• Lende
  • Kyerung
Native speakers
100 (2002, Ethnologue)
Language codes
ISO 639-3kgy
Glottologkyer1238  Kyerung

Kyirong is a language from the subgroup of Tibetic languages[1] spoken in the Gyirong County of the Shigatse prefecture, of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Kyirong has lexical tone, with a three-tone system.[2]

Relationship to other languages

There is a varying degree of mutual intelligibility between Kyirong and other Kyirong-Yolmo varieties. It is most closely related to the Nubri and Gyalsomdo languages,[3] and more distantly related to other languages in the family.[4]



There are 36 consonants in Kyirong, which are summarized in the table below.[2]

Bilabial Apico-Dental Retroflex Lamino-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t ts ʈ c k
aspirated tsʰ ʈʰ tɕʰ
voiced b d dz ɖ ɟ ɡ
Fricative voiceless s ɕ h
voiced z ʑ ɦ
Liquid rhotic r
voiced lateral l
unvoiced lateral ɬ
Semivowel w j


There are eight places of articulation for vowels. There is a length distinction at each place of articulation, as well as a long nasalised vowel.[2]

Front Central Back
Close i     y     u    
Half-close e     ø   øː   øː ɔ   ɔː   ɔː
Half-open ɛ   ɛː   ɛː
Open a    


Kyriong has a three tone system; high, medium and low. Low tone is often accompanied by breathy voice.[2]



  1. ^ N. Tournadre (2005) "L'aire linguistique tibétaine et ses divers dialectes." Lalies, 2005, n°25, p. 7–56 [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Huber, Brigitte (2005). The Tibetan dialect of Lende (Kyirong). Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag.
  3. ^ Hedlin, Matthew (2011). An investigation of the relationship between the Kyirong, Yòlmo, and Standard Spoken Tibetan speech varieties (unpublished MA thesis). Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  4. ^ Gawne, Lauren (2013). "Report on the relationship between Yolmo and Kagate". Himalayan Linguistics. 12: 1–27.