Pumi, Northern


A language of China

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

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


Sichuan province: Jiulong, Muli, and Yanyuan counties; 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. Used by all. 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], Shuhi [sxg].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 70% for Pumi nationality (2000 census). Trial use in 1 school. Grammar. Texts.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion.

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