The Yi people, with a population of 8,714,393 at the 2010 census, are the sixth largest of 55 ethnic minority groups in China. Nearly all the Yi live in mountain areas (Fig. S1), such as Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province (60.59%), Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province (21.33%), and Bijie City and Liupanshui City of Guizhou Province (10.86%). Historical records show that the ancestors of the Yi, Bai, Nakhi, Lahu and Lisu ethnic groups were closely related with ancient Di-Qiang people, who migrated from southeastern Tibet through Sichuan and into Yunnan. The Yi language belongs to the Tibetan-Myanmese Language Group of the Chinese-Tibetan Language Family, and the Yi speak six mutually unintelligible dialects. The Yi script was originally logosyllabic like Chinese and can date to at least the 13th century, called the old Yi language. There were perhaps 10,000 characters, 1000 of which were everyday use. In 1956, the script was standardized as a syllabary, which is widely used now [
- Wang X.
- He X.
World Peoples: China.
China Social Sciences Press, Beijing2014: 484-492
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Published online: October 24, 2016
Received: August 9, 2016
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