A Grammar of Guìqióng: A Language of Sichuan by Jiang Li

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 provide in its phonology, verbal and nominal morphology, syntax and thesaurus, distinguishing itself from the neighbouring Tibetan, chinese language, Qiangic and Loloish languages. The newly stumbled on positive factors 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, based life and negation, verbal affixes indicating instructions, current annoying of skilled perceptions, gnomic annoying, perfective vs. imperfective point, modality and evidentiality.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Guìqióng: A Language of Sichuan

Example text

3 Guìqióng Tones and Initials So far Guìqióng researchers tend to agree that Guìqióng is a tonal language. According to an earlier study by Sūn Hóngkāi (1982), Guìqióng has four tones, the medial level (33), the high level (55), the high falling (53) and the high rising (35). Huáng Bùfán’s study in 1992 argues that Guìqióng has three major tones, 55, 35, 31 in Chao tone letters and two minor tones, of which the medial level (33) is seen as a neutral tone and the contour tone 53 as a permissible substitute for word-final high level tone.

Nowadays the most popular Guìqióng festival is Zhuǎnshānhuì 转山会, the Round the Mountains Meet, celebrated on September 11, lunar calendar. People of the same village, usually close relatives after centuries of intermarriages, would donate money and food for the celebration of the occasion. Local priests or gəmə will dance ahead of the procession along the fixed alpine route, praying, chanting while sprinkling the walk with food and drinks to the gods of the mountains. The mountains were addressed with the names of their gods.

Bu ‘carry; exist (dependently)’, ʐi ‘mountain’ and nɐ ‘chicken’. g. tshui ‘mouse’ and tʂɛi ‘breakfast’. g. ’jɐŋ ‘wheat’ and ’mu ‘short’. The high tone of syllables with approximant and nasal initials is thus marked with an apostrophe before the initial phoneme, as is shown in the table. g. dz’ɐnχɐn ‘tobacco’, as is shown in the table. After table 4, the pronunciation of the 60 Guìqióng consonants will be individually described, beginning with the uvular and the glottal. g. χɐ ‘eagle’, ʁɐ ‘yell’ and ʁ’ɐ ‘voimit’.

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