


-Belly 


... 


h'i 6 -hchi 6 


Below 


• ■ • • • * 


wuJ-paw* ; wu s -pe' 


Beneath 


• It ... 


na'-hkwa 5 


Benefit 


■ • a • * • 


ji 4 -gu 3 


Bench 


... ... 


pa'-trgh' 


Bent ; crooked 


• •« * • • 


gaw 6 


Beseech 


... 


dye*; shang a -fu a (Ch.) ; hchyu' (Ch.) 


Beside 


... • • • 


ba 4 -si' ; ma« htsi 4 ; htaS-si* 


Best 


* • • ... 


a J hkrgh* ji 4 


Betel-leaf 


••* ... 


lu'-tsi* (Ch.) 


Betel-nut 


... ... 


kwangs tsi* (Ch.) 


Better (see Grammar) 




Between 


... ... 


nyis-ku'-cha* 


Beware of 


• •• • • • 


ra 3 -mu s 


Bewitch (vJ.) 


... ... 


tai* hu» ; rghe 4 -h'a 4 sye* 


Big 


• • • * t • 


wu s (the big one = yi' da ! -ma») 


Bind (persons) 


... ... 


htsaw' 


„ (things, into bundles) 


hrge» 


Bird 


... ... 


nya' 


Bite 


. • • ■ • • 


hkaw* 


Bitter 


• •• • • » 


hit wa 5 (in some districts hka s ) 


Black 


• t • •• • 


na» 


Blacksmith 


... **• 


haw 4 -drgh s -hpa 5 


Blame, to 


• • • ■• • ■ 


kwai' (Ch.) 


Blanket 


• • • » « ■ 


yi'bu 3 


Blaze, to 


... 


(aMaw 3 ) bya 1 la 4 



( 73 ) 



Bleed, to (»,/.) ... 
Blind ... 

Blood 
Blossom 

Blow (with mouth) 
,, (of wind) ... 
Blue 

Blunt (of knife) 
Boar (wild) 
Board (plank) ... 

„ (supply food) 
Boat 
Body 
Boil (t.t.) 

„ (tu\) 

„ (ulcer) 
Bold 

Bolt (run away) . 
Bone 

Book ( = paper) . . . 
Border; frontier 
Born, to be ... 
Borrow 
Bottle 
Bottom 

Boundary (see Border) 
Boundless 
Bow, to 



■is <jaw 3 
myaMicbe* 
sis 

(yi-ve 3 ) ve 3 
mu s 

je* 

lan* (Ch.); ni'-hchi 6 (=blue or 

green) 
ma ! htsyA 8 
a'-va'-ti' 
si'-hpya' 

kong 3 (Ch.) ; grgh< dza 5 
li 3 

gaw 3 -de s 
tsa 3 
tsu 3 

brgh 4 -na 4 -ji 3 or na* hchu s 
ni a -wu 5 
hchye a (jye*) 
waw'-taw 3 
htaw s -rghe» 
muS-krghe'-krghe' 
h'e* ta' law* 

ngwa' (things) ; hchi* (money) 
shao 3 liang 3 -hu* (Ch.) 
hchi*-duS 

yi* leMsye* ma 5 jaw* 
wu'-du 3 hte 6 



(*.) (ordinary), for pebbles mya*-ma 3 

hchya' 
lrgh*-krgh 3 
si'-grgh* 
a»bi 3 
la 6 -ju 3 



„ (*.) (cross) 
Bowl 
Box 
Boy 

Bracelet 
Bracken 
Brains 
Branch 
Brass 
Bread 
Break 



si'-pye 3 



wu'-nrgh" 
si'-la'-ka 3 

rzu 3 -pa 3 -pa s 

hkaw* 

hche« 



Breakfast 
Breast 
Breath («.) 
Breathe, to 
Breeze 
Bride 

Bridegroom 



(to, as a stick) 

( „ as a pitcher) 

( „ as a wooden implement) la' byaMye 3 

(„ as thread) ... htsye* krgh 3 



na* dza* 

aw' 3 -hkrgh 3 

sya 6 

syA 6 h'a* 

mis-h'i* 

hchi 6 -ma 3 -la' 

in-law) 
mS'-IA'-hpa* 



[lit. young daughter- 



C n J 



Bridge 

Bridle ... 

Bright, to be 
Pring, to 
Brinjal 
Broad 
Brood («.) 
Broom . 
Brother 

Bucket (bamboo cylinder) 
Buffalo 
Bug (bed) 
Build, to 

Bull 
Bullet 

Bump into (to) 
Bundle, to 
Burden, a 
Burman 

Burn, to (house, firewood, 
„ „ (oil for lighting) 
Burst, to 
Bury, to 

•Burial place ... 
Business ; affairs 
Busy, to be 
Butt, to 
Butterfly 
Button 
Buy 
By (the side of) 



etc.) 



gaw s -dzye* 

(a'-muS) long J -htong s (Ch.) or law* 

htu s 
lya" (Ch.) 
ru* 
gwa* si s 

yi ra s 

h'i* si'-du 3 

(elder) a'-yi* ; (younger) nyi^ta* 

(see Relationships) 
pa s -htu s " 
a'-nga 6 
pi'-se 1 (Ch.) 
tsi' {lit. to put together).; a' 3 (to 

put roof on) 
a'-nyis-pa 1 
paw 3 -si'S 
hta s 
htS" 
rghe* 

LawJ-Mye« (Ch.) 
hchu* 
taw* 
paw 1 
tH« 

tQ'-gu 3 

si'-htsye* ; men 3 -hteo s (both Ch.) 
htsaS 

bu*-lu« 

nyuS^tsP (Ch.) 
wu* 
ba*-si x 



Cackle 
Cake 
Calculate 
Ca\f 

„ (of leg) ... 
Call, to 

Calmly ; gently 
Camp ; fortress 
Can ; be able 
Candle , '.. 

Cane; rattan 
Cannon 

Capable, to be ... 
Capital (for trade) 
Caravan (hones) 



" kuS-ta' " bye 3 ba* 

pa J -pa J (Ch.) 

swei' (Ch.) 

a'-nyi 5 ra s 

hchi J *wS 6 

hku« 

a s -ra*-a s -ra« bye 5 

yings-hpan* (Ch.) 

ku 1 (etc., see Grammar) 

la'-chu a (Ch.) 

gu s »mi* 

ta'-hpao* (Ch.) 

da* 

pen s -htsyen* (Ch.) 

(a'-muS) pang 5 tsip (Ch.) 



( 75 ) 



Careful, to be ... 
Careless «,.'. 

Caress 
Carpenter 
Carry (on back) 

„ (on shoulder) 

„ (in hand) 
Cat 
Catch, to (as fish) 

„ „ (as animal in trap) 

„ „ (as ball in airj* ... 
Cause, to ... ,,, 

Cave 
Chain 
Chair 
Change, to 
Charcoal 
Chase, to 
Cheap 
Cheat, to 
Chest (box) 

„ (of body) 
Chew ; masticate (to) 
Chief; official ... 
Child 
Chillies 

Chin (on face) ... 
Chinese 
Choose, to 
Chop, to (with dah) 
City 

Clean (adj.) 
Clear (of water and liquids) 

i. (of sky) ... 
Clever 
Climb 
Close ; near by 

„ to 
Cloth (cotton) 
Clothes 
Cloud 
Coac 
Coax 
Cobweb 
Cock 
Coffin 
Coin 
Cold 

Collect (as taxes) 
„ (as debt) 
„ to (as things on table 
or ground) 



ra'-mu^ta 1 ) ; . ' 

ni'-wu s ' ! 

she° (grghs) ' } 

muS-tsyang* (Ch.) 

ma* 

pi' 

ta 2 

aS-niMs'P ;aS*ni^ra s ;"a 3 -myao 3 (Ch.) 

ru* ' 

htu* 

da* 

tsp 

rgha'-hku* 

ho 4 she*-h'i* or ho* she*-ni* 

pa'-trgh 1 

lrgh 1 

hku*-mu 3 -tsi 3 

ga 6 

(yi 1 hpu s ) nu s 

krgh 1 

si'-grgh* 

aw' 3 -hkrgh s 

gwas 

si 5 -hpa s (see also Headman) 

ras-ne 3 (-ra s ) 

brgha 3 -si' s 

mu* prgh 1 du s • 

Hrghs-Hpas 

si 3 

hchi* 3 

hka'-da s ma 3 

hsia* ; si s -hsia* 

hsia 5 

(mu s -kwa 3 ) ba J 

da* ; la*-ti' ; hwa* 

da 3 

hpa*-hti' 

tsi* 

mrgh' 3 (-hcha 3 ) 

bu*-htsi - s 

mS 5 -ti 3 ; mu'-ku 1 

bu*-htsi s 

krgh' 

na'-mi'-chi'-hchyas 

a'-rgha' hpa 5 

gu s 

(hti*) hpa 6 - . 

jya« 

tsi' 

ta 1 

sha 3 



( 76 ) 



Collect, to (assemble) 
Collide, to 
Comb, a 
„ to 
Come 

Command, to 
Commence 

Common people ; subjects 
Companion 
Compensate 
Complain against (anyone) 

Conceal 
Confess 
Confine, to 
Conquer 
Consider, to 
Consult together 
Contain 
Convalesce 
Cook, to 

Cool 

Copper 

Cord 

Corn (maize) 

Corpse 

Correct (adj.) ... 

Cost, the 

Cotton 

Cough, to 

Count, to 

Country 

Court 

Cousin (see Relationships) 

Cover, to 

Cow 

Cowrie (shell) ... 

Crab 

Crack, to 

Crafty 

Crawl (of insects) 

Criclcet, the 

Crooked 

Cross, to (as river) 

i, „ (as mountain) 
Crossbow 
Crow, a 

Crush, to "... 

Cry, to 
Cuckoo, the 
Cucumber 
Cultivate (land), to 



hku«-dzi* 

trghe'-htaMa'-hkaw 4 

wu'-prgh* 

prgh* 

la* (imperative Id*) 

tsl 

wu'-tuMu 1 

pe'-sing" (Ch.) 

hchaw s -hpa' 

chS» (grgh) 

kaw» or wa J -kaw' 

chi 3 

re a (Ch.) 

be* 

hwa 1 lye 1 

du*-ja 5 ; a'*-(nyi 3 ) 

gwa 3 -dzye« la j -hkaw« 

krgh 3 -di 4 [(a) law'] 

da 4 ve s 

(dza 4 ) hsia' ; (dza 4 ) chia 1 

lya* (Ch.) 

fi* 

hchi'-ra s 

hkrgh'-sha 3 

shi 4 -maw 3 

chwen* (Ch.) 

(yi 1 ) hpa* 

sa 3 -la* 

tsl 3 

a' 3 

mu s 

ya s -men* (Ch.) 

pi 1 (house with roof = fl' 3 ) 

a'-nyi J -ma 3 

yi 4 -ma* 

yi 4 -dzye 6 

(yi 1 che 1 ) brgh* lye 1 

yiMa» ; meo*-chi' na' (Ch.) 

cha 1 

cha 3 -pu s 

gaw' 

kaw 1 

hkaw 3 

hchya 5 

a'-na 3 

nyi'-hche 6 

ngu 4 

kwa'-pQ 1 

a 3 -pu 3 

dye 3 -mi* re* (lowland) 



( 77 ) 



Cultivate (land, to) 



Cup 

Cure, to 

Curry 

Curtain, a 

Custom 

Cut, to (chop) ... 

(clear jungle) 

(as finger) 

(all round, as notch 
round bamboo) ... 
„ „ (reap, as paddy) 
Cutch 



H II 

>) >i 
11 ii 



h'a«-mr* hkwa' (highland) 

(general) 
lrgh«-krgh s or lu* krgh J 
(na 4 ) hsya' 
waw 5 -hpya s 
chang'-tsi' (Ch.) 
lis 

hchi 3 
tsye 1 
rgh> 

chaw 5 
rgh s 

sa'-tsi' 6 



mi' ye* 



Dacoit ; robber ... 

