A language of China

Alternate Names
Ai Sui, Shui, Sui Li, Suipo

300,000 in China (2007 D. Bradley). Population total all countries: 300,120. Ethnic population: 407,000 (2000 census).


Guizhou Province, centered in Sandu; Duyun, Dushan, Libo, Rongjiang, Danzhai, Leishan, and Congjiang counties; Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nandan, and Rongshui counties; Yunnan Province, Fuyuan county. Also in Viet Nam.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Pandong, Sandong (Central Sui, Southern Sui), Yang’an. Some communication difficulty between dialects. Sandong (Central) is the standard and most intelligible in the area (Castro 2011).


SVO; noun head initial; 70 onsets, 50 rhymes; 8 tones (Wei 2008)

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. About 100,000 use Chinese as L2. Bilingualism is low in the main areas. Written Chinese is in use.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: 78% in any language for Shui nationality (2000 census). Not formally taught. Poetry. Dictionary.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Shui nationality. Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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