A language of China


12,000 in China (Bradley 2007b). 2,000 Northern Nusu; 4,000 Southern; 6,000 Central. 1,000 monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 12,670.


Yunnan province: Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture, southern Fugong county, Pihe town area. Kongtong, Wawa, and Youduoluo villages (Northern Nusu); Guoke, Jiajiu, Puluo, and Tuoping (Tongping) villages (Southern Nusu); Laomudeng, Miangu, Shawa, Zhiziluo, and Zileng villages (Central Nusu).

Language Status

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


Other dialect speakers comprehend the prestige dialect Miangu (Central Nusu, Miangu, Laomudeng) fairly well.


SOV; grammatical relations indicated mainly by word order and particles; tonal, 4 tones with relatively complex sandhi; loans from Lisu, Chinese, and a few from Burmese.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Mixed attitudes. Intellectuals want to preserve it. Most also use Lisu [lis].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 68% literate in any language (2000 census, Nu nationality). Literature. Bible portions: 2010.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Officially classified within Nu nationality along with Ayi, Anong, 1,500 Zauzou, and 5,500 Drung. Traditional religion.

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