Bisu

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A language of China

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

240 in China (Xu Shixuan 2005). 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 240.

Location

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

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Hani.

Dialects

Dakao, Huaipa, Lanmeng. Reportedly similar to Mpi [mpz] and Pyen [pyy]. 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. Also use Hani [hni], Lahu [lhu], Lü [khb], Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 70%. Grammar. Bible portions: 2009–2011.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], used since 2002, used in Myanmar. Thai script [Thai], used since 1998, used in Thailand.

Other Comments

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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