Yi language


Yi language

language
name=Yi
nativename= _ii. ꆇꉙ transl|ii|"Nuosu"
familycolor=Sino-Tibetan
states=China, Vietnam, Thailand
region=Throughout the Far East
speakers=6 million
fam2=Tibeto-Burman
fam3=Lolo-Burmese
iso1=ii (Sichuan Yi)
iso2=iii
(Sichuan Yi)
sit (others)
lc1=iii|ld1=Sichuan Yi|ll1=Sichuan Yi language
lc2=nos|ld2=Southern Yi|ll2=none
lc3=ycl|ld3=Central Yi|ll3=none
lc4=yif|ld4=Ache Yi|ll4=none
lc5=yig|ld5=Guizhou Yi|ll5=none
lc6=yik|ld6=Xishan Lalu Yi|ll6=none
lc7=yio|ld7=Dayao Yi|ll7=none
lc8=yip|ld8=Poluo Yi|ll8=none
lc9=yiq|ld9=Miqie Yi|ll9=none
lc10=yit|ld10=Eastern Lalu Yi|ll10=none
lc11=yiu|ld11=Awu Yi|ll11=none
lc12=yiv|ld12=Eshan-Xinping Yi|ll12=none
lc13=yix|ld13=Axi Yi|ll13=none
lc14=yiz|ld14=Azhe Yi|ll14=none
lc15=ylm|ld15=Limi Yi|ll15=none
lc16=ylo|ld16=Naluo Yi|ll16=none
lc17=ymh|ld17=Mili Yi|ll17=none
lc18=ymj|ld18=Muji Yi|ll18=none
lc19=ypl|ld19=Pula Yi|ll19=none
lc20=ypw|ld20=Puwa Yi|ll20=none
lc21=ysn|ld21=Sani Yi|ll21=none
lc22=yso|ld22=Southeastern Lolo Yi|ll22=none
lc23=ysp|ld23=Southern Lolopho Yi|ll23=none
lc24=ywl|ld24=Western Lalu Yi|ll24=none
lc25=ywq|ld25=Wuding-Luquan Yi|ll25=none
lc26=ywt|ld26=Western Yi|ll26=none
lc27=ywu|ld27=Wumeng Yi|ll27=none
lc28=yym|ld28=Yuanjiang-Mojiang Yi|ll28=none

Yi (also Moso, Lolo, Noso, "etc.") is a family of closely related tonal Tibeto-Burman languages spoken by the Yi people. Although linguists still use the term Lolo or Loloish, the Yi people themselves regard it as pejorative.In fact, people supposedly belonging to the Yi nationality speak six different languages, all part of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic family, but which hold only 25 to 50 percent of words in common. One of these languages has been chosen as the standard "Yi" language and, as such, is the only one taught in school, both in its oral and written form.

Writing system

Classic Yi is a syllabic logographic system of 8000–10,000 glyphs. Although similar to Chinese in function, the glyphs are independent in form, with little to suggest a direct relation.

The Modern Yi script ( _ii. ꆈꌠꁱꂷ transl|ii|"nuosu bburma" IPA| [nɔ̄sū bʙ̝̄mā] 'Nosu script') is a standardized syllabary derived from the classic script in 1974 by the local Chinese government. It was made the official script of the Yi languages in 1980. There are 756 basic glyphs based on the Liangshan (Cool Mountain) dialect, plus 63 for syllables only found in Chinese borrowings.

In 1958 the Chinese government introduced a Roman-based alphabet for use in Yi. [ [http://www.worldlanguage.com/Languages/Yi.htm Yi language] ]

Phonology

The written equivalents of the phonemes listed here are "Yi Pinyin". For information about the actual script used, see the section above entitled "Writing System".

Consonants

Dialects

According to Chinese linguists the Yi language is divided into six major dialects: [ [http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Yi/language.html The Yi People and Language] ]
#Northern dialect
#Western dialect
#Central dialect
#Southern dialect
#South-Eastern dialect
#Eastern dialect

Some of these dialects are mutually unintelligible. The Northern dialect is the largest one with some 1.6 million speakers.

References

Further reading

*Collective book, "Ritual for Expelling Ghosts, A religious Classic of the Yi nationality in Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan". The Taipei Ricci Institute (November 1998)


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