Drag-yab language

Drag-yab is a Sino-Tibetan language recently documented by Suzuki & Nyima (2018, 2019).[2][3] It is spoken in the southern half of Zhag'yab County, Chamdo, eastern Tibet.

Native toChina
RegionZhag'yab County, Chamdo Prefecture, Tibet
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Suzuki & Nyima (2018) document the dialect of Drag-yab spoken in the village of Razi 热孜村 in Xiangdui Town 香堆镇, Zhag'yab County.


Drag-yab is referred to by the Changdu Gazetteer (2005)[4] as Zesong 则松话, and is reported by Changdu (2005) to be spoken in Zesong 则松乡 and Bari 巴日乡 townships of Zhag'yab County.

The language is also referred to as both sMa and rMa.[3] Nyina & Suzuki (2019) report the autonym m̥a55 (or ma55), which is identical to the Larong autonym also reported by them (m̥a55).[3]


Suzuki & Nyima (2018)[2] note that Zlarong (Larong) is closely related to two other recently documented Sino-Tibetan languages of Chamdo, eastern Tibet, namely Lamo and Larong.

Geographical distributionEdit

Drag-yab is spoken in 6 townships, along different river valleys within the Lancang (Lachu) River watershed. These include Maiqu, Kaqu, Lasongqu, Guidaqu, and Changqu.[3]

  • Byams mdun Town (Chinese: Xiangdui 香堆镇): mostly Drag-yab speakers
  • Dzongsar Township (Chinese: Zongsha 宗沙乡): mostly Drag-yab speakers
  • Palri Township (Chinese: Bari 巴日乡): all Drag-yab speakers
  • Khuda (Chinese: Kuoda 扩达乡): mostly Drag-yab speakers
  • Atshur Township (Chinese: Azi 阿孜乡): mostly Drag-yab speakers
  • Rongdrub Township (Chinese: Rongzhou 荣周乡): Drag-yab speakers are mainly located in Maidui Village

Drag-yab villages by township:[3]

Township, County Villages
Xiangdui Town 香堆镇, Drag-yab Rezi 热孜村, Kunda 坤达村, Daba 达巴村, Xuelong 学龙村, Laxi 拉西村, and Dangduo 当佐村
Rongzhou Township 荣周乡, Drag-yab Maidui 麦堆村, Zuotong 佐通村, and Zere
Kuoda Township 扩达乡, Drag-yab Zeran, Gangba, Gangka 岗卡村, Zuoduo, etc.
Zongsha Township 宗沙乡, Drag-yab Yuergang, Lasong 拉松村, etc.
Azi Township 阿孜乡, Drag-yab most villages in the township
Bari Township 巴日乡, Drag-yab Baie, Luosong 罗松村, Zesong, Zhuoba, Xiongre 雄然村, etc.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Drag-yab". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b Suzuki, Hiroyuki and Tashi Nyima. 2018. Historical relationship among three non-Tibetic languages in Chamdo, TAR. Proceedings of the 51st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (2018). Kyoto: Kyoto University.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tashi Nyima; Hiroyuki Suzuki (2019). "Newly recognised languages in Chamdo: Geography, culture, history, and language". Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 42 (1): 38–81. doi:10.1075/ltba.18004.nyi. ISSN 0731-3500.
  4. ^ Xizang Changdu Diqu Difangzhi Bianzuan Weiyuanhui 西藏昌都地区地方志编纂委员会 (2005). Changdu Diquzhi 昌都地区志. Beijing: Fangzhi Chubanshe 方志出版社.