Xibe

A language of China

ISO 639-3: sjo
 

Population 30,000 (2000 An Jun). Few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 33,082 in Xinjiang Province, 172,847 in the nationality (1990 census). 50,000 ethnic Xibe in northeast China speak Chinese as first language.
Region Mainly in Ili Region of Xinjiang Province, and some in Ürümqi City and Tacheng Region of Xinjiang Province.
Alternate names   Sibo, Xibo, Sibe, Sibin
Dialects Colloquial Manchu. Reported to be inherently intelligible with Manchu.
Classification Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southwest
Language use Official regional language. Vigorous. Speakers of Chinese, Uyghur, or Kazakh in the area can also speak Xibe. All domains. All ages in rural areas. Positive language attitude. Many prefer Chinese as a literary language. Some can speak or write Uyghur, Kazakh, English, or Russian.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 50%. Literacy rate in second language: 52%. About 15,000 can read and write it. Taught in primary schools. Manchu script. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar.
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An official nationality. Descendants of an 18th century Qing dynasty military garrison. Loans from Uyghur, Kazakh, and Chinese. SOV; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals precede noun heads; question word initial; complex vowel harmony. Plains between mountain slope, riverine. Desert, savannah. 1,000 to 3,000 meters. Peasant agriculturalists; animal husbandry; commerce. Atheist, polytheist.