Qiangic (Ch'iang, Kyang, Tsiang), formerly known as Dzorgaic, is a language group of the northeastern Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family, spoken mainly in Southwestern China, including Sichuan, Tibet, and Yunnan. Most Qiangic languages are distributed in the prefectures of Ngawa, Garzê, Ya'an County, and Liangshan in Sichuan province, with some in northern Yunnan province as well. Qiangic speakers are variously classified as part of the Qiang, Tibetan, Pumi, Naxi and Mongol ethnic groups by the Chinese government. The extinct Tangut language, the official language of the Western Xia Dynasty, has been determined to be a Qiangic language.
Sun (1983) proposes two branches, northern and southern:
- Northern: Northern Qiang (Máwō), Pumi (Prinmi), Muya (Minyag), Tangut (extinct; attested 1036–1502)
- Southern: Southern Qiang (Táopíng).
Matisoff (2004) states that Jiarongic is an additional branch:
Sun groups other, poorly described Qiangic languages as:
- Ersu (Tosu), Shixing, Namuzi (Namuyi)
- Guiqiong (2–3 varieties with low intelligibility)
- Zhaba, Queyu.
Thurgood and La Polla (2003) state that the inclusion of Qiang, Prinmi, and Muya is well supported, but that they do not follow Sun's argument for the inclusion of Tangut. Matisoff (2004), however, claims Tangut demonstrates a clear relationship. The unclassified language Baima may also be Qiangic or may retain a Qiangic substratum after speakers shifted to Tibetan.
Some other lesser-known, unclassified Qiangic peoples and languages include the following:
- Bolozi 玻璃哦子: 2,000 people; in Xiao Heshui Village 小河水村, west of Songpan; also as far south as Wenchuan Township 汶川乡
- Ming 命: 10,000 people; mixed Chinese in Mao County and Wenchuan County, Sichuan
- Xiangcheng 乡城: 10,000 people in and around Xiangcheng Township 乡城, Garzê Prefecture
Sun Hongkai (2001) groups the Qiangic languages are follows.
Jacques & Michaud (2011)
Guillaume Jacques & Alexis Michaud (2011) argue for a Na–Qiangic branch, which itself forms a Burmo-Qiangic branch together with Lolo–Burmese. Na–Qiangic comprises three primary branches, which are Ersuish (or Ersuic), Naic (or Naxish), and [core] Qiangic. Similarly, David Bradley (2008) also proposed an Eastern Tibeto-Burman branch that includes Burmic (AKA Lolo-Burmese) and Qiangic. The position of Guiqiong is not addressed.
Shafer (1955) and other accounts of the Dzorgaic/Ch'iang branch preserve the names Dzorgai, Kortsè, Thochu, Outer/Outside Man-tze, Pingfang from the turn of the century. The first three were Northern Qiang, and Ouside Mantse was Southern Qiang.
When Jiarongic is included as a branch of Qiangic, but distinct from the non-Jiarongic languages, the label "Dzorgaic" may be used for Qiang proper.
Hsi-fan (Xifan) is an ethnic name, meaning essentially 'Tibetan'; the people speak Qiangic or Jiarongic languages such as Qiang, Ergong/Horpa, Ersu, Guiqiong, Shixing, Zhaba, Namuyi, Muya/Minyak, and Jiarong, but not Naxi/Moso, Pumi, or Tangut. The term has not been much used since language surveys of the 1980s resulted in sufficient data for classification.
- Rgyalrongic languages
- Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture#Languages
- Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture#Languages
- James Matisoff, 2004. "Brightening" and the place of Xixia (Tangut) in the Qiangic subgroup of Tibeto-Burman
- Katia Chirkova, 2008, "On the position of Báimǎ within Tibetan", in Lubotsky et al (eds), Evidence and Counter-Evidence, vol. 2.
- China | Asia Harvest
- Jacques, Guillaume, and Alexis Michaud. 2011. "Approaching the historical phonology of three highly eroded Sino-Tibetan languages." Diachronica 28:468-498.
- Bradley, David. 2008. The Position of Namuyi in Tibeto-Burman.
- Such as Barley (1997)
- UC Berkeley, 1992, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, vol. 15, pp. 76–77.
- Bradley, David. (1997). Tibeto-Burman languages and classification. In D. Bradley (Ed.), Papers in South East Asian linguistics: Tibeto-Burman languages of the Himalayas (No. 14, pp. 1–71). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
- Sun, Hongkai. (1983). The nationality languages in the six valleys and their language branches. Yunnan Minzuxuebao, 3, 99-273. (Written in Chinese).