Qiang, Northern


A language of China

Alternate Names

57,800 (1999), decreasing. No monolinguals. 14,000 Mawo dialect, 14,000 Weigu dialect, 11,000 Luhua dialect, 8,000 Cimulin dialect, and 9,000 Yadu dialect. 130,000 total for Northern and Southern Qiang languages, including 80,000 as Qiang nationality and 50,000 as Tibetan nationality (1990 J-O. Svantesson). Ethnic population: 306,000 (2000 census).


North central Sichuan Province, Mao, Songpan, Heishui, and Beichuan counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).


Cimulin, Luhua, Mawo, Weigu, Yadu.


SOV; more consonants than Southern Qiang; heavy phonemic inventory; consonant clusters in syllable onsets; nontonal

Language Use

Parents encourage children to excel in school, which means learning Mandarin Chinese [cmn] well. Some use Qiang at home. Home. Mainly adults. Negative attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn] or Amdo Tibetan [bod]. Written Chinese used.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: 100%. Men are more literate than women. Those under 30 are fairly literate in Chinese. Taught in primary schools, only for 1st and maybe 2nd grades. Dictionary. Grammar.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Officially classified within the Qiang and Tibetan nationalities in Heishui County. Buddhist (Lamaist), Daoist, traditional religion.