280,000 in China (2000 census). Population total all countries: 550,960. 140,000 monolinguals.
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.
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial working language in South Yunnan and other places (1984, Ethnic Regional Autonomy Act, Articles 10 and 21). Language of recognized nationality: Dai.Some speakers of other languages use Lü as L2 for trade.
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.
Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Chinese [cmn]. Some schools only teach in Chinese. Also use Jingpho [kac]. Used as L2 by Bisu [bzi], Blang [blr], Buyuan Jinuo [jiy], Hani [hni], Lahu [lhu], Lisu [lis], Ruching Palaung [pce], Samtao [stu], Sangkong [sgk], Vo Wa [wbm], Youle Jinuo [jiu].
Traditional Lü script is used in monastaries and reformed version used in some government functions. Traditional religion, Buddhist.