Southern Qiang language

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Southern Qiang
Region Sichuan Province
Ethnicity Qiang people
Native speakers
81,000 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 qxs
Glottolog sout2728[2]
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Southern Qiang is a Sino-Tibetan language of the Qiangic branch spoken by approximately 81,300 people along the Minjiang (岷江) river in Sichuan Province, China.

Unlike its close relative Northern Qiang, Southern Qiang is a tonal language.

Southern Qiang dialects[edit]

Southern Qiang is spoken in Li County (in Taoping 桃坪, etc.), Wenchuan County (in Longxi 龙溪, Luobozhai 萝卜寨, Miansi 绵虒, etc.), and parts of Mao County. It consists of seven dialects: Dajishan, Taoping, Longxi, Mianchi, Heihu, Sanlong, and Jiaochang, which are greatly divergent and are not mutually intelligible.

Names seen in the older literature for Southern Qiang dialects include Lofuchai (Lophuchai, Lopu Chai), Wagsod (Wa-gsod, Waszu),[3] and Outside/Outer Mantse (Man-tzŭ).[4]

Liu (1998) adds Sanlong (三龍) and Jiaochang (較場) to the Southern subdialects.[5]








Southern Qiang consonants[edit]

Consonants are presented in the table below.[6]

Labial Dental Retroflex Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular
Voiceless stop p t k q
Aspirated stop
Voiced stop b d ɡ ɢ
Voiceless affricate ts ʈʂ
Aspirated affricate tsʰ ʈʂʰ tʃʰ tɕʰ
Voiced affricate dz ɖʐ
Voiceless fricative f s ʂ ɕ x χ
Voiced fricative z ʐ ʑ ɣ ʁ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Lateral l
Semivowel j, ɥ w


As with many of the Qiangic languages, Southern 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 an increasing percentage cannot speak Qiang.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Southern Qiang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Southern Qiang". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ John McCoy & Timothy Light, ed., 1986, Contributions to Sino-Tibetan Studies, pp. 40, 65.
  4. ^ UC Berkeley, 1992, Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, vol. 15, pp. 76–77.
  5. ^ Liu, Guangkun (1998). Mawo Qiangyu Yanjiu. Sichuan Nationality Press. 
  6. ^ Sun, Hongkai (1981). Qiangyu Jianzhi. Nationality Press. 
  7. ^ Randy J. LaPolla, Chenglong Huan (2003). A Grammar of Qiang: With annotated texts and glossary. Mouton de Gruyter. p. 5. ISBN 978-3110178296. 


  • 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.
  • Chang, Kun. 1967. "A comparative study of the Southern Ch'iang dialects". Monumenta Serica, XXVI:422 - 443.
  • Evans, Jonathan P. 2001a. Introduction to Qiang Lexicon and Phonology: Synchrony and Diachrony. Tokyo:ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.