500 (Bradley 2007). Ethnic population: 1,770 (Bradley 2007).
Far west Guangxi on the Guizhou and Yunnan borders, Xilin and Longlin counties, in 2 groups. Possibly in Yunnan.
8a (Moribund). Language of recognized nationality: Gelao.
None known. May be similar to Bugan [bbh], which is the nearest Mon-Khmer language geographically.
SVO; modifiers follow heads; grammatical relations marked mainly by word order and particles; reported to have long and half long versus short vowel distinction; uvular stops; 6 tone categories in unchecked syllables plus 5 in checked syllables. Shows similarities to Kadai languages.
Ethnonym: Lai in Chinese. Traditional religion.