A language of China

Alternate Names
Eastern Naxi, Moso, Mosso, Mosuo, Na, Naru, Nazu

47,000 (2010 SIL). Ethnic population: 47,000.


Sichuan and Yunnan provinces border area near Lugu lake, Ninglang Yi autonomous county, Muli Tibetan autonomous county and Yanuyuan county.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality: Mongolian. Sichuan Province speakers assigned to the Mongolian nationality. Language of recognized nationality: Naxi. Yunnan Province speakers officially classified within Naxi nationality.


None known. Lexical similarity: 40%–60% with Naxi [nxq].


SOV; prolific compounding; some prefixing; noun classes; noun heads NP; some vowel harmony; approx 38 Cs, 14 Vs, including some nasalised vowels; tonal.

Language Use

Frequent. Home, village, friends. All ages. Also use local Chinese dialect [cmn]; written Chinese in common use. Also use Northern Pumi [pmi], Nuosu [iii]. Used as L2 by Central Tibetan [bod], Northern Pumi [pmi], Nuosu [iii].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: Most under age 40 literate in Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Grammar.

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion.