96,100 in China (1999 D. Ying), decreasing. 35,000 Buteha dialect, 35,000 Qiqiha’er dialect, 15,500 Haila’er dialect, 4500 Ili dialect. 24,300 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 132,000 (2000 census).
Heilongjiang province: Nenjiang prefecture, Fuyu and Nehe counties; Nei Mongol Autonomous Region: Hulun Buir league, Hailar prefecture, Morin Dawa (Molidawa) Daur autonomous banner, Oroqen autonomous banner and Ewenki autonomous banner; Qiqihar prefecture, Qiqihar city; northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region: Tacheng prefecture (Ili dialect).
7 (Shifting). Language of recognized nationality: Daur.
Buteha (Aihui, Bataxan, Butah, Darbin, Mergen, Nawen, Nemor), Haila’er (Hailar, Mokertu, Nantun), Qiqiha’er (Fularji, Jiangdong, Jingxi, Qiqihar, Tsitsikhar), Ili. Definitely distinct from other Mongolian languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Some identify Haila’er dialect as a dialect of Evenki [evn].
SOV; grammatical function marked mainly by suffixes; some vowel harmony; many consonant clusters; palatalized and labialized consonants; loans from Chinese, Manchu, Evenki.
In Hulun Buir the language is being retained well; in Heilongjiang not transmitted to children among most groups (Bradley 2007a). All domains. Mainly adults. Neutral attitudes. Also use Evenki [evn], Kazakh [kaz], Manchu [mnc], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Oroqen [orh], Peripheral Mongolian [mvf]. Used as L2 by Evenki [evn], Oroqen [orh].