Genetic classification of Zo language
The name Zo or Zou is the name of a group of Tibeto-Burman people inhabiting the Chin Hills in Myanmar and Chandel and Churachandpur districts of Manipur state in India. Sir George Grierson (1904) in his classical work; Tibeto-Burman family: Kuki Chin, Burma group incorporated in Linguistic surveyof India Vol.III, Part III, New Delhi classified Zo/Zou(Yo or Yoe) as belonging to the Northern Chin sub-group of the Kuki-Chin group of Tibeto-Burman language family.
Paul K.Benedict and Robert Shafer (1940-1) in their work ‘Kukish-Mruish Vol.14-15 of Sino-Tibetan linguistics[15 vols.], University of California, Berkeley, USA have deviated somewhat from the classification offered by
Sir George Grierson (1904), they subdivided Kukish i.e Kuki Chin Naga into no less than eight distinct smaller groups: Central Kuki, Northern Kuki, Old Kuki, Southern Kuki, Western Kuki, Northern Naga, Southern Naga, and Luhupa. The Zo language belongs to the Northern Kuki group.
Kuki Chin Naga
1.Central Kuki 2. Northern Nagas
3. Northern Kuki 4. Southern Nagas
5. Southern Kuki 6. Luhupa
7. Old Kuki 8. Western Kuki
David Bradley(1997) in his book; Tibeto-Burman languages and classification and Dr. Khoi Lam Thang in his thesis; A Phonological Reconstruction of Proto Chin, M.A Thesis, Payap University Chiang Mai, Thailand, October 2001, both of them classify Zo as belonging to Northern Chin Group. It is a cognate or sister language of Thadou, Paite, Vaiphei, Gangte, Hmar, Mizo, Tiddim Chin(Tedim), Siyin etc. The antiquity of Zo language is proved in its poetical language and forms, which is easily understood by most of these cognate groups of languages.