This article should specify the language of its non-English content, using ((lang)), ((transliteration)) for transliterated languages, and ((IPA)) for phonetic transcriptions, with an appropriate ISO 639 code. Wikipedia's multilingual support templates may also be used. See why. (June 2020)
Native toChina
RegionNgawa Prefecture, Sichuan
Native speakers
10,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jiq

Khroskyabs (Chinese: 绰斯甲语; pinyin: Chuòsījiǎ yǔ, previously known as Lavrung, native name in the Wobzi dialect: bósʁæi "Tibetan language"[2]) is a Gyalrongic language of China.[2] It is called Guanyinqiao in Ethnologue after a town in western Sichuan where one dialect of the language is spoken, Thugsrje Chenbo (Wylie: thugs rje chen bo). It has been referred to as Lavrung in previous publications.

Speakers are classified as ethnic Tibetans by the Chinese government.


Based on shared phonological and morphological innovations, Lai (2017, p. 15) identifies two major branches of Khroskyabs: Core Khroskyabs dialects and Njorogs (业隆话). Core-Khroskyabs dialects are further divided into Phosul and Thugschen. The Thugschen dialects include Siyuewu (斯跃武), Wobzi (俄热), 'Brongrdzong (木尔宗) and Guanyinqiao (观音桥).

Huang (2007:155)[1] recognizes 3 main dialects of Khroskyabs (, using the term Lavrung Chinese: Lawurong 拉坞戎) by a total of about 10,000 people dispersed along the Duke River (杜柯河) Valley of northwestern Sichuan, just to the west of Barkam Town. The dialects are:

Khroskyabs names and speaker populations for Guanyinqiao dialect locations are (Huang 2007:1-2):[1]

Location Khroskyabs name County Speakers
Guanyinqiao 观音桥乡 grəm53 de33 Jinchuan County 2,200+
Ere 俄热乡 ʁo55 vzi33 Jinchuan County 2,500+
Ergali 二嘎里乡 rga55 ne33 Jinchuan County 2,000+
Maidigou 麦地沟村 ʁji55 ba33 Jinchuan County 300+
Muerzong 木尔宗乡 mbruŋ55 zuŋ33 Barkam County 1,280+
Siyuewu 斯跃武村 sjo33 rgən53 Rangtang County 523

Khroskyabs names and speaker populations for Yelong dialect locations are (Huang 2007:1-2):[1]

Location Khroskyabs name County Speakers
Yelong 业隆村 dʑa33 ro55 Jinchuan County 530+
Nianke 年克村 ȵam55 kʰe33 Barkam County 188+
Dashidang 大石凼村 sto55 de33 Barkam County 286+



The Wobzi dialect has 42 consonantal phonemes, shown in the table below. Other Khroskyabs dialects exhibit similar systems.

Wobzi Khroskyabs consonants
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-
Palatal Velar Uvular
Occlusive nasal m n ɲ ŋ (ɴ)
voiced b d dz ɟ g
voiceless p t ts c k q
aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tɕʰ
Continuant voiced w l z ʐ ʑ j, (ɥ) ɣ ʁ
voiceless ɬ s ʂ ɕ ç (x) χ
Trill r

Khroskyabs dialects present complex consonant clusters. A consonant cluster in Wobzi is composed of three parts, preinitial(s), initial and medial, which can be tested through a partial reduplication process. 757 consonant clusters are attested according to Lai (2017, p. 101). A single cluster can contain up to six consonants in a row: ʁjnlzdə̂ "to be made to buy for one's benefit".

The ordering of preinitials in a consonant cluster follows a language-specific sonority hierarchy (Lai 2013a, 2013b):

ʁ- > j- > N-, m- > v- > r-, l- > s-, z-


Wobzi Khroskyabs has 9 vowel phonemes, listed in the table below. One diphthong is found, æi. Most Core-Khroskyabs dialects have similar vowel systems. In Phosul, a complete series of velarised vowels are attested (Huang 2007, p. 166): , , , , ʌˠ.

