Bisu

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Laopin, Lawa, Lua, Mbi, Mibisu, Misu, Pin
Population

240 in China (Xu Shixuan 2005). No monolinguals. Ethnic population: 240.

Location

Southwest Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, Menghai county, Mengzhe township, Manghong village cluster, one village: Laopinzhai. Also in Thailand.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

Dakao, Huaipa, Lanmeng. Similar to Mpi [mpz], Pyen [pyy], and Phunoi [pho]. Some dialect differences based on Lü [khb] versus Lahu [lhu] loanwords. Lexical similarity: 36% with Hani [hni], 32% with Lahu [lhu], 31% with Lisu [lis].

Typology

SVO; simple syllable structure; certain obstruent onsets may be prenasalized, aspirated, or palatalized, but otherwise no consonant clusters; syllables may be closed by stop or nasal; 3 tones, tone sandhi; words have 1 or 2 syllables; modifiers follow heads; loanwords from Dai and Chinese

Language Use

Home, village. Positive attitudes. Most also use Lu [khb], Lahu [lhu], or Chinese. 10% can speak all of those and Hani [hni].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Grammar. Bible portions.
Writing
Latin script, used in Myanmar. Thai script.
Other Comments

Some officially classified within Hani nationality, others officially classified as Undetermined Nationality. Some view Bisu as an important link to their culture and hope to preserve it. Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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