Dagger 

Dah (sword) 

Daily 

Damp 

Damsel ; maiden 

Dance 

Dare, to 

Dark, to be 

Daughter 

Dawn 

Day 

Daytime 

Dead, to be 

Deaf 

Dear ; costly 

Debt (or account) 

Deduct, to 

Deceive, to 

Deep 

Deer (large) 

„ (barking) ... 

„ (musk) 

„ (sharau) ... 
Deliberate, to 

Delighted, to be 
Deliver, to 

Demand, to 
Demon ; nat 
Deny, to 
Depart, to 
Deride, to 



hchyangs-tao 3 (Ch.) 

su 5 
a'-htas-hche* 
a'-hta* 

hti 5 -nyi*-htis-nyi« 
hpa'-lye 3 

ras-mrgh'MA 1 (ra*) 
gwa s -hchye* 
prgh 1 

na 3 htsi s lye 3 
a 1 -mi 5 

mi s -hta s ji* la* or mi s -hta hsya* la* 
nyi+; h'ya 6 -nyi* 
maw 6 -law 3 
shi* (aw) ; (yi 1 ) shi* 
(na ) baw s 
hka a 
rghe*-la 6 
hkeo' (Ch.) 
krgh 1 
na 1 
htsye* 
hchi 4 
la 3 

h'ya.5 
gwa 3 -dzye*-la s -hkaw 4 (take counsel 

together ; discuss) 
hsi-hwei (Ch.) ; niMipu* 
sya 6 -mya 3 tsa* (save life); chyao* 

grgh* (as lettei- — Ch.) 
hwa 3 {lit. seek) 
ni 5 

ma* re" (Ch.) 
jye* 
wa s -sye 4 



(, 78 ) 



Descend, to 


ra 6 -lye 3 


Descendants 


htsi 6 -ra s -li'-ra5 


Deserve, to 


hpu s 


Desire, to 


nii 4 ; ni'-shi 3 


Despair, to 


ni s -ma 3 bya 3 lye 3 


Despatch, to 


ts'i 3 hu 3 krgh 3 


Destroy, to 


hpya a 


,» (Kill) 


sye 6 (krgh 3 ) 


Dew 


lu 2 -shui« (Ch.) 


Die, to 


shi* 


Different 


ma« htaw's (Ch.) 


„ to be 


tseo«(Ch.) 


Difficult 


sha* 


Dig 


hkwa 3 


Dim, to be 


ma 5 lya 2 


Dinner ; lunch ; tiffin 


dza*-juS 


Dip, to 


taw s 


Dirt ; soil 


ne x -h'e s (in some districts la l -pa* 




hchtt) 


„ (excrement) 


hchis 


Dirty, to be 


ma* shya 4 


Disagree, to 


ma 5 haw 2 la 5 »hkaw 4 


Disappear, to 


ma 5 maw 4 


Discourse, to 


ma'-mi 5 cha 3 


Discuss, to 


gwa 3 -dzye 4 


Disease 


na* 


Dish 


ba 4 


Dishonest 


ni 3 -nia 3 ma s ji 4 


Dislike, to 


ma 5 nu* 


Disobey, to 


ma s na 3 -na* 


Dispute, to ... 


sy4 6 la* hkaw 4 


Distant 


rgh« 


Distribute, to 


be* grgh 5 


District, a 


mu 5 


Distrust, to 


ma* h'a 4 -le 3 


Ditch 


yang 5 keo 3 (Ch.) 


Divide, to ... 


be 4 


Divine, to (by sticks) 


sa 5 sye 4 sye 4 


Divorce, to 


... htsrge* 


Lo, to 


ye 3 


Doctor 


na'-htsi 6 si s -hpa s 


Dog. 


a'-na 5 


Door 


ka 3 -hkrgh*(-du 3 ) ; a'-hkrgh or hka 3 




hkrgh* 


Dove ... 


a T -gu s 


Down (adv.) 


wu s -si T (mu 5 ) 


„ to go 


ra 6 -jye* 


,, to come • 


ra 6 lye 3 


Drag, to 


gaw 4 


Draw ; pull (to) 


chp 


; , (as water) 


hkaw 6 


,, (as picture) 


baW 3 



( 79 ) 



Draw to (unsheathe) *.. 


', gaW* -'":,-,-'•;: 


Dream, to .... : 


yi 6 -my4 3 -hkaw 4 ■ ? ' 


Dress ... .,-. : 


I bu«-htsis . '? 


„ to 


bu*-htsi s gwa 5 - *. 


Drink, to 


daw* '. i -■■■• 


Drop, to 


htsye«-lye 3 


Drown, to ? .;. .-.-_. 


. htsyen 5 -shi* ; ti'-sbi* 


Drug (medicine) 


na'-htsi 6 


Drunk, to be 


yi 6 (a) law 3 


Dry {adj.) ... * 


hu 3 


Duck 


4" : 1 


Dumb 


mrgh'4; ya s -pa 3 (Ch.) = a dumb 




person 


Dung~ 


hchi 3 


Durable, to be ... 


rze 5 pu'(a) law 3 


Dust ; ashes ... 


hku*-h'a« ; pi 1 je 6 


Dwell, to 


tya 1 


Dwelling (= house) 


h'H 


Dye, to 


nr 1 


Dyke (between paddy-fields) 


ken 5 -tsi 3 (Ch.) 


£ 




Each 


Mi 5 ma 3 bye 3 hti 5 ma 3 


Ear, the 


na'-paw 3 


„ orifice, the 


na'-paw 3 -hku< 


Ear-ring 


na'-likaw* 


Early 


na 6 


Earth, the 


mi 3 -na 3 


East, the 


mi s -mi* daw 3 hkrgh 5 or brgh 3 daw 




hkrgh 5 . 


Easy, to be 


sa< 


Eat, to 


dza 5 


Eatable 


dza 5 da* law* 


Edge 


hkrghs 


Eel (land) 


hwang 5 -shan 3 (Ch,) 


Egg 


hu 3 


Eight 


h'i 6 


Eject, to 


ga 6 


Elbow 


la 6 -tsi 3 


Elder, village 


htsaw*-wu 5 


Elephant 


h'a*-ma 3 


Elope, to 


hpaw*-jye 4 (to abduct = haw 5 -. 




hpaw*) 


Else {adv.) 


yi'-te^-yi 1 


„ otherwise ... 


ma 5 nga* nya 3 


Emancipate 


hu 3 -krgh 3 


Embrace 


saw 1 


Emetic 


hpe 6 (a) ma 3 na'-hts*i 6 J 


Employ 


rze 5 

* 


Empty 


a'-shp ma 5 da 1 


„ to 


lr' J 


Encircle 


chaw 1 



( 8o ) 



End ; extremity 




prgh'-du* 


Endless 


*.. 


yi' prgh' ma* htsye* 


Endure 


• • ■ 


re s ; dzi* 


Enemy (= soldier) 


ma* 


Enough, be 


. • • 


law 6 


Entangle 


• •• 


hkrgh>lrgh' 


Enter 


• • • 


daMye 3 ; (go in) da* jye* ; (come in) 
das-la* 


Entertainment ; 


feast 


poi 3 (Burmese) 


Entice . 


• •• 


krgh 1 ; na 1 (ru«) 


Entrails 


. • • 


wu* 


Entrap 


... 


htu« 


Entreat 


. ■ . 


hchyus (Ch.) ; shang'-fu* (Ch.) ; dye* 


Equal, to be 


• » • 


hti*-lye J 


Erase, to 


... 


hta'-huMcrgh 1 


Erect, to (a house) 


tsi 1 


Err, to 


• • ■ 


hchya*-krgh 5 


Escape, to 


... 


li'-krgh* 


Escort, to 


• * • 


haw 5 -h'a« 


Esteem, to 


• • • 


hpu* ; nu* 


Eternal 


... 


htis htsi 6 hti s pa J 


Even ; level 


. • . 


hping 3 (Ch.) 'ht 


Evening 


... 


mrgh'S-hkrgh 3 


Ever {adv.) 




a'-hta>(a) mi* 


Every 


. . . 


a 1 shp . . . (a) mi+ 


Exactly 




trghe 6 -bye 3 


Exceed, to 




mya s -lye 3 


•Except ; unless 




expressed by " if not" 


Exchange 




pa 3 


Excrement 




hchi 3 


Exhibit, to 




maw 1 


Exist, to 


. . . 


tya 1 


Expand, to 


... 


wuMa* 


Expel, to 


... 


ga 6 


Expense 




(yi 1 ) hpu» 


Expensive 




hka J 


Explode, to 


• •• 


paw 3 


Extinguish, to 


... 


sye 6 krgh 3 


Extol, to 


... 


she* grgh* 


Extort, to 




tsi 3 (lit. collect) 


Extract, to 


. . . 


ru* daw 3 la* 


Extremity 


. ■ . 


prgh'-du 3 


Exude, to 




... dzi s -daw 3 


Eye 




mya 3 -si' 5 


„ ball 


... 


mya 3 ni'-ma 3 


„ lid 




mya 3 kaw 3 -ji* 


,, lash 


... 


mya' kaw 3 -mu 3 




• 


F 


Face (n.) 


... 


hpi s mya 3 


Fail, to 


... 


ma s hwa 1 lye 3 ; shuMye 3 



( &* > 



Faint, to 


• • • 


Oia s hwa'-hclu" 


Fall, to 


... 


htsyeMye 3 


,i ,i (of water decreasing 




in river) 




si 6 -lye 3 


False 


... 


ma* chwen* 


Fan, to 


• •• 


me" 


a «* ••• 


• • ■ 


htsa*-me*-du 3 


Far, to be 


• • ■ 


rgh* 


Fast 


* • • 


tsrghe 6 


Fasten, to 


• <* 


htsaw 3 ; hrgh*; hche* 


Fat, to be 


... 


• htsi* 


Fate 


• •• 


sya 6 mya 3 


Father 




aS-baS ; ba'-bas ; hpa* 
rgh s -hrgh* 


Fatigued, to be ... 


• • • 


Fault 




hchya'(a) ma 3 


Fear, to 


• •• 


jaw 3 


Feast 


... 


pois (Burmese) 


Feather 


• * . 


du 3 


Fee 


• • * 


hpu* 


Feeble, to be 


. * . 


sya 6 ma* jaw* 


Feed (cattle, pigs, etc.) 


. • . 


cha 1 


„ (to babies, and persons 




generally) 


... 


grgb> dza s 


„ (to take food) 


... 


dzaS 


Feign, to 


• ■• 


(yi 1 ) hpye 6 hpye 6 


Fell, to (trees) ... 


,. 


hkrghe* 


Female ... 


• • • 


ma 3 


Fence, to 


... 


htus 


Ferry, a 




li 3 -ku 3 -hkrghs 


Fetch, to 




ru 4 ye 3 


Fever, to have 


... 


gaw 3 -de s hchu*; jya 3 -ni'-wu*-nyi* 
da* law 3 • 


Few {adj.) 




ni 1 


Fiddle, a 


• • ■ 


san 3 -bsien* (Ch.) 


Field (irrigated) 


... 


dye 3 -mi* (in some districts 
h chawt-muS-hpu*) 


„ idry, hillside) 


. • • 


h'a*-mr» 


„ (dry, fallow) 


» *• 


brgh 4 -jya 3 -mi* 


Fig 


... 


hchya 2 -htsa a -si* 


„ tree 




hchya a -htsa 2 -dzi 3 


Fight 




paw 3 la s -hkaw* ; ti'-Ia^hkaw* J 


Fill (put in) 




haw 5 ; krgh 3 


Filth 


... 