Wobzi Khroskyabs vowels
Front Central Back
Close i u
Near-close (ɪ) (ʊ)
Close-mid e o
Mid ə/əˠ
Near-open æ
Open a ɑ

Except for conjugated verb forms, Khroskyabs does not allow complex codas. In the Wobzi dialect, complex codas are prohibited even in conjugated verbs. The rhymes attested in Wobzi Khroskyabs are listed in the table below, with forms in conjugated verbs between parentheses.

Wobzi Khroskyabs rhymes
-m -v -t -n -l -r -j-
i -iv (-in) (-ɪj) (-ɑŋ)
e -em -en -er (-æj) (-ɑŋ)
æ -æm -æv -æt -æn -æl -ær (-æj) (-ɑŋ)
a (-an) (-aj) (-aŋ)
ɑ -ɑv (-ɑn) (-ɑl) -ɑr (-æj) -ɑɣ -ɑŋ
ə -əm -əv -ət -ən -əl -ər (-ɪj) -əɣ (-ʊŋ)
o -ov -ot -on -ol -or (-oj) (-ʊŋ)
u (-un) -ur (-uj) (-ʊŋ)
əˠ (-əˠn)
æi (-æin) (-æɪj) (-ɑŋ)


Two tones are attested in Khroskyabs, a high (H) tone, noted σ́, and a high-falling (HL) tone, noted σ̂. Some minimal pairs in Wobzi Khroskyabs are illustrated in the table below.

Wobzi Khroskyabs tones
H Gloss HL Gloss
jlé rabbit jlê flute
ʁbɑ́ɣ to explode ʁbɑ̂ɣ to be numerous
sʁǽi language, sound sʁæ̂i to return, to give back

Only one syllable in a phonological word can bear a tone, and the surface tones of the other syllable(s), if existent, are derived from the tone-bearing syllable.


Noun phrase


Khroskyabs dialects have two number markers, =ne for dual and =ɟi for plural: kɑpə̂=ne (book=du) "two books", kɑpə̂=ɟi (book=pl) "(more than two) books". Like many East Asian languages, number markers are prohibited when a numeral is present:





kɑpə̂(*=ne) jnæ̂

book(*=DU) two

"two books"





kɑpə̂(*=ɟi) çsə̂m

book(*=PL) three

"three books"

Khroskyabs presents a rich array of classifiers. A non-exhaustive list of classifiers in the Wobzi dialects is shown below (with the numeral prefix ə̂- "one").

Classifier Gloss
ə̂-lo general classifier
ə̂-ʁæi humans
ə̂-rgɑɣ round objects, humans
ə̂-ɬpʰa thin and flat objects
ə̂-gi long objects
ə̂-bjæ clothes
ə̂-χpʰo trees


Vocative is formed by assigning a high-falling tone to the penultimate syllable of a noun phrase.

Noun phrase Vocative form
tʂɑɕî 'Bkrashis' tʂɑ̂ɕi
lŋá=ɟi (child=PL) 'children' lŋâ=ɟi
vluvzɑ̂ŋdondʐəv 'Blobzang Dondrub' vluvzɑŋdôndʐəv

Case marking

A series of enclitic case markers are attested in Khroskyabs. The Wobzi case markers are listed in the table below.

Case marker Function
=ji genitive, allative
=kʰe dative, ablative
=ɣə ergative, instrumental
=sce comitative
=ʁɑ locative
=sci locative
=tʰɑ superessive
=lɑ inessive
=gə inessive
=spərə inessive (be covered)
=kʰu inessive (be wrapped in)
=vi subessive
=çtʰu subessive (lower part of places)

Verbal template

The Khroskyabs verb exhibits a templatic morphology with a strong prefixing preference, which means every affix is obligatorily positioned in its own slot which is impossible to change. The table below shows the verbal template of Wobzi Khroskyabs (Lai 2017, p. 293).

