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). No monolinguals. Ethnic population: 310,000 (2010 census).


Sichuan province: Beichuan, Heishui, Mao, and Songpan counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Mawo, Yadu, Weigu, Cimulin, Luhua.


SOV; dual number; causative suffix; 31 consonants and 15 vowels, including 7 long vowels, and 14 diphthongs; 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. Adults only. Negative attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod]. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Written Chinese used. Used as L2 by Jiarong [jya].

Language Development

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 first and maybe second grades. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.


Latin script [Latn], used since 1990, revised in 1991 and 1993.

Other Comments

Buddhist, Daoist, traditional religion.

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