A language of China

Alternate Names
Bu’erci, Bu’erzi, Bu’erzi Ersu, Doxu, Duoxu, Erhsu, Lizu, Lusu, T’osu

20,000 (Shearer and Sun Hong Kai 2002), decreasing. Eastern Ersu (Ersu) 13,000, Central Ersu (Duoxu) 10 or less, Western Ersu (Lizu) 4,000.


South central Sichuan Province, lower reaches of the Dadu river; Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Ganluo, Yuexi, Mianning, and Muli counties; Ya’an prefecture, Shimian and Hanyuan counties; Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Jiulong county; dispersed among Yi, Chinese, and Tibetan peoples.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of recognized nationality: Tibetan.


Duoxu (Central Ersu), Ersu (Eastern Ersu), Lisu (Liru, Lüzü, Western Ersu).


SOV; adjectives and number-classifier constructions follow noun heads; consonant cluster onsets; most morphemes monosyllabic; 2 tones, word-template zone.

Language Use

Decreasing from language attrition. Mainly older adults. Neutral attitudes. 400 also use Lipo [lpo]. 8,000 also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Used as L2 by Namuyi [nmy].

Language Development
About 10 people can read the Shaba script. Poetry. Videos. Dictionary.

Ersu Shaba Picture Writing [Qaag], used until some time before 2003, limited usage, used in religious ceremonies.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.