-11 -10 -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2
sə̂a- æ-, næ-, etc. u- mə- zə̂- ʁ- N- v- s- ʁjæ̂- NOUN VERB -ŋ, -j, -n -Cɑ/u
sə̂b- ɑ̂- tə- z-
ə̂- ɕə-
Inflectional Derivational Stem Inflectional Reduplication


  1. Incorporated noun;
  2. Reflexive ʁjæ̂;
  3. Causative s- and z-;
  4. Causative v-;
  5. Autobenefactive N-;
  6. Intransitive-passive ʁ-;
  7. Conditional zə̂-;
  8. Negative mə-/mɑ-/mæ-/tə-, interrogative ɕə-;
  9. Inverse u-, irrealis ɑ̂-', interrogative ə̂-;
  10. Orientational prefixes æ-, næ-, kə-, nə-, læ-, və-, rə-;
  11. Progressive sə̂a-, superlative sə̂b-.


  1. Person endings: -ŋ, -j, -n;
  2. Reduplication

In the following subsections, some characteristics of the affixes are presented.


The superlative prefix sə̂b- is compatible with stative verbs and only very few dynamic verbs: sə̂b-tsʰa (SUPERL-be.good1) 'best', but *sə̂b-və (SUPERL-go1).

Negative has four allomorphs. mə- is used when no other prefix precedes: mə-tsʰâ (NEG1-be.good) (it is not good); mæ- is used when an orientational prefix precedes: næ-mæ-tsʰâ (IPFV.PST-NEG2-be.good1); mɑ- is used in perfective or past forms of a verb that prohibits the use of orientational prefixes in such situations: mɑ-vdé (NEG3-see2) '(s)he did not see' (vdê 'to see' does not allow any orientational prefix in past form); tə- is used in irrealis situations, imperative, jussive and conditional with ɑ̂- (not zə̂-): æ-tə-dzî-n (IMP-NEG4-eat1-2) 'Don't eat!'; ɑ̂-tə-dzi (JUSS-NEG4-eat1) 'Let her/him not eat. '

The interrogative prefixes ə̂- and ɕə- cannot coexist.

The irrealis prefix ɑ̂- and the conditional prefix zə̂- cannot coexist.

Causative s-

The causative prefix s- in Wobzi Khroskyabs undergoes various morphophonological processes, including voicing assimilation, lateral dissimilation, affrication, metathesis and lateral assimilation.

Autobenefactive N-

Autobenefactive N- appears as an archiphoneme having several surface forms according to the phonological environment, especially the place of articulation.


Noun incorporation is attested in Wobzi Khroskyabs as well as other Khroskyabs dialects. The incorporational construction is mainly formed by a nominal part (in its full form or Status Constructus form) and a verbal part. In many cases, a denominal prefix is attached to incorporational forms.

Usually, the nominal part precedes the verbal part, but one example with the verbal part preceding the nominal part is attested:

Argument indexation

Khroskyabs dialects distinguish transitive verbs from intransitive verbs unambiguously. Argument indexation presents two patterns, the intransitive pattern and the transitive pattern.

The intransitive paradigm in Wobzi Khroskyabs is illustrated in the table below. There are three suffixes, first person singular , first person non-singular (or plural) -j, and second person -n. Third person is unmarked. The subject argument agrees with verb.

Person Suffix
1sg Σ-(ɑ)ŋ
1pl Σ-j
2 Σ-n





ŋô næ-qʰ-ɑ̂ŋ

1SG PST-laugh.II-1SG

"I laughed."




nû næ-qʰî-n

2SG PST-laugh.II-2

"You laughed."

