Baima language

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Region Sichuan, China
Native speakers
10,000  (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bqh
Glottolog baim1244[2]

Baima is a language spoken by 11,000 people of Tibetan nationality in north central Sichuan Province, China. It has vigorous use amongst adult speakers.

Baima is spoken in:

Baima uses subject–object–verb (SOV) word order, initial consonant word clusters and is tonal. It is unclassified within Sino-Tibetan; there are multiple layers of borrowings from Amdo, Khams, and Zhongu Tibetan, as well as lexical and grammatical connections with Qiangic languages. Basic vocabulary is about 85% Tibetic and 15% Qiangic, and the Tibetic words do not link to any established group of Tibetic languages. Chirkova (2008) suggests that the Qiangic vocabulary "might be a retention from the language originally spoken by the Báimǎ before their shift to a form of Tibetic in the 7th century." She accepts Baima as Tibetan, but as an isolate within the Tibetic languages.[3]


  1. ^ Baima at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Baima". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Katia Chirkova, 2008, "On the position of Báimǎ within Tibetan", in Lubotsky et al (eds), Evidence and Counter-Evidence, vol. 2.