Native toChina
Ethnicity17,200 Yi (2007)[1]
Native speakers
8,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ysy

Sanie (autonym: sɑ21 ɲɛ21 or sɑ21 ŋʷɛ21) 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 (2005) 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˨˩.

Northwest of Kunming, Sanie is locally known as Minglang 明廊, and it is sometimes classified as a Sani dialect. It is spoken in Wuding County (Lower Lemei Village 下乐美[3] of Chadian Township 插甸乡, and Tianxin Village 田心[4] of Gaoqiao Township 高桥镇) and Maoshan Township 茂山乡, Luquan County; it is probably also spoken in Fumin County.[5][6] Gao (2017)[7] reports high intermarriage rates between the Minglang and other neighboring ethnic groups.


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. ^ a b Sanie at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012), Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages, thesis, University of Texas at Arlington
  3. ^ "武定县插甸镇安德村委会下乐美". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  4. ^ "武定县高桥镇老滔村委会田心村". Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Minglang people" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Minglang" (JPG).
  7. ^ Gao, Katie B. 2017. Dynamics of Language Contact in China: Ethnolinguistic Diversity and Variation in Yunnan. PhD Dissertation: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.