96,100 in China (1999 D. Ying), decreasing. 24,270 monolinguals. 35,000 Buteha dialect, 35,000 Qiqiha’er dialect, 15,500 Haila’er dialect, 4500 Ili dialect. Ethnic population: 132,000 (2000 census).
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir league, Hailar prefecture, Morin Dawa (Molidawa) Daur autonomous banner, Oroqen autonomous banner and Ewenki autonomous banner; Heilongjiang Province, Nenjiang prefecture, Fuyu and Nehe counties; Qiqihar prefecture, Qiqihar city; northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tacheng prefecture (Ili dialect). Also in Mongolia.
7 (Shifting). Statutory language of provincial identity in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir League (1984, Ethnic Regional Autonomy Act, Articles 10 and 21).
Buteha (Aihui, Bataxan, Butah, Darbin, Mergen, Nawen, Nemor), Haila’er (Hailar, Mokertu, Nantun), Ili, Qiqiha’er (Fularji, Jiangdong, Jingxi, Qiqihar, Tsitsikhar). Definitely distinct from other Mongolian languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Some identify Haila’er dialect as a dialect of Evenki [evn].
SOV; grammatical function marked mainly by suffixes; some vowel harmony; many consonant clusters; palatalized and labialized consonants; loans from Chinese, Manchu, Evenki
In Hulun Buir the language is being retained well; in Heilongjiang not transmitted to children among most groups (Bradley 2007). All domains. Mainly adults. Neutral attitudes. Also use Chinese [cmn] or Mongolian [mvf]. A few also use Evenki [evn], Kazakh [kaz], Oroqen [orh], or Manchu [mnc]. Reportedly high and widespread bilingualism in Chinese, the school language.
Officially classified within Daur nationality. Traditional religion.