Antiferromagnetic semiconductors are new alternative materials for spintronic applications and spin valves. In this work, we report a detailed investigation of two antiferromagnetic semiconductors AMnAs (A = Li, LaO), which are isostructural to the well-known LiFeAs and LaOFeAs superconductors. Here we present a comparison between the structural, magnetic, and electronic properties of LiMnAs, LaOMnAs and related materials. Interestingly, both LiMnAs and LaOMnAs show a variation in resistivity with more than five orders of magnitude, making them particularly suitable for use in future electronic devices. From neutron and X-ray diffraction measurements on LiMnAs we have observed a magnetic phase transition corresponding to the Neel temperature of 373.8 K, and a structural transition from the tetragonal to the cubic phase at 768 K. These experimental results are supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations.