Gyalrongic languages

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The Gyalrongic languages (also known as Rgyalrongic or Jiarongic) constitute a branch of the Qiangic languages of Sino-Tibetan,[1] although Randy LaPolla (2003) proposes that it may be part of a larger Rung languages group, and does not consider it to be particularly closely related to Qiangic. LaPolla (2003) suggests that similarities between Gyalrongic and Qiangic may be due to areal influence[citation needed], while other recent work suggests that Qiangic as a whole may in fact be paraphyletic, with the only commonalities of the supposed "branch" being shared archaisms and areal features that were encouraged by contact.[2][3]

Gyalrongic
Jiarongic, Rgyalrongic
Geographic
distribution
China
Linguistic classificationSino-Tibetan
Subdivisions
Glottologrgya1241

Geographical distributionEdit

The Gyalrongic languages are spoken in Sichuan in China, mainly in the autonomous Tibetan and Qiang prefectures of Karmdzes and Rngaba. These languages are distinguished by their conservative morphology and their phonological archaisms, which make them valuable for historical linguistics.

The cluster of languages variously referred to as Stau, Ergong or Horpa in the literature are spoken over a large area from Ndzamthang county (in Chinese Rangtang 壤塘县) in Rngaba prefecture (Aba 阿坝州) to Rtau county (Dawu 道孚) in Dkarmdzes prefecture (Ganzi 甘孜州), in Sichuan province, China. At the moment of writing, it is still unclear how many unintelligible varieties belong to this group, but at least three must be distinguished: the language of Rtau county (referred as ‘Stau’ in this paper), the Dgebshes language (Geshizha 格什扎话) spoken in Rongbrag county (Danba 丹巴), and the Stodsde language (Shangzhai 上寨) in Ndzamthang.[4]

Gyalrongic languages are spoken predominantly in the four counties of Ma'erkang, Li, Xiaojin, and Jinchuan in Aba Prefecture, western Sichuan.[5] Other Gyalrongic lects are spoken in neighboring Heishui, Rangtang, Baoxing, Danba, and Daofu counties.

ClassificationEdit

The Gyalrongic languages share several features, notably in verbal morphology, and are classified into three groups:

The Gyalrong languages in turn constitute four mutually unintelligible varieties: Eastern Gyalrong or Situ, Japhug, Tshobdun, and Zbu.

Khroskyabs and Horpa are classified by Lin (1993) as a "western dialect" of Gyalrong, along with Eastern Gyalrong and the "northwestern dialect" (Japhug, Tshobdun, and Zbu). Otherwise, the scholarly consensus deems the distance between Khroskyabs, Horpa, and the Gyalrong cluster is greater than that between the Gyalrong languages. For example, Ethnologue reports 75% lexical similarity between Situ and Japhug, 60% between Japhug and Tshobdun, but only 13% between Situ and Horpa.

Huang (2007:180)[6] found that Horpa (Rta’u) and Gyalrong (Cogrtse) share only 15.2% cognacy, with 242 cognates out of a total of 1,592 words.

The Khalong Tibetan language has a Gyalrongic substratum.[7]

The Chamdo languages (consisting of Lamo, Larong, and Drag-yab, a group of three closely related Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in Chamdo, eastern Tibet) may or may not be Qiangic.[8][9][10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Matisoff, James. 2004. "Brightening" and the place of Xixia (Tangut) in the Qiangic subgroup of Tibeto-Burman
  2. ^ Katia Chirkova (2012). "The Qiangic subgroup from an areal perspective: A case study of languages of Muli". Language and Linguistics. 13 (1): 133–170.
  3. ^ Guillaume Jaques and Alexis Michaud (2011). "Approaching the historical phonology of three highly eroded Sino-Tibetan languages: Naxi, Na and Laze". Diachronica. 28: 468–498.
  4. ^ Jacques, Guillaume, Anton Antonov, Yunfan Lai & Lobsang Nima. 2017. Stau (Ergong, Horpa). In Graham Thurgood & Randy LaPolla (eds.), The Sino-Tibetan Languages (2nd edition), 597–613. London: Routledge. [1]
  5. ^ Nagano, Yasuhiko and Marielle Prins. 2013. rGyalrongic languages database. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku).
  6. ^ Huang Bufan. 2007. Lawurongyu yanjiu (拉坞戎语研究) [A study of the Lavrung language]. Beijing: Minzu Press (民族出版社).
  7. ^ Tournadre, Nicolas (2005). "L'aire linguistique tibétaine et ses divers dialectes." Lalies, 2005, n°25, p. 7–56.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Zhao, Haoliang. 2018. A brief introduction to Zlarong, a newly recognized language in Mdzo sgang, TAR. Proceedings of the 51st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (2018). Kyoto: Kyoto University.
  10. ^ Jacques, Guillaumes. 2016. Les journées d'études sur les langues du Sichuan.

Further readingEdit

  • Tiago Tresoldi, Robert Forkel, & Johann-Mattis List. (2019). lexibank/naganorgyalrongic: rGyalrongic Languages Database (Version v2.0) [Data set]. Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3537639

External linksEdit