Zhuang, Northern

A language of China

ISO 639-3: ccx

Population 10,000,000 (1992 Edmondson). 50% are monolingual. Population includes Yongbei 1,600,000, Youjiang 732,000, Guibian 522,000, Liujiang 1,300,000, Guibei 1,300,000, Hongshuihe 2,700,000, Qiubei (not available).
Region Northern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Wenshan Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture. Guizhou Province, Congjiang County, southwestern Hunan and northeastern Guangdong in Lianshan Zhuang-Yao Autonomous County. Yongbei is north of the Yongjiang and Youjiang rivers in the area from Hengxian to Pingguo; Hongshuihe is along the Red Water River; Liujiang around the town of Liujiang west of Liuzhou city; Youjiang straddles the Youjiang River in the area from Tiandong to Baise; Guibian in the northwesternmost region of Guangxi (Guibian lies across north central Guangxi); and Quibei around the town of Qiubei in Yunnan.
Alternate names   Chuang, Tai Chuang, Vah Cuengh, Cangva
Dialects Yongbei (Yungpei), Liujiang (Liuchiang), Youjiang (Yuchiang), Guibian (Kueipien), Qiubei (Chiupei), Hongshuihe, Guibei, Lianshan. Dialect continuum to Bouyei. 'Biao' (Pumen) is a special variety spoken in Lianshan area of northwestern Guangdong and in eastern Guangxi around He Xian. Lexical similarity 75% to 86% among the dialects, average 65% between Northern and Southern Zhuang, Northern Zhuang 49% with Dong, 44% with Laka, 32% with Buyang, 30% with Laqua and Hlai, 28% with Lati, 25% with Gelo.
Classification Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Northern
Language use Official regional language. Vigorous. Some speakers of other languages also speak it. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. In a Mandarin-speaking area, but some also speak Cantonese. Many in more developed locations control a variety of Chinese to some useful degree, but the majority in the countryside do not. Chinese used in secondary schools.
Language development Literacy rate in second language: 67%. Literacy generally low except in major towns and cities. Roman script based on the pronunciation of the Yongbei dialect spoken in Wuming County. May be difficult for some dialect speakers to use. Traditional ideographic script based on Chinese characters. Not standardized or widely used for general purposes. Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1904.




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Part of the Zhuang nationality. SVO; modifiers follow heads; Wuming dialect has 6 tone categories in unchecked syllables and 2 (split into 4 according to vowel length) in checked syllables; most dialects lack aspirated stop series; rich in reduplicating modifiers and sound symbolism employing vowel gradation; several historical layers of borrowing from Chinese. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists: paddy rice; animal husbandry; small commerce; transport. Polytheist, Daoist, Buddhist.