800,000 (2003 census). Ethnic population: 800,000.
Northwest Yunnan Province, Jianchuan, Heqing, Lanping, Eryuan, and Yunlong; small enclave in Guizhou Province.
6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Bai.
Eryuan, Heqing, Jianchuan, Lanping, Yunlong.
SVO; attributives precede noun heads; number classifier constructions follow noun heads; tense-lax vowel distinction; tonal, 5 to 8 tones.
Classification difficult due to heavy borrowing (60%–70%) from Chinese. Considered genetically related to Chinese, or a mixed language with Chinese, or an independent branch of Tibeto-Burman. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Daoist.