Published February 19, 2020
Amis (Pangcah) is spoken by around 138,000 Ami people on the Eastern coast of Taiwan. The name refers to, as Glottolog reports, a cluster of four dialects, and is classified in the East Formosan branch of the Austronesian language family. The central dialect makes distinction between epiglottal and glottal sounds (such as between the fricatives /ʜ/ and /h/), unique to Amis compared to its relatives. Speakers of Amis also tend to speak Mandarin Chinese and/or Japanese. Speakers of the related Kavalan languages also often speak Amis as a second language. The language is considered threatened, with less and less younger speakers learning the language. In counties where it is spoken, however, government announcements and services are often provided in Amis in addition to Mandarin Chinese.