Ia 3 -pa, 3 -hchi* ; hchU (excrement) 


Find 


... 


hwa 3 -mrgh' 3 


Finger 




la 6 -nyi 3 


Finish, to (complete) 


... 


dawMye 3 


„ „ (use all of) 




ye 3 gu 3 -lye 5 


Fire 




a'-taw 1 


Fireplace 


... 


hku*-tsu r -be 6 


First 


... 


yi 1 wu 1 


Fish 


... 


ngwa 1 


„ (salted and dried) 
6 


... 


ngwa 1 -j u 3 



( 8 3 ) 



Fish (rotten, Burmese ngafi) 


ngwa'-hchT* 


Fist 


laO-pu' 


Five 


ngwa 5 


Flash, to 


bye 6 -lye 6 -mu 3 


Flat, to be 


pya 3 


Flea 


krgh 5 -trghe» 


Flee 


hchye a -jye 4 


Fleece (sheep's wool) 


a 3 -raw 3 mu 3 


Flesh 


hwa 5 


Float away, to . . . 


bu 4 jye* 


Floor 


iaw 4 -ma 3 


Flow 


yi 4 


Flour (wheaten) 


rzu 3 -hrgh s 


Flower 


si 3 -ve 3 


Flute 


jit* -la 5 


Fly, to 


bye* (jye 4 ) 


Fly, a 


i 4 -mu s 


„ green 


shi' 3 -ma 3 


Foam 


vi 4 h'u 1 


Fog 


wuMu' (Ch.) 


Fold 


Ii 1 


Follow 


he haw 4 - jye* 


Follower 


hchaw 4 -jye* su 3 ; 


,, (servant) 


re 5 -ja 3 -su 3 


„ (retainer) 


hchi 3 -hpa 2 -ra* 


Fond of , to be ... 


nu«(a) law 3 ; ni 3 -shi 3 (a) law 3 


Kood 


dza* du 3 


Fool ; idiot 


htsaw 4 -mrgh' 4 


Foolish ; idiotic 


mrgh'* 


Foot 


hchi^hpa.' 


For {prep.) 


be*-rghe 3 


Forcibly ./. 


ma s da 4 ma* sa s 


Forehead 


nga 6 -hchi» 


Foreigner 


yangS-ren s (Ch.) 


Forget 


mi 3 -lye 3 


Forgive 


ra'-grgh 5 


Formerly 


hrgh 1 hta*; a*-ni»-shl< ni 2 ; a*-ne'' 




hta* 


Forsake 


law 3 -krgh 3 


Fort 


yings-hpan* (Ch.) 


Four 


li 3 


Fowl 


a'-rgha 1 


Fox 


hu*-li 3 (Ch.) 


Fragrant 


hche 5 -ne 3 mi*(a) law 3 


Friend 


hchaw s -hpa a 


Frighten, to 


chaw' 


Frog 


wu'-pa 1 


From 


kwa 3 -bye 3 (or kwa s ba J ) 


Front 


hrgh'-htas 


Frost 


ni 3 


Froth 


yi 4 -h'u> 


Fruit 


si 3 -s'i* 



( 8 3 ) 



Fry (rftill, as egg) 
„ (as vegetables) 

Fuel (firewood) 
„ (charcoal) 

Full, to be 

Funny 



ngaw 1 

le 3 

s^-chaw 1 

hku 4 -mu 3 -tsi 3 

bi 3 

kas-ji* 



Gay; merry 

'Gain; profit («.) 

Gale ; hurricane 

Gall 

Gamble 

Gaol 

Garden 

Garlic (kind of) ... 

•Garment 

Gate 

Gaze 

Geld 

Gently 

Get, to (obtain) . . . 

Ghost, a 

Ginger 

Girdle ; waistband 

■Girl 

Girth (for saddle) 

Give 

Glad, to be 

Glass 

„ bottle 
Glittering 
Go 
Goat 

God, the Creator 
Gold 
Gong 
Good 

Goods (things) ... 
Goose 

Gourd (bottle) ... 
Govern 
Grain 

•Grandfather 
Grandson 

Grand-daughter ... 
Grass 
Gravei a 
'Gravy 
Gray 



sya 3 

li» (Ch.) 

htaw 5 -ngaw s -htaw*-krgh 3 

yi J ma 3 daw 5 ; tu* htsyen 6 (Ch. 

be 3 -du* 

be 3 

hkwa s -sye* 

bu« htsi'S 

ka 3 -hkrgh s 

nyi 3 

na 1 

a*-ra 4 -a$-ra*(a) bye 3 

mrgh' 3 

ni 5 

chyang 3 (Ch.) 

ji^-hrghe* 

a'-mi* ; raS-mrgh'S-la 1 

tuMai 2 (Ch.) 

grghs 

ni 3 hpu* ; hsi s -hwei 3 (Ch.) 

pawMi 5 (Ch.) 

shao 3 -lya' 3 -hu* (Ch.) 

bye 6 -lye 6 -mu 3 

jye 4 ; ye« 

a'-hchii 6 

Wu«-Sa 4 

shi 3 

chaw 3 -Iaw s 

ji* ; ha 1 

gu s -ju s ; chya 3 -si 3 (Ch.) 

aw' 3 

huMu 4 (Ch.) 

kwans (Ch.) 

ma 1 -si s 

a 3 - pa 3 

li 3 -pa 3 ' , 

li 3 -ma 3 

shi 1 ; maw' 

Igs-dzu 3 

wu*-yi* 

ku'-htu* 



( 8 4 ) 

Graze, to ' ... ... shi 1 dza? 

Great ... ... wu 5 ; da 5 -ma 5 



Greedy ... ... kwa 5 

Green (colour) ... ... ni'-hch'i 6 

Grind, to ... ... je 3 ; maw s (Ch.) 

Groan, to ... na* wu s 

Uround ... ... mi 3 -na 3 

Ground-nut" ... ... mi 3 -na 3 -s'i s ; law s -ti'-song 5 (Cb„)> 

Grow, to ... ... wus-la 4 

Guard, to ... ... ra 3 -mu 3 

Guess ... ... htsai 3 (Ch.) 

Guest ... ... nrgh's-hwa 3 ; ve'-ra* 

Guide ; lead (to) . . . haw s (jye«) 

Gun ... ... paw 3 ; (cap gun) htong*-hpao'- 

htsyang 3 (Ch.) 

Gunpowder ... ... haw s -yaw' (Ch.) 

Guts ; bowels ... ... wu< 



H 



Hack ; hew 


hchi 3 


Hail 


wa*-sip j waS-ma 4 -si* ; wa s -hpu*-lu* 


Hair, of head, long 


wu'-ku'-ma 3 


,, „ „ short, in front 


wu'-htsye* 


„ on body ... 


mu 3 


• Half, one 


(hti<) brghs 


Halt; rest 


rgh s -hrgh*-na* 


Hand 


la 6 -hpa 2 


Handle 


la 6 -wu 6 


Handsome, to be 


bi 4 


Hang up, to 


ngaw 3 ; tyao* (Ch.) 


Hang, to (kill oneself by hangingj hrgl^-hchP-shi* 


Happy, to be ... ... 


ni 2 -hpu>,; hsi 3 -hwei 3 (Ch.) 


Hard (of substance) . . . ' 


hu 3 


„ (difficult) 


sha 1 


Hare 


htawMa* 


Hat 


na*-h'aw a or na*-hkaw x 


Hatch, to 


mu* 


Hate, to 


hrghe' ; ni" dzaw* 


Haul, to 


chi -2 


Have, to 


jaw* 


Hawk; eagle 


dzye* 


He; she ; it 


yi 1 


Head 


wu'-du 3 


Headache 


wu'-du 3 na* 


Head-cloth ;, turban 


wu'-htrghe* 


Headman (village) 


sis-hpa* ; htsaw<-wu* 


Heap (see Classifying Particles) 


pe» etc. 


Hear, to 


pa 3 -ja 5 


Heart 


ni a -ma 3 . 


Heaven ; sky 


muS-kwa 3 „ .•'. 



( 85 ) 



Heavj 

Hell 
Help, to 
Hen 
Here 
Hew, to 
Hide (v.t.) 



(skin of animal) 



High 
Hill 



Himself ; herself, etc. 

Hinder, to 

Hire, to 

Hit, to (with hand or fist) 

„ „ (as bullet) 
Hither ; here 
Hive (bee) 
Hoarse, to he_ ... 
Hoe, a 
Hog ; pig 
Hold, to 
Hole, a 
Hollow 
Home 
Honest 
Honey 

Hoof (horse's) ... 
Hook 

Hooked ; crooked 
Honour, to 
Horn (buffalo's, etc.) 
Horse, a 
Hot 
Hour 
House 

How (see Grammar) 
Hug, to 

Hungry, to be ... 
Hunt, to 

Hurt, to (pain) ... 
Husband 

Husk (of paddy, etc) 
Hut, a 



li« 
hchya 6 -mS s 

a'-rgha'-ma 5 

hta*; hte«-kwa» 

hchi 3 

chi 3 

pya 3 -nya a 

ji 4 

mu 3 ; a*-mu x -mu s 

(level ridge) wa*-dzi 3 ; (high hill or 
mountain) wa 4 -chi 3 ; (dome- 
shaped peak). waMu' 

chi'-hchya* 

tang* (Ch.) 

ku 1 (Ch.) 

drgh* 

ra* ; (ya 6 ) 

hta 4 ; hte*-hwa 3 

(bya5)-si 3 -htus 

sya 6 mu 3 

a 5 -gaw 4 

a'-va 6 

ru« 

hku4 

yi'-hku 4 -du 3 (a) law 3 

h'i« 

ni a -ma 3 ji* 

bya 5 -wu s -yi* 

(a'-mu*) hchi 3 -hp4 a 

a'-gaw 6 

gawMyaw 3 

hpu 5 

wu'-hchi 3 

a'-mu s 

htsa 4 

shi'S-shi 3 

h'i* 

a 3 -li 3 (-bye 3 ), etc. 

saw 1 

h'i 6 -mrghe 6 

hwa 5 ga 6 

na 4 

ra s -gu* 

cha 3 -hprgh s 

h'i*-bye 4 



I ; me ; my 

Ice 

Idiot 



ngwa* 

ni 3 hpya 1 

htsaw*-mrgh' 4 



( 86 ) 



Idle 
Idol 
If 

Ignorant, to be ... 
Ill, to be ... 

Illness 
Imitate 
Immediately 
Immerse, to 
Immodest, to be 
Impede, to 
Implore, to 
Impossible, to be 
Imprison, to 
Improper 

In (at, etc., of persons) 
„ (inside) 
Increase, to (v.t.) 

India-rubber (eraser) 
Indigo 
Indolent 

Ineffectual ; in vain 
Infant 

Infect, to (of disease) 
Infirm, to be 
t Inform, to 
Inhabit ... 

Injured, to be ... 
Ink (liquid) 
Insane; mad 
Insect 
Inside 
Instantly 

Instruct ; teach ... 
Insufficient 
Intelligent ... 

Intercept 

Interest (on money) 
Intermingle, to ... 
Interpose ; screen (to) 
Interpret, to 
Interpreter 
Interrogate ; enquire 
Interrupt 
Intimate, to be ... 
Intimidate, to .... 
Into ' ... 

