Northern Qiang language

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Northern Qiang
Region Sichuan Province
Ethnicity Qiang people
Native speakers
58,000 (1999)[1]
Sino-Tibetan
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cng
Glottolog nort2722[2]
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Northern Qiang is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Qiangic branch spoken by approximately 130,000 people in north-central Sichuan Province, China.

Unlike its close relative Southern Qiang, Northern Qiang is not a tonal language.

Northern Qiang dialects[edit]

Northern Qiang is composed of several different dialects, many of which are easily mutually intelligible. Sun Hongkai in his book on Qiang in 1981 divides Northern Qiang into the following dialects: Luhua, Mawo, Zhimulin, Weigu, and Yadu. These dialects are located in Heishui County as well as the northern part of Mao County. The Luhua, Mawo, Zhimulin, and Weigu varieties of Northern Qiang are spoken by the Heishui Tibetans. The Mawo dialect is considered to be the prestige dialect by the Heishui Tibetans.

Names seen in the older literature for Northern Qiang dialects include Dzorgai (Sifan), Kortsè (Sifan), Krehchuh, and Thóchú/Thotcu/Thotśu. The last is a place name.[3]

Northern Qiang consonants[edit]

Labial Dental Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Palato-
alveolar
Retroflex Alveolo-
palatal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k q
aspirated
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless ts
aspirated tsʰ tʃʰ tʂʰ tɕʰ
voiced dz
Fricative voiced β z ʐ ʑ ɣ ʁ
voiceless ɸ s ʂ ɕ x χ h
Trill voiced r
voiceless
Lateral voiced l
voiceless ɬ
Approximant ɻ j w

Vowel harmony[edit]

Vowel harmony exists in the Mawo (麻窝) dialect. For example, the realization of the word "one" (a) is influenced by the classifiers:[4]

  • e si (a day)
  • a qep (a can)
  • ɑ pɑu (a packet)
  • o ʁu (a barrel)
  • ɘ ʑu (a pile)
  • ø dy (a mouth)

Status[edit]

As with many of the Qiangic languages, Northern Qiang is becoming increasingly threatened. Because the education system largely uses Standard Chinese as a medium of instruction for the Qiang people, and as a result of the universal access to schooling and TV, most Wiang children are fluent or even monolingual in Chinese while and increasing percentage cannot speak Qiang.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Northern Qiang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Northern Qiang". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ UC Berkeley, 1992, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, vol. 15, pp. 76–77.
  4. ^ "羌语简志" by 孙宏开
  5. ^ Randy J. LaPolla, Chenglong Huan (2003). A Grammar of Qiang: With annotated texts and glossary. Mouton de Gruyter. p. 5. ISBN 978-3110178296. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.
  • LaPolla, Randy J. with Chenglong Huang. 2003. A Grammar of Qiang, with Annotated Texts and Glossary (Mouton Grammar Library). Berlin. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Evans, Jonathan P. 2006. Vowel quality in Hongyan Qiang. Language and Linguistics 7.4: 937-960.