280,000 in China (2000 census). 50% monolingual. Population total all countries: 690,960.
Southern Yunnan Province, Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, 3 counties: Jinghong (Chiang Hung, Chien Rung), Menghai, and Mengla; also a few in Simao municipal prefecture, Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous counties. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam.
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in South Yunnan and other places (1984, Ethnic Regional Autonomy Act, Articles 10 and 21).
Jinghong. Muang Yong and dialects in northern Thailand may converge phonologically with Northern Thai [nod] (Diller and Juntanamalaga 1990). Low intelligibility with Shan [shn] and Tai Nüa [tdd]. Different from Tai Nüa [tdd], each having their own literary tradition. Lexical similarity: 95% with Northern Thai [nod], 86% with Central Thai [tha], 92%–93% with Shan [shn], 92%–95% with Khün [kkh].
SVO; modifiers follow noun heads
Officially classified within Dai nationality. Traditional Lü script is used in monastaries and reformed version used in some government functions. Traditional religion, Buddhist.