A language of China

Alternate Names

14,000 in China (2000 census). 8,500 in Nu River dialect, 5,500 in Dulong River dialect. Total population all countries: 14,000. 13,300 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 14,225.


Yunnan province: Gongshan Dulong-Nu autonomous county (Dulong River dialect (5,500)); Xizang Autonomous Region: Gongshan Dulong-Nu autonomous county west to Chayu (Zayü) county; Gongshang county, Bingzhongluo; Tibet: Chayu county, Chawalong district (Nu River dialect (8,500).

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Dulong.


Dulong River (Central Dulongjiang, Derung River, Northern Dulongjiang, Southern Dulongjiang), Nu River (Nujiang Dulong). Dialects reportedly inherently intelligible (Thurgood and LaPolla 2003). Nu River Drung is not the same as Tibeto-Burman Anong [nun], which is also in Myanmar. Different from Rawang [raw] in Myanmar. Other possible dialect names are Melam, Metu, Tamalu, and Tukiumu. Lexical similarity: 74% with Matwang dialect of Rawang [raw].


SOV; 2 tones.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya], Lisu [lis], Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 68%–73% (2000 census, Nu nationality). 68%–73%.

Latin script [Latn], pinyin-based, used between 1984 and 1990s.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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