Native toChina
Native speakers
extinct? (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Longjia (autonym: suŋ55 ni55 mpau21) is a Sino-Tibetan language of Guizhou, China related to Caijia and Luren.[2] Longjia may already be extinct (Zhao 2011).

The Longjia people now speak Southwestern Mandarin, though they used to speak their own language, and have had a long presence in western Guizhou. According to the Guizhou Ethnic Gazetteer (2002),[4] the Longjia language was spoken in Dafang County, Qianxi County (Zhongping District 中坪区; Xinfacun 新发村 of Pojiao District 坡脚区), and Puding County (Jiangyizhai 讲义寨 of Baiyan Township 白岩乡). It is reportedly most similar to Caijia,[4] and has many Old Chinese loanwords.[5]


Further information: Greater Bai languages

Guizhou (1984)[3] shows that Longjia is closely related to Caijia and Luren. However, the classification of Caijia within Sino-Tibetan is uncertain. Zhengzhang (2010)[6] suggests that Caijia and Bai are sister languages, while Sagart argues that Caijia is Sinitic and a close relative of Waxiang.[7]


The following dialects of Longjia have been described.

The following comparative word list of three Longjia dialects is from Guizhou (1984:2-3).[3] Guizhou (1984) notes that the dialect of Jiangyizhai 讲义寨 (Puding County) is divergent, while the dialects of Pojiao 坡脚 (Dafang County) and Huaxi 花溪 (Qianxi County) are more closely related to each other.

English gloss Chinese gloss Pojiao 坡脚 Huaxi 花溪 Jiangyizhai 讲义寨
cattle ŋau55 ŋau55 ŋau35
to eat ua31 ua31 ua31
dog kuɛ33 kuɛ33 kuɛ53
pig lɛ55 lɛ55 lɛ35
chicken kɛ55 kɛ55 kɛ55
rice (crop) 稻谷 mɛ31 mɛ31 mai31
water ɕi31 ɕe31 se31
big la55 la55 lɛ31
two ta31 ta31 to33
four sɿ55 si55 so55
meat ȵi31 ȵi31 ȵi31; ntɕi31


The Puding County Almanac (1999) reports that the Longjia language (autonym: Songnibao 松泥保) has 38 onsets and 22 rimes (8 simple, 14 complex). The Bijie County Almanac (1996:143) reports that there are many prenasalized onsets. In Dafang County, the autonym is Songlibao 松立保.[5]

The most extensive lexical data of Longjia can be found in Zhang & Li (1982).[10]


The Nanjing people (南京人) have usually been classified with the Longjia people, and claim to be descendants of soldiers from the Nanjing area who had intermarried with the local Longjia in Guizhou.[11] Their language is known as Nanjinghua (南京话; "Nanjing speech"), which is probably now functionally extinct.[12]

In Jianxinhe village 建新河村, Kunzhai Township 昆寨乡, Nayong County, Guizhou Province, the phrase suo55 mu33 ‘eat rice’ was elicited from an elderly rememberer of Nanjinghua.[12] As suo55 is derived from Proto-Tibeto-Burman *dzya ‘to eat’, this points to Nanjinghua having an SVO word order like Caijia, Longjia, Bai, and Sinitic languages.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Zhao 2011
  2. ^ a b Hölzl, Andreas. 2021. Longjia (China) - Language Contexts. Language Documentation and Description 20, 13-34.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Guizhou provincial ethnic classification commission [贵州省民族识别工作队]. 1984. Report on ethnic classification issues of the Nanlong people (Nanjing-Longjia) [南龙人(南京-龙家)族别问题调查报告]. m.s.
  4. ^ a b Guizhou Province Gazetteer: Ethnic Gazetteer [贵州省志. 民族志] (2002). Guiyang: Guizhou Ethnic Publishing House [貴州民族出版社].
  5. ^ a b Dafang County Almanac (1996:150-152)
  6. ^ Zhèngzhāng Shàngfāng [郑张尚芳]. 2010. Càijiāhuà Báiyǔ guānxì jí cígēn bǐjiào [蔡家话白语关系及词根比较]. In Pān Wǔyún and Shěn Zhōngwěi [潘悟云、沈钟伟] (eds.). Yánjūzhī Lè, The Joy of Research [研究之乐-庆祝王士元先生七十五寿辰学术论文集], II, 389–400. Shanghai: Shanghai Educational Publishing House.
  7. ^ Sagart, Laurent. 2011. Classifying Chinese dialects/Sinitic languages on shared innovations. Talk given at Centre de recherches linguistiques sur l’Asie orientale, Norgent sur Marne.
  8. ^ Guizhou provincial ethnic classification commission, linguistic division [贵州省民族识别工作队语言组]. 1982. The language of the Caijia [Caijia de yuyan 蔡家的语言]. m.s.
  9. ^ Caiguan Town Gazetteer [蔡官镇志] (2004). Guiyang: Guizhou People's Press [贵州人民出版社].
  10. ^ Zhang Jimin 张济民 & Li Juewei 李珏伟. 1982. Yuyan diaocha dagang: dafang longjiayu 语言调查大纲: 大方龙家语. (Unpublished manuscript.)
  11. ^ Zhao Weifeng [赵卫峰]. 2011. History of the Bai people of Guizhou [贵州白族史略]. Yinchuan, China: Ningxia People's Press [宁夏人民出版社]. ISBN 9787227046783
  12. ^ a b c Hsiu, Andrew. 2013. New endangered Tibeto-Burman languages of southwestern China: Mondzish, Longjia, Pherbu, and others. Presented at ICSTLL 46, Dartmouth College.

Further reading