Naxi

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Lomi, “Moso” (pej.), “Mosso” (pej.), “Mo-Su” (pej.), Mu, Nahsi, Nakhi, Naqxi, Nasi
Population

300,000 (2000 census). 100,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 300,000.

Location

Northwest Yunnan Province, a majority (over 200,000) in Yulong (formerly Lijiang) Naxi autonomous county. Some scattered through Weixi, Zhongdian, Ninglang, Deqing, Yongsheng, Heqing, Jianchuan, and Lanping counties. Some in Sichuan Province, Yanyuan, Yanbian, and Muli counties. A few in Tibet Autonomous Region, Mangkang county.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality: Naxi.Official ethnic language of the Narua nationality.

Dialects

Lapao, Lijiang, Ludian. Reportedly similar to Narua [nru].

Typology

SOV; no checked syllables; tonal, 4 tones (some sub-dialects have only 3 tones).

Language Use

Lijiang Old Town attitudes somewhat negative, decreasing number of young speakers. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]; written Chinese in common use. Also use Central Bai [bca], Central Tibetan [bod], English [eng]. Used as L2 by Central Bai [bca], Central Tibetan [bod], Lisu [lis], Northern Pumi [pmi], Nuosu [iii], Shixing [sxg], Southern Pumi [pmj].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 5%. Literacy rate in L2: 40% in Mandarin Chinese. Used as the medium of communication in several Naxi area primary schools. Taught in some schools as a subject for 1 or 2 years. Poetry. Radio programs. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1932.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], developed in the 1950s and revised in 1984. Nakhi Geba script [Nkgb], no longer in use. Naxi Dongba script [Qabo].

Other Comments

Official ethnic language of the Narua nationality. Buddhist (Lamaist), Buddhist, Confucianist, Daoist.