Intoxicated, to be 
Invert, to 
Invisible, to be ... 
Invite, to 



hsiens (Ch.) ; (lazy) bu* 
fu 2 -ra< ; nis-bye s 
nya 3 

a'-shT* ma* srghe 1 
na* (tya 1 ) 
na* 
saw 3 

yi J -hte 4 -le J 
ti 2 

sha 1 ma 5 taw 5 
tang* (Ch.) 

dye* ; shang 2 -fu 2 (Ch.) 
ma 5 hpye 5 la* 
be 3 

yi 1 li s ma 5 jaw* 
tya 1 

na J (kwa 3 ) 
chya 3 (Ch.) 
mya s la 4 

htaw s -rghe$ hta 2 du 3 
tyen 2 (Ch.) 
bu* 

aS-taw 3 -lyeS ; pe'-pe 2 (Ch.) 
htsaw*-shl 6 -ra s 
ji 3 la* 

sya 6 ma 5 jaw* 
ba 3 -grgh 5 
tya 1 

shang 3 (Ch.)-lyaw 3 
mrghe 2 (Ch.) wu 5 -yi 4 
wu 1 
bis-di* 
na 1 (kwa 3 ) 
.... ma 5 hte* 
ma 1 

ma* law 6 

ming s -pe 2 (Ch.) ; htong 3 -htsyeS{Ch.) 
kas 

li 2 or li 2 -htsye* (Ch.) ; yi 1 ra^ 
chya 6 la^-hkaw* 
hcha" 

mrgh'Mrghe 2 tsa 1 
mrgh'Mrghe 2 tsa 1 su J 
na 3 -nyi 3 
waw 2 

ji 4 la 3 -hkaw* 
chaw 2 
na 1 kwa 3 
yi 6 (a) law 3 
hpaw 2 
ma s maw* 
hku* 



( 8 7 ) 



Invoke, to 
Iron 
Is 

Island 
It; its 
Itch, to 
Itch-sores 
Ivory 



* • • 

• •• 
t ■ * 



• • • 


hku* 


... 


haw* 


• ■ • 


nga 4 


• •• 


hais-taos (Ch.) 


• • • 


yi' 


• • • 


ni 2 -mu 3 


■ • * 


grghs-lrgh* 



Jacket 

Jack-fruit 

Jade 

Jaggery 

Jail 

Jar 

Join, to h.t.) 

» „ (*.«'.) ... 
Joke, a 

„ to 
Journey, to go on 
Joyful 
Judge, a 

Jug, a 

Juice 

Jump, to 

Junction (of rivers) 

Jungle 

Just 



(as two pieces of 



bu4-htsi'S 

a 1 -nga 6 -h'i 6 -ma 4 -sis 
yi'-shi -3 (Ch.) 
sha 3 -htangS (Ch.) 
bgs-dus 
bya*; yi*-wu 4 
(as string) tsa 1 ; 

wood) nrghe 6 
law's (as two streams, Ch.) 
wa s -sye 4 -ngaw s 
wa s -sye 4 -ngaw s drghe 6 
du 4 -daw 3 

ni 2 -hpu 4 ; hsi 5 -hwei 3 
ba 3 -ngaw* chya 5 su 

si s -hpa* 



hchya*-kaw 3 ; 

wu s -yi* 

trghe 3 

law*-dzye+ 

si 2 -pye 3 

hpingS (Ch.) 



ba 3 ngaw* 
htongs-kwan" (Ch.), 



Karen 

Keep, to (maintain, support) 

„ „ (put by, as grain for 
Kerchief (hand) ; towel 
Key 
Kick, to 
Kid 
Kill, to 
Kind (race, sort) 

„ (sort, variety) 

„ to be 
Kindle 

King, a 

Kingdom ; country 
Kiss, to 
Kite, a (bird) 



K 

Ke 3 -Yi 3 

kawng 3 (Ch.) ; grgh* dza* 
seed) dzye 3 

sheoS-chin 3 (Ch.) 

yaws-hchi 3 (Ch.) 

hti 2 

a'-hchi^-ra 5 

sye 6 
. . shi* 

chus (Ch.) 

(ni a -ma 3 ) ji* 

mya 3 (to kindle— lit. put together 
— a fire) = (a'-taw 1 ) tsi 1 

wa*-ti x 

muS 

baw 6 

dzye 4 -h'a a -la* 



< 88 ) 



Kitten, a ... ... 

Knead, to t.. 

Knee, the ... 

Kneel, to 
Knife, a (small, pointed) 

„ a (bent, long-handled) 
Knock, to (rap) ... 

,, „ (strike hard) 
Knot, a (in string) 
Know, to ... 

Knuckles, the ... 



a 3 -myao 3 -ra* 

nu a 

hchi 3 -tsi J 

hchi 3 -tsi 3 grgh* 

a»-hta«-hch6* 

aMitaf-lye* 

drgh* ; ti' 
' bteMe'-be 3 
srghe 1 
la«-tsi 3 



Labour (».) 


• • • 


. ... wa 5 


Labour, to (work) 


mi* ye 3 


Lac 


... 


tsi'i-kengs (Ch.) 


Ladder 


• • • 


htiMsi* 


Ladle 


... 


hpva^hkrgh* 


Lamb 


• • • 


a 3 -raw 3 -ra s 


Lame, to be 


• • ■ 


hchiMipa^shaw' 


Lament ,* wail 


(to) 


a 3 -hchya 3 -je« 


Lamp ; lantern 


• ■ • 


a'-taw 1 mya'-du 3 
teng* (Ch.) 


Lance ; spear { 


a) 


la 3 -mu 3 -hta s 


Lance (pierce), 


to 


ka 1 


Land 


• ■• 


... mu s 


Language 


... 


ngaw J 


Lard 


. . . 


a J -va 6 -htsi* 


Large 


* • • 


wu*; daS-ma* 


Last, the 


■ • • 


ka'-na'-si" (ma 3 ) 


Late, to be 


• •• 


mya 5 -ye 4 


Laugh, to 


• •• 


wa s -sye* 


Law («.) 


.. • 


lis 


Lay, to (as egg) 


hu 3 


,, down, to 




krgh 3 (ta 1 ) 


M » n 


(a child) 


shl" 


I azy 


... 


... bu 4 


Lead, to 


• • • 


haw 5 (jye 4 ) ja 3 -gu 3 


, (metal) 


• • • 


htsrge 6 


Leaf 


... 


. . si 2 -hpya s 


Leak, to 


• •• 


... yi 4 


Lean, to 


• •• 


kaw 3 


„ thin 


• •• 


che 3 


Leap, to 


... 


trghe* 


Learn, to ' 


..." 


saw 3 


Leather 


• • • 


hwa s -ji* 


Leave ; go (to) 


• ■• 


jye* 


Leech 


... 


ve 6 


Left (hand) 


• • • 


l& 6 -rgh« 


Leg 


... 


... hpi*-sye* 



(yangi) 



haw^-ma'-grgh* 



( 89 ) 



Leggings 
Leisure, to be afc 
Lend, to (money or anything 
where an equivalent only is 
. to be returned) 

Lend, to (where the identical 
object has to be returned) 

Leopard 

Leper 

Less 

Lessen ... 

Liberate, to 

Lick, to 

Lie, to tell a 

Lie down, to 

Life (».) 

Lifetime 

Light (opp. of dark) 

„ (opp. of heavy) 
Lightning, to flash 
Like, to be 
Like, to (love) ... 
Lime (CaO) ' ... 
Lip 
Liquor (brewed, solid) 

n ( ,i liquid) 
(distilled) 
Listen, to 
Little (small) ... 
» a ... ... 

Live ; to be alive 
Live; to dwell ... 
Liver 
Load, a 

„ to 
Log, a 
Long (length) ... 

„ (time) 

,, after, to ... 
Look 

Looking-glass ... 
Loom 
Loose, to 

„ (opp. of tight) 
Lord (owner) 
Lose, to (an article) 

„ „ (in battle, etc.) 
Loudly 
Louse 
Love, to 



hchi 3 -j u s 
hsyen* <Ch.) 



hchi* 

ngwa 1 

la s -wu'-du s 
tai'-mas-feng 5 (Ch.) 
ni 1 

ni'-lye 3 
hu 3 -krgh 3 
lrghe 6 
krgh 1 
yi 6 -ta x 
sya 6 -mya 3 
hti*-rzi« 
lya" (Ch.) 
law 3 

mi 6 -bye 6 -rze 6 
rghe 4 ; sui* (Ch.) 
nu* 

shi 4 -hwei 3 (Ch). 
mrgh*-lrge a kaw 3 ji* 
ji*-hpu* 
ji 4 -hprgh* 
lis-chi 3 
na 3 -na a 

raw 3 ;a*-ti'(u) 
a 4 -ti J (a) ; a 4 -ti T -raS 
sya 1 (tya 1 ) 
tya 1 

si'-hpya 1 

rghe* ; taw' (Ch. = pack-animal's 
load) 

chye 3 

si s -wu s 

shi' 3 

mrgh'^-ra 3 ; mrgh' 3 -shi' 5 

si s -jya s 

law 1 ; nyi' ; hpi'-nyi 3 or te'-nyi 3 * 

hpi*-nyi 3 -du 3 

ya 6 (to weave on loom = ya 6 hch'i*) 

hprgh 4 ; brgh 4 

bya 5 

si 3 -hpa J • 

hpi 6 -ye 4 

shu 3 -Iye 3 (Ch.) 

sya 6 a 4 -wu*-wu*-bye 3 

hrgh« 

na 4 ; ni'-shi 1 



( 9o ) 



Low, to be . ... 
„ to (of cattle) 
Lower, to 

Lower (opp. of higher) 
Lowland [lit. hot country) 
Lucky, to be (see § 5) 
Lunatic, to be ... 



e' 5 

mrgh' 4 

ru 4 ra 6 hu'-krgh* 

wu*-si*-mu 3 

le 4 -mu s 

chye 6 

wu 1 



Machine, a ... 

Mad, to be 
Maid, a 
Maize ; corn 
Make, to 

Male 

Man (human being) 
Mane 
Many 
Market 

Marrow (vegetable) 
Marry, to 
Marshy 
Marvel, to 
^Master - ... 

Mat, a 

Mate ; companion 
Mattress 
Matter (pus) 

„ (event) ... 

Mean (parsimonious) 
Measures (see Appendix) 
Meat 

Meddle, to 
Medicine 
Meet, to 
Melt, to 

Mend, to (clothes) ., 

,", ,, (as broken article) 
Merchandise 
Merchant, a 
Merciful, to be ... 
Merely ; only ... 
Messenger .«. . 

Midday ; nooh ... 
Midnight 

Mildewed ; mouldy (to be) 
Milk 
Millet (two varieties) 



M 



hchyaMa 6 

wu 1 

raS-mrgh'Ma'-ra* 

hkrgh s -sha 3 

ye 3 ; hsya 2 (usually tore-make, 

repair) 
pa 3 ; hpa s 

la s -htsaw 4 ; (male) htsaw 4 -pa 3 -(ra s ) 
ma s -tsong 3 (Ch.) 
mya 5 ; aS-mva* 
ji 3 ; kai 3 -tsl*' (Ch.) 
a'-hpu* 

ra s -mrgh' 4 hwa 5 
la 3 -pa 3 h'e 4 
du s -ja 5 mrgh'* 
si 3 -hpa s 
sis-tis 3 (Ch.) 
hchaw 5 -hpa a 
hkaw s -du 3 
bi 5 -hchi 4 
ja 3 -gu 3 ; men* hteo* (Ch.) ; si 3 - 

htsyes (Ch.) 
ritsu* 

hwa s 

chyao s (Ch.) 

na'-htsi 6 

dz'i* (ji 4 ) ; taw a -dzaw s 

ji 3 (la 4 ) 

pe* 

hsya a 

guS-ju* ; haw a (Ch.) 

rghe 4 -la 5 mu 4 su* 

she T *ra s 

tsi 3 -du 3 ; hchai 3 (Ch.) 

maw 6 -law 3 

pan a -ye a (Ch.) 

ba 6 ye* 

a s -chi a 

shi'-si 5 ; htsye 6 



( 9i ) 



Mimic, to 
Mind 


saw* 
ni s -ma 3 


Mine (belonging to me) 


ngwa 4 - ta'-ma* ; ngwa 4 -rgh* 


„ (silver), a 


(hpu 4 )-du* 


M »ngle 


chya«-las-hkaw» 


Miss, to (not to hit) 


mas ra 6 


Mist 


wuMu' (Ch.) 


