Central Yi
Native toChina
Native speakers
570,000 (2002–2007)[2]
Yi script
Language codes
ISO 639-3ycl – inclusive code
Individual code:
ysp – Southern Lolopo[1]

Lolopo (autonyms: lɔ21 lo33 pʰɔ21, lo31 lo31 pʰo31; Chinese: 倮倮泼; Central Yi) is a Loloish language spoken by half a million Yi people of China. Chinese linguists call it "Central Yi" as well, which is one of the six Yi languages recognized by the government of China.


Lolo speakers are referred to by a variety of exonyms. Below is a list of exonyms followed by their respective autonyms and demographics.[3]


Yang (2011) proposes this tentative internal classification of Lolo.

The Chuxiong Prefecture Ethnic Gazetteer (2013:364)[5] lists the following cognacy percentages between Lolopo 罗罗濮 and other Yi languages in Chuxiong Prefecture.



Labial Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless ts
aspirated tsʰ tʃʰ
voiced dz
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ x
voiced v z ʝ ɣ
Nasal m n ŋ
Lateral l~ɮ
Semivowel w


Front Back
unrd. rnd.
Close i, ɯ, ɯ̠
Near-close ʊ, ʊ̠
Mid e, o,
Near-open æ, æ̠
Open a,
Front Back
Mid ʲo, ʲo̠
Open ʲɛ, ʲæ̠ ʲa, ʲa̠


Name Pitch Symbol
Low 21 ˨
Mid 33 ˧
High 55 ˦


  1. ^ Hammarström (2015) Ethnologue 16/17/18th editions: a comprehensive review: online appendices
  2. ^ Lolopo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Southern Lolopo[1] at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  3. ^ Yang, Cathryn. 2011. Assessment of the Lolo languages: Current understanding and recommended next steps. m.s.
  4. ^ Yang, Cathryn. 2010. Lalo regional varieties: Phylogeny, dialectometry, and sociolinguistics. Melbourne: La Trobe University PhD dissertation.
  5. ^ 楚雄彝族自治州民族事务委员会编. 2013. 楚雄彝族自治州民族志. 云南民族出版社.
  6. ^ Merrifield, W. Scott (2012). Yáo'ān Central Yi Phonology. SIL.