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Eastern Minyag, an endangered language of Western Sichuan

Deposit page image for the collection ’Eastern Minyag, an endangered language of Western Sichuan'

Deposit page image for the collection ’Eastern Minyag, an endangered language of Western Sichuan’. Click on image to access collection.

Language Eastern Minyag (ISO639-3:qaa),
Depositor Agnes Conrad, Wang Baobao
Affiliation Qinghai Nationalities University
Location China
Deposit ID 0637
Grant ID SG0532
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online


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Summary of the deposit

Eastern Minyag is spoken in a cluster of villages located atop steep mountains made inaccessible for months of the year by landslides and heavy rains. This collection focuses on recording endangered oral literature known only to older generations. While no analysis has been conducted to date, Simplified Chinese translations are available for almost all recordings.
Data was primarily collected by Wang Baobao, a young community member and native speaker, with technical assistance provided by Agnes and Winifred Conrad.


Group represented

Eastern Minyag is spoken by a small number of ethnic Tibetans living in Shimian County, Sichuan Province, China. Other major languages in the area include Ersu and Nuosu. This deposit contains a number of valuable recordings which include native speaker retellings of local histories, origin stories, and family lineages.


Special characteristics

Materials in this collection were collected in tandem with materials collected for the related language, Western Minyag.


Deposit contents

This collection includes over 20 hours of audio recordings documenting folk stories, local histories, songs, and discussions on the origin of the Minyag people. Recordings were primarily conducted with elderly speakers whose knowledge of oral literature is no longer being passed on to younger generations. There are also over eight hours of spontaneous conversation, as well as video footage from two Bön religious festivals available at the discretion of representative community members.


Deposit history

Documentation represented in this deposit began in August, 2018 as part of an ELDP small grant project documenting on Western Minyag. The deposit currently includes over 20 hours of audio and roughly 10 hours of video. Almost all audio material has been segmented in ELAN and translated into Simplified Chinese. English translations are available for a portion of the materials. Further documentation is underway through community-led efforts with more materials under preparation for deposit.


Acknowledgement and citation

Wang, Baobao & Agnes Conrad. 2019. Eastern Minyag: an Endangered Language of Western Sichuan.  Endangered Languages Archive. Handle: Accessed on [insert date here].

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