Lakkia speakers are thought to have migrated from further east, possibly from the Biao-speaking areas of northwestern Guangdong province (L.-Thongkum 1992). Today, they live mostly in the Dayaoshan (Chinese: 大瑶山; literally: 'Big Yao Mountain') region of Jinxiu County.
|Region||Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County, Guangxi|
Lakkia people are also known as the Cháshān Yáo 茶山瑶, meaning "Tea Mountain Yao", since they were traditionally considered by neighboring peoples to be ethnic Yao people. The name Lakkia is an autonym (self-designated name) that means "mountain people". All Lakkia dialects have 5 tones.
There is currently no consensus on the classification of Lakkia within the Kra–Dai family. Solnit (1988) and Hansell (1988) classify Lakkia as a sister of the Kam–Sui branch. Additionally, Solnit (1988) classifies Biao and Lakkia together as part of a Biao-Lakkia branch that is coordinate to Kam-Sui. However, L.-Thongkum (1992) considers Lakkia to be most closely related to the Tai branch, based on the large number of shared lexical items.
Dialects of Lakkia include (L.-Thongkum 1992):
The Lingzu dialect still preserves /kl-/ initial clusters, which corresponds to /kj-/ in most other dialects (L.-Thongkum 1992). Additionally, Changdong 长洞 and Jintian 金田 tone /˥˩/ (51) corresponds to Jinxiu 金秀 tone /˨˧˩/ (231). Also, L.-Thongkum (1992) reports that Jintian 金田 is a less conservative dialect.
Lakkia is spoken in the following locations.
Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County (simplified Chinese: 恭城瑶族自治县; traditional Chinese: 恭城瑤族自治縣; pinyin: Gōngchéng Yáozú Zìzhìxiàn) is a county of Guangxi, China. It is under the administration of Guilin city and is spread over a total area of 2,149 km2 (830 sq mi).
The terrain of Gongcheng County is mainly mountainous and hilly, and there are relatively flat small alluvial plains along the Li river. The climate of Gongcheng is subtropical monsoon climate. Summer is hot, humid and long, whereas winters are dry and short. The county also receives adequate light and abundant rainfall. The average annual sunshine is approximately 1413.7 hours, annual rainfall is approximately 1,453.1 mm (57.21 in), annual average humidity is 74%.
Gongcheng has a very picturesque scenery and in fact looks like a beautiful giant orchard. Peach, Persimmons, Plum, Loquat, Mandarin Oranges etc., decorates the unique hills of the region in different seasons throughout the year. During spring season, red and pink peach blossoms are found to be in full bloom and adorns the hills and the gardens. In Autumn, mature ripe Persimmons everywhere attracts a lot of tourists.