Mistake 


hchya 4 (a)-ma» 


Mistrust 


ma s h'a 4 -le 3 


Mix 


chya 6 ; pan' (Ch.) 


Moan 


na 4 -wu* 


Mock ; deride (to) 


wa s -sye 4 


Modest {lit. ashamed) 


sha'-taw' 


Moist, to be 


hchao* 


Moment, a 


hti s htrghe'-ra* 


Monastery (Chinese) 


myaoMsi' 3 


Money (silver) ... 


hpu 4 


„ (brass) ... 


htaw 4 -htsye 4 


Monkey 


chya 2 -mye 6 


Month (moon) ... 


h'a 4 -ba 4 


Moon 


h'a 4 -ba 4 


Moonlight 


h'a 4 -ba 4 -hchi 3 


More {adv.) 


..... sye 5 


Morning 


na 6 


Morrow 


sa'-grgh 3 


Mosquito 


yi'-pu 1 


Moth ; butterfly 


bus-lu 4 


Mother 


a 3 -ma 3 ; ma 2 ma 5 


Mount (an animal) 


dzi* 


Mountain 


wa 4 -chp 


Mourn ; wail (to) 


a 3 -hchya 3 -je 4 ; ma 2 ma* 


Moustache ; beard 


mu s -tsi 3 


Mouth 


mrghMrghe* 


Move, to {v.t.) (a thing bodily) 


chi' 3 


„ „ {v.t.) (move house) 


wu 5 hchi's chi 3 


„ „ {v.t.) (as hands and feet) du 3 


Much 


a s -mya a ; mya s 


Mud 


la 3 -pa 3 -hchi s 


Muddy (turbid) ... 


wu'-nrgh' 4 nrgh' 4 


Mule 


'(a'-muS) law 6 -tsi 3 (Ch.) 


Murder ; kill (to) 


sye 6 


Mushroom, a 


chi 3 -tsong 3 (Ch.) ; mi 3 -hchP 


Musk ... ... 


la 3 -haw 4 


Mustard plant ... 


waw s -hpi 4 


Mute 


mrgh' 4 


Mutual ; reciprocal 


. . . la 6 -hkaw 4 


(My)self 


(ngwa 4 ) chi'-hchyas 

V 


Nail, a ... 


N 
ting 3 tsi* (Ch.) 


„ to 


hta 6 



( 9» ) 



Naked, to be 

Name, a 

Narrate 

Narrow 

Navel, the ... 

Near, to be 

Necessary, to be 

Neck ' ... 

Necklace # ... 

Needle 

Neigh, to 

Neighbour 

Neither (see Grammar) 

Nephew 

Nest (bird's) 

Net (fishing) 

Nettle 

Nevertheless ... 

New 

Niece 

Night, a 

,, time, in the 
Nine 
Nip, to 
No 

No one ; nobody 
Nod, to (dozing) 

„ „ (in assent) 
Noon 
North 
Nose 
Not 
Now 
Nothing 
Numb 
Nut (walnut) 



jya J -l&*-mu 3 

mye 3 

(ma'-naU) cba' 

tsrghe' (Ch.) 

hchya*-du* 

nrgh* ; hpa*-hti 8 

nu* 

krgh J -tsi 3 

li'-waw* 

waw 2 

h'i*-h'i*-h'i* bye 3 mrgh'« 

hti 5 -hka 2 -ma 3 la*-htiaw 4 

ra s -du 4 

nya'-hkrgh* 

ngwa'-pe* 

ne'-hpe* 

gaw 4 -le3-nga 4 (a) mi 4 

(yi 1 ) shi 6 

mrgh's du 4 

h'ya 6 

sa'-hkwa 3 

ku J 

htsi 6 

roa s ; ma s nga 4 

a s -ma 4 (a) ma s . . . 

wu'-htawS-tsu 1 

wu'-nge 6 

mi*-mi 4 maw 6 -law 3 

law^wu'-ta'-si 3 

Da 3 -be 4 

ma 3 

a 3 -mrgh' 3 

a J -shi s ma s . . . 

hsi 3 (a) law 3 

wo 4 -daw s 



Obey 

Oblique, to be 
Obtain, to 
Occasionally 
Occupation 
Ocean 

Odorous, to be .. 
Offended, to be 
Offer to (to nats) 
Officer 



na 3 -na a 

hpya 1 

mrgh' 3 

htis-hwa'-hty-hwa' 

mi s 

hpyao 3 -yangJ-ta'-hai s (Ch.) ; na 3 -yi 4 

shi* du« 
hche s -ne 3 
ni'-ma 3 na 4 
ti 3 j gu» 
si* hpa s 



( 93 ) 



Often 
Oil 

Old (persons) 
„ (things) 
On 
Once 
One 
Oneself 
Only 
Open, to 

Opinion ; mind ... 
Opium 
Oppose, to 
Oppress, to 
Order, anyone, to 
Origin 
Orphan 
Other ... 

Our 

Outlet 

Outside (of house) 

. „ (of box, jug, etc.) 

Over [prep.) 

„ (past and gone) 
Overcast (of sky) 
Overcome, to 
Overhear, to 
Overtake, to (catch up) 
Owe, to (a debt) 
Owner 
Ox 



yi a -lao/(Ch.) ; titi* htsi* 

hwa s -htsl 4 

maw s 

be* 

hta 5 -si' kwa J 

hti 3 hwa 2 

bti 5 (-ma 3 ) 

ehi'-hchya 3 

lye 3 

hpu 3 

ni 2 -ma 3 

yaMipye* (Ch.) 

tang* (Ch.) 

nyi 1 ; ya 2 (Ch.) ; tsl'-dza* 

tsi 3 

(yi ! )-chye 3 

ra s -nchi s 

ne 1 (or ni 1 ) ba 6 ; yi'-te 3 -yi' (see: 

Appendix) 
raw 5 ; ngwa*-nu 5 
daw 3 jye* gu 3 
ni 2 -shi' 3 -ma 3 
hta'-si 1 

hta^-si'-mu 3 , etc, 
gu 3 -lyaw 3 
muHi 3 -ti 3 
hwa'-lye 3 
na 3 -na s -mrgh' 3 
ga 6 -mrgh' 3 
ba 3 

si 3 -hpa s 
a T -nyi s 



Pack, to 

Pad, saddle 

Paddy 

Pagoda 

Pain 

Paint (».) 

Pair of, a 

Palace 

Palm (of hand) 

„ (tree) 
Palisade 
Pan, frying 
Pants 
Paper 

Parcel, a, of 
Pardon, to 



• • • 



krgh 3 
hti 2 (Ch.) 
dza 4 -ma 4 -sii s 

kong s -mu s (Shan) ; mu s taw 2 rzi*- 
na* 
chi 1 

(htis) dzye* 
chin 3 -tyen 2 (Ch.) 
la 6 -kwa 3 

tsong 3 -pao 3 (Ch.) 
lans-kan 3 (Ch.) * . 
aMuS 
mi 3 -hchi 3 
htaw s -rghe s 
(htiS) hte* 
ra 1 (grghs) (Ch.) 



( 94 ) 



Parents 
Part, a, of 

,, to (take leave of each 
Pass, to (as on road) 
Passion, to be in a 
Past ; gone by . . 
Patient, to be .... 
Path 

Pause ; stop (to) 
Pay, to (money) 
Pay; wages 
Peas 

Peck, to 

Peel, to 

Peep, to 

Peg, a ... 

Pen or pencil, a 

Penalty 

Penis 

People 

Perceive, to 

Perish, to (die) ... 

Permission, to ask 

Permit j allow (to) 

Perplexed, to be 

Persecute, to 

Person, a 
Perspire, to 
Peruse, to 

Pheasant, a 

Physician 

Pick, to (fruit, etc.) 

„ up, to (off ground) 
Pig 

„ wild ... 

Pidgeon 
Pillow 
Pinch, to 
Pineapple 
Pine (two kinds) 

„ torch 
pipe (tobacco) ... 
Pity, to 

Place, a <... 

Plain, a 
Plank, a 
Plant, to 
Plantain 
Plate, a 



a s -ba s -a 3 -ma 3 
(htis) be 4 
other) hhaMis-hkaw 4 
kaw 3 jye 4 
ni 3 -ma 3 -h'rgh* 
kaw 3 jyaw 4 
ni 2 -ma 3 shi 3 
ja 3 -gu 3 
na* 
brgh 4 
wa s -hpu s 
a'-naw 3 -waw 3 ; (a'-naw 3 ) wan'-teo' 

(Ch.) 
Maw* 
shi" ; tits* 
hku s nyi 3 
a'-gaw s 
pi 3 (Ch.) 
tswi* (Ch.) 
h'aw 3 
la s -htsaw 4 
maw 4 
shi 4 

chya s -hkrgh s dye J 
tsi 3 

du s -ja s mya s 
ya a (Ch.) ; nyi 1 ; hkaw 4 -dza s or tsi 3 - 

htsaw 2 (= to fine) 
la s -htsaw 4 
chi 3 daw 3 
Q' 3 {lit. count, i.e. read out loud) ; 

nyi 3 (read) 
a'-rgha'-kaw 1 

na'-htsi 6 si*-hpa5 ; htai'-yi 3 (Ch.) 
hha 6 
gaw 3 
a a -va 6 
a'-va^ti' 
a'-gu s 

wu'-gaw'-law 3 
htsi 6 

ma 3 -h'a 3 -la 3 (Shan) 
htaw 5 -dzi 3 and sye^-dzi 3 
shaw 4 -baw 4 
ye 3 -kaw 3 (Ch.) 
she'-ra* 
mu s 

wa 4 -dye 3 ; pa' (Chi) 
si'-hpva 1 
trgh 3 ' 
nga 3 -si s 
ba 4 



( 95 ) 



Play, to 




ka 5 -na 2 


Plead, to , v 


• • • 


dye 5 


Pleasant, to be ... 
Plentiful, to be ... 


... 


ni 2 -hpu 4 ; hsye 5 -hwei 2 (Ch.) 
a'-shi' 5 gu 3 ma* da 4 


Plough, a 




Ia 5 -hkrgh 5 


,. to 


• ■ • 


ma 5 


Pluck, to (fruit) . . . 


< • • 


hha 6 


Plamp ; fat 




htsi 4 


Point, to (with finger) 




la 6 -nyi 3 gu 3 


Poisonous 


• •• 


taw 1 


Pond 


... 


long 5 -htang 5 


Pony 




a'-mu 5 


Poor (destitute) ... 


• • • 


sha 1 


Porcupine 


. . . 


pu 3 


Pork 


• • • 


a J -va 6 -hwa 5 


Possess ; have (to) 




jaw 4 


Pot" (copper, Chinese) 


. . . 


ji 5 -be 4 


Potato 




la 2 -be 3 ; yang 5 -yi 2 (Ch.) 


,, sweet 


... 


mrgh' 5 


,, (a glutinous variety 


of 




tuber) 


... 


bi 6 


Pound, to (as paddy) 


*.* 


ti 1 


Pour, to 


* > • 


haw 5 


Powder 


... 


(yi 1 ) hrgh 5 


Power ; strength 




sya 6 


Powerful ; strong (to be) 


• »• 


sya 6 jaw 4 


Pox, small 


* •• 


bi 4 -bi 4 


Praise, to 


• •• 


she'-grgh 5 


Pray, to 


». 


rghe 5 dye 5 ; wa 5 -kaw z ; wa s -hku 4 


Preach, to 


• 4 * 


ma'-mi 5 cha 3 


Precious, to be ... 


• •• 


hpu 5 


Precipice, a 


• •• 


rgha'-bya 6 


Precise ; exact ; true 


• • • 


chwen 5 (Ch.) 


