Chinese Loanwords in Vietnamese
(3,525 words)

1. Overview

Vietnamese belongs to the Mon-Khmer language family, having numerous basic Mon-Khmer etyma (Shorto 2006), but it is unlike other Mon-Khmer languages, which typically do not have complex tone systems, do have numerous polysyllabic words, and utilize morphology that includes prefixes and infixes. Instead, Vietnamese, like Thai and Hmong, belongs to the “inner Sinosphere” (see article on Chinese loanwords in Southeast Asia). All have had sociolinguistic contact …

Cite this page
Mark ALVES, “Chinese Loanwords in Vietnamese”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 24 April 2017 <>
First published online: 2015

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