By Jiang Li
In A Grammar of Guiqiong, Jiang Li describes the grammar of Guiqiong, a hitherto undocumented language spoken by means of alpine humans in Kangding county, China. Guiqiong has much to supply in its phonology, verbal and nominal morphology, syntax and word list, distinguishing itself from the neighbouring Tibetan, chinese language, Qiangic and Loloish languages. The newly stumbled on positive aspects of Guiqiong contain breathy vs. modal voice, indefinite quantity, ablative, ergative, instrumental, dative and genitive case markers, subject and emphatic markers, the diminutive suffixes, the pronominal and deictic platforms, demonstratives and numerals, a wealthy shop of differentiated copular verbs expressing equationality, inchoative, animacy vs. inanimacy, established lifestyles and negation, verbal affixes indicating instructions, current demanding of skilled perceptions, gnomic stressful, perfective vs. imperfective element, modality and evidentiality.
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Additional resources for A Grammar of Guìqióng: A Language of Sichuan
The apostrophe is used either at the beginning of the syllable to indicate a high tone or immediately after the initial morpheme to indicate a low tone after van Driem’s Dzongkha (1998). Chao Tone letters will be used mainly to illustrate the analysis of tonal notations. It will also be used when a syllable bears a different tone from the three major tones. The tilde is used to indicate a nasalised vowel. 1 Guìqióng Vowels, Nasalisation and Diphthong Guìqióng distinguishes eight different vowel qualities, front closed unrounded /i/, the front closed rounded /y/, the back closed rounded /u/, the front openmid unrounded /ɛ/ the back close-mid rounded /o/, the schwa /ə/, the back open-mid rounded /ɔ/ and the central near open vowel /ɐ/.
Ni ‘from’. ’ni gold mə’nɐ vegetable oil ’nɐ’i tomorrow ɛ’niɛn’niɛn cicada niɐnlo pupil of the eye ni’wu the younger, the smaller nɐ’wuŋ muntjac nɐ chicken; poultry; hide tʂini fish, shrimp, water-bound animals phɛini parent ʐinɛ foot of a mountain ni from The alveolar fricative /s/ is followed by the high level tone articulated in modal voice. ] The alveolar fricative /z/ is followed by the medial level tone in modal voice. zo he, she, it zibuzu get angry zi’nɐ leopard zukhɐ corner zɛzɛ point, tip The breathy voiced /z’/ is pronounced as [z] in the low falling tone.
Even though there seems to be more people speaking the language than originally thought, Guìqióng does not have a bright future when it will be widely and actively used and endlessly inherited. Instead, quite a few signs suggest a language seriously losing its vigour. At the alpine Guìqióng homes, an old generation over 60 years of age largely monolingual has been using the language whole life long. Within the family, people between 40 and 60 have become bilingual, with most of them making a living in towns and cities where Guìqióng is hardly used.
A Grammar of Guìqióng: A Language of Sichuan by Jiang Li