A language of China

Alternate Names
Chiarong, dGyarung, Gyarong, Gyarung, Jarong, Jyarung, Keru, Rgyarong

83,000 (1999 Sun Hong Kai). 25,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 151,000 (Lin Xiangrong 1993). Includes 139,000 in Situ Jiarong, 12,200 in Chabao and Sidaba.


North central Sichuan Province. Situ is in the traditional territory of 4 chieftaincies: Zhuokeji, Suomo, Songgang, Dangba. Chabao is in northeast corner of Maerkang county, Chabao district, Longerjia, Dazang, and Shaerzong townships. Sidaba is in Maerkang county, Sidaba district, Caodeng, Kangshan, and Ribu townships; north in southwest corner of Aba county, Kehe and Rongan townships; west along middle Duke river, Rangtang county, between Wuyi and Shili townships; and Seda county at the confluence of Seda and Duke rivers, a small town.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Tibetan.


Chabao (Central Jiarong, Dazang, Northeastern Jiarong, Northern Jiarong), Sidaba (Caodeng, Northwestern Jiarong, Western Jiarong), Situ (Eastern Jiarong). Varieties of Situ are: Ma’erkang, Lixian, Jinchuan (Dajin), and Xiaojin. Varieties of Sidaba are Caodeng and Ribu. Western and Northern phonology are fairly similar but differ greatly from Eastern. Dialects are likely three separate mutually unintelligible languages. Lexical similarity: 75% between Eastern and Northern Jiarong (with significant phonological differences), 60% between Western and Northern, 13% between the Situ dialect and Horpa [ero].


SOV; phonologically and lexically similar to Tibetan, grammatically more similar to Pumi and Qiang; complex consonant clusters; limited pitch contrast.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes, but intellectuals worry about diminishing use. 950 also use Central Tibetan [bod]. 56,000 also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. 50 also use Northern Qiang [cng].

Language Development
Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar.

Tibetan script [Tibt].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist (Lamaist).