The transitive paradigm exhibits a hierarchical alignment. Khroskyabs has a 1>2>3 empathy hierarchy. In terms of suffixes, within SAP (Speech-act participants, usually first and second persons) arguments, the verb indexes the P (patientive argument), otherwise it indexes the SAP argument, if exists. The inverse prefix u- occurs when the P ranks higher than the A, as well as almost all 3→3 scenarios with a TAM prefix on the verb. In all inverse and 3→3 scenarios, the ergative marker =ɣə must occur on the A. The transitive paradigm in Wobzi Khroskyabs is shown in the table below.

1sg 1pl 2 3
A 1sg Σ-n Σ-(ɑ)ŋ
1pl Σ-n Σ-j
2 u-Σ-(ɑ)ŋ u-Σ-j Σ-n
3 u-Σ-n (u)-Σ

Below are some examples of the direct configuration:





ŋô nû kə-rdû-n


"I went to meet you."






ŋô ætə̂ kə-rd-ʊ̂ŋ


"I went to meet her."





nû ætə̂ kə-rd-ʊ̂ŋ


"You went to meet her."

The inverse configuration:






nû=ɣə ŋô k-u-rd-ʊ̂ŋ


"You went to meet me."






ætə̂=ɣə ŋô k-u-rd-ʊ̂ŋ


"I went to meet her."





ætə̂=ɣə nû k-u-rdú-n


"She went to meet you."

In 3→3 scenarios, if there is a TAM prefix, the inverse marker must occur, otherwise it does not surface.







tʂɑɕî=ɣə srú dzî

Bkrashis=ERG meat eat.I

"Bkrashis eats meat."







tʂɑɕî=ɣə srú u-dzí

Bkrashis=ERG meat PST.INV-eat.II

"Bkrashis ate meat."

Argument indexation in Wobzi Khroskyabs is largely simplified compared to other Khroskyabs dialects. Guanyinqiao, Siyuewu and 'Brongrdzong all present the distinction between singular, dual and plural for first and second persons. The Siyuewu transitive paradigm is illustrated below.

1sg 1du 1pl 2sg 2du 2pl 3
A 1sg Σ-n Σ-z Σ-ɲ Σ-(æ)ŋ
1du Σ-ɣ
1pl Σ-j
2sg INV-Σ-(æ)ŋ INV-Σ-ɣ INV-Σ-j Σ-n
2du Σ-z
2pl Σ-ɲ
3 INV-Σ-n INV-Σ-z INV-Σ-ɲ (INV)-Σ

Stem alternation

Most Khroskyabs verbs present two stems, a few verbs present three stems, and only a handful have only one stem. Roughly speaking, Stem 1 is used in non-past, Stem 2 in past, and Stem 3 in irrealis contexts. If a verb presents only two stems (without Stem 3), the functions of Stem 3 is covered by Stem 1; and if a verb presents only Stem 1, Stem 1 covers the functions of both Stem 2 and Stem 3. Some verbs may only present Stem 2.


In all the Khroskyabs dialects known to us, there are generally 5 strategies of stem alternation: tone alternation (glottal inversion), rime alternation, aspration alternation and suppletion. The following description is mainly based on the Wobzi dialect, if not specifically mentioned differently.

Tone alternation is by far the most common strategy between Stem 1 and Stem 2. For monosyllabic verbs, a simple inversion between the high tone and the high falling tone is observed. If the original tone is high, the Stem 2 will be assigned a falling tone and if the original tone is falling, the Stem 1 will be assigned a high tone.

As for polysyllabic verbs, there are two situations. If the last syllable has a high tone, it will change to a falling tone in Stem 2, otherwise a high tone is assigned to the last syllable in Stem 2.

Rime alternation is also widely attested. Rime alternation is usually combined with tone alternation.

In many cases, only the vowel is changed in Stem 2.

In some other cases, the rime in Stem 2 is changed to -əɣ in spite of the original rime.

Some Stem 2 forms present open syllables, while their corresponding Stem 1 forms are closed syllables.

