rGyalrong, spoken in the northwestern part of Sichuan Province in southeast China, has attracted the attention of many scholars, because of its close and sometimes even identical, lexical shapes to Written Tibetan forms, and its characteristic morphosyntactic features and processes. Although rGyalrong and the other rGyalrongic languages are vitally important in many ways, there is a poverty of research materials on a number of its dialects. In order to improve this situation, Dr. Marielle Prins, based in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and I agreed in 2007 that a thorough descriptive survey of the rGyalrongic languages should be done. We have collected 425/1200 lexical items and 200 sentences for 81 dialects (including some non-rGyalrongic languages such as Geshezha, Minyag and Lavrung). We hope this attempt will be an impetus for further rGyalrongic studies.
A separate volume under Senri Ethnological Reports at the National Museum of Ethnology is now in preparation. It contains the outline of areas surveyed, phonetic inventories of each dialect, indices of entries and the contents of an Excel file that shows all the words and sentences that have been collected to date. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. (Y. Nagano)