Pregnant, to be 


■ • • 


ra*-ne 3 jaw 4 ; h'i s -hchi s wu s (vulgar); 
gaw 3 de 5 ma s shya 4 (polite). 


Prepare, to (as food) 




hsya 2 


Present, to be ... 


• a. 


tya 1 


Present, time (at the) 




a 3 -mrgh' 3 hti« chi 3 


Press, to 


... 


nyi 1 


„ „ (as a crowd) 


• • • 


tsi 5 (Ch.) 


„ „ (bear down on) 


• • • 


taw 2 


Pretend, to ... . 


,, 


.... hpye 6 hpye 6 


Pretty, to be 


> . * 


bi 4 


Prevaricate, to 




krgh 1 


Prevent, to 




tangs (Ch.) 


Price 


.« . 


hpu 5 


Priest ; wizard ... 


... 


ni 5 -hpa 5 > 


Prison 


.. • 


be 3 -du 5 • 


Prisoner 


... 


be 3 -ta x -su 5 


Profit (».) 


• # • 


li 2 (Ch.) 


Prop, to 


... 


taw 2 


Property (*.) ... 


• •• 


gu 5 -ju 5 



( 96 ) 



Proprietor; owner 
Protect, to 
Proud 

Provisions («.) 
Pull, to 
Pumpkin 
Punish, to 

Punish roent 
Pup; puppy (a)... 



si 3 -hpa s 

pao^Ch.)-ja 3 ; nyi 3 -ja 3 ; hu'(Ch.)-ja> 

hkwangs (Ch.) ; (Boastful =) hkrgh*- 

hka 2 
dza s -du 3 ; dza*-shp 
chr" 

tong 3 -kwa 3 (Cb.) ; a'-hpu s 
tswi 2 grgh 5 
tswi 2 
a'-naS-ra* 



Purchase, to 


•• • 


wu- 4 


Pure, to be 


t • > 


hsya* ; si s hsya 4 


Purpose, to (make up 


mind) 


chu s -yi 2 drgh* 


Pursue, to 


• • • 


ga 6 


Pus 


* * • 


bi s -hchp 


Push, to 




de* 


Put 




krgh 3 ; ta' ; chye 2 


Putrid, to go 


• •- 


hchi' s ye* 


Puzzled, to be ... 


Q 


du s -ja s mrgh' 4 


Quake (as earth) 


... 


du 3 


Quarrel, to 


... 


sya 6 -ia=-hkaw* 


Queen, a 


. . . 


wa 4 -ti'-ma 3 


Quench ; extinguish (fii 


•e),to 


sye 6 -krgh 3 


* Question, to 


... 


na 3 -nyi 3 


Quick, to be 


... 


tsrghe 6 


Quickly 




a'-mi 1 ; a'-mi'-mi' 


Quietly 




si s -li 3 -bye 3 ; a 4 -ra 3 -a*-ra 3 -bye 3 ;; 
ma* tu 2 -tu 2 ; ma5-lu 2 -lu 2 


Quit; go (to) ... 


R 


jye* 


Rabbit 




htawMa 4 


Race ; run (to) ... 


... 


rghs 


Ragged 


... 


chi 3 -li 3 -haw 2 -hchi'S 


Railway 




kan 3 -h ch wan * (Ch.) -ja'-gu 3 ; 


Rain (ft.) 




mrgh*-h'a 4 


„ to 




mrgh'S-h'a 4 -h'a 4 


Rainbow 


... 


a'-muS-yi 3 -shi 3 


Raise, to 


.. . 


ru 4 -tu 3 


Rake, a 


... 


ting'-hpaS (Ch.) 


Ransom, to 


*•• 


shu"(Ch.)-ru 4 


Rap, to 


... 


j'6 


Rapid 


... 


tsrghe 6 


Rapidly t ... 


... 


a'-mi'-mi 1 ; rgh* lrgh* lrgh s 


Rat 


•• . 


h'a 2 - 


Ravine, a 


. . • 


law 4 -hku* 


Raw (unripe) 


.. . 


(yi') dzi'S 


Reach, to (arrive) 


... 


hchi 3 ; (cannot reach — with hand) 
la 6 ma* hchi 3 



( 97 ) 



Head, to 

Ready, to make 

Really 

Reap, to ..'. 

Rear, in the 

Reason ; right ... 

Rebuke 

Receive, to 

Recently 

Reciprocal 

Reckon 

Recollect, to 

Recompense, to 

Recover, to (find) 

Red 

Redeem 

Reflect, to 

Regret, to 

Rejoice, to 

Relate, to (tell) 

Relations 

Release, to 
i Rely on, to 

Remand ; stay (to) 

Remainder, the - 

Remember, to ... 

Remote ; distant 

Remove, to (w.f.) 
„ (house), to 

Rent, to 

Repair, to 

Repay, to 

Reply, to 
s Report, to ... 

Reputation 

Request ; ask (to) 

Rescue, to 

ilesin (».) 

Resist, to 

Respect, to 

Rest ; stop (to) 
„ on, to .;. 
,* Restore ; return (to) 

Retch, to 

Retire ; go back (to) 

Return ; restore (to) 
„ go back (to) 

Rib, a 

Rice (uncooked) 

,, (cooked) ... 
Rich, to be ... 

7 



htaw s -rghe s nyi 3 (or law') ; htaw s 
rghe 5 u' 3 (to count— the letters) 
hsya a 

a 4 -chi T (hchi«) ; ma« krgh' 
rgh 6 ; sha 3 
ka'-na'-si 1 
lis 
hta 6 

ru 4 ; sha 3 
a 5 -nyi 4 -shi 4 

la*-hka,w 4 » 

swan 3 (Ch.) ; u' 3 (count) 
du5-ja*-hchi 3 -la 4 
dzye 4 -grgh s 
hwa 3 mrgh' 3 
ni 3 

shu 3 -ru* 
du s -ja 5 -nyi 3 
da* ja* hpawMye 6 )a 4 
ni 3 -hpu'> ; hsi*-hwan 3 
(ma 1 mi s ) cha 3 
yi 6 ra J -nyi 3 -ra s 
hu 3 -krgh 3 
hV-le 3 
tva' 

dzye 3 lyt- 3 -ma 3 
chi'(Ch.) ta 1 
rgh 5 

chl 3 ( krgh 3 ) 
WH s -hchi s -chi 3 
ngwa 1 
hsya a 

dzye* (grgh*) 

ta=-taw 2 ; taw s -taw 3 ; waw a grgh* la* 
bci>grgh s la 4 
mye 3 -du s 
dye s 

ehyu" (Ch.) ; sya 6 -mya 3 tsa 1 
sbaw'-baw 3 
ti« (Ch.) 

hpu 5 ; htsaw 4 hpu 5 
rgh 5 -hrgh 4 -na 5 
taw J 
li' grgh 5 
hpe 6 
lye s -jye« 
li' grgh' 
lyeo-jye 4 

ne* gu s , 

dza*-hpu 4 
dza* 
baw* ; hpu* jaw 4 



( 98 ) 



Riches 


hpu 4 -ra s -shi' 3 -ra s 


Ride, to 


dzi< 


Ridicule, to 


wa s -sye 4 


Right (hand side) 


(la>)-ia 3 
ma* hchya* 


„ (not wrong) 


Ring, a 


la«-nyi 3 -krghe 3 


Rinse, to 


la 1 


Ripe, to be '... 


mi 3 


Rise, to ... 


tu J ; tu 3 -krgh 3 -lye 3 


River (small) 


yi 4 jyaMaw 4 


„ (large) ... 


na 3 -yi 4 


„ (very small stream) . . . 


keo 3 (Ch.) 


Road 


ja 3 -gu 3 


Roar, to 


mrgh' 4 


Roast, to 


hchu 4 


Rob; snatch (to) 


h'aw 3 ; hpya 2 dza s 


Robber, a 


hchyang s -tao 2 (Ch.) ; hpya a dza* su 


Rock 


rgha 1 hchi 3 ; rgha I -hchi 3 -pa' 


Roll, to 


le 1 (jye+) 


Roof, a 


h'^-wu'-hkaw* 


Room, a 


h'i 4 -hti*-kaw 2 


Root, a 


(yi 1 ) chye 3 


Rope 


hchi 3 ra* 


Rot, to 


he hi* -ye 4 


Rough, to be (not smooth) ... 


' * 1 

, sya 


Round (shaped) 


lu 1 ; lu'-ht'-mu 3 


Rub, to 


nu J 


Rule; govern (to) 


kwan 5 


Rump, the 


hchi s -du s 


Run, to 


rgh* ; hchye a 


Rupee, a 


hpu 4 (htaw«-htsye 4 ) hti* hpa* 



Sack, a 
Sad, to be 
Saddle (pack), a 

„ (riding), a 
Safe, to be or feel 
Saliva ; spittle ... 
Salt- 
Saltpetre 
Same, the 
Sand 

Sandal (bamboo bark) 
Save, to 

Saviour, a * ... 
Say, to 
Scabbard 
Scales or steelyard 
Scar, a 



mu 3 -nu 3 

rii a -ma 3 sha 1 

htaw* an 3 (Ch.) 

hchif-an 3 (Ch.) 

h'a 4 le 3 -baw 4 (a) law* 

mrgh s -rghe 4 

htsa^baw 3 

syao 3 (Ch.) 

htiMye 3 

hrgh s -ji 4 

(ma 4 -ju s ) hchi 3 -ni' 

chyu" (Ch.) ; sya 6 -mya s tsa 1 . 

chyu*-si 3 -bpa s ; sya'-myi'-tsa'-iu* 

ba 3 

a'-htaS-bya'-gu* 

htsye^-du ! 

na*-du 3 



( 99 ) 



Scatter (seed), to 

„ (all ^o away), to 
Scent, to have a 
Scissors 

„ to cut with 
Scold, to 
Scoop, to 
Scratch, to 
Scrape, to 
Screen, to ... , 

Sciub, to 

„ (jungle) ... 
Scythe 
Sea, the 

Search, to 
Season, rainy 

„ dry 

Seat, stool 
See, to 
Seed {ft.) 
Seek, to 
Seize, , to 
select, to 
Self 
Sell, to 
Send, to 
Separate, to [vj.) 

„ ' „ {v.i.) (of persons) 
Serpent, a 

Servant, a ... ~~. .. 

Seven 

Sever ; c ut (to) ... 
Sew, to 
Shady 
Shake, to 
Shallow, to be ... 
Shameful 
Shan, a 

Shape, the (of anything) 
Share ; dhide (to) 
Sharp, to be 
Sharpen (knife), to 
She (= he, jt) ... 
Sheath (sword) ... 
Shed, a 

„ spill (to) ... 
Sheep 

Shelter (from rain) 
Shield, a 
Shirt, a 
-Shoe, a 



shi' 

san 5 (Ch.) jye* 

hche s -ne' 

htsi'-ta 1 ' . 

htsi 6 

hta 6 

kaw 3 

chwa 3 (Ch.) 

kwa a (Ch.) 

hcha' 

hisa 2 _(Ch.) 

si 3 -pye 3 

pa 5 -lye* 

hpyao 3 -yang 2 -ta 3 -hai 5 (Ch.) ; na*- 

yi+-shiS'-du 5 
hwa 3 

mQS-she 3 (hta*) 
mQS-htsu 4 (hta*) 
pa s -trgh' 
maw 1 
(yi 1 ) shi' 1 

hwa 3 > 

ru* 

si 3 ... 

chi'-hchya 5 
wu s 

hu 3 -krgh 3 i 

be* la 6 -hkayv* 
hha 2 laS-hkaw* 
hu 3 

ve 5 ja 3 -su s 
shi* 
ri .h 3 
ji« 

mi*-waw s 
rghe' 
hta 6 

sha'-taw 3 -sha'-hpa* 
Brgh s -Yi» 
yi" hpye 5 
be* 
l.tsya" 
si 1 
yi 1 

a'-hta* bya 6 -gu* 
h'i* ra< 
hawMye 3 
a 3 -raw 3 
taw 2 -nya a 
chya 3 -ni 5 
bu«-htsi* 
hchf-hi* 



( ioo ) 



Shoot, to 
Shore, the 
Short {adj.) 
Shoulder 

Shout; call (to) ... 
Shove ; .push (to) 
Show, to 
Shun, to 
Shut, to 
Sick, to be 
Sickle, a 
Side, a 
Sieve 
Sift, to 
Silent, to be 
Silently 
'Silk 
Silver 
Similar 

Since ; because ... 
Since; after 
Sing (songs), to 
Single 

Sink, to (in water) 
Sister, elder " ... 
„ younger ... 
Sit, to 
Six 
Skin 
Skirt 

„ to wear 
Skull 
Sky 

Slap, to 
Slave, a 
Sleep, to 

Slice, to 

Slip ; stumble (to) 

Slippery, to be ... 

