A language of China

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

L1 users: 20,000 (Shearer and Sun 2002), decreasing. Eastern Ersu (Ersu) 13,000, Central Ersu (Duoxu) 10 or less, Western Ersu (Lizu) 4,000.


Sichuan province: Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Jiulong county; Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Ganluo, Mianning, Muli and Yuexi counties; Ya’an prefecture, Hanyuan and Shimian counties; all on lower Dadu river dispersed among Chinese, Tibetan, and Yi peoples.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Ersu (Eastern Ersu), Duoxu (Central 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. Some also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. A few also use Lipo [lpo]. Used as L2 by Namuyi [nmy].

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

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

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

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