The Tujia language (Chinese: 土家语, pinyin: Tǔjiāyǔ) is a language spoken natively by the Tujia ethnicity in south-central China. It is unclassified within the Tibeto-Burman language family, due to pervasive influence from neighboring languages. There are two dialects, one Northern and one Southern. Both dialects are tonal languages with the tone contours of ˥ ˥˧ ˧˥ ˨˩. The Northern dialect has 21 initials, while the Southern dialect has 26 (with 5 additional aspirated initials). As for the finals, the Northern dialect has 25 and the Southern 30, 12 of which are used exclusively in loan words from the Chinese language. Its verbs make a distinction of active and passive voices; Its pronouns distinguish the singular and plural numbers along with the basic and possessive cases. As of 2005, the number of speakers was estimated for roughly 70,000 for the northern dialect (of which merely ca. 100 are monolingual), and 1,500 for the southern dialect, out of an ethnic population of 8 million.
Possible Tujia scriptEdit
The Tujia have been known as an ethnic minority (historically) without a written language. However a succession of ancient undeciphered books with glosses presented in Chinese characters have been found in the Youyang Tujia habitation straddling the borders of Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou Province, and Chongqing City. Modern Tujia is written in Latin script.