Slow, to be 

Slowly 

Small 

Small-pox 

Smash, to 

Smear, to 

Smell, to 

Smile, to 

Smoke, to 

Smoke («.) 

Smooth 

Snake 



paw 3 • 

bya 3 -ma 3 -hkrgh s 

nye 1 

la 6 -hprgh+ 

hku* 

de 3 

man 1 (grgh s ) 

chi 1 (Ch.) 

tsF 

na* (tya 1 ) 

pa s 'lye- 

hche' ; hpaw 3 

wa^-chi 1 

ngaw 5 

ma s waw s ; ma s -tu 2 -ta' 

si*-li 3 -bye 3 

bus 

hpu« 

rghe 4 ; sui s (Ch.) 

. . . nyi 3 , etc., see Grammar 

ka'-na 1 

(mu s -gwa s ) bu 4 or mu s -gwa s -gwa* 

hti s -ma 3 -lye 3 

htsye 4 du s lye 3 • 

a'-tsi 3 

n>i 3 -ma 3 

nyi'-ta 1 ; nyi--na' 

hchaw 6 

ji 4 ; kaw 3 -ji 4 ; hwa s -ji 4 

du 4 -trgh J 

du^trgh 1 trgh 1 

wu'-hkaw 4 

muS-kwa 3 

drgh s 

chaw 3 -pa 3 

(to go to bed ; lie down) yi 6 -ta' ; {t» 

be asleep) yi 6 -mrgh' 3 
waw 6 

brgh s -ja 3 -le* 
yi 2 -lu s 

hpis (Ch.) • 1 

a 4 -ra 3 -a*-ra 3 (a) bye 3 ; shi 3 shi 3 (a) bye* 
raw 3 ; a 4 -ti'(u) ; ra s 
bi4-bi* 

lu" byaMye 3 
me 3 

hche s -ne 3 
wa s -hrgh s 
(yi*-hpya s ) hchi' 
mtf-hku 5 
yi'-lQS 
hu» " 



( ioi ) 



Snare ■ 

„ to take in 
Snatch, to 
Snow 
So i and 90 
Soak, to 
Soft, to be 
Soldier, a 
Sole (of foot) 

,, solitary 
Some ; any ... 

Sometimes 
Son 
Song 
Soon 

Soothe, to 
Sorrowful, to be 
Sore ; boil ; ulcer (a) 
Sort ; kind 
Sound («.) 
Sour 
South 
Sow, to 

„ (female pig)" 
Spade ; native hoe 
Span, a 

Spawn (of fish) "... 
Speak to 
Spear (n.) 
Spectacles 
Speech ; words ... 
Spew ; vomit (to) 
Spider, a 
Spike (bamboo) ... 
Spill, io{v.t.) ... 
Spin (thread), to 
Spindle, a 
Spirit ; apparition 
Spirits ; liquor (brewed) 
„ (distilled) 
Spit, to 
Spittle (».)' 
Spleen 
Split, to (v.t.) ... 

„ „ [v.i.) ... 

Spoil, to 

Spoon («.) 
Spread, to 
Spring, to 
Sprinkle, to 
Stairs; steps 
Stalk, a^ 



wa«-htu* 
htu* 



haw 

wa s 

gaw 4 -le 3 -nya' ... 

ti 3 

nu s 

(lao s -lyen 2 , Ch.) ; ma* 

(hchi 3 ) kwa s 

hti s -ma 3 -tu' 

a4 ti J (a) 

hti s -hwa a hti s -hwa" 

a 3 -bi 3 ; ra s 

mu s gwa s 

a*-hwa= 

ni*-ma 3 ku 1 grgh s 

ni 2 -ma 3 sha 1 

brgh+-na + -ji 3 

shi s ; jye 6 ; chu* 

sya 6 

che 3 

law* hchi s du< (lit. river bottom); 

shi 1 

a'-va'-ma 5 

aS-gaw* 

.(htis) cha 3 

ngwa'-hu 3 

sha'-hte* ; chya'* (Ch.) 

la 3 -mu 3 -hta 3 

hpi 5 -nyi 3 du 3 

ngaw s 

hpe 6 

a'-ga'-ma 3 

dzi s -ma 3 

haw'-lye 3 

(hchi 3 -ra s ) waw* 

hchyaMa 6 

ni 5 

ji+-hprgh s 

lis-chi 3 

(mrgh s rghe*) ti" 

mrgh s -rghe* 

lyenS-htye« (Ch.) 

hkrgh* 

brghs-lye 3 . 

lu 2 byaMye* 

yi*-gu 3 
chii 3 
trghe* 
hrghe 3 
hke° (Ch.) 
(yi») cha» 



( ica ) 



Stallion, a .... 

Stammer, to ... 

Stand, to 

Star, a 

Startled, to be ... 

Starve to death, to 

Stay, to 

Steal, .to ... ., 

Steep, to be 

Stick, a 

Stiff, to be 

Stinking 

Stir, to 

Stomach, the 

Stone, a 

Stoop, to 

Stop, to 

Stoim ^wind), a 

Story, a 

Straight 

Str.mgle, by hanging ones^JS; 

Stream 

Streamlet 

Stray, to 

Street [ft.) 

Strength 

Strike, to (with hand) 

String 

Strong (muscular, etc.) 

„ (of material) 
Study ; learn (to) 
Stumpy 

Submit ; obey (to) 
Subtract, to 
Succeed, to 
Succour, to 
Such . . 

Suck, to ... 

Suddenly 
.Sufficient 
Sugar 
Suiphur 

Summit ; head ... 
Sun, the 

Sunny ; sunshine 
Sunbeam, a * 
Support, to (prop up) 

„ „ (bear, endure) .. 
Suiround, to 
Swallow, to 
Swamp, a 
Swear ; take oath; (to) 



to 



a'-mu 5 htsye 3 

ba 3 rzyes 

h'i 6 ta 1 (or ht*a a ) 

ku 3 -ra s 

h'i"-mrghe 6 -shi + 

h'i' lye 3 

tya' ' 

hku : 

tsaw 2 

si = -da 3 

kaw a 

hche s -ne 3 

dip " 

h'i 6 hchi 6 

rgha'-hchi 3 

"aw^-deS-ku 1 

na s 

htaw 5 ngaw s -hta : w s -krgh k 

ma'-mi s 

te 2 

Hrgh s -hchi s -sl)i* 

yi*-iya 3 -law 3 

yi*-jya 3 -keo 3 

ja 3 -ou s -\vu r -jye* 

kaiMsP (Ch.) ; ji 3 

sya 6 

drgh s _ 

hchi J -ra s 

sya 6 jaw* 

rzye* 

saw 3 

wu'-du^-mu 3 

na 3 na* 

ru 4 -krgh 3 

hpyeMa* 

ye 3 ja 3 

gaw 4 . . . 

hchi -6 

htsa 6 -bye 3 

law 6 ; da + ngu 3 

byas ; htang* (Ch.) 

haw ! -yaw 3 -!iwang s (Ch> 

wu'-du 3 

mi s -mi 4 

mi*-hprgh* 

mi s -mi**hchi* , 

taw-* 

dzis 

chaw 1 

guS duMye' 

ne'-hchP-hpa* 

jes 



( i°3 ) 



"Sweat (n.) 

II to 
Sweep, to 
Sweet (adj.) 
-Swell, to 
Swift, to be 
Swiftly 
Swim, to 
Sword ; dah 



clip 

chi' daw 3 
si 2 

hchf 
-wu'-la* 
tsrghe 6 

a'-mi'-mi 1 ; rgh s lrgh* Irgh s 
yi 4 -la 6 -hchye 2 
a'-btaS 



"Table 
Tail, a 
Take, to 
Talk, to 
Tall, to be 
Tame, to be 
Taste, to 
Tasty, t6 be 
Tax, a 
"Tea 

Teach, to 
Te.rs 
Tear, to 
Tease, to 
Tell, to 
Temper 

Temple ; village 
Tempt, to . . 

Ten 

Tender ; young ... 
Tent 
Territory 
That 

"Thatch, to 
Thatching grass 
Their; they 
Thence 
There 
These 
They 
Thick 
Thief 
Thin 

Think, to 
Thirsty, to be 
This 

Though ; although 
Thought 
Thorn 
Thread 



chawMsi (Ch ) 
mrgh" 
ru 4 

sha'-hte 4 
mu 3 

mrgh' 5 ; hku s 'mrgh' 3 
dza s shi s nyi 3 
mi 4 

men s -hu* (Ch.) 
la 5 -chya 3 ; hcha*-ye J (Ch.) 
ma' ( (grgh*) 
my a 3 - bye 3 
chi J -hha 6 -]ye 3 
ni* 

ba 3 grgh s 

rii 2 -ma 3 ; lipi*-hchi 2 (Ch.) 
myao 3 -h'i* 
shi s -nyi 3 
htsi 4 
la' 

chang s -hpong s (Ch.) 
mu s 

gaw 4 ; ne 4 , je 4 
(h'i 4 ) u' 3 
shii 1 ; la 5 si 1 
yi 1 wa 5 

gaw 4 kwa 3 bye 3 
gaw 4 -kwa 3 
hte 4 ma 3 
vi'-wa s 
Mu 4 

htsaw 4 -hku s 
bas 

du s -ja 5 
si 6 
hte 4 
(a) mi 4 

duS-jaS(a) ma» 
hchu* 
hchi 3 -ra< 



( »°4 ) 



Three* 


... 


sa 3 


"Throat 


» • ■ 


hchaw 4 -gu 4 -de' 


Throw, to 


• •• 


law 3 


,, away, to 


* < • 


law 3 -krgh s 


Thrust, to 


• • • 


de* h'a* krgh 3 


Thumb, the 


,•• 


la 6 -ma 3 


Thunder, to 


. • .* 


mu s -gu s -pe a 


TickJe ; feel tickling sensation 




(to) 


■ >. 


se 6 -le 6 


Tie (as animal to stake), 


to •♦. 


htsaw' 


„ round (as'bundle of 


anything) hrgh a 


„ (a knot), to 


•♦• 


(htgs le 3 be 3 ) hte« 


Tiger, a 


... 


la*-ma 3 


Tight, to be 


t • • 


di s ; di s -di* mu 3 


TiU ; cultivate (to) 


• • ■ 


hkwa 3 {lit. dfg) 


Time ; when 




l.ta 4 


Tin - .. 




si* (Ch.) 


-Tip (as of tree), the 


• * • 


wu'-nu 1 


"Tired, to be 


.. . 


j- £h s -hrgh* ; wu 5 -hrgh 4 


To (fref.) 


■•• 


kwa 3 


Tobacco 


.. . 


ye 3 -hpyas (Ch. ?) 


To-day ^... 




nyi'-nyi 4 


Toe 


. •• 


hchi 3 -nyi 3 


Together 


>• ■ 


Mi 5 lye 3 (a) bye 3 


Tomb ... 


