Namuyi language

Native to China
Native speakers
5,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nmy
Glottolog namu1246[2]

Namuyi (Namuzi; autonym: na⁵⁴ mʑi⁵⁴) is a poorly attested Loloish[3] and more specifically a Tibeto-Burman language of Sichuan and Tibet. It has also been classified as Qiangic by Sun Hongkai (2001) and Guillaume Jacques (2011). The eastern and western dialects have low mutual intelligibility. In Sichuan, it is spoken in Muli County and Mianning County. The language is endangered[4] and the amount of speakers with fluency is decreasing year by year, as most teenagers do not speak the language, instead speaking the Sichuan dialect of Chinese.[5]

Geographical Distribution

Namuyi is a language spoken in Mianning County in Dongfeng Village and Laoya Village and Xichang City in Dashui Village and Xiangshui Village. It is also spoken in Muli and Yanyuan of the Liangshan Autonomous Prefecture and Jiulong County in the Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture.[6]


The Namuyi language is subdivided into two different dialects, the dialect of spoken by the people around Muli, and the dialect of those spoken in Mianning. The dialects differ mainly in phonology, where the Mianning and Yanyuan dialect have few consonant clusters as opposed to the Mianning and Xichang dialect.[7]


There are 40 single-consonant initials in the Namuyi language.[7] Namuyi also has ten phonemic vowels, /i/ for [i], /e/ for [e], /ɛ/ for [ɛ], /ɫ/ for [ʃ,ɯ] /ʉ/ for [y], /ə/ for [ə], /a/ for [a], /u/ for [u], /o/ for [o], and /ɔ/ for [ɔ].[5] There is no phonological vowel length, though speakers can lengthen a vowel in the first syllable at times to emphasize a word.[5]


  1. Namuzi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Namuyi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012:145), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington
  4. "Endangered Languages - Namuyi". Endangered Languages.
  5. 1 2 3 Fuminobu, Nishida (June 2013). "Phonetics and Phonology of Dzolo dialect of Namuyi" (PDF).
  6. Lakhi, Libu; Hefright, Brook; Stuart, Kevin (2007). "The Namuyi Linguistic and Cultural Features".
  7. 1 2 Hongkai, Sun (1990). "Languages of the Ethnic Corridor in Western Sichuan" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibet Burman Area.

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