20,000 (Bradley 2007). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,000 (Bradley 2007).
Yunnan Province, Guandu district, Kunming city, Ala and surrounding communities, 47 villages; west Yiliang County, 7 villages.
8a (Moribund). Language of recognized nationality: Yi.
Extinct in some villages close to Kunming, severely endangered to the east in northeast Guandu and Yiliang, endangered in Ala Township, which is the center of the Samei distribution and where most villages are entirely or largely Samei (Bradley 2007). Few fluent young speakers, though many children have a passive understanding (Bradley 2007). Nearly all also use Chinese [cmn].
Yi script [Yiii], traditional, no longer in use.