A language of China

Alternate Names
Eastern Naxi, Meng yu, Moso, Mosso, Mosuo, Musuo yu, Na, Naru, Nazu

47,000 (2010 SIL). Ethnic population: 47,000.


Sichuan and Yunnan provinces border area near Lugu lake, Ninglang Yi autonomous county, Muli Tibetan autonomous county and Yanuyuan county.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized nationality: Naxi. Yunnan Province speakers officially classified within Naxi nationality. Language of recognized nationality: Mongolian. Sichuan Province speakers assigned to the Mongolian nationality.


None known. Lexical similarity: 40%–60% with Naxi [nxq].


SOV; prolific compounding; some prefixing; noun classes; noun heads NP; some vowel harmony; approx 38 Cs, 14 Vs, including some nasalised vowels; tonal.

Language Use

Frequent. Home, village, friends. Used by all. Also use Northern Pumi [pmi], Nuosu [iii]. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], in speaking (a local dialect) and in writing. Used as L2 by Central Tibetan [bod], Northern Pumi [pmi], Nuosu [iii].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: Most under age 40 literate in Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Grammar. Texts.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion.

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