Sanie language

Native to China
Ethnicity 17,200 Yi (2007)[1]
Native speakers
8,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ysy
Glottolog sani1265[3]

Sanie is a Loloish language of Yunnan, China. It is similar to Samataw. There were 17,320 ethnic Sanie in 1998, but only about 8,000 spoke the Sanie language fluently. The Sanie are also known as the White Yi (白彝) (Bradley 1997).

A Sanie pinyin orthography had also been developed recently (Bradley 2005).


Bradley (2005) reports significant variation in the Sanie language, and briefly compares the following 6 dialects.

Bradley (2004) notes that the Sanie varieties spoken in the plains of Xishan District in Heilingpu, Zhaozong, and Biji Townships are particularly conservative. The East and Southeast dialects are particularly conservative in that they preserve Proto-Loloish labiovelars; the speakers call themselves the sɑ˨˩ŋʷi˨˩.


Sanie is spoken in 76 villages, 3 of which are mixed with Nasu (Bradley 2005). 58 of these villages are in Xishan District, 13 in southwestern Fumin County, and 5 in northwestern Anning County.


  1. 1 2 Sanie at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sanie". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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