2,000,000 (2000 census), increasing. 1,200,000 monolinguals (Jiafa 1994).
North Yunnan and south Sichuan provinces, mainly in Greater and Lesser Liangshan mountains. Spoken in over 40 counties.
4 (Educational). Language of recognized nationality: Yi.
Northern Shypnra, Southern Shypnra, Suondi (Adu), Yynuo. Chinese linguists recognize 3 primary dialects: Shengzha (standard), Northern (Lindimu-Yinuo), and Southern (Adur-Suondi) (Bradley 2007). Some dialects, such as Lindimu, are likely distinct languages.
When applied to the Nuosu, terms Black Yi (Hei Yi) and White Yi (Bai Yi) refer to caste distinctions rather than to ethnic or linguistic distinctions. However, the same terms often do refer to ethnic and linguistic distinctions when applied to Yi groups in Yunnan. Also, some outsiders refer to Nuosu as Black Yi. Traditional religion, Christian.