A language of China

Alternate Names
Bai Ma, Pe

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


Gansu province: Wenxian county; Sichuan province: Jiuzhaigou, Pingwu, and Songpan counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Tibetan.


Southern Baima (Pingwu Baima), Northern Baima (Wenxian 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. Some young people, all adults. Neutral attitudes. Also use Amdo Tibetan [adx], Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development

Schools use Chinese. Dictionary.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

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.

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