... 


le s -dzu 3 


To-morrow 


. • . 


sa'-grgh 3 


Tongue 


... 


la 3 -hche 3 


To-njght 


... 


nyi'-ny^-mrgh's-hkrge 5 o: 
a s hwa a mrgh''-hkrgh s 


Too 


. .. 


kaw'-yi* (Ch.) 


Tooth 


••• 


si'-hchi 3 


Top, the, of 




(yi) wu T -du 3 


Torch (pine) 


... 


shaw s -baw 3 


Torn, to be 


. • ■ 


hha 6 -lyaw 3 


Totally 


. . • 


gu 3 (a) law 3 


Touch 


. . 


she 3 


Track (road) 


* • • 


ja 3 -gu 3 


„ to follow a 


. ». 


ja 3 -gu s cha 3 


Trade, to 


... 


rghe*-la 6 -mu* 


Trap (for game) 


. . . 


wa 3 -htu 4 


Travel, to 




du 4 daw 3 


Tread, to 


« • * 


htavv 6 


Tree, a c 


... 


si a -dzi 3 


Tremble, to 


* * * 


hche* 


Tribe, a 


# • • 


shi< 


Tribute 


• • i 


mens-hu" (Ch.) 


Trigger, a 


... 


hkrgh* 


Trousers 


» . ■ 


mi 3 -hchi 3 


True, to be ... 


. • ■ 


ma s krgh 1 


Trunk (of tree) ... 


••• 


(yi')-dzi 3 


Trust, to 


• # * 


h'a«-le» 


Try, to 


... 


shiS-nyi' 



( ic»5 ) 



Tube, bamboo ... 
Turban, a 
Turbid, to be 
Turn (as screw), to 
Turn (as wheel), to 

„ over, to . . . 

„ up (as window blind), 
Tusk (elephant's) 
Twilight 

Twinkling (as stars) 
Twist (as rope) 
Two 



Udder (cow's) ... 

Ugly, to be 

Umbrella 

Unable to, to be 

Unacquainted with 

Unaware, to be ... 

Unbind ; unloose (to) 

Uncle ( 

Unclean, to be ... 

Unclothe ; disrobe (to) 

U.n erneat h 

Utt ierstahd, to .. 

Undeserving, to be 

Undress, to 

Unequal ; different 

Uneven 

Unite ; stick to, to (v.t.) 

Unless 

Unripe, to be 

Untie, to 

Until ... ' 

Upon 

Upper 

Uproot, to 

Urine 

Urinate ... 

Use 

Usually 



Vacant ; empty 
Vagina 

Vain ; conceited 
Vain, in ; useless 
Valley 

Value ... 

8 



• a . 


ma*-da< 


• • * 


wu'-htrghe" 


• •• 


wu s -nrgh'+-nrgh'* 


• •• 


shf 


• «• 


chaw 3 


• •• 


hpaw' 


to 


nga 1 


• ■• 


(h'a*-ma s ) si*-hchi» ' 


... 


mrgh'i-hkrgh* tsia* 


■ *• 


bye 6 -lye 6 -mu» 


... 


shi 1 


• fl fl 


nyp 




U 


• * ■ 


(a'-nyi*) aS-chP 


• • t 


ma s bi< 


. * . 


sa« (Ch.) 


. • . 


ma s ku 1 


... 


ma 5 srghe 1 


■ • . 


ma* srghe 1 


... 


hprgh*; brgh* 


• ■■ 


a'-waw 4 


• • • 


ma j shya* 


... 


(b3*-htsi*) la 1 


. t • 


na'-hkwas-si 1 


• •• 


srghe 1 ; mingS-prghe' (Ch.) 


... 


ma s hpu s 


.. . 


lu' 


• » • 


ma s htaw s ; hti s lye 3 ma s ta' 


... 


ma s hping 5 (Ch.) 


• •■ 


hrghe 6 


.. . 


ma s .... nya 5 


. ( • 


dzis 


, . 


hprgW ; brgh* 


... 


.... hchi 3 


• • • 


hta*-si' kwa 3 


• •• 


hta* si' ma 1 


• • . 


mg" 


• •■ 


rzi* 


... 


tzi s -htu* or rzi s -sh'i* 


• «• 


rie* ; re s 


... 


a" hta s -hta* 




V 




a'-shP mas di' • 


• • . 


tu'-bi 6 


• •• 


hkwa's (Ch.) 


• •• 


a*-taw'-lye s 


• • • 


law 4 -hku* 


• • • 


(yi 1 ) hpu* 



( io6 ) 



Vapour ... 


#•• 


yi 4 -sya* 


Vein ... 


• •• 


si*-ju s 


Very 


... 


a^hkrgh* 


Vexed ; annoyed (to be) 


... 


ni'-dzi 3 


Vigilant, to be ... 


... 


ra 3 -mu 3 


Village 


• • • 


hka" 


Villager-fellow . . . 


• • • 


htis-hka'-su 3 


Virgin • ... 


• •• 


raS-mrgh'Ma 1 (ra<) 


Visible, to be 


• • • 


maw 4 (a) law 3 


Visit; to go gadding 


• • i 


hka a chaw 3 


Visa 


• ■ ■ 


htfi' 


Voice 


• •• 


sya 6 


Vomit, to 


• • • 


hpe 6 


Vulture 


... 


dzye 4 




w 


Wages 




wa*-hpu s 


Waist 


. . • 


ju s -tsi 3 


Wait for, to 


• •• 


h'u 3 -nya a - 


Wake ; be awake or conscious 


hwa*-hchi s 


Walk 




j a 3.g U 3 S yeS 


Walnut 


• • ■ 


waw+-daw s 


Wall, a 


. . . 


htsyang 5 (Ch.) 


Wander, to 


. . . 


wu J -jye 4 


Want, to 




nu 4 (=love) ; ni'-shi 3 or mu 3 si (t 


c 




want to do a thing) 


Warm, to be 


. . . 


le« 


Wash, to 




htsis 


Wasp 




bya s -tu 3 


Watch, to 


. I • 


hV-nya 2 


Watch or clock, a 


. . • 


shi's shi 3 


Water 




yi 3 -jya 3 


Wax (bees') 


* 1 • 


bya s -shaw* 


Way ; road 


• •• 


ja 3 -gu 3 


We ; us 




raw s ; ngwa*-nu* (see Grammar) 


Weak, to be 


.. . 


sya 6 ma s jaw* 


"Wealthy; rich ... 




baw 3 


Wear, to (coat) 




gwa s 


„ „ (trousers) 


• • • 


rgh 6 


ii « it (hat) ... 


, , 


h'aw J ; hkaw' 


„ „ (sandals or shoes 


) 


de' ; ni 3 


., ii (leggings) 


. • ■ 


ju 3 


„ „ (belt or waistban 


d) 


hrghe' 


„ „ (sword, spectacles, 




satchel, ornaments of any 


kind) 


'de« 


Weary, to be .... 


.. • 


wu* (or rgh*) hrgh* 


Weave, cloth, to 


... 


(ya 6 ) hchl* 


Wed ; take wife (to) 


... 


ra'-mrgh'* hwa 3 


Weed, to ... 


... 


maw* 


Weep ; cry (to) 


... 


ngu« 



( i©7 ) 



Weigh, to 

Well (water), a ... 

„ (done well) 
West 
Wet 
What 
"Whatever 
Wheat 
When 
Whenever 
Where 
Which 
While 
Whiskers 
Whisky 
Whispering 
Whistle, to 
White 
Who 
Whoever 
Whole 
Why 

Wicked; bad 
Wide ; broad ... 
Widow 
Widower 
Wife 

Wild ; untamed 
Willing, to be ... 
Win, to 

Wind, to blow ... 
„ around (to) 
Wing 

Winter (lit. cold time) 
Wipe, to 
Wisdom 
Wise, to be 
Wish ; want (to) 
With, instrumental 
Wither ; dry up (to) 
Within 
Without 

„ (destitute of) 
Woman ... 

Womb 
Wonder, to 
Wood (forest) ... 

„ (timber) ... 

„ (firewood) 
Wool (cotton) ... 

M (sheep's)... 
Work, to do ; cultivation 



• •• 


htsye* 


... 


(yi 3 -jya 3 ) du* 

J'* 

mi* mi* duS-hkrgh* 


• 1 1 

• •• 


• * * 


hpa 6 -lye 3 


* •• 


a'-sh'i* 


... 


a r -shis(a) mi* 


• . . 


rzu 3 


Ill 


a T -hta 4 


■ « • 


a'-hta*(a) mi 4 


1 1 


a 3 -li 3 -kwa 3 


• • • 


a 3 -li 3 -ma 3 


• t • 


hta 4 


i • • 


muMsi' 3 


• < • 


Ii 3 -cht 3 


f 1 • 


hchu*-hchu s -ka J -hchu*-hchu' 


aaa 


si 3 


4 * . 


hpu4 


8(. • 


a*-ma* 


* * . 


a s -ma 4 (a) mi* 


• * • 


(yi')-le T -leS 


• • • 


a'-shi^wu 1 


• ft 


ma5-ji* ; waw* (Ch.) 


... 


h'i« 


■ a a 


mu s -hchi'-ma s 


* * • 


mu s -hchi s -hpa s 


.* . 


ra s -mrgh'* 




kaw 1 


• » • 


shaw 1 ; na 3 na* 


* • • 


hwaMye 3 


... 


mis-h'i* je 6 




du 4 -la 6 


. • • 


jya 3 -tsi* 


• t a 


si" 


• •• 


chu*-yi a 


• a - 


chu s -yi a jaw 4 


..a 


ni 2 -shi* 3 ; mu 3 -si 3 


«•• 


lye 3 


■ • • 


ju 3 ye 4 


... 


na* kwa 3 


... 


ni'-shi 3 -ma 3 


■ • • 


ma* jaw 4 


a t • 


ra s -mrgh' s -ra s 


• a a 


h'i 6 -hch» 6 ; ra« hkrgh* 




du s -ja s -mrgh'* 




si*-na 3 


... 


si a -da* 


a * » 


si'-chaw 3 


• •• 


sa 3 -la« 


... 


a«-raw 3 mO s 


... 


mi' ye s 



( io8 ) 



World; earth ... 
Worm, a 
Worship, to 
Wound, a 
Wrap, to 
Wrestle, to 
Wrist, the 
Write, to ' ... 
Writing, a piece of 
Wrong, to be ... 



... 


mi'-na 3 


• •• 


ngwa'-na'-bi'-di* 


• *• 


wu'-dQ'-hte 6 


• •• 


na*-du 3 


• • • 


hte a 


• • • 


rgh'-l^-hkaw 4 


• »• 


1a 6 -tsi» 


( • • 


baw 3 


>• • 


htaw s -rghe s 


• • • 


hchya 4 -krgh 3 ; hchyaMye* 



Yam 

Yarn (cotton) 

Yawn (to) 

Year 

Yearly 

Yell, to 

Yellow 

Yes 

Yesterday 

Yesterday night 

Yoke (used by some Lisu when 

carrying loads) 
•Yonder 
You ; your 
Young 
Youth, a 



mrgh' s 

hchi 3 -ra 5 

hkrghs-hu 3 

hkaw 6 ; ni a 

hti s hkaw 6 lye 5 hti s hkaw* 

a*-hkrgh x -hku* 

shi 3 ; shi -3 -mya 3 -mu 3 -ta* 

nga* law 3 ; ngaw* 

a s -nyi* 

a s -me* 

baw'-hpi 3 

gwa* ; gaw* kwa* 

(sing.) 11 u* ; (pi.) nu*-wa* 

la' 

iaS-gu^-la 1 (ra s ) 



Zealous, to be 



ni*-ma* le* 



FrtaMd bjr order *l tht Oorernment of Burm«, 
G.B.C.P.O.-Ko. ill, StCf s t (•). U.7-1SM-N0 



i