280,000 in China (2000 census). 140,000 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 550,960.
Yunnan province: Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, 3 counties: Jinghong (Chiang Hung, Chien Rung), Menghai, and Mengla; some in Simao municipal prefecture, Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous counties.
2 (Provincial). 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.
Traditional Lü script is used in monastaries and reformed version used in some government functions. Traditional religion, Buddhist.