A language of China

ISO 639-3: nbf

Population 308,839 (2000 census). 100,000 monolinguals.
Region Most (200,000) in Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County, northwestern Yunnan. Some scattered through Weixi, Zhongdian, Ninglang, Deqing, Yongsheng, Heqing, Jianchuan, and Lanping counties. Some in Yanyuan, Yanbian, and Muli counties of Sichuan Province. A few in Mangkang county, southeastern Tibet. Possibly also in Myanmar.
Alternate names   Nahsi, Nasi, Nakhi, Lomi, Mu, "Moso", "Mosso", "Mo-Su"
Dialects Lichiang (Lijiang), Lapao, Lutien. The western dialect is reported to be fairly uniform and is considered to be the standard (from Dayan town in Lijiang County). Eastern has some internal differences, and intelligibility may be low within it.
Classification Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Naxi
Language use Vigorous. Some speakers of other languages in the area use Naxi in local government offices, markets, gatherings, and when visiting Naxi families. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. 170,000 use Chinese, Tibetan, Bai, or English as second language. Written Chinese in common use.
Language development Literacy rate in second language: 62%. 75,000 can read and write it. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1932.






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An official nationality. People resent the older term "Moso". The 8,000 or so 'Eastern' Naxi in the Lugu Lake area are matriarchal. Most Naxi are patriarchal. Roman alphabet developed in the 1950s and revised in 1984. An ideographic writing system called 'Dongba' ('Domba') is not practical for everyday use, but is a system of prompt-illustrations for reciting classic texts. 2 syllabary scripts called 'Geba' and 'Malimasa' are also used in Weixi County. SOV; no checked syllables; tonal, 4 tones. Mountain slope, plains. Semitropical; scrub forest; pine forest; spruce forest; Alpine. High altitude. Agriculturalists; animal husbandry; hunters. Buddhist (Lamaist), Chinese Buddhist, Daoist, Confucianist, traditional religion, Christian.