|Region||Zengcheng, Boluo County, Huidong County and Haifeng County in Guangdong|
|Ethnicity||710,000 She (2000 census)|
The She language (Mandarin: 畲語 shēyǔ, Hakka 山客話 san ha ue [sáŋ xáʔ uə̄̀]), autonym Ho Ne /hɔ˨ ne˥˧/ or Ho Nte, is an endangered Hmong–Mien language spoken by the She people. Most of the over 709,000 She people today speak Hakka Chinese. Those who still speak She—approximately 1,200 individuals in Guangdong province—call themselves Ho Ne "mountain people" (Chinese: 活聶 huóniè). She is nearly extinct today.
- Luofu 罗浮 (Western She dialect), spoken in Luofu Mountain District 罗浮山区, Boluo County, and in Zengcheng District. 580 speakers according to Ethnologue.
- Lianhua 莲花 (Eastern She dialect), spoken in Lianhua Mountain District 莲花山区, Haifeng County. 390 speakers according to Ethnologue.
She has been difficult to classify due to the heavy influence of Chinese on the language. Matisoff (2001), for example, left it unclassified within the Hmongic languages, and some have considered that much to be doubtful, leaving it unclassified within (and potentially a third branch of) the Hmong–Mien languages. She has monosyllabic roots, but has mainly compound words. However, due to the similar components of She, Mao & Li (2002) and Ratliff (2010) consider She to be most closely related to Jiongnai.
Shēhuà (畲话) is not to be confused with Shēyǔ (畲语), also known as Ho Ne, which is a Hmong-Mien language spoken in east-central Guangdong. Shēhuà (Chinese: 畲话, meaning 'She dialect' or 'She speech') is an unclassified Sinitic language spoken by the She people of Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in southeastern China. Shehua and Sheyu speakers have separate histories and identities, although both are officially classified by the Chinese government as She people. The Dongjia of Majiang County, Guizhou are also officially classified as She people, but speak a Western Hmongic language closely related to Chong'anjiang Miao (重安江苗语).
Glottal stop is not distinct from zero (a vowel-initial syllable).
There are consonant mutation effects. For instance, pǐ + kiáu becomes pi̋’iáu, and kóu + tȁi becomes kóulȁi.
Vowels are /i e a ɔ ɤ u/. Finals are /j w n ŋ t k/, with /t k/ only in Hakka loans, though /ɤ/ is never followed by a final, and the only stops which follow the front vowels are /n t/.
There are six tones, reduced to two (high and low) in checked syllables (Hakka loans only). There is quite a lot of dialectical variability; two of the reported inventories (not necessarily in corresponding order) are:
[ ˥ ˦ ˧ ˨ ˨˩ ˧˥ ]: that is, /5 4 3 2 1 35/, or (on /a/), /a̋ á ā à ȁ ǎ/
[ ˥˧ ˦˨ ˧ ˨ ˧˩ ˧˥ ]: that is, /53 42 3 2 31 35/
Loanwords from Classical Chinese
Like Southern Chinese dialects, the She language has loanwords from Classical Chinese.
- 走 to run
- 行 to walk
- 烏 black
- 赤 red
- 寮 house
- 禾 rice (plant)
- 鑊 wok
- 奉 to give
- 其 he/she/it
- 着 to wear
- 睇 to look
- 戮 to kill
- 齧 to bite
- 使 to use
- She at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "She". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "She". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
- Mao Zongwu 毛宗武. 1986. Sheyu jianzhi 畲语简志. Ethnic Publishing House 民族出版社.
- 毛宗武, 李云兵 / Mao Zongwu, Li Yunbing. 2002. 炯奈语硏究 / Jiongnai yu yan jiu (A Study of Jiongnai). Beijing: 中央民族大学出版社 / Zhong yang min zu da xue chu ban she.
- Ratliff, Martha. 2010. Hmong–Mien language history. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics.
- Bruhn, Daniel (2008). "Minority Language Policy in China, with Observations on the She Ethnic Group" (PDF). Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- Mao, Zongwu & Meng, Chaoji. 1986. She yu jian zhi (A Sketch of the She language). Beijing, China: Nationalities Press. (毛宗武, 蒙朝吉. 1986. 畬語簡志. 北京: 民族出版社)
- Ratliff, Martha (1998). "Ho Ne (She) is Hmongic: One final argument" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 21 (2): 97–109.
- You, Wenliang. 2002. She zu yu yan [The languages of the She people]. Fuzhou, China: Fujian People's Publishing House. (游文良. 2002. 畲族语言. 福州: 福建人民出版社)