Guiqiong (Guichong, Traditional Chinese:貴瓊(guiqiong)) is a poorly attested Qiangic language of Sichuan and Tibet. There are differences in the phonology of the dialects, but communication is possible. Two or three varieties have low mutual intelligibility with the rest.
Sun (1991) documents Guiqiong of Maiben Township 麦本乡, Yutong District 鱼通区, Kangding County 康定县, Sichuan (Sun 1991:227).
Population of Speakers
The population of speakers of this language for a long time have only been estimates. It has been difficult to provide an accurate count of how many exist because since the People's Republic of China was founded, the government has considered the Guiqiong people to be apart of the Tibetan minority. Because of this, the national census cannot provide an official count of the Guiqiong people.
The general location of Guiqiong speakers is confined to a very small rectangular area. This area stretches 20 kilometers from its northern boundary to the southern boundary, and just reaches about 1 kilometer from its eastern to its western boundary. The area is situated to the west of the well-known Sichuan Province in China.
Name of the Language
As noted in the introduction of this page, Guiqiong is known by many different names. The interesting story here is that the names that have been given to the language can be divided into two groups. One group consists of the names that the Guiqiong people use to refer to themselves and their language. The second group consists of the names that others use to refer to the Guiqiong people and their language.
The Guiqiong people refer to themselves as /gutchiɐŋ/. It is now believed that the names that the Chinese words for referring to these people such as 貴瓊(guiqiong), are just transliterations of /gutchiɐŋ/.
• Older speakers retain the distinction between the alveolo-palatal and retroflex series; younger speakers do not.
• Older speakers retain the distinction between the velar and uvular series; younger speakers have both series in free variation.
- Guiqiong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Guiqiong". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Li, Jiang (2015). A Grammar of Guìqióng: A Language of Sichuan.
- Klose (2001) Sprachen der Welt
- Namkung, Ju (1996). PHONOLOGICAL INVENTORIES OF TIBETO-BURMAN LANGUAGES. p. 114.
- Sun Hongkai et al. 1991. Zangmianyu yuyin he cihui 藏缅语音和词汇 [Tibeto-Burman phonology and lexicon]. Chinese Social Sciences Press.
- Ju Namkung. 1996. Phonological Inventories of Tibeto-Burman Languages. (STEDT Monograph Series, 3.) In Ju Namkung (ed.) Berkeley: Center for Southeast Asia Studies. xxvii+507pp.
- Lì, Jiāng. 2014. A Grammar of Guìqióng: A language of Sichuan. (Languages of the Greater Himalayan Region, 5/15.) Leiden: Brill. xiii+452pp.
- Lì, Jiāng. 2014. A Grammar of Guìqióng. University of Bern. 341pp. (Doctoral dissertation).
- Sun, Hongkai. 1985. Liujiang liuyu de minzu yuyan ji qi xishu fen lei. Minzu Xuebao 3. 98-274.
- Sun, Hongkai. 1990. Languages of the Ethnic Corridor in Western Sichuan. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 13. 1-31.