Qiang, Northern


A language of China

Alternate Names

57,800 (1999), decreasing. 14,000 Mawo, 14,000 Weigu, 11,000 Luhua, 8,000 Cimulin, and 9,000 Yadu. 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). 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 306,000 (2000 census).


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

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of recognized nationality: Qiang.


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]. Written Chinese used. Also use Central Tibetan [bod]. Used as L2 by Jiarong [jya].

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 [Latn], used since 1990, experimental (1993).

Other Comments

Buddhist (Lamaist), Daoist, traditional religion.