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Mosuo Language Facts and Information

Information About Mosuo Language

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Mosuo speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Sino-Tibetan
Branch: Tibeto - Burman
Continent: Asia
Country: China
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.
Countries Where Spoken: 278,009 (1990 census) including 225,000 in Yunnan, 20,000 in Sichuan.
Countries Where Official: China
Native Speakers: 278,009
Speakers Total: 278,009
Phrasebase members who speak Moso at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Moso at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Moso: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Moso: 0
Three Letter Code: NBF
Alternative Names: NAHSI, NASI, NAKHI, LOMI, MU, "MOSO", "MOSSO", "MO-SU"
Summary: The western dialect is reported to be fairly uniform, and is considered to be the standard (from Dayan in Lijiang County). Eastern has some internal differences, and intelligibility may be low within it. Written Chinese in common use. People resent the older term "Moso". One of the official nationalities in China. The 8,000 or so "Eastern" Naxi in the Lugu Lake area are matriarchal. Most Naxi are patriarchal. Dictionary. SOV; no checked syllables; 4 tones. Literacy rate in second language: 62%. Roman alphabet developed in the 1950s and revised in 1984. An ideographic writing system called "Dongba" 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. Agriculturalists, animal husbandry. Lamaist Buddhist, Daoist, Christian. Bible portions 1932.

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