Aspiration alternation is rare. It is only attested in (rə-)tô 'to come (Stem 1)', whose Stem 2 is (rə-)tʰó.

Suppletion is found in three-stem verbs. These verbs are motion verbs or conveyance verbs. See the table below.

Stem 1 Stem 2 Stem 3 Gloss
(rə-)və̂ (rə-)ɕə̂ (rə-)ɕǽ to go
(rə-)tô (rə-)tʰód (rə-)və̂, (rə-)vjî to come
(rə-)vǽ (rə-)zə́m (rə-)zə̂m to bring
(rə-)tʰǽ (rə-)tʰə̂ɣ (rə-)vǽ to take


Verb stems usually combine with orientational prefixes to express different properties of tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality. Stem 1 is employed in non-past contexts, Stem 2 in past and perfective contexts and Stem 3 in irrealis contexts.

A verb in Stem 1 can be used without an orientational prefix for a generic fact. It can also combine with the orientational prefix rə- in a sensory or inferential non-past context.







sú=tə rnɑbɑ̂ dzî

cattle=DEF grass eat.I

"Cattle eat grass."







sú=tə rnɑbɑ̂ r-u-dzî

cattle=DEF grass NPST-INV-eat.I

"The cattle are eating/will eat grass."

Stative verbs distinguish past imperfective from perfective, while dynamic verbs present only a general past tense. Stem 2 is required in these situations. Examples of the Stem 2 of the stative verb ndæ̂ 'to like' is illustrated below.







cə̂=ɣə tʂɑɕî n-u-ndə̂ɣ

3SG=ERG Bkrashis IPFV.PST-INV-like.II

"He liked Bkrashis."







cə̂=ɣə tʂɑɕî u-ndə̂ɣ'

3SG=ERG Bkrashis PFV-INV-like.II

"He turned out to like Bkrashis."

Dynamic verbs do not make the distinction between imperfective and perfective, therefore, their meaning in Stem 2 depends on the context.







cə̂ grə̂mde kə-ɕə̂

3SG Thugschen PST-go.II

"He has gone/was going to Thugschen."


Denominalisation is mainly through prefixation in Khroskyabs. There are five denominal prefixes attested in Wobzi Khroskyabs, listed in the table below. The prefixes are of limited productivity. The most productive one is n-.

Prefix Transitivity of derived verbs Examples
ʁ- intransitive ʁ-vdʑə́ (denom-friend ) "exist (human)"
N- intransitive, transitive n-vɑ́ɣ (denom-alcohol) "be drunk" (intransitive)
n-lvɑ́ɣ (denom-shoulder) "carry on the shoulder"
m- intransitive, transitive m-ná (denom-sauce) "dip"
r- transitive r-cʰə̂ (denom-half) "split"
s- transitive ʁ⟨z⟩ɟó (⟨denom⟩hole)

Apart from prefixation, suffixation is also attested. The Wobzi verb mkʰə̂-rə "to emit smoke" is based on the noun mkʰə́ "smoke", suffixed by -rə. In Siyuewu Khroskyabs which preserves more stop codas, a -d suffix is attested with certain denominalised verbs: rvî "axe" vs. rvæ̂d "to chop", dzí "food" vs. dzîd "to eat", etc.

Zero derivation is found between verbs and nouns. The form rmê can either be a noun meaning "name", or a verb meaning "to be named". The direction of derivation is unknown.

In a few cases, subtraction can play a role in denominalisation. The noun mbərlə́n "plane (tool)" is borrowed from Tibetan འབུར་ལེན་ bur.len "plane (tool)", and the derived verb form is mbərlə́ "to plane", with the final -n dropped.


  1. ^ a b c d Huang (2007)
  2. ^ a b Lai (2015)
  3. ^ Nagano, Yasuhiko (長野 泰彦); Prins, Marielle (eds.) (2013). rGyalrongic Languages Database. Osaka: Minpaku.


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