Language name and location: Sadu, Yunnan, China [Not reported on the Ethnologue]

言名称和分布地区撒都语, 云南省中部玉溪市红塔区春和镇波衣村和大石板村,母语使用人数大约一千五百人。


1. te21

21.  tɕi33  tɕɿ21

2. ȵi21

22.  tɕi33 ȵi21

3. sə33

23.  tɕi33 33

4. li33

24.  tɕi33 li33

5. ŋo33

25.  tɕi33 ŋo33

6. tsʰv̩31

26.  tɕi33 tsʰv̩31

7. sɿ24

27.  tɕi33 sɿ24

8. xe42

28.  tɕi33 xe42

9. ɡɯ33

29.  tɕi33 ɡɯ33

10. tɕʰi21

30.  sə33 tɕʰi33 

11. tɕʰi21 tɕi33

40.  li33 tɕʰi33

12. tɕʰi21 ȵi31

50.  ŋo33 tɕʰi33 

13. tɕʰi21 33

60.  tsʰv̩31 tɕʰi33 

14. tɕʰi21 li33

70.  sɿ24 tɕʰi33

15. tɕʰi21 ŋo33

80.  xe42 tɕʰi33

16. tɕʰi21 tsʰv̩31

90.  ɡɯ33 tɕʰi33  

17. tɕʰi21 sɿ24

100. te21 xo21

18. tɕʰi21 xe42

200. ȵi31 sə˞21

19. tɕʰi21 ɡɯ33

1000. te21 sə˞21,

20. ȵi21tɕi33 

2000. ȵi31 tu44, 10,000. te21 va55


Linguist providing data and dateː Prof. Xianming Xu, Research Centre for Endangered Languages, Yuxi Normal University, Yuxi City, Yunnan, China, December 18, 2010.

供资料的语言学家: 许鲜明教授 (云南省玉溪师范学院), 2010 年 12 月18 日.


Other comments: Sadu is a newly discovered language with a numeral system similar to that of Lisu language. There is almost no literature on the Sadu ethnic group. The historical background we acquired was mainly from oral narration delivered by the elders in the three hamlets. According to limited local Chinese records and some olders’ oral narrations, it was said that Li clan in Jiaoyuan and Bi clan in Dashuitang hamlet moved from Hetaoyuan Township in Kunyan County and Baofeng Township of Jinning County in the Qing Dynasty. Originally they belonged to a sub-branch of Yi who claimed to be “Samodu”, whose ancestors were referred to “Ximodi” in Tang Dynasty, and as “Ximotu” in Yuan Dynasty. This group of people was named as “Bailuoluo Samodu” after Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, the villagers of the Li clan acknowledge that they are the descendants of Dali Bai nationality, however. They call themselves Sadu. Yet they use different names to distinguish themselves from one hamlet to another. The people from Xincun village call themselves Suonapo. The people from Tashuitang call themselves Tatapo; The people from Jiaoyuan claimed themselves Lilepo. They all were referred as Bai-Yi before 1958. They were designated by the Government as Bai nationality in 1858. Nevertheless, the language is very unique. It is neither intelligible to Yinyuan Bai, nor Dali Bai, nor local Yi. Sadly, we found that the descendants of preceding generations in Hetaoyuan and Baofeng Townships now all have shifted Chinese. Therefore, this group of people was redefined as the Sadu. According the identification, the Sadu language belongs to one of the languages of the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. However, the Sadu language is a lesser-known language. It is not intelligible to Bai, nor the neighboring Yi. It is necessary to redefine the genetic affiliation explicitly based on core words, phonology, words formation and grammar analysis as well as comparison with related language Yuxi Municipality is located in the middle of Yunnan Province, with a distance of 88 kilometers from Kunming city, the provincial capital. Yuxi Municipality, with a total area of 15,285 km², consists of one district and eight counties under its jurisdiction, namely, Hongta District, Tonghai County, Jiangchuan County, Chengjiang County, Huaning County, Yimen County, Eshan Yi Autonomous County, Xinping Yi and Dai Autonomous County and Yuanjiang Hani, Yi and Dai Autonomous County. There are 25 nationalities with a total population of 2.276 million in Yuxi Municipality. They are Chinese, Yi, Hani, Dai, Hui, Bai, Mongolia, Miao, Lahu nationality groups, etc. Over 33 percent of the total population in the Yuxi Municipality territory is the minority nationalities. Hongta District, where is the political, economic and cultural center has a population of 400,000 in 2009 census. There are 3 sub-districts, 6 towns, and 2 townships of Nationalities under the jurisdiction of Hongta District. They are Yuxinglu Sub-district, Fenghuanlu Sub-district and Yudailu Sub-district; Beicheng Township, Chunhe Township, Liqi Township, Dayingjie Township, Yanhe Township, Gaocan Township, Xiaoshiqiao Yi Nationality Township and Luohe Yi Nationality Township. The Sadu inhibit in Jianyuan village at Beicheng Township, Xincun and Dashuitang villages in Chunhe Township. The three hamlets are located in east longitude 102°17′32″ and north latitude 24°08′30″, in the mountains between 1700 and 1900 meters height above sea-level. The distances among three hamlets are ranged from 6 to 10 km. They are surrounded by Yi, Han, Hani and Hui as well as other minority nationalities. It is located in a high mountain, 6 km away from the Cluster seat, and 20 km away from Beicheng Township government headquarter, and 40 km away from Yuxi city seat. Xincun and Dashuitang are two of four hamlets at Boyi Village Cluster. They are 4 and 6 km away from the Cluster seat, and 12 and 18 km away from Chunhe Township government headquarter, and 20 and 26 km away from Yuxi city seat, respectively.

The total population in Chunhe Township Administrative jurisdiction is 55,368. Of them 5,310 are Yi; 996 are the Sadu, officially Bai. The population in three hamlets are 1756, the Sadu are 1505, which comprises 85.7 percent. The Yi are 175 and Han are 21, which comprise 9.97 and 1.2 percent, respectively. Other minority nationalities are only 5, which comprise 0.3 percent, who came to the village by marriage.


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