• Lende
  • Kyerung
Native speakers
100 (2002)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3kgy
Glottologkyer1238  Kyerung

Kyirong is a language from the subgroup of Tibetic languages[2] spoken in the Gyirong County of the Shigatse prefecture, of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Kyirong has lexical tone, with a three-tone system.[3]

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,[4] and more distantly related to other languages in the family.[5]



There are 36 consonants in Kyirong, which are summarized in the table below.[3]

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.[3]

Front Central Back
Close oral i   y   u  
nasal ĩː ỹː ũː
Half-close oral e   ø   øː
nasal ẽː ø̃ː
Half-open oral ɛ   ɛː ɔ   ɔː
nasal ɛ̃ː ɔ̃ː
Open oral a  
nasal ãː


Kyriong has a three tone system; high, medium and low. Low tone is often accompanied by breathy voice.[3]



  1. ^ Kyirong at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
    Kyirong at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ N. Tournadre (2005) "L'aire linguistique tibétaine et ses divers dialectes." Lalies, 2005, n°25, p. 7–56 [1]
  3. ^ a b c d Huber, Brigitte (2005). The Tibetan dialect of Lende (Kyirong). Bonn: VGH Wissenschaftsverlag.
  4. ^ 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 An investigation of the relationship between the Kyirong, Yòlmo, and Standard Spoken Tibetan speech varieties (unpublished MA thesis).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.
  5. ^ Gawne, Lauren (2013). "Report on the relationship between Yolmo and Kagate". Himalayan Linguistics. 12: 1–27.