Pumi, Northern


A language of China

Alternate Names
Ch’rame, Pimi, P’ömi, Primmi, P’rome, Pruumi, P’umi

35,000 (1999). 5,000 in Pumi nationality, 30,000 in Tibetan nationality (1994). 10,000 monolinguals.


Southwest Sichuan Province, Muli, Yanyuan, and Jiulong counties; northwest Yunnan Province, Ninglang county, Yongning district.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Taoba. 4 other dialects. Intelligibility of Southern Pumi [pmj] is low. Lexical similarity: between Northern Pumi and Southern Pumi [pmj] is 60%, grammatical differences minor.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Central Bai [bca], Central Tibetan [bod], Lipo [lpo], Lisu [lis], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Narua [nru], Naxi [nxq]. Used as L2 by Namuyi [nmy], Narua [nru], Shixing [sxg].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: 70% for Pumi nationality (2000 census). Trial use in 1 school. Poetry. Grammar.
Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist (Lamaist).