Bisu

A language of China

ISO 639-3: bii
 

Population 2,000 in China (1999 Xu Shixuan). 500 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 3,000.
Region Xishuangbanna area of southwestern Yunnan Province: in Mengzhe village of Menghai County, in the villages of Zhutang, Laba, Donglang, and Fubang in Lancang Couunty, in the villages of Jingxin, Fuyan, and Nanya in Menglian County, and in parts of Ximeng County. Possibly also in Laos and Myanmar. Also spoken in Thailand.
Alternate names   Mbisu, Misu, Mibisu, Mbi, Laomian, Laopin, Lawa, Lua
Dialects Lanmeng, Huaipa, Dakao. Close to Mpi, Pyen, and Phunoi. There are some dialect differences based on Dai versus Lahu loanwords. Lexical similarity 36% with Hani, 32% with Lahu, 31% with Lisu.
Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Loloish, Southern, Phunoi
Language use Speakers are shifting to Lahu or Dai. Adults use mainly Bisu with each other. Young people and children use Bisu to adults. Speakers view Bisu as an important link to their culture and hope to preserve it. 80% in China can also speak Dai, Lahu, or Chinese. 10% can speak all of those and Hani.
Language development Grammar.
Comments Part of the Hani nationality. Bisu in Menghai County are called 'Laopin' or 'Pin'; they call themselves 'Mbisu'; those in Lancang and Menglian are called 'Laomian'; those in Thailand call themselves 'Bisu', 'Misu', or 'Mbi'. SVO; simple syllable structure; certain obstruent onsets may be prenasalized, aspirated, or palatalized, but otherwise no consonant clusters; syllables may be closed by stop or nasal; 3 tones, tone sandhi; words have 1 or 2 syllables; modifiers follow heads; loanwords from Dai and Chinese. Mountain slope. High altitude. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion.

Also spoken in: Thailand
 
Language name   Bisu
Population 1,000 in Thailand (1987 Purnell).
Region Southwest Chiangrai, North Lampang. Two main villages, the largest with 100 houses.
Alternate names   Mbisu, Mibisu
Language use Vigorous. All ages.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: below 1%. Literacy rate in second language: below 5%.
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Mountain slope. Traditional religion.