Pumi, Northern


A language of China

Alternate Names
Ch’rame, Pimi, P’ömi, Primmi, P’rome, Pruumi, P’umi

35,000 (1999). 10,000 monolinguals. 5,000 in Pumi nationality, 30,000 in Tibetan nationality (1994).


Southwest Sichuan Province, Muli, Yanyuan, and Jiulong counties; northwest Yunnan Province, Ninglang county, Yongning district.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Taoba. 4 other dialects. Intelligibility of Southern Pumi [pmj] is low. Lexical similarity: between Northern Pumi and Southern Pumi [pmj] is 60%, grammatical differences minor.



Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Tibetan [bod], Lisu [lis], Bai [bca], Naxi [nxq], or Lipo [lpo].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: 70% for Pumi nationality (2000 census). Trial use in 1 school. Poetry. Grammar.
Other Comments

Most classified under Tibetan nationality rather than Pumi nationality. Traditional religion, Buddhist (Lamaist).