A language of China

Alternate Names
Bai Ma, Pe

10,000 (Bradley 2007). Older adults and a few middle aged are monolingual. Ethnic population: 14,000 (Bradley 2007).


North central Sichuan Province, Pingwu, Jiuzhaigou, and Songpan counties; Gansu Province, Wenxian county.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Northern Baima (Wenxian Baima), Southern Baima (Pingwu Baima), Western Baima (Jiuzhaigou Baima, Songpan Baima).


SOV; initial consonant clusters; no consonantal codas; mostly monosyllabic morphemes; loans from Chinese and Tibetan; tonal, 4 tones

Language Use

Vigorous among adults in Pingwu and Jiuzhaigou counties. All domains. Neutral attitudes. Also use local Amdo Tibetan [adx] and Chinese (Bradley 2007).

Language Development
Schools use Chinese. Poetry. Dictionary.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Tibetan nationality (1951). The Baima clan has a distinct ethnic identity from other Tibetans. Classified Tibetan, though some scholars consider it in the Tibeto-Burman language family, Qiangic subgroup. Traditional religion.