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Updates various

Arienne Dwyer, Mon, 2015-02-09 20:01
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Despite being a specialist on this language since 1991, I've never looked at this page until now. Here are updates: Population: Speakers: unknown, perhaps 80,000. I doubt there are as many as 10,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 130,607 (2010 census), increasing. L2 users: Very few. Some local Tibetans know rudimentary Salar. Location Qinghai Province, Xunhua Salar and Hualong Hui autonomous counties; Gansu Province, Jishishan autonomous county; Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Yili Kazakh autonomous prefecture. [NB: Yili, spelled with one l] Language Maps China Language Status 6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Salar. ClassificationAltaic, Turkic, Southern Dialects Western (Ili) and Eastern (Gaizi, Mengda, Gandu, Jishishan). Salar is spoken by descendants of Oghuz Turks from the Samarkand region. Has an Oghuz (SW) Turkic base, and took on Eastern and S.Siberian Turkic features through Central Asian contacts, and finally acquired a stratum of features from Chinese and Tibetan (1989 A. Dwyer). Gaizi (Jiezi) often seen as standard variety. Typology SOV; postpositional; verbs take up to 3 or 4 suffixes, no prefixes; no person or gender marking; 27 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes; nontonal. Language Use Many speakers are fluent in Northwestern Chinese and Amdo Tibetan, especially men; most women know some Chinese. Domestic, informal domains. Schooling in Mandarin Chinese [cmn] in Qinghai, and Uyghur [uig] in Xinjiang. All ages, but children less. Negative attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod], Mandarin Chinese [cmn] in Qinghai, and Uyghur [uig] in Xinjiang. Reference: Dwyer, A. M. 1998. The Turkic strata of Salar: An Oghuz in Chaghatay clothes? Turkic Languages 2, 49–83.

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We will attempt to get this information into the 18th edition, due very shortly to be published.