20,000 (Bradley 2007b). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,000 (Bradley 2007b).
Yunnan province: Guandu district, Ala and surrounding communities, Kunming, 47 villages; west Yiliang County, 7 villages.
8a (Moribund). Language of recognized nationality: Yi.
Extinct in some villages close to Kunming, severely endangered to the east in northeast Guandu and Yiliang, endangered in Ala Township, which is the center of the Samei distribution and where most villages are entirely or largely Samei (Bradley 2007a). Few fluent young speakers, though many children have a passive understanding (Bradley 2007a). Most also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn].
Yi script [Yiii], traditional, no longer in use.